In this episode of the /Filmcast, David Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley, discuss the mainstream appeal of Shutter Island, try and fail to get excited about Marcus Nispel (the newly minted director of Conan), and wonder about the possibilities of lost subplots in Pixar’s Up. Special guest Alex Albrecht joins us this evening from Diggnation and The Totally Rad Show.
You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us next Tuesday at 10PM EST / 7 PM PST at Slashfilm’s live page as we review Year One.
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This Week in DVD is a column that compiles all the latest info regarding new DVD releases, sales, and exclusive deals from stores including Target, Best Buy and Fry’s.
Please don’t take the commentary on the movies and TV shows too seriously, as they’re meant not to be reviews but rather previews that include the general thoughts and ramblings of a twice-committed DVD addict. The categories represent solely the author’s intentions towards the DVDs at hand, and are in no way meant to be a reflection on what he thinks other people should rent or buy. So if he ends up putting a movie you like in the “Skip it” section without having seen it, please keep in mind that the time you could spend leaving a spiteful but ultimately futile comment could instead be used for more pleasant things in life. Like buying DVDs.
(Available as single-disc and 2-Disc Special Edition)
As hard as I try, I can’t bring myself to garner much interest in this film. I blame history for spoiling the ending. It’s like watching The Passion of the Christ: “So… I wonder what happens to Jesus at the end.” There’s also something inherently off-putting in seeing Tom Cruise in Nazi Germany with an eye patch and no accent. That said, I’m a big supporter of Bryan Singer’s work, and the film has been said to be serviceably entertaining, so I’ll be sure to give it a fair shake just as soon as I learn to stop whining about those aforementioned minor issues. If you’ve seen the film though, it would really help if you could offer some incentive to check it out in the comments.
Notable Extras: The single disc contains no extras, while the 2-disc holds a commentary by director Bryan Singer, actor Tom Cruise, and writer Christopher McQuarrie, a second commentary with writer Christopher McQuarrie and writer Nathan Alexander, 2 featurettes (“The Journey to Valkyrie”, “The Valkyrie Legacy”), and a digital copy of the film.
|Amazon – $15.99|
*Does not include 2-Disc Edition, which costs $22.99 at each of the listed stores (including Amazon).
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Entertainment Weekly is reporting that Evan Rachel Wood (The Wrestler) has signed on to guest star in two episodes of HBO’s True Blood. According to the report, Wood would play a pivotal role of Sophie-Anne, the 500-year-old vampire Queen of Louisiana. Described as “charming, wily, ruthless and wise” the character has had relationships with many famous people in the last few centuries. The episodes will air towards the end of the upcoming second season, but the character’s arc extends even further (read: If the series is renewed for a third season, Sophia-Anne will be back for more).
Wood employs a very realistic southern accent in Woody Allen’s new film Whatever Works, which I was lucky to see at ShoWest. It sounds like this role will be a reversal personality-wise. This also comes a couple days after it was announced that Wood dropped out of Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch due to “scheduling conflicts”. Looks like Wood has some extra time to fill and this show seems like a perfect fit for Wood.
Posted on Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008 by David Chen
In this episode of the /Filmcast, Dave, Peter, Devindra, and Adam weigh in on the Planet of the Apes prequel, discuss their lack of enthusiasm for Milk, and praise the latent talent of Keanu Reeves. Chris and Jimmy from the enormously popular Scene Unseen podcast join us to deliver their movie review stylings for Australia.
Make sure to tune in next week for our special Wire-themed episode! You can reach the /Filmcast by e-mail or by phone (781-583-1993) with questions, comments, suggestions, praise, and complaints.
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Posted on Thursday, November 13th, 2008 by David Chen
In this episode of /Filmcast, Dave, Adam, and Devindra lament the prevalence of American remakes, compare 28 Days Later with 28 Weeks Later, review Role Models, and remember one of their favorite authors of all time.
Have any questions, comments, concerns, feedback, or praise? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us next next Monday night as we review the new James Bond film, Quantum of Solace.
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Words are not sufficient to describe how epic this /Filmcast is. In this episode, Dave, Devindra and Adam are joined by Dan Trachtenberg from The Totally Rad Show to geek out about some recently watched TV and films, tear apart the 2008 Emmy awards with Myles McNutt, wage in on Seth Rogen and Stephen Chow’s Green Hornet news, and praise Neil Labute’s Lakeview Terrace.
Have any questions, comments, concerns, feedback, or praise? E-mail us at email@example.com or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993 . Join us next Monday as we review D.J. Caruso’s Eagle Eye.
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Page 2 is the name we give to all of the news, rumors, and randomness that fall in between the cushions of Slashfilm’s couch (not the one in mom’s basement). Tonight’s edition was approved by Dave and Chainsaw.
The final poster for November’s Repo! The Genetic Opera has touched down. Expect an opinion on the film from Peter in the coming days, as the musical is scheduled to play Fantastic Fest in Austin. Seems like we’ve been hearing about this movie for years. Are you over it? Click to make it pop.
Michael Douglas will star as a former car salesman/sex addict whose life and marriage falls apart in Solitary Man from writing team David Levien and Brian Koppelman (Rounders, Ocean’s 13). The duo will also helm the project; they previously directed the Vin Diesel vehicle Knockaround Guys. Susan Sarandon, Jenna Fischer (The Office), and Danny DeVito (who’s starred in at least two comedic gems with Douglas) are close to signing on, so this could turn out stellar. Steven Soderbergh is producing. I wonder if Douglas will get his much-desired fast food breakfast this time? (First Showing)
While on a British radio station Al Pacino mentioned an idea floating around that would re-team him and Robert DeNiro for a drag comedy. The legends would pretend to be sisters. [Blush] DeNiro chimed in with, “That could happen, who knows?” Hopefully not the director of Righteous Kill and 88 Minutes. Zing. (SS)
Latino Review have slapped an early draft of the Green Lantern script with an enthusiastic, spoiler-filled B+. Along with the buzzing script for Green Arrow (formerly Supermax), they profess that Warner Bros. will once again be a worthy competitor of Marvel Studios. And the site confidently deadens those David Boreanaz-as-Hal Jordan rumors. Evidently, the final script is currently out to other, younger actors.
TV: To a moderate amount of surprise, HBO has picked up their ratings-challenged vampire series, True Blood, for a second season. The second episode on Sunday, which saw a promising uptick in viewers, was not as problematic and irritating as the pilot, but I’m not sure I’ll stick with it. What about you? In other TV news, what did you guys think about the season finale of Weeds? I thought the ending was a weak twist that once again exploits the series’ on-again-off-again flirtation with reality and believable consequences. Someone should have caught a bullet instead of a roofie. Nice breasts, though. Entourage is still reaching into its designer fannypack of ho’s and cameos. Bring back Anna Faris, not the Britney-knockoff. C’mon. And tack on another 30 minutes. With its great yet eerily uneventful second season halfway over, Mad Men raised the stakes on Sunday. One of the best eps ever. Joan’s ass was even bigger, notice that? Female figure foreshadowing. And brilliant bra-strap stigmata. Judging from reactions, Fringe is still disappointing fanboys. Feel free to discuss these shows below.
Spout reports that a script for Infinite Jest, the maddening, new-classic tome by the late David Foster Wallace, does exist after all. There’s been much speculation online ever since the author committed suicide, but Wallace’s agent, Bonnie Nadell, parlayed via email that Keith Bunin wrote an IF screenplay sans Wallace’s involvement and, at one point, Sam Jones was indeed attached to direct. Jones previously directed the Wilco doc I Am Trying to Break Your Heart. The project is no longer in development, but Nadell purportedly gave the screenplay an endorsement. Got all that? I’m curious to see if the ball starts rolling again. And RIP DFW, sympathies to the wife. via Vulture
Unsurprisingly, Edward Norton sounds out of the loop regarding plans for the new Hulk (franchise?). He calls Marvel “opaque but not obtuse” when it comes to keeping him informed and adds that he hasn’t heard how they’ll approach The Avengers. However, the actor doesn’t sound adverse to reprising the role. Norton acting opposite RDJ, Samuel L. Jackson, and whoever ends up playing Thor and Captain America would be a trip, man—quite an understatement. Hail Mary. (Splash)
Viggo still wants to do The Hobbit, hasn’t heard anything. No bigs, tho. Early stages. (MTV)
Bruce Willis will make his debut as a director on Three Stories About Joan, an eccentric-sounding indie project and yeah, there’s a ghost in it. The logline via CHUD: the film “interweaves the three phases of a young womans struggle to retain her faith in a love borne out of need, destroyed by a madness, and restored by a ghost.” The film will be shot quickly on a “$10-25 million budget”—October 3rd to November 10th—in Louisiana. Willis will star in the film, as will Owen Wilson and Kieran Culkin. Go Bruce go.
Joining Willis’s daughter, Rumer Willis, and The Hills‘ Audrina Patridge in the Summit Entertainment remake of The House on Sorority Row will be Carrie Fisher. What can be easily overlooked with this casting tidbit (unless the script wildly differs, which is possible) is that Fischer will play the head of the sorority house in the film—this character was the cane-wielding undead murderer in the cheesy but watchable original. via STYD
Over at Collider, there’s a totes-geeked out article on the controversy surrounding the newspaper that Tony Stark holds up near the end of Iron Man. Lawsuits, “DVD censorship,” vengeful geek spies, the ever-complex influence of movie blogs on studios and vice versa, and the cute, shrinking corpse of journalism! Check it out if you like meta movie blog gossip. It’s only a matter of time before a blogger gets cast as Martian Manhunter, I can feel it in my Blackberry. Or is that the hand of First Showing’s Alex Billington!?
Discuss: All of it in depth.
Posted on Tuesday, September 9th, 2008 by David Chen
In this episode of the /Filmcast, Dave, Devindra and Adam try to decide whether Ghostbusters 3 is a good idea, debate whether or not The Dark Knight should have been rated R, and assess the acting talent of Nicholas Cage in Bangkok Dangerous. Vic Holtreman joins us from Screenrant and Moriarty from AICN joins us to bitchslap rumors about Will Smith and Batman 3 into submission.
Have any questions, comments, concerns, feedback, or praise? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us next Monday as we review Burn After Reading with hilarious film critic Eric D Snider.
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Big banner ads all over Comic Con are advertising Tru Blood, the fictional “synthetic blood nourishment beverage” that serves as a blood replacement for vampires in Alan Ball’s new series, True Blood. Eerily convincing, they serve as a clever reminder of the show’s ARG, which also includes a vampire dating site and a blog. Naturally, with all this great marketing and with Alan Ball’s name behind it (not to mention Charlaine Harris, who wrote the Southern Vampire Mysteries books that the series is based off of), there’s a great deal of hype for the show, which documents the world of Sookie, a telepathic waitress, and her relationship with Bill Compton, a vampire. In the world of the show, vampires have the ability to co-exist peacefully with humans due to the development of the existence of synthetic blood, but some humans still (justifiably) regard vampires as dangerous creatures who have the capability to kill humans easily, and the desire to do so for pleasure.
I had the privilege of attending the True Blood panel today and learned a lot from Ball about his vision for the series. Vampires have experienced and extremely favorable resurgence in popular culture recently, and comparisons will unavoidably be drawn between this series (debuting in September) and Twilight, being released a few months later. Ball’s version of vampires will be a fresh take that distinguishes itself in the following ways:
1) Avoiding Vampire cliches - Asked, “What vampire cliches will you avoid?” Ball responded glibly, “Blue light, contact lenses, and opera music.”
2) Vampire fangs – Vampire fangs in the show don’t grow larger at will; they retract and click down “like a rattlesnake’s fangs.” The more realistic elements of the vampire mythos were meant to draw attention away from the physical mechanics of things and more towards the characters and their relationships.
3) Vampire sex – As Ball explains, “In the world that Charlene has created, vampires are now a part of the culture. They are mysterious, exostic, sexy creatures and there are humans from both sexes of all sexual persuasions who really want to hook up with vampires. They’re called ‘fangbangers’ and apparently, as Charlene made very clear in her book, sex with vampires is really kind of great. One would imagine if you’ve had a few hundred years to learn how to please your partner and you still had the body of a 25-year old person, you’d be kind of a hot catch, apart from the biting part.” Ball also hinted that the show would contain gay characters, “both human and vampires,” which may be interesting and promising given the accolades Six Feet Under received for its frank depiction of gay relationships.
4) Vampire blood – Interestingly, in the show’s reality, vampire blood is a very volatile drug. It affects people very differently, as some people can “ride the wave,” while others have a more immediate physical reaction. It’s a gamble when you take it, as it can drive you insane, but It can also be a powerful sexual enhancement drug. Its effects also depend on who you are, and what vampire the blood came from.
5) Tru Blood – When asked “Are there any plans to make Tru Blood into a real drink,” Ball responded “Yes. It’s going to be a combination of V8, valium, vicodin, and viagra.” Was he joking? You decide.
Not too long ago, a rough version of the pilot leaked onto the internet, containing unfinished scenes and the presence of one actor/actress who appears to have completely been replaced. I had a chance to watch this rough cut prior to Comic Con and I have to say I wasn’t terribly impressed. In a series where so much of the audience is expected to suspend their disbelief, it seemed a bit of a stretch to have the main character, Sookie, also be telepathic (an ability, Ball told us today, whose origins will not be explained in the first season); consequently, the show just seemed a bit too wacky for me to really relate to, its interactions too outlandish to have any emotional impact. But as I’ve been told by my colleagues on the /Filmcast, don’t judge a show too harshly based on the pilot alone. Alan Ball is a capable guy and I’m definitely willing to withhold judgment for another few episodes.
I was intensely curious as to why Ball chose this project and discovered that a large part of it was serendipity (Ball admitted at the panel that he discovered the books by accident, finding them in a book store while waiting for a dentist appointment). But as for how much the series is related to his previous work, Ball explained that after Six Feet Under he was really tired of people talking intensely about their problems and contemplating the fact that we all die. “I wanted to do something fun,” Ball said. “I’ve had more fun working on this series than I’ve had doing anything else in my career.” Hopefully we will feel the same way watching it.