Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in 5 Minutes

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, see how the official Star Wars Kids YouTube channel for kids attempts to tell the story of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in just five minutes. Plus, see what a casino boss thinks about gambling scenes in movies like Casino Royale, The Hangover, Rounders, and more. And finally, get in the holiday spirit with an epic Christmas fireworks show hosted by Minnie Mouse at Walt Disney World. Read More »

In this episode of the /Filmcast, Dave, Devindra, and Adam ponder box office surprises from the past weekend, discuss the merits of a Facebook movie, and look back on the first season of the /Filmcast. Vic Holtreman joins us from Screenrant and Scott Weinberg joins us from Cinematical and Fearnet.

Have any questions, comments, concerns, feedback, or praise? Feel free to e-mail us at or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Tune in next week as we review Bangkok Dangerous.

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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, Circuit City, and Fry’s.

The Good

Finally being made available in the US, the 14-episode long UK sitcom Spaced proves what hilarious characters and writing can do with even the simplest of premises. The show comes from the minds of the hilarious star-director duo Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright (and let’s not forget Nick Frost, who has a supporting role here), who later went on to make the instant classic hits Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. If that isn’t enough to convince you this is a must buy, you must not have seen those films.
Blu-ray? No.
Notable Extras: New audio commentary By Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, Bill Hader, Matt Stone, Patton Oswalt and Diablo Cody, the original commentaries included on the VCI release, deleted scenes, raw footage, a Spaced On Stage reunion Q&A, a feature length documentary, outtakes, and a Homage-O-Meter.

Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$34.99 $39.99 $59.98 $44.99

Beating out Family Guy’s Star Wars special (entitled “Blue Harvest”) to the punch by a few months, Robot Chicken’s special is just now getting the treatment it deserves. Some people may not find much incentive to pick this set up, being that it’s only one 23-minute episode and you can already watch it online for free at More diehard fans of Robot Chicken/Star Wars, however, will find justification for the splurge courtesy of the extensive amount of special features and the very low price.
Blu-ray? No.
Notable Extras: Seven audio commentaries, video commentary, an animation meeting, a behind the scenes featurette, a production design featurette, deleted scenes, a panel presentation, time lapse sequences, alternate audio recordings, and on-air bumps.

Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$8.99 $9.99 $8.99 $7.99

From Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, this two-act 1963 police procedural (based on a detective novel by Ed McBain) insightfully explores and comments on Japanese society through the tale of a wealthy industrialist who learns his son has been kidnapped. High and Low may not be one of Kurosawa’s most popular works, but quality-wise it’s definitely up there.
Blu-ray? No.
Notable Extras: An audio commentary by Kurosawa scholar Stephen Prince, a retrospective documentary with Akira Kurosawa, two interviews, a trailer gallery, and a booklet featuring an essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien and an on-set account by Japanese film scholar Donald Richie.

Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$27.99 $34.99 $34.99 $29.99

An excellent movie for art-lovers and those interested in filmmaking, Vampyr is a 1932 French-German picture that tells a nightmarish tale about a young student of the occult who visits a strange castle and starts to experience haunting dreams and supernatural visions. It doesn’t have much dialogue or plot, but is heavily admired for its innovative use of light and shadows.
Blu-ray? No.
Notable Extras: An audio commentary by film historian Tony Rayns, a documentary about the director’s life and work, a ‘visual essay’ featurette, a 46-page booklet which features essays about the film and director Carl Theodor Dreyer, and a 200+ page book which features Dreyer’s script and the story Carmilla.

Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$27.99 $34.99 $34.99 $29.99

The Bad

(Available as single-disc and 2-Disc Deluxe Editions)
While not exactly terrible, the wholly generic Hollywood fluff flick 21 falls flat due to its incessant need to remove anything that could’ve made the film even remotely original or interesting. This includes, among other things, getting rid of the important cultural aspects from the true story on which the film is inspired (they were primarily Asian males), focusing far too much energy on making everything look flashy and cool instead of actually informing the audience what it is that’s happening on the blackjack table (I still have no idea what the hell counting cards entails), and spending so little time developing the lead character’s transformation that it barely even registers as an arc (there goes any hope for a compelling character study). In the end, the only thing that resonates in the slightest is the kickass soundtrack.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: A filmmaker commentary and 3 featurettes. In addition, the 2-disc set includes a digital copy of the film.

Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$16.99 $15.99

*Does not include 2-Disc Edition, which costs $22.99 at each of the listed stores.

What? Deluxe Edition includes The Basics of Winning Blackjack book.
Where? Target

What? Deck of 21-themed cards.
Where? Best Buy

Other noteworthy DVDs available this week…
Picture This! – The Last Winter – Bird (2-Disc Special Edition) – L.A. Ink (Season 1) – Las Vegas (Season 5) – Masters of Horror (Season 2 Box Set) – Kiss of the Spider Woman (2-Disc Collector’s Edition) [ Exclusive]

Discuss: What are you planning to rent or buy this week?

The Specials
NOTE: Some deals may be in-store only.

Exclusive: Free E-Movie Cash (up to $7.50) to see The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, plus a Sneak Peek disc, with any of the following $5.99 DVDs.
$5.99 – Miami Vice, Children of Men, The Scorpion King, Serenity, Alpha Dog, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (Unrated Director’s Cut), Tremors, Land of the Dead, Cape Fear, Billy Madison, and more…

$14.99 – Robot Chicken (Season 1-2), Aqua Teen Hunger Force (Season 1-4), The Venture Bros. (Season 1-2), Metalocalypse (Season 1)

$19.99 – Dexter (Season 1), The Tudors (Season 1)
$24.99 – Jericho (Season 1), The L Word (Season 3-4)
$27.99 – Lost (Season 3), Dirt (Season 1), Desperate Housewives (Season 3)

$5.99 – Rounders, Swingers, Gangs of New York, Equilibrium, Good Will Hunting, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Grosse Point Blank, From Dusk Till Dawn, and more…

Exclusive: Free movie money (up to $7.50) to see The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor with any of the following $9.99 and $6.99 DVDs.
$9.99 – The Mummy (2-Disc Deluxe Edition), The Mummy Returns (2-Disc Deluxe Edition), Fearless (Director’s Cut)
$6.99 – Miami Vice, Smokin’ Aces, Children of Men, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, and more…

$4.99 – The Island, The Warriors (Ultimate Director’s Cut), Lucky Number Slevin, Minority Report, The Princess Bride (20th Anniversary Edition), and more…

21 To Open 2008 SXSW Film Festival


Matt Dentler just sent out the first batch of announced titles for the 2008 South by Southwest Film Festival. The MIT/Vegas gambling heist adaptation 21 will open the fest. Other films include Dreams With Sharp Teeth, a doc about sci-fi author Harlan Ellison, Michael Radford’s (The Post Man) Flawless starring Michael Caine and Demi Moore, the David Schwimmer directed Simon Pegg comedy Run Fatboy Run which premiered at Toronto, Wild Blue Yonder and At the Death House Door. Read the full press release after the jump.
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21 Movie Trailer


I first read the book Bringing Down the House a couple years back, and knew instantly that Hollywood would make a movie about this real life tale of how six M.I.T. Students took Vegas for Millions. The feature film version is titled 21 and stars Across the Universe‘s Jim Sturgess in the lead, Kevin Spacey as the teacher/leader, in addition to Kate Bosworth, Laurence Fishburne, and Aaron Yoo. Sure, director Robert Luketic (Legally Blonde, Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!, Monster-in-Law) doesn’t instill confidence, but it’s hard to mess up a heist film (although Oceans 12 accomplished that feat). The new movie trailer makes the movie look very fun. Check out he trailer after the jump.
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