A little over a year ago I was in London. I went to the legendary jazz club Ronnie Scott’s. At one point during a jam session a young Russian man in a thick coat and scarf (despite the warm weather) ran up on stage, blew his alto like it was nobody’s business, then promptly disappeared despite calls for more. I knew that if I had a crew with me and access to that man’s life I’d have the winner at next year’s Sundance.

There’s something wonderfully cinematic about a musician’s life. If they are any good, they are usually half in our world and half in their own. Yet they are fluent in another language. Plus, unless they are playing the ukelele, they look really cool.

Here are eight of my favorite movies about musicians that aren’t as well-known as they should be. Once isn’t on the list. I’m assuming you saw that already. But if you saw the headline and were hoping to see a clip to that masterpiece, here’s the “When Your Mind’s Made Up” recording scene, which ranks alongside the final 45 minutes of Avengers as the most exhilarating piece of cinema from the last ten years. Read More »

Robert Rodriguez and Nimród Antal directing Predators

On July 1st, I got a chance to participate in a roundtable interview with writer/producer Robert Rodriguez and director Nimród Antal about their upcoming Predator sequel Predators.

I’m really excited about this film, and hope people get a chance to see it in theaters. I feel like I haven’t really seen a lot of marketing for the film, and most of my friends didn’t even know its being released this Friday (although I’ve been told they are doing a heavy push of television advertisements during sports programing. Predators is a return to form for the series, which in recent years has suffered a not-so-good sequel, and two crappy Alien vs. Predator films. It’s not a great movie, but has a kick-ass opening 30 minutes and is definitely better than I think most will be expecting (to be fair, I wasn’t expecting anything at all).

You can read the transcript from the roundtable/press conference interview after the jump.

Read More »

This Week in DVD is a new column on /Film compiling 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

Prepare yourselves Clint Eastwood fans, because the Dirty Harry series is getting an upgrade. All five films are available on this set, including Dirty Harry, Magnum Force, The Enforcer, Sudden Impact, and The Dead Pool. Like most franchises, the first entry is the best of the bunch, with the following films getting progressively worse as they go on. Even so, all of the films are still worth watching, and even if they weren’t, I don’t think there’s a force in the universe that would be strong enough to prevent me from picking up this beautiful looking box set. You can also purchase the films separately, with a Two-Disc Special Edition for Dirty Harry and single disc Special Editions for the rest.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: According to Amazon, the set comes with a feature-length documentary Clint Eastwood: Out of the Shadows, a 42-page hardcover book, a replica Harry Callahan wallet with inspector’s badge and I.D. card, five 5″ x 7″ reproduction lobby poster cards, never-before-seen production correspondence, and more. And that’s not even including the special features on the DVDs themselves.

Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$49.99 $59.99 $69.99 $59.99

What? Buy the Dirty Harry Ultimate Collector’s Edition and receive a “criminal dossier with details about the elusive psychopath Scorpio.” [LINK]
Where? Best Buy

This Week in DVD - Dirty Harry (2)

With all the musician biopics surfacing in recent years, it’s no surprise that some people would have tired of them by this point, but you shouldn’t let that stop you from checking out this critically lauded black-and-white picture detailing the troubled life of Ian Curtis, lead singer of the band Joy Division. It currently holds an 8.0 ranking on IMDB, and an 88% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes. If you haven’t yet heard about it, I implore you to check it out.
Blu-ray? No.
Notable Extras: An audio commentary, a making of featurette, and music videos.

Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
N/A $16.99 $19.99 $18.99

You may remember a story on /Film a while back showcasing the trailer for a movie that featured ninjas, sushi made of fingers, and a Japanese school girl with a machine gun for an arm. Well guess what? It’s now available on DVD. If you’re a lover of schlocky gore-filled Asian cinema, feel free to rejoice.
Blu-ray? No.
Notable Extras: A behind-the-scenes featurette, and of course, the film’s awesome trailer.

Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$12.99 $12.99 $14.99 $14.99


The Bad

(Available as single-disc and 2-Disc Unrated “Let’s Get Sweaty” Editions)
A collective sigh sweeps the nation as Will Ferrell releases yet another comedy that hits all of the same beats as his other films, this time minus the laughs. So if you’re looking for your monthly Ferrell fix, just hold out until the far superior looking Step Brothers.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: The two-disc set comes with six featurettes, deleted scenes, and a “Flint Tropics Hot Talk with ‘Dick Pepperfield.'”

Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$16.99 $15.99 $13.99 $13.99

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

(Available as regular and Unrated ”Pit of Death” Edition)
The directors of such cinematic classics as DATE MOVIE and EPIC MOVIE are back with another laugh-o-rama where all the humor stems from irrelevant pop culture references, excessive gross-out humor, and the fact that there are people who manage to be repeatedly duped into paying to watch something so painfully awful. Except in the case of the latter, it’s funny in that “I’m going to cry” kind of way.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: Audio commentary, a couple making-of featurettes, a set tour, and a gag reel.

Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$16.99 $17.99 $13.99 $13.99

What? Buy Meet the Spartans and receive a free t-shirt. Check your Weekly Ad to see what it looks like.
Where? Circuit City

(Available as single disc and 2-Disc Special Edition)
This may not be the worst-looking Asian horror remake to come out of Hollywood, but combined with Jessica Alba’s stunning inability to produce any sort of believable emotion, there’s not much incentive to check it out. Call me when she removes her “no nudity” clause, and then I’ll be willing to give her another chance.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: The 2-Disc Special Edition’s only additional content on the second disc is a digital copy of the movie, so feel free to skip it. Other extras include deleted scenes and several featurettes detailing the making of the movie and concepts behind it.

Target Best Buy Circuit City Fry’s
$17.99 $15.99 $13.99 $19.99

*Does not include 2-Disc Edition, which costs $22.99 at each of the listed stores excluding Fry’s (where it’s $34.99).

Also available this week…
The Onion Movie – Flawless – Weeds (Season 3) – Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show – Rescue Me (Season 4) – Mama’s Boy – The Andromeda Strain – City Slickers (Collector’s Edition) – American Crude – The Incredible Hulk (Season 3) – The Incredible Hulk (Season 4) – CHiPs (Season 2) – Boarding Gate – Dead Zone: The Final Season – Flavor of Love (Season 3) – Get Smart (The Complete Series)

Read More »

2007: The Cinematic Year of Anton


Every year new names become popular. Cinemascopian points out that 2007 has had three films featuring lead characters with the unusual name of Anton:

  • Anton Ego, “Ratatouille”
  • Anton Corbijn, “Control”
  • Anton Chigurh, “No Country for Old Men”

I wonder if such a cinematic occurrence might eventually someday reflect in those popular baby name charts. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Anton will replace Michael. I’m just wondering if Anton’s “stock” might go up due to the recent big screen appearances.