This Week in DVD & Blu-ray is a column that compiles all the latest info regarding new DVD and Blu-ray 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 films 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.
Adventureland does not redefine coming-of-age movies. It tells a familiar tale, and it does so with a number of story elements that we’ve seen many times before.
It’s also far better than most of its competition.
Watching Adventureland, it’s obvious that this is a very personal film for writer/director Greg Mottola. It’s real. It’s relatable. It’s charming, sweet and thoroughly engaging from start to finish. The film has plenty of laughs too, but making “silly gags” the focus of the film’s marketing campaign was a mistake. As much as the studios may want to make the film look like the next Superbad (which Mottola also directed), it simply isn’t. The jokes don’t feel like calculated gags intended to make you burst into tears with laughter. The humor has a more natural flow, always present in the interactions of the characters and the inherent comedy of the situations, but never detracting from the heart of the story: the relationship between the two young leads, played to perfection by Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart. If you’re going into the film expecting something else, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.
Notable Extras: DVD – Commentary with director Greg Mottola and actor Jesse Eisenberg, deleted scenes, a Just My Life: The Making Of Adventureland featurette, and a Picture Music Selection feature. Blu-ray – Everything on the DVD, plus 3 additional features (“Frigo’s Ball Tap”, “Lisa P’s Guide To Style”, “Welcome to Adventureland”), and a digital copy of the film.
|BEST DVD PRICE
|Amazon – $19.49
|BEST BLU-RAY PRICE
|Amazon – $25.99
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In this episode of the /Filmcast, David Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley discuss the criteria for getting chosen for the Criterion Collection, and reflect on the state of I Love You, Philip Morris. Special guest Alison Willmore from IFC and the Indie Eye blog joins us this evening, and reports from the SXSW film festival.
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 Monday night at Slashfilm’s live page at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PST as we review Monsters vs. Aliens.
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In D.T. Max’s fantastic New Yorker profile on writer/director Tony Gilroy (which you should read only after you’ve seen Duplicity), Max describes how Gilroy is obsessed with the “reversal.” According to Gilroy, “A reversal is just anything that’s a surprise. It’s a way of keeping the audience interested.” As moviegoers, we’ve seen reversals plenty of times; often we’re shown something on screen, then shown the same thing again later in a completely different context, where each of element carries a drastically different significance. Movies like Memento, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Confidence, Ocean’s 11, and even Gilroy’s own Michael Clayton traffic heavily in these moments, and I see them as somewhat of a blessing and a curse. While reversals can make a second-viewing of the film equally enjoyable as the first, I quickly encounter the law of diminishing returns upon subsequent viewings, since by the fifth or sixth time I’ve seen the film, I already understand most of its mysteries. Movies with major reversals are structured in order to maximize the impact of the reversal, so they inevitably lose some of their effectiveness after that element has been revealed.
That being said, those first viewings are an absolute delight. Just as the characters in the film are trying to stay one step ahead of each other, you, the moviegoer, are constantly trying to figure out exactly what each character’s motivations are and whether or not you can really trust the depiction of events on screen. Gilroy’s latest film, Duplicity, is positioned as a corporate espionage thriller with a few double and triple-crosses sprinkled in for good measure, and it thoroughly delivers on this promise. It’s an absolute blast and shows Gilroy at the top of his form, deceiving the audience just as often as the characters in the film are deceiving each other.
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Ever since the fairly spectacular Michael Clayton, I’ve been eagerly awaiting Tony Gilroy’s next directorial project, Duplicity. Honestly, how could you not get excited about a film that reunites Closer stars Clive Owen and Julia Roberts, and includes Tom Wilkinson (who should seriously consider hitching his wagon to every Gilroy script), and Paul Giamatti? Clayton proved that Gilroy had the directing chops to match his screenwriting prowess—which is saying something given that he’s written all the Bourne films thus far.
Owen and Roberts play a pair of corporate spys who’ve fallen into a steamy relationship and devise the ultimate plan to rip off their respective employers—competing pharmeceutical companies run by Wilkinson and Giamatti. I love the energy from this trailer, and I’m glad to see that Universal has figured out the perfect way to sell this film. It’s unabashadly Oceans-esque, but that makes sense for something that seems to be a heist film at its core. Owen looks less broody than usual, Roberts less annoying, and Giamatti and Wilkinson just seem like they’re having a lot of fun hamming up their roles as the competing CEOs.
[flv:http://bitcast-a.bitgravity.com/slashfilm/trailers/duplicity.flv 470 196]
Watch the trailer in High Definition on Apple. Duplicity hits theaters on March 20, 2009.
There has been so much news in the last few days that we just haven’t been able to get to all of it. Here is a round up of stories that just didn’t make the /Film front page, or what we like to call…. Page 2!
Blockbuster had finally announced that they will be rolling out Blu-ray in its 4,000 stores in the US and Canada, after a successful trial run in 1,700 outlets. In other news, Netflix is still better. [gizmodo]
FilmSchoolRejects and Collider both have exclusive images from Pathology.
Our friend Devin Faraci at CHUD has a great rebuttal to our own Hunter Stephenson’s drunken There Will Be Blood rant.
John C Buechler’s Troll remake is set to begin shooting in Vancouver, Canada; Torino, Italy and China starting on June 30th. [Bloody-Disgusting]
Enter for a chance to win a Pro-Poker Prize Pack in a contest to promote the upcoming film The Deal, which hits theaters on April 25th.
KungFuRodeo has new images from the The Dark Knight animatrix-like collection Batman: Gotham Knight.
Jason Reitman and Kevin Smith have decided to blog for the NHL. Wait, do people still watch hockey? [yahoo]
Collider has a new poster-like image from Pixar’s WALL-E. Appears to be a cover to a book or something, but still worth checking out.
Baghead, The Duplass Brothers’ follow-up to The Puffy Chair, had big buzz at the Sundance Film Festival this year and was quickly snapped up by Sony Pictures Classics. Sony has apparently decided to drop the title. I assume they are doing this because “Baghead” would have been too marketable, and Sony Pictures Classics doesn’t want to make money. [cinematical]
Kenny Baker, the 72-year-old actor who played R2-D2 in Star Wars is in a Manchester hospital after suffering a severe asthma attack. We hope he gets better soon. [telegraph]
Our friends at Latino Review have a script review of Tony Gilroy‘s next film Duplicity.
And you thought New Line’s Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D was going to be bad… The Asylum, the direct-to-dvd studioknown for producing cheap mockbusters of hot hollywood releases (Snakes on a Train…etc) has released the first photo from their upcoming film, Journey to the Center of the Earth, which hits store shelves on July 1st.
If it wasn’t for the blasÃ© title, Duplicity might have a more pronounced blip on 2009 movie radars. Director Tony Gilroy‘s debut, Michael Clayton, scored seven Oscar noms, including Best Picture and Best Director, and the cast to his follow-up is of similar caliber, with Billy Bob Thornton and Tom Wilkinson now joining Clive Owen and Julia Roberts in the thriller about the pharmaceutical industry, modern greed and espionage.
However, the casting does sensically play into the title, with Thornton and Wilkinson in the roles of rivaling CEOs for massive drug companies and Owen and Roberts the opposing spies they set in motion in a race to obtain an invaluable “innovation.” Like Clayton, the film was written by Gilroy, and it’s good to see Wilkinson and the director working together again so soon after the former’s deserved Best Supporting Actor nom.
No word on whether Duplicity‘s characters will stealthily cruise around in 2009 Mercedes-Benzs, but I’d count on it; returning cinematographer Robert Elswit (There Will Be Blood) can shoot a luxury automobile like it’s the second coming, and even make light reflect off the hood like existential drizzle.