Saw and Halloween – name a more iconic October duo from the last decade (seriously, not just memeing here). Every Fall, for a span of seven films in as many years, John Kramer/Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) – or one of his minions/impersonators – erected a maze of “torture porn” death traps for “chosen” characters to navigate. Carcasses were scorched, heads were pulverized like rotten fruit, and insides were spilled at a frightening turnover rate. Saw 3D was intended to end the franchise, but studio execs eventually realized how much money was left up for grabs.
Zip ahead to 2017 and we have the appropriately titled Jigsaw, Lionsgate’s reboot of James Wan’s infamous slaughterhouse-games franchise. Once again, audiences could rely on Halloween’s October release window for one screamingly macabre “test” designed to maim, massacre and murder with redemptive intent. When I heard the news myself, a flash of Jigsaw’s bodycount projected before my eyes and I knew – as an online film journalist with absolutely zero dignity left – what had to be done. SOMEONE MUST RANK ALL THE SAW DEATH SEQUENCES.
Unfortunately, Jigsaw is not screening for press so this article just focuses on Saw through Saw 3D. In any case, let’s get to the gory details. How does your favorite “trap” or death rank on this punishing playlist of the damned?
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.
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.
CITY OF EMBER
If you listen to the /Filmcast, you’ve likely already heard me discuss how surprised I was by this film. It’s not amazing by any means, and it certainly has its problems (poor action sequences, unsatisfying climax, etc.), but thanks to the film’s unique and engaging story, appropriately clunky yet cool set design, and strong performances from its young leads, it manages to make for a genuinely entertaining old school adventure flick. It’s a real shame that it bombed at the box office as poorly as it did. Blu-ray? No. Notable Extras: Absolutely nothing. Bummer.
EXCLUSIVE DEAL: What? Save $5 when you buy City of Ember and Igor. Where? Best Buy.
If It weren’t for the positive reviews, I probably would’ve overlooked this movie completely, dismissing it as nothing more than an unnecessary Remember the Titans retread. Granted, I still believe this is true, but at least it appears to be well made and acted. For many, that will be enough. Blu-ray? Yes. Notable Extras: Audio commentary with director Gary Fleder, featurettes (Making of The Express, Making History: The Story of Ernie Davis, Inside the Playbook: Shooting the Football Games, From Hollywood to Syracuse: The Legacy of Ernie Davis), and deleted scenes.
This has been an unusual year for CGI films. For arguably the first time since 2001 (with Shrek), we actually have non-Pixar animated films nearing that studio’s standards. Among these films are Bolt, Kung Fu Panda, and Horton Hears a Who. Igor, however, is not one of them. Despite an inventive premise that plays on classic monster movie tropes, the response to this movie has been very middling, and it didn’t even seem to last a week before being instantly forgotten following its release. I still intend on checking it out though, since I’m a sucker for animated films, and while it may not be one of the best of the year, it certainly doesn’t appear to be scraping the bottom of the barrel either (see: Space Chimps). Blu-ray? Yes. Notable Extras: Deleted scenes, bloopers and a “Be An Igor” featurette.
EXCLUSIVE DEAL: What? Save $5 when you buy City of Ember and Igor. Where? Best Buy.
HENRY POOLE IS HERE
The more I read about this film, the more interested I become, and the more I think I’ll probably hate it. Those probably sound like two contrasting viewpoints, so allow me to explain: I’m an atheist. This movie is about faith. No, not faith. If what I’ve read is accurate, it seems this movie is about God, pure and simple. To elaborate, it’s about an atheist rejecting the notion of a miracle until eventually he is convinced otherwise by repeatedly being confronted with the undeniable presence of God. Now, I could be wrong, but I really can’t see this being handled in a way that’s anything other than ham-fisted and completely logic-defying. That said, I still intend on watching it with an open mind, and once I do, I’ll report back with my thoughts on the /Filmcast. Blu-ray? Yes. Notable Extras: Director/writer commentary, a making of featurette, and 2 music videos (All Roads Lead Home, Henry Poole Is Here).
REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA
I have no expectations that this will be a good film in any respect, and yet, my curiosity is piqued enough by it to merit a rental. How the hell do you even describe this film? A dystopian cyberpunk horror/fantasy goth-rock opera? Odds are, this description is far more interesting than the actual film, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t enticed. It’s even enough to convince me to ignore Paris Hilton’s presence in the film. It also helps that the film stars Anthony Head, who played Giles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Glad to see the guy’s getting work! Blu-ray? Yes. Notable Extras: Two audio commentaries and 2 featurettes (From Stage to Screen, Legal Assassin – A Repo Man).
MAX PAYNE (Available as single-disc and Special Edition)
I had heard early word of mouth that this movie was bad, but I didn’t want to believe it. “Just because it’s based on a video game, that doesn’t mean it has to suck!” I repeated these words endlessly before the film’s release, right before referring to its badass trailer as proof of its potential. Of course, I did the very same thing prior to the release of Hitman… Apparently I still haven’t learned my lesson. Max Payne is the worst kind of bad movie: the boring kind. The only redeeming quality is its cinematography, which makes watching the film a bizarre viewing experience due to the strong contrast of the effective visual style against the terrible direction and acting. Blu-ray? Yes. Notable Extras: The single disc will include both rated and unrated cuts of the movie, and a commentary with director John Moore and crew. The special edition will include all of that, plus a Picture Production Featurette – Part 1, a Michelle Payne animated graphic novel, and a digital copy of the film.
*Does not include 2-Disc Edition, which costs $22.99 at each of the listed stores (including Amazon).
SAW V (Available as rated edition, Unrated Director’s Cut and Unrated Collector’s Edition)
I’m going to use this paragraph as a placeholder for all future entries in the Saw series that need to be discussed for “This Week in DVD”, because hell if I’m going to bother wasting any energy writing something new for every movie when they clearly have no intention of paying audiences the same courtesy. This series has been on repeat since Saw II, simply throwing in a different batch of poorly developed characters to go along with a few familiar faces while they’re forced to engage in increasingly more ridiculous death-traps that usually end with something horribly gross and/or gory. And at the end of it all, we’re supposed to jump out and shout, “Holy shit, what a shocking twist!” regardless of the cheap storytelling mechanics involved and the massive lapses in logic/believability. If that wasn’t enough, you can experience the whole thing once again next Halloween (and sadly, a lot of people are apparently eager to). Talk about depressing. Blu-ray? Yes. Notable Extras: Both unrated editions will include a director’s commentary, a producer’s commentary, and 5 featurettes (The Pendulum Trap, The Cube Trap, The Coffin Trap, The Fatal Five, Slicing the Cube: Editing the Cube Trap). Exclusive to the Collector’s Edition is a talking box, spinning blade, and collector’s booklet.
Amazon – N/A
*Does not include 2-Disc Edition, which costs $22.99 at Target, $27.99 at Best Buy, and $28.99 at Fry’s. (Circuit City price N/A.)
If you make the trip to the movie theater this weekend, chances are you’re there seeing SAW V, Clint Eastwood’s Changeling, High School Musical 3 (although I doubt the demographic that reads /Film would be caught dead watching that film) or Pride and Glory. We want to know what you thought! Post your comments below. Read More »
This Thursday – October 23rd, Lionsgate Films is holding SAWfest at 42 participating AMC movie theaters around the country. For only $15, moviegoers will be able to see all five SAW films on the big screen. The event will start at 4:00pm, with short intermissions between films, leading up to the midnight screening of SAW V (also included).
Five films for $15 is one hell of a deal. I’ll be at the San Francisco Metreon screening along with Jon Christensen of /Gamer. I’m not sure if I’ll make it through the entire thing, but we’re going to try. You can see a complete listing of participating movie theaters below.
AMC “SAWFEST” PARTICIPATING THEATRES
STATE MARKET THEATRE
Arizona Phoenix AMC Mesa Grand 24
Arizona Phoenix AMC Deer Valley 30 with IMAX
California Los Angeles AMC CityWalk 19 with IMAX
California Los Angeles AMC 30 at The Block
California Los Angeles AMC Burbank 16
California Los Angeles AMC Ontario Mills 30
California Los Angeles AMC Norwalk 20
California Los Angeles AMC Del Amo 18
California San Diego AMC Mission Valley 20
California San Diego AMC Palm Promenade 24
California San Jose AMC Mercado 20
California San Francisco AMC Metreon 16 with IMAX
California San Francisco AMC Bay Street 16
Colorado Denver AMC Westminster Promenade 24
District of Columbia Washington AMC Hoffman Center 22
Florida Miami AMC Sunset Place 24
Florida Miami AMC Aventura 24
Florida Orlando AMC Loews Universal Cineplex 20
Florida Orlando AMC Pleasure Island 24
Florida Tallahassee AMC Tallahassee Mall 20
Georgia Atlanta AMC Southlake Pavilion 24
Illinois Chicago AMC Loews Streets of Woodfield 20
Illinois Chicago AMC Crestwood 18
Kansas Kansas City AMC BarryWoods 24
Maryland Baltimore AMC Loews White Marsh 16
Massachusetts Boston AMC Loews Boston Common 19
Michigan Detroit AMC Star Southfield 20
New Jersey Clifton AMC Clifton Commons 16
New Jersey New Brunswick AMC Loews New Brunswick 18
New Jersey Elizabeth AMC Loews Jersey Gardens 20
New York New York City AMC Empire 25
New York New York City AMC Loews Palisades Center 21
Ohio Cincinnati AMC Newport on the Levee 20
Ohio Columbus AMC Easton Town Center 30 with IMAX
Pennsylvania Philadelphia AMC Neshaminy 24
Pennsylvania Philadelphia AMC Loews Cherry Hill 24
Lionsgate has released a video clip from SAW V on the film’s official website. I’m told that the clip is the same one that was shown at Comic Con in July. It begins with a man bound to a table. A recorded video message plays where Jigsaw explains that the man must sacrifice his hands in order to save himself. A Pendulum swings back and fourth above him, and there is only 60 seconds before it will tear his body to shreds. Again, there is the morality/justice play, as it is explained that the man served only five years in prison, and that the murder that he committed should have kept him there for life. I know that SAW films get crapped on for their extreme use of violence, but I don’t think enough credit is given to the morality-infused situational traps which have made this a popular movie franchise.
Lionsgate has released the final poster for SAW V. The tagline promises “You won’t believe how it ends”. One thing that has been consistent throughout all of the SAW films – they have always ended with a twist, even when it is barely logical.
In the fifth installment of the SAW franchise, Hoffman is seemingly the last person alive to carry on the Jigsaw legacy. But when his secret is threatened, Hoffman must go on the hunt to eliminate all loose ends.
Have any of our readers participated in a Saw blood drive? Do people discuss plot points before fainting? Any stories? The Lionsgate horror franchise and its filmmakers are once again sponsoring this worthy cause while promoting the October release of Saw V. These movies were never my thing, but their signature marketing style and imagery admittedly still gets my attention. The above poster for the drive, a macabre companion to the prior poster’s pin-up sex appeal, is no different.
Lionsgate premiered the first teaser trailer for SAW V at Comic Con, and it’s now available online on Yahoo. The trailer begins very untraditionally, actually more like a film you would expect to be the complete opposite of Saw. And then suddenly we get assaulted by the film’s true nature – the trap. But the big question is – how will they continue to keep Jigsaw involved in the storyline. Watch the trailer now below.
You can hate the SAW series all you want, but one thing you’ve got to admit is that the poster designs for the series have been some of the best one-sheets in recent years. Lionsgate has released the first teaser poster for SAW V on Shock. And while this isn’t the best poster in the series, it might be the sickest one yet.
In the fifth installment of the “Saw” franchise, Hoffman is seemingly the last person alive to carry on the Jigsaw legacy. But when his secret is threatened, Hoffman must go on the hunt to eliminate all loose ends. Directed by David Hackl and starring Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Scott Patterson, Betsy Russell, Mark Rolston, Carlo Rota, Julie Benz, Greg Bryk, Laura Gordon and Meagan Good.
SAW V hits theaters around Halloween, October 24th 2008.
Lionsgate has revealed new details about the future of the SAW franchise. The fifth installment, follows Hoffman (Costas Mandylor), who has been carrying Jigsaw’s (Tobin Bell) legacy, goes on a man hunt after the secret is threatened.
“People escape one trap, just to get caught in another; it’s closer in feel to the original SAW as thematically it’s about teamwork. I am far and away convinced that these are the best traps we have ever had,” Producer Marc Berg told Bloody-Disgusting. “This film is far less confusing and more linear, and there are TWO great twists. Just when you thought you figured it out, we twist again.”
The film features six different traps and they shot three different endings, which will be included on the eventual DVD release. The full supporting announce was also announced, and includes: Scott Patterson, Betsy Russell, Mark Rolston, Carlo Rota, Julie Benz, Greg Bryk, Laura Gordon and Meagan Good. David Hackl directed the fifth film but will not be returning for the sixth installment after all. I wonder if the studio replaced him or if this was his own choice. SAW series editor Kevin Greutert will be making his feature directorial debut on Saw VI. Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton are back to pen the screenplay.
Also announced is a SAW video game which was written by franchise creators Leigh Whannell and James Wan, featuring all of the original cast members, and will take place in the timeline of the original film. Saw V is scheduled to hit theaters on October 24th, 2008.