Posted on Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 by David Chen
In this week’s episode of the /Filmcast, Dave Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley compare the Watchmen: Director’s Cut with the theatrical version, get excited about the distribution prospects for Matthew Vaughn’s Kick-Ass, and remember the passing of a great talent. Special guest Matt Singer joins us from IFC News.
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 at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PST at Slashfilm’s live page as we review District 9.
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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.
Gran Torino marks a rare instance where I find myself truly baffled by the response a film has received. Hailed as one of the best films of last year, Clint Eastwood‘s latest work currently sits at #77 on IMDB’s Top 250 and earned itself an 80% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes. I suppose the appeal of this film is just lost on me. While I wouldn’t recommend against a rental (as even I can admit that the movie is fairly entertaining), I couldn’t help but be put off by how mind-numbingly formulaic, heavy-handed, and simplistic the movie is. Not to mention, just about every supporting performance is cringe-worthy, and oftentimes turned what should’ve been powerful scenes into moments of unintentional hilarity. What am I missing here, guys?
Notable Extras: 2 featurettes (“Manning the Wheel: The Meaning of Manhood As Reflected in American Car Culture”, “Gran Torino: More Than A Car”).
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I was just reading an interesting article in the new issue of Maxim (not available online, as far as I can tell) about 42 Entertainment, the marketing comapny behind The Dark Knight’s viral campaign when I stumbled across this video created by Alternative Reality Branding (via: FSR).
The bottom line effects of viral marketing on a film’s box office and DVD sales have yet to be proven. But watching this video on 42 Entertainment’s Why So Serious campaign will help make you a believer. It will be interesting to see how companies like 42 Entertainment and CampfireNYC (the film behind Terminator Salvation’s SkyNet campaign) will use the next few years to create a connection between the film and the potential audience. One can’t deny that the interactive experience is cool, but the arguemnt is if a viral is actually is worth the millions of dollars that it costs a movie studio.
For a film like The Dark Knight, I believe a viral keeps the fans excited and causes a word of mouth stir that is worthy of the investment. Fans feel like they are a part of the movie and take it upon themselves to promote the movie to friends, family, and anyone who will listen. On the other hand, Sony hired 42 Entertainment for The International. The resulting alternative reality game was just as good as the company’s Why So Serious campaign, but fans just wen’t interested and the turn out was minimal in comparison. My conclusion so far is that Virals only work in two arenas: 1. With a project hidden in mystery that fans are eager to uncover (ie Cloverfield) or 2. A Highly anticipated property that has a year or more runway to develop a connection with it’s audience.
/Film reader Tom H noticed that the same exact shot from Ghost Rider, was used in the new trailer for The International. Both films are produced by Columbia Pictures / Sony, so they obviously own the rights to the footage. In the Ghost Rider clip, which can be seen here, the car explodes as Ghost Rider rides by the car on his bike. In the International trailer, the Ghost Rider CG is absent, and the clip is shown right after someone enters something into an ATM machine. I’m assuming the clip is only used to make the trailer more exciting and won’t appear in the actual film. But you never know, last year we did find Michael Bay recycling footage shot for Pearl Harbor in Transformers.
Columbia Pictures has released the trailer for The International. Clive Owen stars as Interpol Agent Louis Salinger, who with the help of Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Eleanor Whitman (Naomi Watts) are on a mission to “bring to justice one of the world’s most powerful banks.”
“Uncovering myriad and reprehensible illegal activities, Salinger and Whitman follow the money from Berlin to Milan to New York to Istanbul. Finding themselves in a high-stakes chase across the globe, their relentless tenacity puts their own lives at risk as their targets will stop at nothing – even murder – to continue financing terror and war.
The trailer is pretty unimpressive, especially considering the film is directed by Tom Tykwer, the filmmaker behind Run Lola Run, The Princess and the Warrior and Perfume: A Story of a Murderer. Pieries saw an advanced screening and called the movie “brilliant”, “the definition a GREAT script. Quality film making.” But warns that “it is NOT for everyone.” … “The movie is 80% MICHAEL CLAYTON (much better though) and 20% BOURNE! ”
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As always, tell me what you think after the jump. The International hits theaters on February 13th 2009.