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Whether you have a good time with Pompeii depends entirely on what you demand from it. This historical disaster epic is loaded with CGI destructo-porn and thrilling action sequences, but falls almost unbelievably short in the heart department. For many audience members, that will be perfectly acceptable.
Anderson wasn’t aiming to make a profound, historically accurate meditation on the titular Roman city. Rather, his intentions for Pompeii should be obvious from the poster alone, which depicts gladiator Milo (Kit Harington) romancing noblewoman Cassia (Emily Browning) as Mount Vesuvius lays waste to everything around them. The idea of a film combining Titanic‘s doomed romance and Gladiator‘s furious action is what sold this film to the studios and then to audiences back in February. Still, what a shame, then, that Pompeii can’t even begin to hold a candle to either of those inspirations.
That’s not to say that it’s all bad. »
- Isaac Feldberg
Our resident VOD expert tells you what's new to rent and own this week on the various streaming services such as cable Movies On Demand, Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, and, of course, Netflix. Cable Movies On Demand: Same-day-as-disc releases, older titles and pretheatrical exclusives for rent, priced from $3-$10, in 24- or 48-hour periods 3 Days to Kill (action; Kevin Costner, Amber Heard; rated PG-13) About Last Night (comedy; Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy; rated R) The Monuments Men (historical action; George Clooney, Matt Damon; rated PG-13) Pompeii (action/disaster; Kit Harington, Carrie-Anne Moss; rated PG-13) Vampire Academy (anemic Ya supernatural comedy; Zoey Deutch, Lucy Fry; rated PG-13) The Big Ask (comedy; Gillian Jacobs, David Krumholtz; pretheatrical release...
- Robert B. DeSalvo
Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson.
A race against time and the elements as a gladiator attempts to save his true love from certain death as a volcano erupts, threatening to engulf the city beneath it.
And here it is, ladies and gentlemen, a considered and factually accurate reconstruction of the events surrounding the fateful eruption of a bloody big hill in Italy. Wait, hang on a minute…who is directing this again? Paul W.S. Anderson, you say? Hmm, on second thoughts, can I have my money back..?
Yes indeed, the man responsible for such cinematic masterpieces as Alien Vs Predator and all of the Resident Evil movies (the games had more atmosphere) is here to completely muck about with history for the sake of entertainment. Event Horizon is not a »
- Steve Leadbetter
The times they are a changing, kids! And as technology advances so does the means of getting our entertainment. The latest announcement comes courtesy of Cinedigm and Rapid Eye Films who are looking to increase their genre output. Read on for details.
From the Press Release
Cinedigm Corp. (Nasdaq: Cidm) and Rapid Eye Film announced today they have entered into a multi-picture distribution and production output deal for North America encompassing 15 films. Rapid Eye Film (Ref) will produce, co-produce or acquire three to four genre-centric films per year. Cinedigm will handle the theatrical and home entertainment release and distribution strategy for each picture, with Ref producing and managing the marketing.
The deal provides Ref guaranteed distribution for the films across all platforms, and provides Cinedigm a steady slate of independent genre films, including science fiction and suspense thrillers. Cinedigm will be involved in all stages of production.
Filmmaker Marco Weber »
- Steve Barton
Director: Paul Ws Anderson; Screenwriters: Janet Scott Batchler, Lee Batchler, Michael Robert Johnson; Starring: Kit Harington, Carrie-Anne Moss, Emily Browning, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jared Harris, Kiefer Sutherland; Running time: 104 mins; Certificate: 12A
With Pompeii, director Paul Ws Anderson has essentially served up cheese on toast. Kiefer Sutherland oozes like fondue in his role as Roman general Corvus, who threatens to spoil the burgeoning romance between Milo, a sweaty young slave (Games of Thrones's Kit Harington), and the dewy-eyed daughter of Pompeii's ruling clan Cassia (Emily Browning). Is that the rumble of sexual hunger we can hear?
Er, no. It's a massive great mountain about to blow. And with this being a kind of sword 'n' sandals pantomime, you may be tempted to call out: 'It's behind you...'
But before the real action starts, Anderson (Resident Evil) exploits every opportunity to get Harington half-naked and rolling around the local sandpit »
Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson.
When a lowly gladiator is sent to Pompeii to fight in the arena, a series of tales play out amidst the cataclysmic eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
With the evolution of effects in movies, including the much-covered integration of CGI, it seems like there’s much less room for what is known as the classic good bad movie. What would Roger Corman do with such realistic effects? How does good storytelling, as well as directorial technique, get a chance to flourish and evolve with a bolder, bigger brother taking most of the screen time? This is an exaggerated question, of course. Many movies mix them both well and it seems to be a debate born from convenience when the real question should be placed at the »
- Matt Smith
Director: Paul W. S. Anderson.
Running Time: 104 minutes.
Synopsis: Slave-turned-fighter Milo (Kit Harington) is shipped to Pompeii to take part in a Gladiatorial battle. Whilst there he encounters Corvus (Kiefer Sutherland), the man who butchered his family. Meanwhile Mount Vesuvius, which overlooks the city, decides to reclaim the land.
Paul W. S. Anderson isn’t a director synonymous with critically acclaimed films; that’s the other Paul Anderson, the one with a ‘T’ in the middle. He does, however, know how to make guilty pleasures (who doesn’t love Mortal Kombat?), and there’s a reason why so many Resident Evil movies get made. Pompeii has all the makings of the director’s calling-cards, but it won’t get any plaudits for originality. We all know about the real-life destruction of Pompeii, and the film showcases the devastation really well. »
- Kat Smith
Action, romance and the most famous volcanic event in recorded history collide in the epic adventure Pompeii, available May 20 on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Kit Harington (TV's Game of Thrones), Emily Browning (Sucker Punch), and Kiefer Sutherland (TV's 24) star in this heroic tale of a young slave-turned-gladiator in a race against time to save his true love during the cataclysmic eruption of Italy's deadly volcano, Mount Vesuvius.
The Pompeii Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD each feature hours of bonus features, including commentary with filmmakers, and two making-of featurettes: "The Assembly - Cast and Characters" and "The Volcanic Eruption - Special Effects." The Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray exclusively feature deleted and alternate scenes, plus four additional making-of featurettes focusing on the stunts, production design and costume design in the film, along with a behind-the-scenes look at ancient history's greatest disaster.
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: May 20, 2014
Price: DVD $30.99, Blu-ray $35.99, Blu-ray 3D $45.99
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Game of Thrones‘ Kit Harrington stars in the film as Milo, a stave-turned-gladiator who’s trying to save his true love Cassia (Emily Browning, Sucker Punch) from being forced to marry a corrupt Roman Senator … all while Mount Vesuvius erupts, pouring lava and ash over the city.
Critics did not care for Pompeii much, giving it only 24% approval, according to Rotten Tomatoes. Moviegoers liked it only minimally better with 46%. The reviews could be why the movie came and went from theaters, grossing only $23 million.
The Blu-ray and DVD carry these special features:
filmmakers’ commentarycast and character featurette “The Assembly”special effects featurette “The Volcanic Eruption. »
As Paul W.S. Anderson's Pompeii nears eruption on April 30, there are a few more rumbles from on high to announce its arrival. Today, that comes in the shape of two new TV spots from the film, which largely feature trailer clips we've seen before but have a slightly new spin. Take a look below. brightcove.createExperiences();The story, aside from chronicling the devastating eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79Ad that reduced the nearby Roman city of Pompeii to an ash pit, follows Kit Harington's gladiator slave Milo and his love for Emily Browning's high-born Cassia. The difference in their social statuses is just the beginning, however: she's also engaged to a much older Senator (Keifer Sutherland) and, er, the city's about to be destroyed. brightcove.createExperiences();The film also stars Carrie Anne Moss, Jared Harris and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, and should do for ancient Rome's second city what »
London — As the lineup for the third Sundance London film and music festival is unveiled, Variety talks to John Cooper, director of the Sundance Film Festival, and Trevor Groth, Sundance’s director of programming, about the selection (see below for full lineup).
Sundance London, which runs April 25-27, will include 21 feature films and 18 shorts across five sections, as well as live performances by a number of musical acts, which will be linked to movies screening at the fest, and a series of panel discussions.
Cooper says that when Robert Redford and the Sundance team set up the London event, one of their motivations was to give added exposure to U.S. indie films in the international market.
“We realized that the international life of an American independent film was crucial to its success,” he says. The London fest’s creation was partly driven by an impulse to do “anything we »
- Leo Barraclough
The filmmakers are rumored to have already turned in outlines and treatments to the studio, which is desperate for a big blockbuster franchise. Warner Bros. reportedly wants the first movie ready by 2017 so it can compete against the highly-anticipated sequels Star Wars: Episode VIII and Avatar 3, which are slated for release that year.
While it isn't clear which way the filmmakers plan on taking this new trilogy, one of the early outlines reportedly explores how The Matrix was first created. It's too early to tell if this is the route they plan on taking since the story is still very fluid. It also isn't clear if Keanu Reeves will be back as Neo, or if any of the other cast members will be back. »
Are the Wachowskis working on a new "Matrix" trilogy? That's the rumor coming from Latino Review , who say that the Jupiter Ascending filmmakers are returning to the franchise which brought in $1.632 billion for Warner Bros. Pictures. It's been over 10 years since the last film hit theaters. The Matrix , starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss and Hugo Weaving, opened in theaters in 1999 and was followed by both The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions in 2003. According to the site: "We.ve been told that the Wachowski.s have already started the writing process with early treatments and outlines already turned into the studio. No word if they will want to direct but my money says .Claro que Si!.... The derisive ending of »
Now playing in theaters is director Paul W.S. Anderson’s disaster epic Pompeii. The film stars Kit Harington (Game of Thrones) as an enslaved Celtic gladiator named Milo who falls in love with a noblewoman (Emily Browning) on the eve of a massive volcanic eruption that destroys Pompeii, an event that also brings him face-to-face with the man (Kiefer Sutherland) who slaughtered his family years earlier. The film also stars Jared Harris, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Carrie-Anne Moss, Sasha Roiz, Jessica Lucas, and Paz Vega. At the Los Angeles press day, I landed an exclusive video interview with Anderson. He talked about the challenge of bringing Pompeii to life, the visual effects, deleted scenes, whether the script changed during the development process, the status of Resident Evil 6, and a lot more. Hit the jump for what he had to say. Paul W.S. Anderson: The challenge of making Pompeii come to »
- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
This story first appeared in the March 7 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Pompeii, Paul W.S. Anderson's big-budget disaster movie, is the latest costly production fully financed by Germany's Constantin Film to flop at the U.S. box office. The $100 million epic, starring Kit Harington and Carrie-Anne Moss, got buried in ash over the Feb. 21 weekend, grossing just $10.3 million in the U.S. while collecting another $22.8 million in 37 markets abroad. It follows last year's The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, which grossed a paltry $31 million domestic and 2011's
- Scott Roxborough
There are certain events from history that inherently lend themselves to being depicted on the movie screen. One such event is the destruction of the ancient Roman city of Pompeii following the eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius in 79 Ad. Pompeii has already been used as the setting of no less than nine films, many of them based on or inspired by Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s 1834 novel The Last Days of Pompeii. Now, the famous disaster is being brought to the screen again in a new film by director/writer/producer Paul W. S. Anderson, simply titled Pompeii. While Pompeii manages to be kind of fun, it remains pretty dumb, definitely cheesy, and not something you should rush out to see.
In the year 79 Ad, Milo (Kit Harington) is a Celtic slave who has been gaining fame for his prowess as a gladiator. When Milo and his fellow slaves are taken »
- Timothy Monforton
The Lego Movie has held on to the number one spot at the Us box office for the third weekend in a row.
The Warner Bros computer-animated movie took in $31.4m, earning a total of $183.1m. It beat two new releases - 3 Days to Kill and Pompeii - for the number one spot.
Both Ride Along and Frozen remained on the top ten »
Everything is still awesome for The Lego Movie. It was #1 at the box office for a third straight weekend. It added another $31 million to its domestic tally. The 3D animated film based on children's building blocks now has a domestic cume north of $180 million. The two newcomers, McG's 3 Days to Kill and Paul W.S. Anderson's Pompeii, placed second and third at the box office. 3 Days to Kill, which stars Kevin Costner, Amber Heard, Hailee Steinfeld and Connie Nielsen, pulled in $12 million for the weekend. Which to be fair, isn't bad at all when you measure it against a modest budget of $28 million. While Pompeii finished in third with $10 million. The film uses the historical eruption of Mount Vesuvius as its backdrop to a fictional love story. It stars: Kit Harington, Carrie-Anne Moss, Emily Browning, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jessica Lucas, and cost over $100 million »
Ancient volcanoes and box-office vets proved no match for The Lego Movie, even after three weekends in theaters. Warner Bros.’ 3-D extravaganza earned an estimated $31.45 million and beat its new competition by more than double. Lego’s domestic total is now $183.2 million — surpassing The Lorax’s 17-day total by about $25 million. Despite adding 115 screens, Lego dropped about 37% from last weekend.
The Kevin Costner-led action pic 3 Days to Kill came in a distant second with an estimated $12.3 million from 2,872 theaters. That gives the PG-13, McG-directed Relativity thriller a respectable $4,238 per screen average. Exit polls show an eerily perfect audience gender »
- Lindsey Bahr
Now playing in theaters is director Paul W.S. Anderson’s disaster epic Pompeii. The film stars Kit Harington (Game of Thrones) as an enslaved Celtic gladiator named Milo who falls in love with a noblewoman (Emily Browning) on the eve of a massive volcanic eruption that destroys Pompeii, an event that also brings him face-to-face with the man (Kiefer Sutherland) who slaughtered his family years earlier. The film also stars Jared Harris, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Carrie-Anne Moss, Sasha Roiz, Jessica Lucas, and Paz Vega. At the Los Angeles press day, I landed an exclusive video interview with Browning. She talked about her reaction to the finished film, how Anderson likes to beat up his actors,if the script changed during production, what it was like being at Sundance for God Helps the Girl, and more. Hit the jump for what she had to say. Emily Browning: What was her reaction to the finished film? »
- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
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