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. Quebecois helmer Charles Biname’s English-language pic about the cat-and-mouse games between an insidious patient and a mental-hospital director investigating a shrink’s disappearance is well acted and directed, but never feels at home in its adopted medium. Despite its widescreen lensing, it’s clearly destined for the tube, to which its strengths and limitations alike are better suited.
After a short prologue depicting a boy being ignored by his famous opera-singer mother in 1947 Cuba, where she’s holding a recital, the pic flashes forward to an unnamed Canadian city in 1966. There, one Dr. Lawrence (Colm Feore) is stirring anxiety among his fellow staffers at a hospital, having not shown up for work. He vanished the prior day after an appointment with longtime patient Michael (Xavier Dolan), who has hinted he knows where the missing doc is. Staff chief Dr. Green (Bruce Greenwood), an administrator who seldom sees patients despite his psychiatric qualifications, »
- Dennis Harvey
Elephant Song (La chanson de l’éléphant), 2014.
Directed by Charles Binamé.
A psychiatrist is drawn into a complex mind game when he questions a disturbed patient about the disappearance of a colleague.
A young boy seeks out his mother who is a successful opera singer at a party but she has no interest in dealing with him. The flashback sequence transitions to a present day scene. An investigation is taking place involving the conduct of a psychiatrist when dealing with a patient who claims to have information about the whereabouts of a co-worker. Further flashbacks occur revealing that the home life is unsettled for the medical officer and that his ex-wife works with him at the psychiatric facility.
Everything revolves around a patient who has a fascination with elephants and seeks to manipulate the circumstances »
- Trevor Hogg
I caught Charles Biname's Elephant Song at the Toronto Film Festival and in my review called the film a little "lackluster", but noted the performances from Xavier Dolan and Bruce Greenwood as particularly strong as the two go toe-to-toe in an adaptation of the Nicolas Billon play of the same name. Now a trailer for the flick has arrived and can be viewed below. Set in the mid'60s, the story centers on a psychiatrist that has gone missing and the last person he spoke to was a disturbed patient by the name of Michael Aleen (Dolan) and in an effort to get to the bottom of his disappearance Dr. Green (Greenwood) intends to have a chat with the young man, not knowing anything about his history or his desire to play mind games with those he comes in contact with. Catherine Keener, Carrie-Anne Moss and Colm Feore co-star. »
- Brad Brevet
Greenwood stars as a psychiatrist who takes on a troubled new inpatient (Dolan).
When another doctor goes missing, the patient promises to help with the investigation, on certain conditions.
Jessica Chastain has been announced to star in Dolan's next directorial project, The Death And Life Of John F Donovan.
Elephant Song is yet to be given a release date. »
To mark the release of Pompeii on 15th September, we’ve been given 3 copies to give away on Blu-ray.
Set in 79 A.D, Pompeii tells the epic story of Milo (Kit Harington – Game of Thrones), a slave turned invincible gladiator who finds himself in a terrible race against time to save his true love Lady Cassia (Emily Browning – Sucker Punch). As Mount Vesuvius erupts in a torrent of blazing lava, Milo must fight his way out of the arena as the once magnificent city crumbles around him and becomes engulfed in scorching magma.
Directed and produced by Paul W.S Anderson (Resident Evil, The Three Musketeers), Pompeii also boasts an impressive supporting cast including Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix), Jessica Lucas (Cloverfield), Jared Harris (Mad Men) and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Lost) who plays fellow gladiator Atticus. Keifer Sutherlan (24) also co-stars, playing the violent, chilling and arrogant Roman senator Corvus.
Please note: This »
Xavier Dolan first attracted international attention when his first film I Killed My Mother (J’ai tué ma mère) won three awards at the Director’s Fortnight program of the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. His following three pics have also been highly rated by industry professionals, earning acclaim at prestigious international festivals around the world. Now the Quebec actor and filmmaker stars in Elephant Song, a big screen adaptation of Canadian writer Nicolas Billon’s play of the same name. Billon’s play debuted in 2004 at the Stratford Festival in Ontario. A native of Ottawa who grew up in Montreal, he also wrote the acclaimed play Greenland.
The drama follows a psychiatrist investigating the disappearance of his colleague who questions a disturbed patient (Dolan) and finds himself caught in a complex mind game. With the film screening at Tiff, the first trailer has arrived.
In 2009, Xavier Dolan broke out with his directorial debut, "I Killed My Mother," and while the title is provocative, his lead character actually did no such a thing. In the forthcoming "Elephant Song," Dolan takes a rare acting-only gig and gets to fulfill the title of his first film. And with the film screening at Tiff, the first trailer has arrived presenting the director in a rather villainous turn. Directed by Charles Binamé ("The Rocket"), and featuring a cast that includes Bruce Greenwood, Catherine Keener, Carrie-Anne Moss and Colm Feore, the film is a psychological thriller about about a psychiatric patient and a psychiatrist who go head-to-head when a colleague of the latter goes missing. What follows is a mind game, with both patient and doctor looking to gain the advantage, all while trying to solve the mystery at the film's core. No release date for this one yet. Watch below. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Dr. Lawrence has gone missing and the only person that might know where he is is an elephant-obsessed and troubled patient by the name of Michael Aleen (Xavier Dolan). In an effort to get any information Michael may be withholding, Dr. Green (Bruce Greenwood) sits down with him, but Green's ego and the fact he didn't read Michael's file before beginning the interview leaves him at a serious disadvantage. Set in the mid-'60s and based on the Nicolas Billon play of the same name, Elephant Song is a psychological drama in which Michael plays mind games with the good doctor, preying on what he knows of Dr. Green's personal life, including his past relationship with Michael's nurse, Susan Peterson (Catherine Keener). Billon adapted his own play for the screen and it's easily recognizable as something intended for the stage, though the benefit of telling the story on the big »
- Brad Brevet
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. »
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