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Steven Seagal in Code Of Honor – Retribution Is Served on Blu-ray July 5

21 June 2016 7:47 AM, PDT | WeAreMovieGeeks.com | See recent WeAreMovieGeeks.com news »

Martial arts icon Steven Seagal tests his moral code in the action-packed Code of Honor on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD July 5 from Lionsgate. Code of Honor follows an ex-Special Ops agent as he protects his city from a vigilante. Currently available On Demand, the film also stars Craig Sheffer (Stand Up Guys), Louis Mandylor (My Big Fat Greek Wedding franchise), Helena Mattsson (Iron Man 2), Griff Furst (Focus), Rafael Petardi (Angels & Demons), Michael Flynn (feature film debut), R.D. Call (Waterworld), and James Russo (Django Unchained).

Checlk out the trailer:

When his family is killed in a drive-by shooting, Robert Sikes (Seagal), a former Special Ops operative, vows to rid his city of every last criminal. Sikes’s former protégé, FBI agent Porter (Sheffer), with help from a witness (Mattsson), tries to find his vigilante friend before the police — or the maniacal mobster Romano — are able to.

The post »

- Tom Stockman

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Warner Bros, and its disastrous movie summer of 1997

13 June 2016 2:21 PM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

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Warner Bros has struggled with its blockbusters of late. But back in summer 1997 - Batman & Robin's year - it faced not dissimilar problems.

Earlier this year it was revealed that Warner Bros, following a string of costly movies that hadn’t hit box office gold (Pan, Jupiter Ascending, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., In The Heart Of The Sea), was restructuring its blockbuster movie business. Fewer films, fewer risks, more franchises, and more centering around movie universes seems to be the new approach, and the appointment of a new corporate team to oversee the Harry Potter franchise last week was one part of that.

In some ways, it marks the end of an era. Whilst it retains its relationships with key directing talent (Ben Affleck, Clint Eastwood, Christopher Nolan for instance), Warner Bros was, for the bulk of the 1990s in particular, the studio that the others were trying to mimic. It worked with the same stars and filmmakers time and time again, and under then-chiefs Terry Semel and Robert Daly, relationships with key talent were paramount.

Furthermore, the studio knew to leave that talent to do its job, and was also ahead of the pack in developing franchises that it could rely on to give it a string of hits.

However, whilst Warner Bros is having troubles now, its way of doing business was first seriously challenged by the failure of its slate in the summer of 1997. Once again, it seemed to have a line up to cherish, that others were envious of. But as film by film failed to click, every facet of Warner Bros’ blockbuster strategy suddenly came under scrutiny, and would ultimately fairly dramatically change. Just two summers later, the studio released The Matrix, and blockbuster cinema changed again.

But come the start of summer 1997? These are the movies that Warner Bros had lined up, and this is what happened…

February - National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation

Things actually had got off to a decent enough start for the studio earlier in the year, so it's worth kicking off there. It brought Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo back together, for the fourth National Lampoon movie, and the first since 1989’s National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Interestingly, it dropped the National Lampoon moniker in the Us, and instead released the eventual movie as Vegas Vacation. It was a belated sequel, back when belated sequels weren’t that big a thing.

The film was quickly pulled apart by reviewers, but it still just about clawed a profit. The production budget of $25m was eclipsed by the Us gross of $36m, and the movie would do comfortable business on video/DVD. Not a massive hit, then, but hardly a project that had a sense of foreboding about it.

Yet the problems were not far away.

May – Father's Day

Warner Bros had a mix of movies released in the Us in March and April 1997, including modest Wesley Snipes-headlined thriller Murder At 1600, and family flick Shiloh. But it launched its summer season with Father’s Day, an expensive packaged comedy from director Ivan Reitman, starring Robin Williams and Billy Crystal. It had hit written all over it.

Father’s Day was one of the movies packaged by the CAA agency, and its then-head, Mike Ovitz (listed regularly by Premiere magazine in the 1990s as one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, if not the most powerful man). That he brought together the stars, the director and the project, gave a studio a price tag, and the studio duly paid it. Given Warner Bros’ devotion to star talent (Mel Gibson, then one of the biggest movie stars in the world, and a major Warner Bros talent, was persuaded to film a cameo), it was a natural home for the film. It quickly did the deal. few questions asked.

That package, and CAA’s fees for putting it together, brought the budget for a fairly straightforward comedy to a then-staggering $85m. The problem, though, was that the film simply wasn’t very good. It’s one of those projects that looks great on paper, less great when exposed on a great big screen. Warner Bros has snapped it up, without - it seems - even properly reading the script. 

Premiere magazine quoted a Warner Bros insider back in November 1997 as saying “when [CAA] calls and says ‘we have a package, Father’s Day, with Williams and Crystal and Reitman, we say ‘great’”, adding “we don’t scrutinise the production. When we saw the movie, it took the wind out of us. We kept reshooting and enhancing, but you can’t fix something that’s bad”.

And it was bad.

The movie would prove to be the first big misfire of the summer, grossing just $35m in the Us, and not adding a fat lot more elsewhere in the world. Warner Bros’ first film of the summer was a certified flop. More would soon follow.

May - Addicted To Love

A more modestly priced project was Addicted To Love, a romantic comedy starring Meg Ryan and Matthew Broderick. Just over a year later, Warner Bros would hit big when Meg Ryan reunited with Tom Hanks for Nora Ephron’s You’ve Got Mail. But here? The film was a modest success, at best.

Directed by Griffin Dunne (making his directorial debut), and put together in partnership with Miramax, Addicted To Love was based around the Robert Palmer song of the same name. But whilst it was sold as a romcom, the muddled final cut was actually a fair bit darker. There was an underlying nastiness to some moments in the film, and when the final box office was tallied, it came in lower than the usual returns for pictures from Ryan or Broderick. Counter-programming it against the release of The Lost World: Jurassic Park didn’t massively help in this instance either, especially as the Jurassic Park sequel would smash opening weekend records.

Addicted To Love ended up with $34.6m at the Us box office. It would eke out a small profit.

June - Batman & Robin

And this is when the alarm bells started to ring very, very loudly. Summer 1997 was supposed to be about a trio of sure-fire hit sequels: Batman 4, Jurassic Park 2 and Speed 2. Only one of those would ultimately bring home the box office bacon, the others being destroyed by critics, and ultimately leaving far more empty seats than anticipated in multiplexes.

Batman & Robin, it’s easy to forget, came off the back of 1995’s Joel Schumacher-steered Batman reboot, Batman Forever that year's biggest movie). It had one of the fastest-growing stars in the world in the Batsuit (George Clooney), and the McDonald’s deals were signed even before the script was typed up. You don’t need us to tell you that you could tell, something of a theme already in Warner Bros' summer of '97.

That said, Batman & Robin still gave Warner Bros a big opening, but in the infancy of the internet as we know it, poisonous word of mouth was already beginning to spread. The film’s negative cost Warner Bros up to $140m, before marketing and distribution costs, and it opened in the Us to a hardly-sniffy $42m of business (although that was down from previous Batman movies).

But that word of mouth still accelerated its departure from cinemas. It was then very rare for a film to make over 40% of its Us gross in its first weekend. But that’s just what Batman & Robin did, taking $107.3m in America, part of a worldwide total of $238.2m. This was the worst return for a Batman movie to date, and Warner Bros had to swiftly put the brakes on plans to get Batman Triumphant moving.

It would be eight years until Batman returned to the big screen, in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins. Warner Bros would undergo big changes in the intervening period.

As for the immediate aftermath of Batman & Robin? Warner Bros co-chief Robert Daly would note at the end of '97 that “we’d have been better off with more action in the picture. The movie had to service too many characters”, adding that “the next Batman we do, in three years – and we have a deal with George Clooney to do it – will have one villain”.

Fortunately, Warner Bros’ one solid hit of the summer was just around the corner…

July - Contact

And breathe out.

Warner Bros bet heavily again on expensive talent here, with Robert Zemeckis bringing his adaptation of Carl Sagan’s Contact to the studio for his first film post-Forrest Gump. Warner Bros duly footed the $90m bill (back when that was still seen as a lot of money for a movie), a good chunk of which went to Jodie Foster. It invested heavily in special effects, and gave Zemeckis licence to make the film that he wanted.

The studio was rewarded with the most intelligent and arguably the best blockbuster of the summer. I’ve looked back at Contact in a lot more detail here, and it remains a fascinating film that’s stood the test of time (and arguably influenced Christopher Nolan’s more recent Interstellar).

Reviews were strong, it looked terrific, and the initial box office was good.

But then the problem hit. For whilst Contact was a solid hit for Warner Bros, it wasn’t a massively profitable one. Had Father’s Day and Batman & Robin shouldered the box office load there were supposed to, it perhaps wouldn’t have been a problem. But when they failed to take off, the pressure shifted to Contact.

The movie would gross $100.9m in the Us, and add another $70m overseas (this being an era were international box office rarely had the importance it has today). But once Warner Bros had paid its bills, there wasn’t a fat lot over for itself. Fortunately, the film still sells on disc and on-demand. Yet it wasn’t to be the massive hit the studio needed back in 1997.

July - One Eight Seven

From director Kevin Reynolds, the man who helmed Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves and Waterworld, came modestly-priced drama 187, starring Samuel L Jackson (in a strong performance). Warner Bros wouldn’t have had massive box office expectations for the film (although it can't have been unaware that the inspirational teacher sub-genre was always worth a few quid), and it shared production duties on the $20m movie with Mel Gibson’s Icon Productions. But still, it would have had its eye on a modest success. What it got in return was red ink.

The film’s not a bad one, and certainly worth seeking out. But poor reviews gave the film an uphill struggle from the off – smaller productions arriving mid-summer really needed critics on their side, as they arguably still do – and it opened to just $2.2m of business (the less edgy, Michelle Pfeiffer-headlined school drama Dangerous Minds had been a surprise hit not two years before).

By the time its run was done, 187 hadn’t even come close to covering its production costs, with just under $6m banked.

Warner Bros’ summer slate was running out of films. But at least it had one of its most reliable movie stars around the corner…

August - Conspiracy Theory

What could go wrong? Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts were two of the biggest movie stars in the world in 1997, at a time when movie stars still equated to box office gold. Director Richard Donner, one of Warner Bros’ favourite directors, had delivered the Lethal Weapons, Maverick, Superman, The Goonies and more for the studio. Put them altogether, with Patrick Stewart (coming to wider public consciousness at the time off the back of his Star Trek: The Next Generation work) as a villain, and it should have been a big hit.

Conspiracy Theory proved to be one of the more ambitious summer blockbusters of the era. It lacks a good first act, which would be really useful in actually setting up more of what’s going on. But Gibson played an edgy cab driver who believes in deep government conspiracies, and finds himself getting closer to the truth than those around him sometimes give him credit for.

Warner Bros was probably expecting another Lethal Weapon with the reunion of Gibson (who had to be persuaded to take Conspiracy Theory on) and Donner (it’s pretty much what it got with the hugely enjoyable Maverick a few years’ earlier), but instead it got a darker drama, with an uneasy central character that didn’t exactly play to the summer box office crowd.

The bigger problem, though, was that the film never quite worked as well as you might hope. Yet star power did have advantages. While no juggernaut, the film did decent business, grossing $137m worldwide off the back of an $80m budget ($40m of which was spent on the salaries for the talent before a single roll of film was loaded into a camera). That said, in the Us it knocked a genuine smash hit, Air Force One, off the top spot. Mind you in hindsight, that was probably the film that the studio wished it had made (the cockpit set of Warner Bros' own Executive Decision was repurposed for Air Force One, fact fans).

Still: Warner Bros did get Lethal Weapon 4 off Gibson and Donner a year later…

August - Free Willy 3: The Rescue

Yeah.

Warner Bros opened its third Free Willy film on the same day as Conspiracy Theory (can you imagine a studio opening two big films on the same day now), but it was clear that this was a franchise long past its best days (and its best days hardly bring back the fondest of memories).

Still, Free Willy movies were relatively modest in cost to put together, and Warner Bros presumably felt this was a simple cashpoint project. But in a year when lots of family movies did less business than expected (Disney’s Hercules, Fox’s Home Alone 3, Disney’s Mr Magoo), Free Willy 3 barely troubled the box office. It took in just over $3m in total, and Willy would not be seen on the inside of a cinema again.

August - Steel

Not much was expected from Steel, a superhero movie headlined by Shaquille O’Neal. Which was fortunate, because not much was had.

It had a mid-August release date in the Us, at a point when a mid-August release date was more of a dumping ground than anything else. And even though the budget was set at a relatively low $16m, the film – and it’s an overused time – pretty much bombed. It took $1.7m at the Us box office, and given that its appeal hinged on a major American sports star whose fame hardly transcended the globe, its international takings did not save it (it went straight to video in many territories).

It was a miserable end to what, for warner bros, had been a thoroughly miserable summer.

So what did hit big in summer 1997?

Summer 1997 was infamous for big films failing to take off in the way that had been expected – Hercules, Speed 2, and the aforementioned Warner Bros movies – but there were several bright spots. The big winner would be Barry Sonnenfeld’s light and sprightly sci-fi comedy Men In Black, starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. Star power too helped score big hits for Harrison Ford (Air Force One), Julia Roberts (My Best Friend’s Wedding) and John Travolta (Face/Off).

This was also the summer that Nicolas Cage cemented his action movie credentials with Face/Off and Con Air. Crucially, though, the star movies that hit were the ones that veered on the side of 'good'. For the first of many years, the internet was blamed for this.

Oh, and later in the year, incidentally, Titanic would redefine just what constituted a box office hit...

What came next for Warner Bros?

In the rest of 1997, Warner Bros had a mix of projects that again enjoyed mixed fortunes. The standout was Curtis Hanson’s stunning adaptation of L.A. Confidential, that also proved to be a surprise box office success. The Devil’s Advocate didn’t do too badly either.

However, two of the studio’s key filmmakers failed to really deliver come the end of 1997. Clint Eastwood’s Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil failed to ignite (although many felt he was always on a hiding to nothing in trying to adapt that for the screen), and Kevin Costner’s The Postman would prove arguably the most expensive box office disappointment of the year. No wonder the studio rushed Lethal Weapon 4 into production for summer 1998. Oh, and it had The Avengers underway too (not that one), that would prove to be a 1998 disappointment.

The studio would eventually take action. The Daly-Semel management team, that had reigned for 15 years, would break up at the end of 1999, as its traditional way of doing business became less successful. The pair had already future projects that were director driven to an extent (Eyes Wide Shut), and it would still invest in movies with stars (Wild Wild West). But the immediate plan of action following the disappointment of summer 1997 – to get Batman 5 and Superman Lives made – would falter. It wouldn’t be until 1999’s The Matrix (a film that Daly and Semel struggled to get) and – crucially – 2001’s Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone that the studio would really get its swagger back...

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Movies Feature Simon Brew Warner Bros 16 Jun 2016 - 05:19 Conspiracy Theory Father's Day Addicted To Love Contact National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation One Eight Seven Steel Batman & Robin Free Willy 3: The Rescue »

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Top Movies That Totally Flopped at the Box Office

6 June 2016 3:00 PM, PDT | Moviefone | See recent Moviefone news »

Ah, youth. The days when you reveled in your dorm room and feasted on delicacies like hair dryer-warmed pizza or ramen gently braised over a light bulb. Your bank account might've been empty, but you still managed to feed your soul with the deepest of lessons: Money isn't everything.

And you weren't alone when enlightenment struck. Since Hollywood's golden age, plenty of movies that had hard-knock openings later blossomed into beloved cinematic staples or legit cult classics. Here are just a few, in all their flop-to-favorite glory.

'It's a Wonderful Life' (1946)

Unthinkable as it seems, "It's a Wonderful Life" was not having a very wonderful life at all in 1946. Though award season was kind to the movie, audiences just weren't feeling its darker themes, and Rko Pictures wasn't feeling the money -- "Life" lost about $525,000 at the box office.

Ultimately, this James Stewart-flavored slice of Americana owes »

- Dan Ketchum

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Kevin Costner Takes the Bite Out of Shark Rumor: 'Half the Story is True'

4 April 2016 6:00 PM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Kevin Costner proved his deep sea fighting skills in Waterworld, but rumors that he recently beat up a 15-foot shark have turned out to be a bit fishy. Costner sat down with Extra to discuss his new film, Criminal, and put to rest a viral story that he saved his wife, Christine, from an enormous shark off the coast of their Santa Barbara home. "Well, half the story is true," Costner said. "My wife was on a paddle board with a friend about seven months ago and a big 12-footer came at her about 30 yards off our beach," he explained. »

- Michael Miller, @write_miller

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Kevin Costner Takes the Bite Out of Shark Rumor: 'Half the Story is True'

4 April 2016 6:00 PM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Kevin Costner proved his deep sea fighting skills in Waterworld, but rumors that he recently beat up a 15-foot shark have turned out to be a bit fishy. Costner sat down with Extra to discuss his new film, Criminal, and put to rest a viral story that he saved his wife, Christine, from an enormous shark off the coast of their Santa Barbara home. "Well, half the story is true," Costner said. "My wife was on a paddle board with a friend about seven months ago and a big 12-footer came at her about 30 yards off our beach," he explained. »

- Michael Miller, @write_miller

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Kevin Costner -- Praised By Compton Rapper ... For His Worst Sports Movie

1 April 2016 4:20 PM, PDT | TMZ | See recent TMZ news »

[[tmz:video id="0_mltzwr6t"]] There are two very Shocking revelations we learned when we got Compton rapper Problem out in L.A. earlier this week. 1. Kevin Costner is from Compton. 2. Somebody in the world (Problem) thinks "Draft Day" is better than "Bull Durham," "Field of Dreams" and "Tin Cup." We got Problem leaving House of Macau in Hollywood and asked who he thought was the most famous person in the history of C-o-m-p-t-o-n is. He answered Dr. Dre and »

- TMZ Staff

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Risen review – soft-centred Easter tale

20 March 2016 1:00 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The messiah is ‘beamingly benign’ and Pilate a ‘harassed fusspot’ in this Passion of the Christ-lite

In 2004, Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ became an astonishing Easter hit, depicting in horrifyingly graphic fashion the torture and crucifixion of Jesus. This “faith-based” offering from Waterworld director Kevin Reynolds picks up where Gibson’s film left off (albeit in less brutal fashion), with Joseph Fiennes’s Roman tribune Clavius investigating reports that the man whose death he witnessed has risen from the grave. It’s solidly middling fare, soft of heart and script, and given to moments of foolishly miraculous folly. Peter Firth plays Pilate as a harassed fusspot, while Cliff Curtis (so brilliant in 2014’s The Dark Horse) is beamingly benign as the resurrected “Yeshua”.

Continue reading »

- Mark Kermode, Observer film critic

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Film Review: Risen

17 March 2016 2:25 AM, PDT | CineVue | See recent CineVue news »

★★★☆☆ From Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Waterworld director Kevin Reynolds, Risen provides an alternative viewpoint on the Resurrection and its aftermath. A film that starts out with earnest intentions ends up falling somewhere between a two-thousand-year-old episode of Silent Witness and an educational video R.E. teachers might play to schoolchildren. That's not to say that Risen is without its virtues; the production values are solid, the soundtrack not overly intrusive and whilst the characterisation leaves something to be desired, Joseph Fiennes does his best with a lot of middle-distance staring.

»

- CineVue UK

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Ring Of Honor’s Christopher Daniels on his splashy new role at Universal Studios and more

10 March 2016 3:01 PM, PST | ChannelGuideMag | See recent ChannelGuideMag news »

The “Fallen AngelChristopher Daniels is still flying high in Ring of Honor, producing a high quality body of work. The ring general not only signed a new deal with the company, but has also added a new entry to his already impressive resume. Daniels, 45, was cast in the Waterworld: A Live Sea War Spectacular at Universal Studios Hollywood. The consummate entertainer portrays Dennis Hopper’s villainous character, Deacon, in the stunt show, based off of the 1995 Kevin Costner action movie, Waterworld. Before he even started wrestling, Daniels always had a passion for acting. This is his chance to expand into another … Continue reading →

The post Ring Of Honor’s Christopher Daniels on his splashy new role at Universal Studios and more appeared first on Channel Guide Magazine. »

- Scott Fishman

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Kevin Costner Joins Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer Drama ‘Hidden Figures’

1 March 2016 10:29 AM, PST | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Kevin Costner is joining Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer in the drama “Hidden Figures,” TheWrap has learned. The Fox 2000 film is directed and produced by “St. Vincent” director Theodore Melfi, who is producing alongside Chernin Entertainment and Donna Gigliotti of Levantine Films. Costner is set to play the head of the space program in the film that follows an African-American mathematician (Henson) who, along with two female colleagues, was the brains behind astronaut John Glenn’s first trip into space and back. Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962. Also Read: Kevin Costner Defends 'Waterworld' and Swears. »

- Beatrice Verhoeven

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Contest: Win The Serpent And The Rainbow Collector’s Edition on Blu-ray

23 February 2016 12:57 PM, PST | DailyDead | See recent DailyDead news »

Today, Scream Factory releases Wes Craven’s The Serpent and the Rainbow Collector’s Edition on Blu-ray, and we’ve been provided with three copies to give away to Daily Dead readers.

————

Prize Details: (3) Winners will receive (1) Collector’s Edition Blu-ray copy of The Serpent and the Rainbow.

How to Enter: For a chance to win, email contest@dailydead.com with the subject “The Serpent and the Rainbow Contest”. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Entry Details: The contest will end at 12:01am Est on February 29th. This contest is only open to those who are eighteen years of age or older that live in the United States. Only one entry per household will be accepted.

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Wes Craven (A Nightmare On Elm Street, Scream) directs this terrifying story of one man’s nightmarish journey into the blood-curdling, deadly world of voodoo.

A Harvard anthropologist (Bill Pullman, »

- Derek Anderson

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February 23rd Blu-ray & DVD Releases Include American Horror Project: Vol. 1, The Serpent And The Rainbow

22 February 2016 5:52 PM, PST | DailyDead | See recent DailyDead news »

February’s home entertainment releases are ending on a high note, so genre fans should get their wallets ready in anticipation of all the great horror and sci-fi titles coming our way on the 23rd. Scream Factory has several fantastic releases planned for this Tuesday, including the highly anticipated Blu-ray for Wes Craven’s The Serpent and the Rainbow as well as double features of The Curse / Curse II: The Bite and Millennium / R.O.T.O.R.

Candyman director Bernard Rose’s latest endeavor—the modern interpretation of the classic Frankenstein tale—hits Blu and DVD this week, and the cult classic Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things is getting an HD overhaul this Tuesday as well.

Other notable Blu-ray and DVD releases on February 23rd include The Bees, Bigfoot Vs. Zombies, Moonwalkers, Demonoid, American Horror Project: Volume One and Upsidedown Cross.

Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things (Vci Entertainment, »

- Heather Wixson

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Deadpool on top, Stephen Chow's hit Chinese comedy The Mermaid opens strong

21 February 2016 2:28 PM, PST | IF.com.au | See recent IF.com.au news »

Stephen Chow's The Mermaid.

Deadpool continues to trounce the competition, ringing up $7.8 million over the weekend to bring its cumulative total to just over $27 million..

By comparison, the weekend's runner-up - Warner Bros' comedy How To Be Single, starring Rebel Wilson - brought in $2.7 million, opening on 229 screens in its first week.

Also debuting was Ride Along 2, starring Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, pulling in $1.2 million on 194 screens.

Next best was the much-derided Zoolander 2, which dropped fifty-eight percent in its second week to ring up over $1.1 million over the weekend, bringing its cume close to $5.7 million.

Transmission's Brooklyn dropped only twenty percent in week two, tallying up $836,966 over the weekend, and now sitting at near $2.8 million overall.

The highest-debuting film after How to Be Single and Ride Along 2 was another comedy, The Mermaid, a Chinese film directed by Kung Fu Hustle's Stephen Chow about a »

- Harry Windsor

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The Serpent And The Rainbow Collector’s Edition Blu-ray Clips & Trailer

20 February 2016 10:23 AM, PST | DailyDead | See recent DailyDead news »

Next Tuesday, Scream Factory will bring viewers to the “forbidden world between life and death” with their Collector’s Edition Blu-ray of the late Wes Craven’s The Serpent and the Rainbow. To give fans an idea of what to expect from the special release, we have high-definition clips and a trailer from the anticipated Blu-ray.

Wes Craven (A Nightmare On Elm Street, Scream) directs this terrifying story of one man’s nightmarish journey into the blood-curdling, deadly world of voodoo.

A Harvard anthropologist (Bill Pullman, Lake Placid, Independence Day) is sent to Haiti to retrieve a strange powder that is said to have the power to bring human beings back from the dead. In his quest to find the miracle drug, the cynical scientist enters the rarely seen netherworld of walking zombies, blood rites and ancient curses.

Based on the true-to-life experiences of Wade Davis, starring Cathy Tyson (Mona Lisa), Zakes Mokae (Dust Devil, »

- Derek Anderson

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Box Office: ‘Deadpool’ Makes Another Splash with $50 Million-Plus Weekend

19 February 2016 1:31 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Ryan Reynolds’ “Deadpool” is showing plenty of life in its second weekend at the U.S. box office with more than $50 million, according to early estimates Friday.

Fox’s surprise blockbuster should continue to dominate moviegoing this weekend over a trio of newcomers. A24’s horror film “The Witch” looks like the strongest of the three, heading for as much as $13 million while Sony’s religious drama “Risen” is attracting faith-based customers with about $11 million.

Jesse Owens biopic “Race” appears headed for a moderate start with about $8 million for Focus, in line with expectations. “The Witch” may scare up enough business to finish ahead of the fourth weekend of “Kung Fu Panda 3,” which has amassed $105 million so far at the U.S. box office.

Deadpool,” which grossed $180 million in its first week, should manage to eclipse the combined box office of the next four finishers. It has a shot »

- Dave McNary

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Movie Review: Risen

19 February 2016 10:47 AM, PST | CinemaNerdz | See recent CinemaNerdz news »

No matter what, religion is always going to be interesting debate in any form of an adaption. That’s why biblical films are hard to make and why we have so few. The Passion of the Christ (2004) was a film about the last twelve hours of the life of Jesus which was marked by much controversy due its violent and graphic themes. A different kind of biblical film was The Prince of Egypt (1998), an animated film, which was designed specifically for the kid market. When it comes down to it, the stand out biblical film will always be The Ten Commandments (1956). It was a film that was not only unique for its time but it has also remained popular to the present day. The new biblical film Risen brings more of a blockbuster feel to the genre. Directed by Kevin Reynolds, who is probably best remembered for directing the infamous »

- Alexander Wolff

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Risen review – biblical CSI: Jerusalem loses faith in its premise

19 February 2016 4:57 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Joseph Fiennes’s Roman soldier goes on the hunt for a missing body and finds Jesus in this retelling of the crucifixion, which despite scripting sins is heaven compared with other religious films

A detective is summoned to his chief’s office, where he’s read the riot act. Get some results and get them fast – the head of the entire department will be here in a matter of days! Lean on your informants if you have to, just solve this case and solve it now! It’s a scene from a thousand different cop movies, only this time the detective is a Roman tribune, his angry boss is Pontius Pilate, the ticking clock is a visit from Emperor Tiberius and the missing person is Jesus of Nazareth, the risen Christ.

It’s not a bad idea, really, to graft the conventions of a police procedural on to a Bible epic, »

- Jordan Hoffman

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Risen – The Review

18 February 2016 6:57 PM, PST | WeAreMovieGeeks.com | See recent WeAreMovieGeeks.com news »

Risen is a modest but engaging riff on the old post-crucifixion Easter legend as told through the eyes of a non-believer. In 33 Ad Jerusalem, Roman occupiers are under threat of a Jewish uprising. The Jews claim a Nazarene named Yeshua (aka Jesus – played by Clifton Curtis) is the Messiah, so Pontius Pilate (Peter Firth) promptly has him crucified, then orders Roman officer Clavius (Joseph Fiennes) to witness the execution and help dispose of the body. Three days later Jesus’ corpse has vanished from its cave tomb, though the entrance was blocked with a boulder and watched by guards. Pilate orders Clavius and Lucius (Tom Felton), to find Jesus and his disciples at all costs, for fear that if they don’t quickly produce a corpse, the Jews will rise up.  Thus begins a manhunt of biblical proportions.

Risen is the latest Christian-friendly production from (now Sony-owned) Affirm Films, which has »

- Tom Stockman

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Film Review: ‘Risen’

18 February 2016 3:00 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Whether or not it triggers a craze for divinely inspired detective stories, “Risen” makes a decent case for itself as the “Columbo” of the genre: It’s amiable, creaky and not remotely predicated on the element of surprise. Set in the days after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, this pleasantly plodding New Testament noir follows a Roman soldier who, under orders from Pontius Pilate, sets out to solve the mystery of the missing Messiah — only to realize, long after most viewers will, that he is in fact playing a key role in the Greatest Story Ever Retold. By dint of its unusual time frame and perspective, Kevin Reynolds’ film adopts a lighter, more playful tone than most Hollywood biblical epics, largely steering clear of heavy-handed dramatics and kitschy pageantry as it tells a slow-moving story of spiritual awakening. Still, Sony’s pre-Easter release is unlikely to ascend to »

- Justin Chang

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Risen Review

18 February 2016 3:00 PM, PST | We Got This Covered | See recent We Got This Covered news »

Catholicism classes everywhere, rejoice! Teachers now have another biblical epic worthy of a Friday treat; one that praises the word of the Lord with little inquisitive substance. Risen, directed by Kevin Reynolds (of Waterworld fame), has all the makings of a deceptive religious adventure, and plenty of bias to go around. Believers will find the holy spirit surging through their soul, while fence-teeterers might leave overstuffed, and a bit disillusioned, by a message that never grows larger than two simple words: “Have faith.” If you’ve got it, great! If you don’t? Find it! There. Risen has solved years of bloodshed and despair in the name of unseen deities. Too bad I had my money on the Flying Spaghetti Monster!

Joseph Fiennes stars as Clavius, a Roman Tribune who witnesses the resurrection of Jesus through his own eyes. Clavius’ perspective is that of a third party, so we’re »

- Matt Donato

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