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Quentin Tarantino — Variety’s 2013 Home Entertainment Hall of Fame honoree — could be a poster boy for the home-entertainment industry. After all, it’s well-known that the Oscar winner and key influencer of industry trends began his film career at the counter of a video store.
This year, his “Django Unchained” has become a prime example of the growing success of digital distribution just when whetting consumer appetites for digital is the industry’s top priority.
In the U.S., “Django” has been an extremely strong performer, backed with an early electronic sell-through (Est) model and retail pre-sales, says Bill Clark, president of Anchor Bay Entertainment, which distributed the Weinstein Co. title.
In other world territories, “Django” was equally successful, says David Bishop, worldwide president of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. “It overperformed in many markets to become Sphe’s biggest international digital title yet, including the highest share of HD Digital »
- Marcy Magiera
The holiday season is now firmly upon us and it’s time to kick your Christmas shopping into high gear. Chances are, there’s at least one person on your shopping list who happens to be a big movie buff. We admit, we’re not the easiest type of people to shop for, but you’re in luck as our talented staff of cinephiles have come up with a Movie Buff Wish List of awesome movie related gifts we’d love to find under our tree. Come inside to check out the hottest items cinema enthusiasts want to help you find the perfect gift for that movie buff in your own life!
- email@example.com (Jordan Maison)
Anyone who’s followed Quentin Tarantino’s career knows that his ouevre consists of his own versions of the B-movie genres/themes he grew up loving. From blaxploitation, to Hong Kong martial arts epics, World War II, to spaghetti westerns, the director likes putting his unique stamp on a wide range of cinematic styles. The very secretive filmmaker often only announces the genre of his next film, and that starts the buzz on what tends to be a big movie to watch out for.
“I haven’t told anyone this publicly, but I will say the genre: It’s a western. I had so much fun doing Django, and I love westerns so much that after I taught myself how to make one, »
- Mario-Francisco Robles
Not even a week after the release of Hollywood’s English language remake of the French-Canadian comedy Starbuck, re-named Delivery Man (so as not to be confused with the ubiquitous coffee chain or the Battlestar Galactica ace fighter pilot), now comes a new take on a fairly recent Korean revenge thriller. Of course, the big studios have been doing these sort of re-interpretation or re-imaginings for decades. Sometimes the settings are completely changed, as with the case of Seven Samurai which begat the classic hit Western The Magnificent Seven which itself became the sci-fi drive-in gem Battle Beyond The Stars. Or more radically when Ingmar Bergman’s art house fave The Virgin Spring was the basis for Wes Craven’s gruesome debut film The Last House On The Left. On rare occasions the original director has helmed the remake as with that new Vince Vaughn comedy/drama and the 1988 and 1993 versions of The Vanishing. »
- Jim Batts
Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino stopped by The Tonight Show with Jay Leno last night, where he revealed the first details about his new project. While he wouldn't divulge anything about the story, or the title, he did say it is another Western. Though, it won't be a sequel to Django Unchained. Take a look at the video, and read on for quotes from his appearance.
"I haven't told anyone this publicly, but I will say the genre. It's a western. It's not a Django (Unchained) sequel, but it's another Western, and the thing is, I had so much fun doing Django, and I love westerns so much that after I taught myself how to make one, it's like 'Ok! Let me make another one now that I know what I'm doing.'"
While it may be some time before we know exactly what this project is, there is the possibility that »
Watching Spike Lee’s decent but unmemorable remake of Park Chan-wook’s 2003 revenge picture Oldboy, I kept trying to figure out why he’d done it. Maybe after a line of box-office failures and difficulty getting financing for personal projects, he wanted to prove he could make a fast, violent action picture that didn’t have his trademark placards or harangues — that he could play the game. (He does call this a “Spike Lee Film” instead of the usual “Spike Lee Joint.”) Maybe he was attracted to the story as a way of spelling out the decadence and vileness of the white prep-school elite, a class to which the thuggish protagonist, here called Joe (Josh Brolin), belongs. Or maybe this is a big F.U. to Quentin Tarantino, with whom Lee has traded nasty barbs over Tarantino’s use of African-Americans in Jackie Brown and Django Unchained. In Oldboy, Lee »
- David Edelstein
Chicago – What to Watch is back! Miss us? Every week, we roll out 5-10 of the latest films and TV shows to be released on DVD, Blu-ray, and various streaming services. This week’s highlights include a few classics, a cult hit, a couple of recent comedies, and a family flick. In the order we’d advise buying or renting them…
The Vivien Leigh Anniversary Collection
Photo credit: Cohen Media Group
“The Vivien Leigh Anniversary Collection”
Another Wtw, another Cohen Media Group release. Seriously, the good folks at Cohen have been doing an amazing job of finding relatively obscure classics and recent foreign films and polishing them like they’re beloved worldwide. They’re rivaling Criterion and Scream Factory as studios for which every release truly matters. Their latest is a collection of four early films from the legendary Vivien Leigh, an actress best-known for “Gone with the Wind” and a true Hollywood icon. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
It’s Tuesday, so it must mean it’s time for Fright At Home! Scream and Shout! Factory pretty much own the week with a whopping four releases, including ’80s cult fave Night Of The Comet, John Carpenter’s action classic Assault On Precinct 13, killer robot-run-amok Eve Of Destruction, and ’90s comic book adaptation Tank Girl.
Read on below to see what else qualifies as this week’s must-own discs!
Fright At Home: November 19th’s DVD & Blu-ray Releases!
Blu-ray + DVD / Scream Factory
It’ s the first comet to buzz the planet in 65 million years, and everyone seems to be celebrating its imminent arrival. Everyone, that is, except Regina Belmont (Catherine Mary Stewart, »
- Justin Edwards
This weekend (November 23rd & 24th) sees the McM Comic Con and Memorabilia show take place at the NEC in Birmingham. We’ll be there on the Saturday, checking out what’s happening at one of the UK’s biggest conventions. If you haven’t grabbed a ticket yet, what are you waiting for? Ok, ok, so some of you may still be undecided, so let me tempt you with a rundown of just some highlights of the guests attending the event this weekend…
Red Dwarf Reunion – Chris Barrie (Arnold Rimmer); Hattie Hayridge (Holly); Danny John-Jules (The Cat) and Robert Llewellyn (Kryten) from much-loved British sci-fi comedy Red Dwarf. Quadrophenia Reunion – Stars Phil Daniels (Jimmy); Toyah Willcox (Monkey) and Daniel Peacock (Danny) celebrate the ultimate mod movie, based on The Who’s 1973 rock opera.
- Phil Wheat
Now almost two decades old, Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction almost singlehandedly changed the way Hollywood wanted to make movies in the '90s. Now, a comprehensive new book on the film -- Pulp Fiction: The Complete Story of Quentin Tarantino's Masterpiece (by Jason Bailey from Voyageur Press) – reveals some intriguing casting near-miss and what if? details, from the possibilities of Daniel Day-Lewis as Vincent Vega (the role now owned by John Travolta) and Meg Ryan as Mia Wallace (the role now defined by Uma Thurman) to even Ellen DeGeneres starring in a supporting role...
Related: 5 Shocking Truths About the Making of 'Pulp Fiction'
After being reduced to playing third wheel to talking babies and dogs in the Look Who's Talking movies, Travolta's career was practically flatlining before the role of Vincent Vega gave him a second lease on life in Hollywood. But the role originally was meant for Michael Madsen, who played »
The action may be fast as a pingball, but the high-calibre cast can't stop Ridley Scott's latest from running out of ping
Ridley Scott's violent Tex-Mex action thriller is all mouth and no trousers. But it's quite a mouth: the original screenplay by Cormac McCarthy is (for a while) seductive, elusive and allusive. It's a sub-David Mamet Esperanto of tough-guy worldliness, hinting at a world of evil. Devotees of the Coens' version of his No Country for Old Men, with its horrible garotte scene, may feel their hearts sinking with the initial mention here of a hi-tech strangulation device, introduced in the opening reel on the same principle as Chekhov's famous act-one pistol. There's a crazy-paving mosaic of cast and plot.
Michael Fassbender is a yuppie lawyer, addressed only as "counsellor" in the American style, who has evidently gleaned info and contacts from the clientele to get »
- Peter Bradshaw
Movie stars, as we know them, are not so much dead in 2013 as much as they’re no longer making movies. Celebrity has stretched far beyond film or television; people become famous now without having accomplished much of anything, just for being at the right place at the right time, or tweeting out the right scandalous photo to set afire the comments sections at TMZ or Perez Hilton. Though movies cost more than they used to—both to make and to partake—they are less frequently headlined by a man or woman whose very presence ensures bankability. A handful of movie stars remain, yet even someone like Robert Downey, Jr. can only guarantee a movie will make back its profit and then some when he’s donned his Iron Man suit.
The closest Western society has to movie stars these days don’t make movies that gross hundreds of millions »
- Josh Spiegel
Anthony Stokes on how 12 Years a Slave succeeded where Django Unchained failed...
As I was walking out of 12 Years a Slave I noticed a majority of the audience stayed back and watched the credits. Apart from during a Marvel movie I've only seen this happen a few times - Black Swan, The Social Network and Fruitvale Station. To me it means that a movie has impacted an audience so emotionally they need a moment to collect themselves, in the case of Fruitvale or Black Swan, or a movie is so well made you want to just sit and appreciate every person that contributed to this wonderful experience, The Social Network for example. 12 Years a Slave seemed to have accomplished both, being equally emotionally devastating and also an incredibly well-made film. This is the sort of thing I would show film students as an example of how to make a movie »
- Gary Collinson
Oscar nominee Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction) and two-time Oscar winner Michael Caine (The Cider House Rules, Hannah And Her Sisters) will star in the heartwarming drama, Harry And The Butler, to be directed by George C. Wolfe, winner of the Directors Guild Award for “Lackawanna Blues,” it was announced today by producers Philippe Rivier of Spirit Films and Colin Callender of Playground Entertainment.
The film, written by Damian F. Slattery, will start shooting on location in Louisiana in spring 2014.
Harry And The Butler is the story of Harry (Sam Jackson), a one-time jazz virtuoso living in New Orleans who has given up on his dreams and now spends his days as the mechanic for a derelict rollercoaster and his nights in his makeshift home – a converted train caboose. When his former mentor bequeaths him a large sum of money, Harry – in a drunken celebration –decides to hire himself an aging, »
- Michelle McCue
Odd List Greg Foster 18 Oct 2013 - 06:16
We look at 20 former A-list actors, and the interesting film choices they've made...
There comes a time in every A-list actor's life when they gather their thoughts and take a step back into smaller budget or more leftfield fare - and for a variety of reasons. They may want to work with a certain director or an emerging directing talent. They might be taken by a fantastic script. They might fancy a new artistic direction. They may even have a spiritual epiphany and decide to eschew Hollywood and all its decadent trappings, or they may simply just not have a choice, since the big roles have long since dried up for them.
The reason for this list then, is to look at some of those shining lights, the household names, and at the films they took up as proof of their artistic integrity. »
When you step off the plane at Busan’s Gimhae airport, Robert De Niro is there to welcome you. Not literally, of course, but everywhere you turn, that familiar mole, those permanently squinted eyes, and that strained, insidious smile entreat you to visit the nearby Paradise Casino, in the kind of ad campaign A-list stars once did clandestinely for foreign markets — and still continue to do, even if in the Internet era nothing stays secret for long. (And really, if De Niro needs the work, better this than more movies like “The Family.”)
Though one doubts that Bobby D has ever actually set foot in the South Korean port city of 4 million residents, his “Jackie Brown” director Quentin Tarantino was among the guests who did pass through for the 18th Busan Intl. Film Festival (Oct. 3-12). Nor was Tarantino, who stopped in Busan after picking up a career achievement prize »
- Scott Foundas
A TV show about the pre-Silence of the Lambs exploits of Hannibal Lecter did not, at first, feel too enticing. While Lecter still tops many best fictional villain lists, his stock has taken a dive in recent years, with Brett Ratner's bland Red Dragon adaptation and the dismal Hannibal Rising prequel lowering the bar on the big screen. Yet Hannibal's first series, which aired here on Sky Living and has just been released on box set, proved one of the most daring, stylish and satisfying shows of the year.
We meet Dr Hannibal Lecter as he's first brought in by the FBI to assess the mental state of the fragile Will Graham, a special investigator and criminal profiler who has the remarkable and disturbing »
- Phelim O'Neill
Well, I don't know about you, but I was a little surprised to see the sequel to The Muppets is already completed and the MPAA has officially offered a PG rating for Muppets Most Wanted. They didn't waste any time getting that made. Additionally we have Can A Song Save Your Lifec starring Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo, which premiered in Toronto and was quickly snatched up by the Weinstein Co. Personally I sort of hated the film, but there were plenty of others that fell for the schmaltz, but I can't help but wonder how it's going to do with an R rating. Daniel Schechter's Jackie Brown sequel, Life of Crime, based on the Elmore Leonard novel closed the Toronto Festival and has yet to be acquired, but it now has an R rating it can flaunt along with the cast, which includes Jennifer Aniston, Tim Robbins, Isla Fisher, »
- Brad Brevet
There have been many adaptations of the superb crime novels of the late Elmore Leonard, but what makes his novels so compulsively readable often doesn’t make for a great film: his characters talk a lot, which can make for very static movies, with characters standing around talking rather than doing anything. The best adaptations of his work (Jackie Brown, Get Shorty, Out of Sight) have been made by those who understood the need to retain the rhythm and tone of his dialogue while crafting something cinematic.
Jennifer Aniston is Mickey, the trophy wife of boorish Detroit property developer Frank Dawson (Tim Robbins). Mickey lives a country club lifestyle amongst Detroit’s elite, although she and Frank have an unhappy relationship. Enter ex-cons Ordell Robbie (yasiin bey, aka Mos Def) and Louis Gara (John Hawkes), who discover that Frank is a crafty embezzler on a rather grand scale. They hatch »
- Ian Gilchrist
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
After last week’s monster of an episode, Ozymandias, Granite State had a lot to live up to. A number of people called Ozymandias the best episode of television they’d ever seen. It will forever stand in its own class in terms of raw emotional impact, but Granite State meets and exceeds any expectations Ozymandias left. In terms of composition, mood, acting, storytelling, and characterization, Granite State doesn’t fall an inch from the enormously high precedent set by Ozymandias. It may even be better.
In a way, the episode serves as an interlude between the shattering of the Breaking Bad universe last week and the conclusion of the series next week. It sees most of the characters picking up whatever pieces they can and moving on in whatever way they can while slowly rehabilitating the utterly defeated Walter White’s resolve.
But don’t »
- Kyle Schmidlin
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