Walker Payne (2006) - News Poster

(2006)

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On DVD Today: August 26, 2008

DVD Links: Release Dates | New Dvds | Reviews | RSS Feed First things first. For those of you interested and excited that Criterion is going to start releasing Blu-ray titles but worried about the cost, considering Criterion DVDs aren't exactly cheap and to spend the same kind of money on essentially the same film in high-definition need not worry so much, there is a small bit of fresh air. Of course, this isn't a solution that makes it a free upgrade, but the die-hards out there at least have an option. Criterion is offering the option that you send in your current DVD (just the disc) and $25 ($20 for the new disc and $5 for shipping) and they will send you back the corresponding Blu-ray disc. The only difference is going to be the high-definition transfer between back titles and the fact that Blu-ray editions will come in the blue case packaging. This seems
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On DVD Today: August 19, 2008

DVD Links: Release Dates | New Dvds | Reviews | RSS Feed Dexter - The Complete Second Season I already reviewed this second season of Showtime's "Dexter" and offered up quite a bit of praise, but as I say in my review, if you are interested in getting started with this show about a Miami blood splatter specialist doubling as a serial killer I recommend you first check out the first season because this is a show you don't want to jump into in the middle. If you have a Netflix Roku player you can check it out in the Instant Play as I did. Quick, easy and simple. I am not sure if this is a show you will want to buy however. As much as I enjoyed my time watching it, the second season character Lila played by Jaime Murray really hurts any chance of watching it over and over again.
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Wind Dancer pencils in writers bloc

Wind Dancer Films has brought aboard writers for a trio of projects for development: two thrillers and a family comedy.

Andrew Klavan will write Crescendo, based on a story by Matt Williams. The story centers on a world-class concert violinist, consumed by visions of her dead father, who struggles to maintain her sanity as she is forced to confront her past.

Klavan, a novelist whose books include Don't Say a Word, which was turned into a thriller starring Michael Douglas and Brittany Murphy, has penned the upcoming thriller One Missed Call with Ed Burns. He is repped by UTA and Evolution.

Alex Paraskevas will write House of War, a political thriller about a burned-out medical student who discovers a piece of classical music connected to a planned political assassination. Paraskevas wrote Walker Payne, starring Jason Patric, Sam Shepard and Drea De Matteo.

Wind Dancer also is developing Motel Galileo, a family comedy to be penned by Joe D'Ambrosio and Tom Teves. Galileo follows the adventures of Jimmy, a teenager sent to spend the summer with his aunt and uncle at their motel.

McFadzean on family plan at Wind Dancer

McFadzean on family plan at Wind Dancer
Wind Dancer Films said Thursday that partner David McFadzean will oversee the development of family films at the company.

McFadzean, a veteran writer-producer, is involved with three projects for Wind Dancer, including Hello, I Love You, The Fulton Street Gang and The Motel Galileo. He plans to develop four to five additional projects over the next year.

"I'm thrilled to put my energies into family comedies. After eight years of Home Improvement, I know there is a substantial audience out there," McFadzean said. "My goal is to keep production costs down while delivering the highest quality entertainment."

McFadzean's previous film producer credits include What Women Want, starring Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt; Where The Heart Is, starring Natalie Portman and Ashley Judd; Firelight, starring Sophie Marceau; and Walker Payne, with Jason Patric and Sam Shepherd.

He has been a partner in Wind Dancer since its inception.

Walker Payne

Walker Payne
Tribeca Film Festival

NEW YORK -- There is little in Matt Williams' television resume (Different World, Roseanne, The Cosby Show) that would signal the style or subject of Walker Payne. This low-key drama, set in the 1950s Midwest, deals with the world of illegal dog fighting.

While Payne offers a compelling performance by Sam Shepard, who seems to become a more iconic cinematic presence with each passing year, the film lacks the thematic resonance necessary to help audiences get past its unsavory subject matter. It recently had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Jason Patric stars as the titular, "Hud"-like figure, a down-on-his-luck quarry worker who has just been laid off. He recently has gone through a nasty divorce from his wife, Lou Ann (Drea de Matteo), and when he is unable to come up with child-custody payments, she offers him a deal: Give her $5,000, and she will give up their two young daughters and leave town.

The problem is, there is no way he can come up with the money. That is, until he is approached by Syrus (Shepard), a mysterious stranger who shows a strong interest in Walker's beloved pit bull, Brute. Eventually, the desperate Walker agrees to let his dog compete in the brutal contests, with inevitably tragic results.

Despite the novelty of its subject matter, there is little that is compelling here in terms of characterizations or situations. Although he well fulfills the physical demands of his role as a small-town Lothario, Patric is unable to infuse his turn with the charisma necessary for us to truly empathize with Walker's situation. The same is true of the thinly drawn supporting figures, from de Matteo's shrewish ex-wife to Kadee Strickland's sympathetic girlfriend.

Only Shepard as the quietly ominous Syrus truly compels. Wearing his tightly tailored suits and speaking in his high reedy voice, the actor cuts a quietly Mephistophelean figure who seems the very essence of American capitalism at its worst.

Screenwriter-director Williams does a strong job of creating a vivid sense of the film's period setting, and he has rendered the dog-fighting scenes with a powerful intensity. But ultimately, Payne seems like too much effort expended for too little result.

WALKER PAYNE

Wind Dancer Films/Persistent Entertainment

Credits:

Director: Matt Williams

Screenwriters: Matt Williams, Alex Paraskevas

Producers: Judd Payne, Matthew Rhodes, Matt Williams

Executive producers: David McFadzean, Dete Meserve

Cinematographer: James L. Carter

Editor: Ian Crafford

Production designer: Paul Peters

Costume designer: Kristin M. Burke

Cast:

Walker Payne: Jason Patric

Audrey: Kadee Strickland

Lou Ann: Drea de Matteo

Chester: Bruce Dern

Syrus: Sam Shepard

Running time -- 113 minutes

No MPAA rating

Four join Patric in 'Walker'

Four join Patric in 'Walker'
Drea de Matteo (Joey), KaDee Strickland (Fever Pitch), Sam Shepard (The Notebook) and Bruce Dern (Monster) are set to join Jason Patric in the independent feature film Walker. The gritty drama set in 1957 centers on a small-town charmer (Patric) forced to make difficult, heartbreaking decisions in his fight to save his two daughters. Matt Williams is directing from a script he co-wrote with Alex Paraskevas. Principal photography on the film, which is being produced by Williams in association with Persistent Entertainment's Matthew Rhodes and Judd Payne, begins this week.

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