Win Passion Play on DVD!

Passion Play DVD

It’s Passion Play, out from Image Entertainment on DVD at the end of May. Here’s what they have to say for themselves:

Nate Poole (Rourke, The Wrestler, Iron Man 2) is a washed-up jazz musician fleeing from trigger-happy gangster Happy Shannon (Murray, Lost In Translation, Get Low). While on the run, Nate stumbles across a traveling carnival, and is instantly mesmerized by the carnival’s prized attraction, Lily “The Bird Woman” (Fox, Transformers). But Lily is no carny fake: her wings are real. The fugitive musician falls in love with this angelic creature, and he convinces her to leave with him, to the anger of her ruthless employer Sam (Ifans, Notting Hill). The two flee across the desert, but towards…what? Their destruction? Their salvation?

Combining realism and myth, Passion Play is a portrait of humanity at its best and worst. Gritty and hard-boiled, it is also an adult fairytale that promises hope in the unlikeliest of places.

(more…)

By | 2017-09-24T22:41:01+00:00 May 14th, 2011|Contests|2 Comments

A Brief History of “Ghostbusters 3”

Ghostbusters art

With word that Columbia is actually actively looking at Ghostbusters 3 again, it seemed like a good reason to take a look at the long, slow process of nothing that the sequel has been shambling through to get to this point. For many of us, Ghostbusters was an amazing cinematic experience. For almost all of us, there has never been a second film, after the Highlander Protocols were invoked for that incident in 1989. But the Law of Relative Development demands that a sequel exists in some form somewhere. So, here we go.

Back in 1996, Dan Aykroyd said he was working on a script and negotations were in place to bring back Harold Ramis. At the time, neither Bill Murray nor Sigourney Weaver were interested in returning. The rumors for who might take part in the revamped team included Chris Farley (rumors that continued up through his death the next year) and Will Smith. With the previous team partly AWOL, at least in the case of Dr. Venkman, the idea was to have a Ghostbusters: Next Generation approach, with the old team training a new team. Other casting rumors included Jason Alexander and Jeff Daniels.

(more…)

By | 2017-09-24T23:13:36+00:00 September 5th, 2008|Stimuli|2 Comments

Headsup for March 25, 2008

An ongoing attempt to make sense of the onslaught of new swag that people want you to buy. Should you? I’ll try and help.

Dan In Real Life DVD Cover Art
Groundhog Day 15th Anniversary Edition DVD Cover Art
Nancy Drew DVD Cover Art

Dan in Real Life is a bit of surprise: it’s a comedy that came under the radar that lacked the CG-oompah of something like Evan Almighty and as a result didn’t burn up the box office. But these days, are there small romantic comedies that demand the big screen treatment? A few. Regardless, it’s on DVD now from Touchstone and you can give it the small screen treatment as much as you’d like. Carell will no doubt return to wrecking the box office later this year in Get Smart. Anyway, in this simple but endearing comedy he falls in love with Juliette Binoche (wouldn’t you?) only to find out that she’s his brother’s new girlfriend. Don’t you hate it when that happens? Especially since he’s a relationship advice columnist. Nice. Also stars Dane Cook, John Mahoney and Dianne Wiest. Comes also with a commentary with the writer/director, deleted scenes with commentary from the same writer/director, outtakes, a making-of featurette and a music featurette. Carell fans or people who just like romantic comedies should rent before purchasing. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

Granted, Groundhog Doy was in February. But the beauty of the film is that, fifteen years on, our day to day lives are even more like the day Bill Murray’s Phil Connors is doomed to repeat. It just gets better with time, as do all the classic Murray flicks. This new 15th Anniversary Edition out from Sony has only improved a little over the previous special edition, however. My copy of that version is still buried in my archives from my move to the compound here, but I’m fairly certain this commentary from director, co-writer, and all-around excellent fellow Harold Ramis, while still amusing, is not new. Neither is the “Weight of Time” docu. The only things that I don’t recall from that previous iteration of the title are the deleted scenes, an interview with Ramis, and a groundhog featurette. Still no Bill Murray in the features, sadly. But regardless, if you don’t own this title already, there’s no excuse not to. The film is good enough to nab even with a bare bones disc. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

(more…)

By | 2017-09-24T23:20:44+00:00 March 25th, 2008|Headsup|0 Comments

Saturday Night Live: 25th Anniversary (1999) – DVD Review

Saturday Night Live 25th Anniversary DVD

Film:
DVD:

Written by Tina Fey, et al.
Directed by Beth McCarthy-Miller
Starring Bill Murray, Billy Crystal, Tom Hanks, Tim Meadows, Christopher Walken, etc.

Features:

  • The Today Show Looks Back at SNL
  • Media coverage from Access Hollywood
  • Tim Russert Talks With Lorne Michaels

Released by: Lions Gate Home Entertainment.
Rating: NR
Region: 1
Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 format.

My Advice: Find a better SNL resource.

From out on the comedy edge to comedic institution, Saturday Night Live has survived twenty-five years through cast changes, controversy, and at times not being very funny. For their silver anniversary, NBC gave the show a full night, star-studded tribute. Along with the obligatory clips from past shows, several former cast members, like Bill Murray and Billy Crystal, break out some old characters to entertain the audience. We also see some very nice tributes to cast members no longer with us: Jim Belushi, Gilda Radner, Chris Farley, and Phil Hartman. And it wouldn’t be Saturday Night Live without music, so we see performances by the Eurhythmics, Elvis Costello with the Beastie Boys, and the Rev. Al Green.

(more…)

By | 2017-09-24T23:52:30+00:00 November 14th, 2005|Reviews|0 Comments

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) – Criterion Collection DVD Review

The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou DVD cover art

Film:
DVD:

Written by Wes Anderson & Noah Baumbach
Directed by Wes Anderson
Starring Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Cate Blanchett, Willem Dafoe, Anjelica Huston

Features:

  • Running audio commentary by Anderson & Baumbach
  • Behind the scenes footage
  • “Talk show footage” with Anderson & Baumbach
  • Interview with composer Mark Mothersbaugh
  • Ten video performances of Seu Jorge singing David Bowie songs in Portuguese
  • Behind the scenes docu by actor/intern Matthew Gray Gubler
  • Interviews with cast and crew
  • Behind the scenes featurette
  • Deleted scenes
  • Behind the scenes photo gallery and artwork
  • Trailer

Released by: Criterion/Touchstone.
Rating: R.
Region: 1
Anamorphic: Yes.

My Advice: Sadly, skip it.

(more…)

By | 2017-09-24T23:58:09+00:00 May 31st, 2005|DVD, Reviews|2 Comments

The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (2004) – Movie Review

The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou poster

Written by: Wes Anderson & Noah Baumbach
Directed by: Wes Anderson
Starring: Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Cate Blanchett, Willem Dafoe, Anjelica Huston

My Advice: Skip it.

Steve Zissou (Murray) is in more than a rut…he’s in the Marianas Trench, practically. His underwater documentaries haven’t been well received in years, his wife (Huston) is this close to walking out on him, his crew is suffering from terrifically low morale, a reporter (Blanchett) has shown up to write an article that could either break or break him, and some guy (Wilson) has shown up who may or may not be his son. And worst of all, his long-time compadre (Seymour Cassel) was eaten by a very rare jaguar shark. There’s only one thing to do: rally the troops and go seek revenge on said shark.

Well, this is a painful review to write. After overcoming the profoundly unfunny Bottle Rocket to deliver two sublime pieces of film, Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums, Anderson steers his star-studded fourth feature right back into unfunny hell. The thing about an Anderson film, and what makes it effective, is that it takes place in a world that’s just slightly more askew than our own. Things are odd, but not so odd that it feels unrealistic. The characters in this world are also rather odd, but not so much so that you can’t recognize them as people you could know in your real life. Because this is played just a little bit off kilter, when the weird shit happens (a rich businessman decides to build a giant aquarium or a guest arrives late at a wedding party high out of his mind and driving a car into the building), you take it in stride.

(more…)

By | 2017-09-24T23:59:54+00:00 December 26th, 2004|Movies, Reviews|11 Comments

Wild Things (1998) – DVD Review

Wild Things DVD cover art

Film:
DVD:

Written by: Stephen Peters
Directed by: John McNaughton
Starring: Kevin Bacon, Matt Dillon, Neve Campbell, Denise Richards, Bill Murray

Features:

  • Theatrical trailer
  • Additional unrated footage

Released by: Sony
Region: 1
Rating: NR
Anamorphic: Yes

My Advice: Um. No.

Sam Lombardo (Dillon) seems to be a decent guy who works as a high school guidance counselor. Then, two of his students (Richards and Campbell) accuse him of raping them. Dillon hires a sleazebag attorney (Murray) to represent him and a local cop (Bacon) smells a rat about the entire deal. And the cop just might be right.

(more…)

By | 2017-09-25T00:00:30+00:00 May 31st, 2004|DVD Reviews|0 Comments

The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) – DVD Review

The Royal Tenenbaums DVD cover

Film:
DVD:

Written by: Wes Anderson & Owen Wilson
Directed by: Wes Anderson
Starring: Gene Hackman, Luke Wilson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller, Anjelica Huston

Features:

  • Running audio commentary with director Anderson
  • Theatrical trailers
  • “With the Filmmaker”, where they follow Anderson around on set
  • Video interviews and behind-the-scenes footage with the cast members
  • Behind-the-scenes easter eggs
  • “The Peter Bradley Show,” interviews with other cast members
  • “The Art of the Movie,” covers the murals and paintings from the show, still photos, info on painter Miguel Calderón, and storyboards
  • Booklet contains “Young Richie’s” drawings by Eric Anderson and an essay on Anderson’s films
  • Cut scenes

Released by: Touchstone Pictures
Region: 1
Rating: R
Anamorphic: Yes.

My Advice: Own It.

(more…)

By | 2017-09-25T00:01:23+00:00 December 7th, 2003|DVD Reviews|0 Comments

Osmosis Jones (2001) – DVD Review

Osmosis Jones DVD cover

Film:
DVD:

Written by: Marc Hyman
Directed by: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly (live action); Piet Kroon, Tom Sito (animation)
Starring: Chris Rock, David Hyde Pierce, Laurence Fishburne, William Shatner, Bill Murray

Features:

  • Audio commentary by Kroon, Sito, Hyman and producer Zak Penn
  • “Frank’s Gross Anatomy” rehash of disgusting scenes
  • “Under the Microscope”: Behind the Scenes from HBO First Look
  • “Investigating the Vocal Chords”: Behind the Scenes look at recording sessions
  • Deleted scenes
  • Theatrical trailer

Released by: Warner Home Video
Region: 1
Rating: PG-13
Anamorphic: No.

My Advice: Rent It.

(more…)

By | 2017-09-25T00:02:20+00:00 December 7th, 2003|DVD Reviews|0 Comments