I Want My DVD: Tuesday, October 18, 2011

by Ethan Alter October 18, 2011 11:56 am
I Want My DVD: Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cameron Diaz gets bad, Batman begins (again) and Kevin Smith is too fat for 40 in this week's batch of DVD releases.

From <i>Margaret</i> to <I>Mandy Lane</i>: Long-Delayed Films That Were (and Weren’t) Worth the Wait

In the fall of 2005, celebrated writer/director Kenneth Lonergan started shooting his sophomore feature Margaret, a drama about the aftermath of a tragic bus accident featuring a cast that included Anna Paquin, Matt Damon and Mark Ruffalo. Six years later, the movie is finally being released in theaters. What exactly took so long? Well, it depends on who you ask. One version of events paints Lonergan as an indecisive perfectionist that was unable to deliver a cut he was satisfied with. Another version points the finger at one of the producers, claiming he attempted to encroach on the director's contractual "final cut" provision and didn't pay his share of the movie's budget. Either way, Margaret remained trapped in limbo until Lonergan finally came up with a cut that he and the studio were ready to release. The only question now is will it be worth the protracted wait? We'll have to see come Friday, but in the meantime, here's a scorecard of some of the other recent movies that have suffered similarly long delays before hitting U.S. screens.

From <i>Rocky</i> to <i>Million Dollar Baby</i> to <i>Warrior</i>: The Best Title Bouts in Movies

Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton may appear on the poster, but the real stars of the new fight film Warrior are the brutal, bone-shattering mixed-martial arts bouts that dominate the movie's last hour. After Hardy and Edgerton's brothers go up against a variety of opponents, from trash-talking punks to mountainous Russians, they've got nobody left to fight but each other for the million-dollar tournament purse. That sibling-on-sibling match-up put us in mind of the other great movie title bouts we've enjoyed over the years. Follow the fight card below to see some of our favorites. Two notes: We focused only on movies about fictional fighters -- and not just boxers, by the way -- so don't go looking for Raging Bull, The Fighter or When We Were Kings. Also, even though the statute of spoiler limitations would seem to have lapsed for most of these movies, I'm issuing a general Spoiler Warning for the four people out there that haven't seen Rocky. (C'mon... you knew, that was going to be at the top of the list.)

The Art of Getting By: Warning, Teen Angst Ahead

by Ethan Alter June 17, 2011 10:16 am
<i>The Art of Getting By</i>: Warning, Teen Angst Ahead

When it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, this indie teen drama from writer/director Gavin Wiesen screened under the title Homework. But after Fox Searchlight scooped the film up, they wisely renamed it The Art of Getting By, no doubt to keep cheeky critics from comparing the experience of watching Homework to actually doing homework. By any name though, it's one tedious slog of a movie.

The Art of Getting By: Other Famed Movie Underachievers

by Ethan Alter June 14, 2011 4:35 pm
<I>The Art of Getting By</I>: Other Famed Movie Underachievers

There's one in every high school classroom: that kid who could be a top student if only they would just -- to use a classic Board of Ed-approved phrase -- apply themselves. The new indie drama The Art of Getting By follows one of those underachieving teenagers, George Zinavoy (Finding Neverland's Freddie Highmore, all grown up) a senior at an elite New York prep school with tons of potential and zero follow-through. Turns out that he's in good company -- some of our all-time favorite movie teens are A+-students at shirking responsibility and general goofing off.

From Alien to Super 8: Is the Big Reveal Worth the Wait?

by Ethan Alter June 8, 2011 6:02 am
From <i>Alien</i> to <i>Super 8</i>: Is the Big Reveal Worth the Wait?

We all know that J.J. Abrams loves his mysteries and so far the biggest mystery surrounding his new alien invasion movie Super 8 -- apart from how jealous Dakota Fanning is that her baby sister Elle is working with folks like J.J. and Sofia Coppola while she's stuck in yet another Twilight movie -- is what the extra-terrestrial looks like. Abrams has played this game of "hide the alien monster" before, most notably in the 2008 Godzilla riff Cloverfield, which he produced. In that film, after spending the entire movie running away -- or, more often, dumbly running towards -- the unseen beastie, the remaining survivors at last come face to face with the creature and... it's about as scary as that big red Rambaldi ball from Alias. Here's hoping Abrams learned his lesson with Super 8 and devoted more time to designing a monstrous creature that's actually, y'know, monstrous. Moviegoers will find out for themselves this week, but in the meantime, here's a look back at previous alien invaders and whether they passed the fear test when we finally see them in all their horrible glory.

NY Comic Con 2009: <i>Supernatural</I> Sweetie Tackles <i>Friday the 13th</I>‘s Jason

Okay, maybe "tackles" is a slight exaggeration. Here was the situation: In a massive auditorium at the Jacob Javits Center, a really idiotic woman got up to ask a question. While everyone else had somewhat interesting queries for Jared Padalecki (presumably the hero), Derek Mears (Jason) and producers Brad Fuller and Andrew Form, one woman was clearly there only because of the dreaminess that is Padalecki (and no... it wasn't me. I swear). She stood in front of a crowd of fans who had just enthusiastically cheered for the very brutal and somewhat impressively disgusting first five minutes of Friday the 13th that were screened and admitted she wasn't a horror fan. This caused Mears to faux-storm off the panel and Padalecki to chase after him, physically stop him from running off and calm him down. It was much more hysterical than it sounds.

You, Ma'am Are No Indiana Jones

by Kasey McDonald September 18, 2008 10:34 am
You, Ma'am Are No Indiana Jones

There's nothing wrong with Nicole Kidman. Okay, there's long been speculation that she has an eating disorder, but otherwise, I'm sure she's a perfectly lovely person, and in many roles, a very talented actress. A very delicate, waif-ey, porcelain-skinned actress who can play any number of dramatic roles, but not one you'd expect to see in an action-adventure film unless she were the damsel-in-distress. (Yeah, like that Batman we're all pretending never happened.) So you can imagine my surprise when it was announced that she'd signed on to produce and star in The Eighth Wonder, an action-adventure pitch from Mr. & Mrs. Smith writer Simon Kinberg. The bit that took me by surprise? The project is described as centering on "an archeological discovery that sets off a globe-spanning race. The aim is to be a grittier and more character-driven version of the Indiana Jones movies."

Flight of the Cyborgs

by Zach Oat August 21, 2008 3:58 pm
Flight of the Cyborgs

Here at MwoP.com, we love three things, and three things only: the HBO original series Flight of the Conchords, the movie Eagle vs. Shark and the Outback Steakhouse. Understandably, Kiwi komedian Jemaine Clement is one of our favorite people on the Earth. So when we heard that he was going to be in a new movie by Napoleon Dynamite and Nacho Libre director Jared Hess, we pretty much peed ourselves, even though our expectations were set way too high for Nacho Libre and we were understandably disappointed. (I mean, come on. Jack Black playing a luchadore? I went into it expecting it to be the Godfather of lucha libre movies... not realizing it already existed and was called Champions of Justice.)

The Scarlet Letterbox

by Zach Oat July 28, 2008 10:15 am
The Scarlet Letterbox

When I saw the news that the graphic novel Red was being adapted into a movie, I was thrilled -- after all, it was one of the most straightforward, action-packed comic books I had ever read, and it seemed tailor-made to be a movie. Sure, the filmmakers seem to be taking some liberties with the storyline, but some of the changes sound interesting. And then I saw that a movie called Red was coming out next week. What the...?

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