Escape Plan

discs cutie and the boxer

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. Cutie and the Boxer Ushio Shinohara and his wife Noriko have been together for 45 years, but it hasn’t been the easiest of roads. He was a 41 year old art sensation in NYC when the 19-year-old art student met and fell in love with him, and while the time since has seen them struggle and live the life of starving artists, he has always remained at the top of the relationship. This doc looks at the couple, their love and art, and the sacrifices that are sometimes necessary in pursuit of your dreams. Zachary Heinzerling‘s intimate documentary began life focused on Ushio’s life and art, but somewhere along the line, Noriko’s story, both of her art and of her love for her husband, took over the narrative. The result is not only a fascinating look at two artists’ lives but also an incredibly honest exploration of the cost of love, creativity, and persistence. Ushio is a real character, but Noriko is a real person. I’m now in love with a 64-year-old Japanese woman. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Deleted scenes, featurettes]

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goodfellastable

This week’s list of movies to watch is not inspired by a single new release, because there isn’t anything big enough out this weekend to warrant such a focus. Instead, I’ve got a year-end feature for you inspired by the entirety of 2013 in film. I can’t sum up every title released this year with only ten recommendations, but the movies I’ve selected are, I believe, the best representatives of the more notable titles and trends seen in the past dozen months. Most of the selections are familiar. Chances are you’ve seen more than a few. But obviously this edition has to involve more popular fare because they have to be influential movies to have informed so much of this year’s crop, even if unintentionally. Just take it as a call to watch them again, along with whatever you haven’t seen before, as a special sort of year in review of the most important movies of 2013 released before 2013.

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1200

It may not be the biggest hit at the box office this weekend, but Escape Plan could wind up a cult favorite. As our review states, it’s “entertaining” and “gloriously silly.” And truth be told, it’s the first movie for either Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone in about 20 years that deserves a sequel. Or needs one, because personally I found the team-up of these two 1980s action heroes a little less fun than I’d hoped. Honestly, I dozed off a bit in the middle. But Escape Plan 2 could be bigger and even more entertaining and much sillier in an even more glorious way. For starters, I’d like to see a follow-up where the actors are actually equal, dual protagonists rather than seeing Arnie as a sidekick along for another one of Sly’s adventures. Maybe the sequel could instead reverse the premise and have it be Schwarzenegger’s character’s story. Instead of coming up with original ideas to pitch to the makers of Escape Plan, and potentially just have them stolen, I’ve selected 10 plots that already exist in other movies, which could be remade for Escape Plan 2, Escape Plan 3, etc. And the good thing is many of these titles are already in line to be remade. Just tweak the scripts with some one-liners referencing both stars’ past hits, and you’re good to go!

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Escape Plan

The best comedy bit in Escape Plan, an action movie filled with amazing comedy bits, occurred before a single camera rolled. It happened when someone somewhere said the following and others agreed: “You know what would be a great idea? Casting Sylvester Stallone as a genius escape artist, a man who gets by not just on brawn but on pinpoint smarts? And, for good measure, let’s have Arnold Schwarzenegger play his sidekick.” The idea that Stallone could possibly, convincingly play an intellectual type isn’t just farfetched. It’s so utterly logic-defying when you consider everything about the man’s image that it comes fully around the bend and starts making a whole lot of sense.

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Carrie 2013

The characters of this week’s releases are at the end of their ropes. That might even be literal for Robert Redford’s character in All Is Lost unless sailors have a different word for “rope.” And they probably do. Some of the film figures of the week are covered in blood, some have been kidnapped into slavery, some have been falsely imprisoned, some are fighting the system, and some are losing the battle against it. Desperation seems like a common theme. Of course, it’s October, so “ghosts” are another big one. And who’s more desperate than they are? There’s also a lot more going on in a week with a massive amount of movies. Here’s your trailer-ized guide to what’s coming out:

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Comic-Con 2013

San Diego Comic-Con is many things, one might say, if many actually meant the collision of two worlds; the small, intimate world of comic related art and those who relish in it and the massive commercial machine spearheaded by Hollywood and the major toy companies. You’ve probably heard it all before from people like me, or other journalists, who have ventured to San Diego on more than a few occasions – Comic-Con has changed, we say. It used to be better. Maybe so, but the beast that is Comic-Con shows little sign of slowing down, much less shrinking in size. Yet, if you long for the not quite lost days of the intimate experience, they’re there for you to search out. Sure, it might not be front and center on the Con floor. No, that is reserved for Hasbro and the untold legions swarming to grab and re-sell My Little Pony limited edition memorabilia. But the intimate experience is still there, if you know which corners to look in. I arrived in San Diego pretty late in comparison to other years. I didn’t get my badge until about 1:30 or 2:00 pm on Thursday, while many of my colleagues had been here nearly a full day ahead of me. Yet in just a few hours, I managed to experience both faces of the Comic-Con beast.

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Did you hear that this weekend is Comic-Con? It’s true! It’s weird that no one told you. Fortunately, this week’s show features a visit to San Diego where our sentinels Robert Fure and Jack Giroux will tell us all the crazy stuff that’s happening on the ground there in geek paradise (which happens to be a hotel room that’s missing a bathroom door). Plus, Geoff and I disagree wildly in our reviews of the new season of The Newsroom, and we prepare for the possibility of Spike Lee’s retirement by discussing his legacy and forcing him to autograph old football paraphernalia. You can follow Robert Fure (@robertfure), interviewer Jack Giroux (@jackgi), the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) for more fun stuff on a daily basis. And, as always, we welcome your feedback. Download Episode #25 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

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trailer escape plan

One of the initial draws behind The Expendables was seeing Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger popping caps together, but while the first film only gave us a brief cameo scene the second upped it slightly with a single shared action scene. The two aging icons went on to make their own individual action films, but fans were still apparently clamoring for the two to work together on something with a bit more substance. Well that’s never going to happen, but in the meantime we are getting a movie featuring the two in more than a single scene. Escape Plan, formerly known as The Tomb, is focused on Ray Breslin (Stallone), the world’s top authority on prison security. He basically makes his living escaping from jail, but his latest gig sees him locked up in a high-tech super prison with, unsurprisingly, a sadistic warden at the helm. You think he’d use his one phone call to get a hold of Lt. Gabriel Cash for help, but instead he turns to fellow inmate Swan Rottmayer (Schwarzenegger).

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