Gladiator

Paul Walker in Fast and Furious 6

Fast & Furious 7 has begun shooting. Heck, it’s been shooting — production began a week ago, and has (presumably) been going strong ever since. But even as Atlanta transforms into a hotbed of street racing, angry bald men and people jumping from cars onto other cars in slow motion, the rest of the world still doesn’t know how the late Paul Walker factors into all that. We know that the powers-that-be will be retiring Walker’s character, Brian O’Conner. We just don’t know how. But if a report from the New York Daily News is to be believed, then perhaps we do. According to the newspaper, Universal has hired four actors who very much resemble Walker and will use them to film Walker’s last scenes, later superimposing Walker’s face and voice onto theirs via CGI. Keep in mind this is still speculation; Universal is going the “no comment” route, and none of the stars have Tweeted or Facebooked anything regarding Walker’s many face-and-body doubles (as they’re prone to do). Until someone involved with Fast & Furious 7 admits that the film will have a weird CGI Paul Walker, we probably shouldn’t assume Fast & Furious 7 has a weird CGI Paul Walker.

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The Hunger Games

Today, the odds may ever be in your favor. Just as The Hunger Games was named by Amazon to be the e-tailer’s all-time best selling book series, the film adaptation starring Jennifer Lawrence hits shelves on Blu-ray and DVD. And as $684 million in international box office grosses might suggest, this one’s a fairly popular choice among movie fans. So as a site that invites movie fans of all walks of life to discuss their favorite films, we thought it proper to take The Hunger Games and build a little mini-marathon that you can act out in your own living room. Because if you’re into this movie, you may have a taste for blood. Or tough girls. Either way, pairing The Hunger Games up with some of cinema’s great fights to the death is far from a bad idea. Or perhaps you’re just a guy who is going to be asked to sit and watch the Katniss movie by the girl of your dreams. Why not propose a trade? “We’ll watch the teen lit film if we can also watch one of these…” With that in mind, we’d like to know which great blood sports you’d pair with The Hunger Games. But first, a few suggestions.

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Ridley Scott on Alien Set

Of the directors we’ve covered in this feature, Ridley Scott might be the most forward. He’s brash an unorthodox, and when speaks, you get the sense that he threw his filter in the trash years ago. At this point, brass buttons are well-deserved. Alien, Blade Runner, Black Rain, Thelma & Louise, Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven, Black Hawk Down, and a popcorn bucket-full more prove the man’s vision as a storyteller. A movie fan from a young age, Scott first found success as a commercial director. His first flick, The Duelists, was hailed at Cannes but made it to few screens beyond. It was a science fiction journey featuring a seven-member crew woken from stasis to explore a strange signal that made him a major name, and this weekend he dives back into that world with Prometheus. So here’s a bit of free film school (for fans and filmmakers alike) from a bloke from South Shields.

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Culture Warrior

For better or worse, this summer of movies is over, and now we’re in the early-Fall transition into the inevitable season of so-called “serious” awards-friendly films, films that supposedly say a lot about human nature and our time and place as a culture. However, I’ve always contended that it is often the films that seemingly exist only for “entertainment’s sake” that have the most to say about culture, mainly because they operate in such a way that allows us to turn our minds off, passively consume them, and therefore go along unquestionably with the socio-political presumptions explicitly or implicitly embedded within their narratives. Such films that purport to exist solely for entertainment value often end up telling us a lot about how and what we think about the present, and it just so happens that these types of films are most often relegated to the summer months. Summer movies in 2010 ranged from highbrow to lowbrow, blockbuster to indie to sleeper, with head-scratchers and brain-cell-killers alike, but many of these films, intentionally or not, had something to say or assume about the present cultural moment.

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DUNE

Since Peter Berg might possibly, maybe, could not be directing Dune, we’ve decided to throw a few hats into the ring. Who do you think could helm one of the hardest science fiction adaptations of all time?

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In this edition of This Week in Blu-ray, it is time to usher in the month of September with a swath of TV-on-BD, a forecast for the weeks to come as the fall television season heats up.

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SpartaMain1

If you haven’t seen the blood-tastic trailer for the upcoming Starz original series Spartacus: Blood and Sand, you need to do so. In fact, you can do it right here.

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There’s a long, illustrious history of movies that feature characters on quests for vengeance. Here are what we believe to be the ten most notable.

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Ridley Scott is slated to direct a unique take on the Robin Hood legend — one that promises asskickery on multiple levels. Nottingham will be told from the perspective of the sheriff of the historic shire of Nottingham and will star Russell Crowe.

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