Hop

This Week in DVD

Hey kids, it’s This Week In DVD time again! There’s a whopping six releases worth buying this week, and four of them are foreign language flicks. Make of that what you will. Look below for my recommendations on Gainsbourg, The Sitter, Hop, The Muppets, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and… Clown Hunt? As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Battle Royale It’s the near future, and Japan has grown so tired of their violently out of control youth that they’ve organized an annual event featuring a randomly chosen class forced to fight to the death on a distant island. This release has been a long time coming. The movie is over ten years old, but while it’s utterly fantastic this is the first US release for reasons of misguided political correctness. It’s wonderfully violent and bloody film that also happens to have some interesting things to say about society and the cycle of violence… but you can ignore all that if you choose and just focus on the stylishly violent encounters between kids, cliques and even friends. Anchor Bay has released the film in two versions. The single disc only includes the director’s cut, which adds some interesting character bits but is slightly inferior to the theatrical. The one listed to the right though is their beautiful four-disc set that includes the theatrical and director’s cuts plus the mediocre sequel plus multiple extras.

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The Reject Report

Furious sits alone on a hill underneath a single tree that shades it. Its buddy Fast is out gallivanting around town with Vin Diesel and Paul Walker, jacking Supras and drinking Corona like it holds the key to eternal youth, and Furious is sad. That’s okay, Furious, we still like you. And it’s not like Fast Five is going to open huge. It’s not as if we’re looking at another $70+-million opening for a Fast and Furious entry. Fast couldn’t do that without you. Oh, wait, the Rock is in this one, too. Yeah. It probably will. Sorry, Furious. We’ll catch you next time. Maybe.

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The Reject Report

The birds of Rio and the sugar-infused children were too much for the family crowd headed to see Madea’s latest outing this weekend. Madea’s Big Happy Family had anything but the worst opening for a Tyler Perry film, but it is the lowest opening film of his since 2007. It’s also the lowest of the three in terms of Tyler Perry films with Madea’s name branded on the marquee. That’s not to say Madea’s Big Happy Family had a bad opening. You can’t really scoff at over $25 million, and it isn’t like Rio completely trounced the #2 film. The gap is wide enough that we won’t be analyzing Monday’s official numbers to determine a clear-cut winner, but it’s way too soon to start the Madea retirement rumors. Big Happy Family is sure to be viewed as a success for everyone involved especially Perry who is sure to have another Madea film in the works by, say…oh, what time is it?

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The Reject Report

…for Elephants! But seriously, that’s a lot of possessive apostrophes going on in that title. If I wanted to do a remake of this movie – I could. I have the funds – who would I have to get the rights from? Madea? Tyler Perry? Oprah? There’s a lot of ownage going on in here. Lionsgate is hoping for a lot of ownage at the box office this weekend, too. I know you saw what I did there. That I’m pointing it out is chalked up to arrogance. The elephants, cats, and birds of the world might have something to say about it, but there’s little chance they’ll be able to do anything about it. Let’s see how everything breaks down. That is, if Tyler Perry allows it.

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The Reject Report

It’s a time for celebration in the world of animated film. Maybe not dress-up-in-your-favorite-gold-costume-or-mask celebration. We’re not throwing a lavish parade or anything, but an audible “hip hip hooray” might be in order if you’re a fan of computer animation. Rio, the latest such film from Blue Sky Studios and 20th Century Fox, came out wings blazing this weekend and easily topped the box office with the biggest opening so far in 2011. The $40 million the film brought in isn’t a record for the studio, though. It didn’t even top the $45 million Horton Hears a Who brought the studio in 2008. However, given Rio‘s worldwide box office thus far – $128.2 million in additional revenue outside the US – the film is well on its way to being a huge success. Plenty of money for the company to bring us another Ice Age film, so all you Scrat fans out there can rejoice.

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The Reject Report

Imagine a quiet, two-story house on a dark small-town street. Inside, a group of teens prepare to watch a movie, something scary, something hi-def. They have wealthy parents. As they drink their respective beverages and the FBI warning sits on the screen unobserved, the phone rings. One of the teens answers. On the other end, a high shriek emits, a shriek the other teens hear coming from outside. They go to the window to look, and flying through the air, headed straight for them, is a tropical bird. It has recently been launched from a giant slingshot jutting up out of the front yard. The bird’s target has been set. The teenagers are unsuspecting. Some of them might die this night. They scream, and thus begins this week’s Reject Report, Rio vs. Scream 4.

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The Reject Report

It was really the battle of the two evils this weekend. Unfunny CG Russell Brand vs. Unfunny Russell Brand in a suit. The kids won out, and Hop was able to pull into the #1 spot for the second weekend in a row. Its drop wasn’t all that insignificant, about what was to be expected with there being no counter-programming for family entertainment. I guess kids just don’t have much interest in Helen Mirren these days. Hop was, however, able to pull ahead of its reported $63-million budget with its second weekend take and shed a glimmer of hope for those wanting more adventures starring the Easter Bunny. We can all pray for the best there.

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The Reject Report

Ah, remember Dudley Moore and how funny he was in Arthur with the top hat and the bubbles and slurred speech? What’s that? You know the name, but you’re both under 30 and can’t stand the classics? Warner Brothers is hoping for that, too, as they’ve now remade the film starring Russell Brand. Now they’re hopes rest on it returning an Arthur-sized fortune. That could be very well what happens here, and Brand will probably have his name splashed all over the #1 and #2 movies this weekend. He’ll have some competition from some pothead knights, a pair of adolescents. One is an assassin. The other is a surfer. The surfer might not be much competition, but that pairing would make one hell of a buddy movie.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr recovers from a full day of watching Armageddon back-to-back to crawl back to the multiplex. He re-lived the last eight minutes of Source Code over and over, thoroughly confusing himself. Then he stumbled into the theater next door to learn about the true meaning of Easter from Russell Brand and James Marsden. Things take a decidedly creepy turn when he watches Insidious and wets himself more than once. This led to a very unfortunate scene while he watched the sexual-predator cautionary tale Trust. No one would believe him it was just wee wee.

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Whether you’re trying to avoid the releases this week or augment them with even more movies, Your Alternate Box Office offers some options for movies that would play perfectly alongside of (or instead of) the stuff studios are shoving into the megaplex this weekend. This week features a man who’s only got 8 minutes to save the world, a house that’s not haunted, a superhero who isn’t a superhero, and an Easter bunny who’s not the Easter bunny.

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The Reject Report

It ain’t Easter, right? It ain’t Easter. It ain’t white rabbit day. Don’t tell Universal that. They’re looking to bring in the golden egg with the seasonal Hop, and there’s a very good chance of that happening. Duncan Jones’s second film, Source Code, and the new horror film from the guys who brought us Saw – thanks, guys to be named later – may have something to say about that, but whatever that is will probably fall on deaf bunny ears. See what I did there? Well, see some more this week with the Reject Report the hollow chocolate bunny edition.

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As a 25-year-old Jewish man I’m about as far removed from the Hop target demographic as one could get. I’ve never celebrated Easter, I consequently have no strong emotional attachment to the Easter Bunny and I’m not overwhelmed by the notion of a drummer Easter Bunny that sounds an awful lot like Russell Brand and poops out jelly beans. Yet, here we are, faced with the strange phenomenon of an obsessively-tested, painstakingly-commercial, carefully-calibrated product that shouldn’t be any good at all somehow defying those odds. From director Tim Hill, this live action-animation hybrid is more than just a one-note marketing machine, despite those incessant ads on every conceivable NBC Universal platform and the salesman’s desperation that underwrites it. A blatant stab at surrounding the Easter Bunny with a mythology comparable to Santa’s, the picture unfolds in two settings. The first: Easter Island, home to the enormous factory that’s home base for Easter operations, filled with cascading waterfalls of chocolate and bursts of colorful candy dyes. There, teenage rabbit E.B. (Russell Brand) is being groomed by dad (Hugh Laurie) to take over the family business. The picture’s second main locale is the slightly less exotic Los Angeles, where slacker Fred (James Marsden) lives a tired, aimless existence. Our heroes’ destinies collide when E.B. flees his fate through a magical wormhole of sorts, lands in Hollywood and thanks to Fred nearly becomes the world’s most famous road kill. The tandem grows ever-closer from there, as Fred (quickly getting over any pretense of […]

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When the teaser trailer for Hop first hit, it was an incredible moment of adorability and Blur’s “Song 2.” Now, with the first full trailer out, we’re getting a better idea of the Roger Rabbit nature of the flick. It turns out it’s a mixture of live-action and CGI. James Marsden stars as a guy who hits the Easter Bunny-elect (voiced by Russell Brand) with his car, and the two starts an unusual friendship that involves one of them pretending to be a stuffed animal in order to hit on the other’s girlfriend. I’ll let you figure out which one. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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If you’re like me, you watch the Super Bowl for one reason: you can eat as many fried mac ‘n’ cheese balls as you want without so much as a dirty look. If there’s another reason to watch, it’s because Puppy Bowl has gotten repetitive. If there’s a third, it’s the commercials – specifically the movie trailers. Most of the movie trailers this year gave just a bit more insight into trailers we’ve already seen, but a select few (like Transformers 3 and Super 8) gave us our first look into the worlds being created for the big screen. Fortunately, like the PSAs that get to air for free during the big game, these movie trailers also taught us a lot. Especially about the trends of 2011 that are already emerging. Here are just ten things we learned.

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Finally a movie studio has realized the intense power of putting up videos of adorable animals doing hilarious things. Granted, it’s got the production value on its side, but I’d take Bunny Rabbit Drumming over Sneezing Panda any day of the week except Thursday (for obvious reasons). HOP comes from the same creative team behind Despicable Me, which was clever enough and managed to make giant, talking tic-tacs into cultural icons. As for the plot, James Marsden voices a slacking rabbit who injures the Easter Bunny (Russell Brand) and brings him in as a house guest while he’s recuperating. Plot simplicity aside, this is one of the best teaser trailers around. Interesting, cute, Blur-ry. Hopefully the film will have the same qualities and warrant a sequel so that iHOP can see the light of day in 2014. [Apple]

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“Candy, Chicks and Rock ‘n Roll.” That’s the tag-line for Hop, the upcoming animated feature starring the voice of British comedian turned American movie star Russell Brand. It comes from the creators of Despicable Me, telling the comic tale of Fred (James Marsden), a lovable slacker bunny who accidentally injures the Easter Bunny (Brand) and must take over for him. It finally fills that gap in holiday movies, in which the Easter Bunny is unfortunately mis-represented. This one takes the premise of The Santa Clause and every other mystical holiday movie ever and applies it to Easter. It will surely overtake The Passion of the Christ as the must-watch Easter movie for families. Check the poster after the jump…

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