Hours

Franco Nero is Space Jesus in THE VISITOR

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. The Visitor John Huston and Jesus Christ (Franco Nero) are in a never-ending war with Satan, and their latest battleground is Atlanta, GA, where the soul of a child holds the key to saving the universe. Probably. Lance Henriksen, Glenn Ford, Shelley Winters, and Sam Peckinpah join in the fun as Huston struggles to stop the girl’s descent into evil and tendency towards causing bodily harm. It’s hardly news to say that this thirty four year old movie is a mental fingerbang that bends genres and somehow teases both brilliance and stupidity, but I’m saying it anyway. Both highly derivative and wholly original, the film cherry picks elements from The Omen, The Fury, Phantasm, and more, and then swirls them together in a psychedelic mélange of horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and pure nuttiness as it tells the story of good and evil battling over a young girl’s potty-mouthed soul. Drafthouse Films brings this gem to HD for the first time, and while the extras are unfortunately scarce the film alone is enough to warrant a purchase. Read my full review. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Interviews, trailer, booklet]

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Paul Walker - Hours

Paul Walker‘s performance in Hours is a different animal. In the film, he stars as a man who loses his wife during childbirth and must watch over his ailing newborn in a hospital evacuated by the threat of Hurricane Katrina. It’s high concept with a big beating heart, and we’ll speak with writer/director Eric Heisserer about the challenges of crafting it, and the contextual shift left by Walker’s tragic death. Plus, Eric Vespe (aka Quint) from Aint It Cool News will try to convince Geoff to see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug regardless of how the dragon’s name is pronounced, and we’ve got a fundamental screenwriting question on tap for both Geoff and Heisserer. It’s our penultimate show, so we’re swinging for the fences. You should follow Eric Vespe (@ericvespe), Eric Heisserer (@HIGHzurrer), the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more on a daily basis. And, as always, if you like the show (or hate it with seething fervor), please help us out with a review. Download Episode #43 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

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Hours

It’s not always a good sign when you see Paul Walker outside of the Fast and the Furious franchise, but maybe Hours, the film starring Walker as a man dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, could be the role to finally get him some leverage outside the world of street racing. Rather than making a “Hurricane Katrina movie,” the film is focused on one man’s experiences during the disaster. Walker’s wife (Genesis Rodriguez) has just given birth and the newborn baby is in the NICU on a ventilator. When the hurricane hits, all power goes out and it’s up to the new father to keep the battery powered until help arrives, whenever that may happen. It looks like a mentally anguishing story that’s part disaster movie, and part “stranded” narrative as well. Though Walker’s in a city full of people, he’s all alone in that hospital with just the baby, his wife, and his thoughts; the flashback sequences to happier times in the trailer remind me a bit of the hallucinations from 127 Hours. Check out the trailer here:

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review hours

“Based on a true story.” Those five words, or others that convey the same meaning, can have a strange effect on our expectations for a film. Suspension of disbelief isn’t necessary since the story, minus vague parts of it that may been changed for dramatic effect, actually happened. That idea seems to stick in the back of our minds as an audience, informing our constant judgements on the film’s qualities. But what if a film doesn’t start with those oft-maligned words? Well, then that film should have to operate in some realm of believability wherein it establishes rules by which it then plays. Unfortunately, Hours feels like a ‘based on a true story’ film that gets bogged down by reality and Paul Walker‘s acting.

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