I Melt With You

This Week in Blu-ray

Tonight! We visit in with some of our favorite whacky Brits as they power through the seventeenth season of one of the greatest reality television programs in the history of time, space and everything else. We explore a historic, beautiful look at cinema’s start through the eyes of contemporary film’s biggest nerd. We watch a 9-foot tall man roundhouse kick an entire country. And we watch Rowan Atkinson continue to spit in the face of reason, churning out more laughs. Also, James May talks to a gurrrl. Top Gear: The Complete Season 17 If you are anything like me, then you’ve never really been much of a gear head or a car freak. That’s okay, we’re simply the kind of people who would rather be in the living room watching a movie than in the garage tinkering around with engine parts. That said, there’s nothing more magnetic to me than the musings of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May. This triumvirate odd couple of motorist journalism is the most consistently entertaining group of hosts you’ll find anywhere on TV. Forget about Idol or The Voice, it’s all about these three middle-aged British men and their clear overcompensation issues. The fact that the BBC allows them to smash up expensive cars, light segments of Sweden on fire and hold monumental tributes to the Jaguar E-Type is all just a bonus in the end. Did I mention that they let celebrities drive around in reasonably priced cars? If you’re not giving […]

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This Week in DVD

Welcome back to This Week In DVD and the last day of February! Well, what should be the last day but is instead actually the 2nd to last thanks to the shenanigans of the evil and gilled Leap Dave Williams. Only one big title hits shelves this week, but it’s an Academy Award winner! Other titles that aren’t named Hugo include a few fantastic and exciting foreign films (The Front Line, Rabies, The Yellow Sea), a few less exciting foreign films (The Conformist, Tomorrow When the War Began, Mandrill) and more! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. I Melt With You Four old college friends (Thomas Jane, Rob Lowe, Christian McKay, Jeremy Piven) get together annually for a drug-fueled weekend, but their latest reunion finds each of them at the lowest point of their lives. All four leads do a fantastic job in this energetic but terribly depressing movie that examines the ideas of failure, depression and expectations at the mid-point of a man’s life. Things tease the point of over-doing it, but the lasting effect is a powerful one as the men face the lives and mistakes they’ve made. Plus Carla Gugino, Arielle Kebbel, and Sasha Grey! Director Mark Pellington has a couple solid films under his belt (Arlington Road and The Mothman Prophecies), but his main career focus seems to be music videos so it’s fitting that his latest film matches the stylish visuals, heavy emotional toll and powerful […]

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr hunkers down and braces for award season. He also prepares for an onslaught of celebrity guest stars in New Year’s Eve, which features a poster that looks like a “Friends available to chat” sidebar on Facebook. In order to watch all the movies for the week, Kevin hires the only babysitter available… Jonah Hill. What could possibly go wrong with that? Fortunately this frees him up to see some of the smaller releases, like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, W.E. and I Melt with You. And he wraps up the week wondering why everyone needs to talk about him.

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, Ben Solovey explains why he’s personally restoring a 16mm print of Manos: The Hands of Fate, one of the worst movies ever made. Plus, I Melt With You director Mark Pellington talks drugs and demons, and it’s Fat Guy Kevin Carr versus Geek Tyrant editor-in-chief Jim Napier in a Movie News Pop Quiz that will change everything forever and ever. Download This Episode

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What happens when four grown men get together for a weekend away from their families and jobs? They turn into drugged-up, sexed-up frat guys! (Naturally?) College buddies Richard (Thomas Jane), Jonathan (Rob Lowe), Ron (Jeremy Piven), and Tim (Christian McKay) come together for a weekend not just away from their lives, but apparently also away from their own minds. As soon as Doctor Jon shows up with his medical bag full of enough pills, powders, and injections to make you the most popular person at an NA meeting, the boys jump down the rabbit hole of excess and never look back. Mark Pellington‘s I Melt With You will make you thankful that most frats (or guys that age) do not have access to expensive toys like cars, boats, cliffside vacation homes, and more drugs than Michael Jackson would even know what to do with (sorry, MJ). I understand escapism and wanting to indulge every so often, but I Melt With You crosses the line from self-destruction into just plain destruction so quickly that it will leave you feeling as if you are reeling from your own all-night bender.

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If you’ve been paying as much attention to the lineup for this year’s AFI FEST as the rest of us Rejects (read: quite a bit), you’ve surely noticed that the festival’s programming is packed with a number of films that have played some of the year’s biggest festivals. If you’re in Southern California, the Hollywood-based (and free) film festival will give you a chance to check out the same films that played at Cannes, Toronto, Berlin, Venice, New York, Fantastic Fest, Sundance, London, and more. It’s like traveling without leaving your own area code, or spending the cold, hard cash it would take to fly halfway around the world. Sounds pretty simple now, huh, shut-in? AFI FEST will run from November 3rd through the 10th in Hollywood, with all screenings taking place at The Chinese, the Chinese 6 Theatres, and the Egyptian Theatre. Tickets for all screenings are free (and available right HERE). The complete schedule grid is online for the festival, which you can check out HERE. After the break, check out 22 festival favorites (and a sampling of some of the other festivals they’ve played) that you may have missed throughout the year. Not sure if they’re worthy of clearing your AFI FEST schedule for? I’ve linked to all of our previous coverage, too, so you really have no excuse.

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As it turns out, I’ve been slightly remiss when it comes to praising this year’s 25th edition of AFI FEST 2011 presented by Audi. I’ve tossed off comments about how the festival gets better with every passing year, but in the wake of today’s announcement of the festival’s Centerpiece Galas and Special Screenings, I’ve realized that I have not gone far enough. AFI FEST has not just gotten better this year, the festival has made a dramatic jump to top-tier status, rolling out titles that play like a cinephile’s Christmas list for 2011. Today’s lineup announcement is essentially a “best-of” list of this year’s festival favorites, including Michel Hazanavicius‘s The Artist, Steve McQueen‘s Shame, Oren Moverman‘s Rampart, Lynne Ramsay‘s We Need to Talk About Kevin, Roman Polanski‘s Carnage, Simon Curtis‘s My Week with Marilyn, Lars von Trier’s Melancholia, Gerardo Naranjo’s Miss Bala, and Wim Wenders‘s Pina. AFI FEST will run from November 3rd through the 10th in Hollywood, with all screenings taking place at The Chinese, the Chinese 6 Theatres, and the Egyptian Theatre. The best part? Tickets for all screenings are free (and available starting October 27). After the break, check out the full list, including descriptions and showtimes, of the films to be featured as AFI FEST Centerpiece Galas and Special Screenings.

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Sundance trainwrecks are of particular interest to me. You would think that a film being accepted into Sundance would somehow guarantee that it would be of of a certain quality – yet, sometimes, that “certain” quality just means “bad.” Or, at least in the case of Mark Pellington‘s I Melt With You, it means divisive and different. At this year’s Sundance Film Festival, a few films became infamous almost immediately, thanks to mass walkouts during screenings - the two most publicized examples were The Son of No One and I Melt With You. Pellington’s film reportedly saw a large number of walkouts during its first press screening at the fest (the number bandied about said to include fifty people, and I can vouch for knowing a number of people who did walk out, though not nearly fifty). I didn’t catch the film at Sundance, but our own music guru Allison Loring did, and said of the film, “it’s like a really long, really fucked up music video, just lots of fast cuts – booze, sex, drugs, booze, craziness, drugs, LOUD MUSIC.” The film centers on four middle-aged buds (Thomas Jane, Jeremy Piven, Christian McKay, and Rob Lowe) who go on a boys’ weekend at Big Sur to blow off some major steam. But there’s a twist. Check out the new red band trailer for I Melt With You after the break. Be ready to prove your age (by way of a very sophisticated drop-down menu).

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Sundance 2011 marks my first time at the festival, and the overwhelming task of having the chance to see literally hundreds of films and shorts makes it a daunting and exciting task to look forward to in my first adventure in snow-capped Park City. Many of these films will only be seen at this one time at the festival and then possibly never again due to various rights, distribution, unseen film politics, or just plain shoddy filmmaking (sad to say). So besides all of that hub-bub, here are the 11 films I can’t wait to see as the year’s festival kicks off from this Thursday, January 20th to the following Sunday of the 30th.

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After initially enjoying the quiet dramatic concept of I Melt With You as well as the directorial work of Mark Pellington, it was inevitable that we’d keep a close eye on any news that came out about the project. After all, four college friends reuniting because of a death/murder pact is interesting territory, and Tom Jane, Jeremy Piven, Rob Lowe, and who we’ve heard is playing the fourth friend are all names to keep on the radar. Now here’s another. Sort of. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sasha Grey is in close talks to co-star in the film as a “free spirit who helps one of the men realize that nirvana can only be achieved by death.” I’ll have to assume that the article meant “interracial gang bang” instead of “death.” This will be a second shot at an acting world that doesn’t involve double penetration, but Grey didn’t exactly wow the pants off of me when she starred in The Girlfriend Experience. She had some moments, but overall her acting skills leave a lot to be desired. The production has also gained television’s Zander Eckhouse as Grey’s character’s writer boyfriend, Abhi Sinha from The Social Network, and Arielle Kebbel.

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If you got a chance to see Henry Poole is Here, then you know how talented director Mark Pellington is and you know how dangerous he is with a low budget. He’ll get a chance to put those talents on display now that Jeremy Piven and Thomas Jane have both signed on to co-star in his latest film, I Melt With You. According to the director, the film is “about four guys and deals with mortality, aging and friendship. It is very dark and very low budget.” Clearly, it sounds like he’s rebooting Grownups. Both actors will be spending time between successful television shows where they use their mouth and member (respectively) to take care of business in order to shoot what looks disappointingly not like a Modern English biopic. Judging by past work and the first cast announcement, I’ll stop the world and go see this one. [Deadline Ft. Lauderdale]

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