Kidnapped

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Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Kidnapped Four men weighed down with stolen loot try to make their escape, but when one of their own is gunned down the remaining three take hostages in their bid for freedom. They end up in a car with a woman, a man, and the man’s son as they force the hostages to drive them out of the city. As the hours tick by the tension builds as to what will happen and who will survive the getaway. Director Mario Bava took a break from his usual horrific fare to make this tight and somewhat claustrophobic thriller, and the result is one of his most entertaining films. Much of the movie is a fairly traditional setup that puts in place certain expectations, but Bava and writer Alessandro Parenzo are far more interested in subversion and true suspense than they are in fulfilling cliches. The ending alone makes this one worth seeing, and the film itself is a nearly lost gem worth owning. It also doesn’t hurt that Kino Classics’ Blu-ray transfer is absolutely stunning. [Blu-ray extras: Trailers]

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This Week in DVD

It’s the last DVD release week of November, and judging by the stellar releases out today it’s fair to say Christmas has come early. There are several titles, big and small, deserving of a purchase or at least a rent, and they’re pretty widespread genre-wise too. Some of the week’s offerings include Tucker & Dale vs Evil, Our Idiot Brother, Friends with Benefits, 30 Minutes or Less and more. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Another Earth The unfortunately named Rhoda (Brit Marling) is a bright high-school graduate with a limitless future, but on the night a new planet is discovered in the night sky above she celebrates a bit too hard and smashes her car into a family of three. A few years later, Rhoda is released from prison and makes an attempt at an apology to the man (William Mapother) she injured and whose wife and child she killed. Communication with the new planet has also revealed that it is a mirror image of our own as far as geography and population, but that different choices there may have given way to different events. Marling co-wrote this intriguing and often mesmerizing sc-fi/drama with director Mike Cahill, and while the logic and explanation behind the science fiction aspects are woefully lacking the drama, character work and “what if?” scenarios are excellent. As she does in the somewhat superior Sound of My Voice Marling brings an ethereal and fragile presence to […]

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The Reject Report

In darkened theaters… In brightest lobbies… Yeah, I’m not finishing that. Instead I’m looking forward at what’s in those darkened theaters this weekend. We have Green Lantern. We have Mr. Popper’s Penguins. We also have the returning Super 8 looking to hold onto that nostalgia for one more weekend. One of these is sure to come out on top of the heap. The other two will be submerged into a vat of self-pity. Unless the winner is the penguin movie. Then all three films as well as American audiences should really take a hard look in the mirror and gauge their worth. But I’m not judging. It’s the Reject Report, and no evil shall escape our site. Lame.

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Updated: The original, poorly dubbed trailer has been replaced by a subtitled version that’s much, much, much better. Huzzah! Original Post: First of all, the dubbing in this trailer is terrible. It’s laughably bad, as most dubbing is. Please ignore it. For if you do, you’ll get a much better experience of a gripping, increasingly tense trailer. Miguel Angel Vivas’s Kidnapped takes a very familiar conceit and seeks to squeeze every ounce of fear out of it. A group of criminals takes a family hostage in their home and forces the credit cards out of their pockets. Unfortunately, crime doesn’t pay, because (unlike the morons in Funny Games) this family fights back. Apparently, there will be blood.

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, Rob Hunter drops by after surviving Fantastic Fest in order to recap a few movies that fans need to keep an eye out for. Then, filmmaker Kirby Ferguson gives us some insight to his Everything Is A Remix project. Listen Here: Download This Episode

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I have two fears that have plagued me for years. One involves peanut butter, my dog, and a Kathy Griffin-induced priapism. That’s probably the less likely of the two. The second though is grounded in reality and involves the terrifying concept of home invasions. Kidnapped is not about a mutt licking peanut butter off of an erect penis. But it is about the sudden violence inherent in being the victim of a home invasion. A family is held hostage, restrained, and terrorized, and it’s the kind of seemingly random event that could happen to anyone. It makes for an incredibly suspenseful and tense affair that takes the audience into a brutal but rewarding nightmare… at least until the final sixty seconds when the filmmakers take a giant shit on the audience’s collective face.

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This evening, in a ceremony held at the world famous Alamo Drafthouse theater in Austin, TX and emceed by Drafthouse founder and CEO Tim League (a very pink-haired Tim League, to be exact), the winners of the Fantastic Fest 2010 jury and audience awards were announced. According to the official press release, the juries were “comprised of some of the most esteemed filmmakers, critics, festival directors and show biz people in the industry. Their thoughtful deliberations provided the following acknowledgments of cinematic excellence in all things Fantastic.” One of these juries included yours truly, so esteemed might be a stretch. At least for me. Everyone else was quite esteemed. Alas, check out the award winners after the jump.

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And the hits keep right on coming… and by “hits” I mean awesome movie announcements from Fantastic Fest 2010′s already incredible film schedule. The first wave of titles was announced last month and included several highly anticipated films like Let Me In, Ip Man 2, Golden Slumber, Outrage, Red Hill, and more. Earlier today the second round of titles was released, and as expected the list of upcoming movies represents probably the greatest gift to mankind since pizza. Fantastic Fest 2010 runs from September 23rd through September 30th. The official press announcement is below…

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