Life as We Know It

This Week in Blu-ray

This week’s entry into the world of Blu-ray punditry is sponsored by the letter W, as in WTF. For those following along at home, that’s the internet acronym for “what the f**k?” It’s usually accompanied with a grammatically incorrect smattering of exclamation marks and a comment about how we should all start building an Ark. Quick, someone grab all of the typing cats. We wouldn’t want to lose those in the flood! Yes, this week is bringing about the apocalypse for plenty of reasons: horror movies that make me want to take a shotgun up the colon, dramedies that use David Bowie in strange ways, a Pam Anderson movie that doesn’t take place on a boat, the birth of internet porn and plenty of rape. WTF, indeed. Barb Wire This week’s big pick should be exemplary of the week as a whole. Because what kind of a week would lead me down the path of picking a mid-90s comic book adaptation starring a mostly nude Pamela Anderson — or more to the point, one of the worst movies of all times or any times, including future times. In a sea of releases, there wasn’t much to choose from, so why shouldn’t you head over to your local retailer’s bargain bin (where you’ll undoubtedly already find this gem) and pick up a movie. On your way home, you can go get a barb wire tattoo around your arm and a tramp-stamp on your lower back. It’s classy all the way, this […]

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This Week in DVD

The FSR family is many things. Knowledgeable, opinionated, 99% white males… But the best thing about the collective writers here is their ability to turn my usual grinch-like personality into one that embraces the spirit of giving. I’ve given pickup lines to Robert Fure and written school papers for Landon Palmer. I’ve bought alcohol for Jack Giroux and comfortable shoes for Merrill Barr. I even gave Neil Miller the idea of actually turning his “weekly” Blu-ray column into a weekly Blu-ray column. But now I’m finally getting something in return. I’ve stolen Miller’s brand new “PICK OF THE WEEK” concept as well as his idea of including titles I haven’t seen yet but still have an opinion about. Presumptuous? Probably. But you can handle it. If you can’t, feel free to give Cole Abaius a pruning with a pair of rusty shears. Wild Target Emily Blunt stars as a petty thief who rips off the wrong guy (Rupert Everett) and finds herself targeted for murder. The hitman (Bill Nighy) hired to kill her falls for her quirky criminal tendencies instead, and soon the two are on the run alongside a hapless ginger (Rupert Grint). This is lightweight entertainment to be sure and isn’t necessarily worth a purchase, but it’s still a lot of fun and doesn’t deserve to get lost in the DVD shuffle. It has a loose and casual spirit, Blunt and Grint get to cut loose and act zany, and Nighy is just fantastic as the aged hitman […]

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The Reject Report

As Admiral Ackbar so phlegmingly exclaimed, “It’s a trap!” You sit down in your seat at the movie theater to see the latest (last?) Saw film, you put on your 3D glasses, this triggers a wire to pull which drops a marble down a shoot which knocks over a pin which falls onto a switch which turns some gears which opens a doorway which allows a bowling ball to roll out which bumps into and starts a lawn mower which blows up and pops a balloon which causes a chicken to lay an egg which turns some more gears which opens Mikey’s front gate which turns some levers which opens a trap door which drops millions upon millions of dollars into Lionsgate’s pockets. That’s how that works. At least, I think it’s how it works. Maybe I shouldn’t be covering box office reports.

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The Reject Report

Two weekends in a row. Two cultural phenomena (as well as entries into a highly successful franchise) exploding into theaters. After Jackass 3-D broke October records last weekend, you might have thought movie goers would take a break, kick back as the weather gets cooler, and maybe carve out a jack-o-lantern. Nonsense, says the pool cleaner-hating demon! Get those people into theaters and let them feel the terror all for themselves. That’s precisely what millions upon millions of people did this weekend, as Paranormal Activity 2 opened to the fifth highest October opening in history. It now also holds the highest October opening for a horror film, beating out the $39.1 million The Grudge opened to in 2004. With a budget of only $3 million, you can be certain Paramount will be green lighting Paranormal Activity 3 in a matter of minutes.

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The Reject Report

Holy bungee jumping outhouse, Batman. $50 million can buy a lot of stitches for the painful stunts and soap for the gross ones. That’s how much money Jackass 3-D made this weekend, a new record for any October opening. We knew it was going to be big, and there was all likelihood it would end up coming out on top this weekend. However, now, in 2010, a decade after the original show premiered on MTV, the Jackass boys are riding stronger than ever. This could say so much about our nation. Do we like watching people humiliate, hurt, and horrify themselves for 90 minutes? Or is Jackass 3-D a welcomed release, the ultimate form of escapism that only comes our way every four years? This raises another question. Would the Jackass films be this successful if they were to come fast and furious like the Saw or Twilight series? Does that four-year gap between Jackass films help build the excitement for the next all the more, or does the gap stifle the sating of a public that would feast on it 24/7 if offered to them? The underlying, real-world implications and what this says about our culture (along with how this makes other countries view us) aren’t my forte. I’ll leave that to Landon. I’m just here to talk numbers, thank you.

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The Reject Report

Because everything regarding Facebook hasn’t had enough success, The Social Network comes in the money for the second weekend in a row, taking down three new competitors, two of which gave it a decent run for its well-deserved money. Regardless, David Fincher and crew were able to pull it out, and The Social Network is well on its way to becoming as successful financially as it already is critically. Life As We Know It and Secretariat were able to make respectable numbers this weekend, even though they both were down a bit from expectation. With Life As We Know It, Katherine Heigl has her lowest opening in more than three years, a possible sign that her fresh date has already come and gone. Secretariat wasn’t able to live up to its potential, either, even though that third-place showing came to fruition right on target.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr horses around this week with the legendary racehorse from the 1970s, hoping he too can go home with Diane Lane. After racing out to see Secretariat, he wonders if Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel would be anything more than a pretty couple. Then he gets down on his knees and prays: “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I beg you skip My Soul to Take.”.

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The Reject Report

Now I lay me down to sleep, yadda yadda yadda, Wes Craven’s still making movies. His latest hits this weekend, it’s in RealD, so you know it’s good, and it’s headed up against two films that probably have 100% less dismemberment and graphic violence against teens. Those movies, Life As We Know It and Secretariat (okay, there could be a subplot about that horse trampling some teens, and that would win it a few more fans), will more than likely favor better than My Soul to Take, but the real question is if any of them have the strength to take Fincher’s The Social Network off its friend-requesting mountaintop.

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We realize that you’re probably sitting at home right now, chewing your own nails off and wondering what movies are coming out this month. Maybe you’re even wondering why no one on the entire internet has said anything about them by now. Strange, we know. Fortunately, Rob Hunter and Cole Abaius spent the entire month of September searching EBSCO Host, making phone calls to important producers and making fan trailers out of peanut butter and marshmallows to make sure that you, dear reader, are in the know about what’s coming out in October. Wondering why it’s a few days late? Because we don’t run it until it’s perfect. Or something. Anyway, just check out the movies to see what you wanna see.

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There’s something perfect about the sass-filled sex pot of Mad Men joining a film directed by a man who said that “art [was] an act of violence.” There’s nothing poppy and light about Christina Hendricks’s show, but it’s downright froth compared to the madness that was Nicolas Winding Refn’s Bronson. It’ll be great to see what they have in store for each other. Refn’s next project is Drive – a film starring Ryan Gosling as a stunt driver who moonlights as a getaway driver (because even stunt driving aint payin’ the bills these days). It also features the brilliant Albert Brooks, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston and, now (according to Variety), Christina Hendricks. It won’t be her first feature film role, but it will be her second major after she’s seen in Life As We Know It – which sounds like a Sundance film but is actually a Katherine Heigl rom-com.

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Over the years, it’s likely that you’ve become accustomed to disregarding any romantic comedy starring Katherine Heigl. However, this Greg Berlanti directed comedy Life As We Know It might be her saving grace.

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christina-hendricks-1

Mad Men star and actress who I think should play anything (including Barbarella), Christina Hendricks is getting some work — which is good, because as I mentioned, she’s a damn good actress.

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