Pusher

discs hansel gretel get baked

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Hansel & Gretel Get Baked Gretel (Molly Quinn) and her boyfriend have a case of the munchies and decide to bake some treats, but knowing they’ll have to wait for the goodies to be done they decide he should head out for more weed. He decides to seek out the city’s newest strain, “Black Forest,” and goes straight to the source… a little old lady (Lara Flynn Boyle) with a green thumb and witchy tendencies. When he disappears it’s up to Gretel and her brother Hansel to get to the bottom of this nasty little fairy tale. Low expectations can never really hurt a movie (unless they cause you not to see it in the first place), but they still can’t be solely credited with my enjoyment of this horror comedy. Some of the jokes are predictably bad (cops at a donut shop!) but several more land successfully and earn real laughs. Even better, there’s actually some truly fun gore effects to be found here too. Bottom line, this isn’t destined to become your new favorite, but you’d be hard pressed to find a more entertaining Hansel & Gretel movie this year. Take that, Hawkeye. [Blu-ray extras: None]

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Pusher Review

Editor’s note: The Pusher remake hits limited screens today, so please imbibe this quality review from our Fantastic Fest coverage, first posted on September 30, 2012. Despite what many movie fans might tell you, remakes are not inherently evil. Some movies had good ideas but couldn’t execute them properly, some could use a facelift, and some were great the first time but simply fell victim to the studio’s desire to cash in. Remakes have a bit of a tough road. First off, the they need to do what any movie needs to do: put together a good story and good performances with good cinematography. These are simply the basic building blocks of good films. But a remake has baggage, it has people’s expectations hoisted upon it. And so a remake, unlike a film based on an original idea, must also justify its own existence. Sadly, Luis Prieto‘s Pusher only manages to accomplish one of the two.

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When Frank (Richard Coyle) gets word of a big deal that could help him step up in his drug dealing business, he decides to take the risk and borrows £50,000 worth of drugs from a big kingpin named Milo (Zlatko Buric). Of course, something goes wrong, and Frank leaves the deal without the drugs or the money. As a conciliation prize, he’s got a crazed Eastern European gangster on his ass and a shiny new goal to stay alive through the week. If, after seeing Pusher, all that can be said to describe it is that it is mediocre, there isn’t much else to say. Luis Prieto took Nicolas Winding Refn’s 1996 film and made it into a story that could only work if the momentum generated by the barrage of bad decisions made by Frank throughout was great enough to keep the audience’s adrenaline pumping. However, the film’s constant use of bad characters, including a ridiculously over the top Milo, leaves something more to be desired.

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TIFF 2012 Header

Editor’s Note: We’ve asked a Jamaican to go to Canada to cover the movies of TIFF 2012. Andrew Robinson, whose work you can check out over at his blog, has obliged and will be filling us all in on the antics in the Great White North. Here’s his first missive. Any day now I’ll be on a plane heading to Toronto for the very first time in order to attend a film festival for the very first time. I’ve been excited to attend the Toronto International Film Festival (affectionately known as TIFF) for the past three years, and now it’s finally happening. Before we dive into this list, which honestly cannot do the festival’s amazing looking lineup any justice, I will give a couple caveats. It’s based on my confirmed schedule, and therefore two films which I’m genuinely excited for but will not be able to see (Rian Johnson’s Looper and Michael Haneke’s Amour) are not on it; it’s also in no sort of ordered preference. So with that out of the way and with all the excitement being thrown around, let’s take a quick look at the films that I’m most excited for:

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There’s a solid chance that you haven’t heard of most of these movies. Yet they exist – out there somewhere as a thorn in the side of movie fans trying to see as much as possible. Nuggets of potential waiting to be picked up from the movie orphanage by a distributor and given a warm home with cup holders in every seat. The European Film Market is fascinating for that reason and for the way people attend it. Tickets this year were around $600, but that’s a reasonable price for companies sending representatives trying to find the next moneymaker for their company or the hot movie to bring to their festival. That means screenings come complete with people on cell phones and unimpressed buyers walking out after ten minutes to hustle next door to see if the other movie playing has any promise to it. It’s a bizarre way to watch movies, but it makes a kind of sense given the massive size of the movie list compared to the tiny amount of time to see everything. There were upwards of 675 movies in the EFM this year, all of them with their own selling points. Here are the 87 most interesting-sounding with descriptions found in the official catalog. For the most part, I haven’t seen these movies (and didn’t even know about many of them until the Berlin Film Festival), but they all have something going for them that should earn them a spot on your radar.

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What is Movie News at Sunrise? Due to some site maintenance late last night, Movie News After Dark could not be completed before it was my bed time. So I’m up early to bring you its cousin, Movie News At Sunrise. This slightly less witty, marginally more tired column should serve as the perfect pinch-hitter just in time for your morning commute. Powered by a Chick-fil-a breakfast sandwich and a hope that spelling errors will be kept to a minimum at this ungodly hour, I am here to bring you the news. Director Sam Raimi has cast Rachel Weisz as an evil witch in Oz: The Great and Powerful. She will star opposite James Franco and alongside Mila Kunis. They will play Evanora and Theodora, respectively. Weisz’s Evanora, however, becomes the Wicked Witch of the East. Sadly, we all know how things work out for her. For Raimi, the remaining major character to be cast is Glinda, the Good Witch of the North. Olivia Wilde, Amy Adams, Kate Beckinsale, Keira Knightley and Rebecca Hall are said to be on the shortlist. Hall sounds like an awesome choice, to me.

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NicolasWindingRefn

Nicolas Winding Refn is a great filmmaker. He’s also an avid toy collector and a man obsessed with violence and criminals. Watch how these things come together as we enter the mind of the man who gave us Bronson.

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