Sleepless Night

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! I’m at Fantastic Fest in Austin, TX! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Damsels In Distress A newcomer at Seven Oaks College is guided through her year by a trio of erudite girls determined show her the light of socializing, reason and dating beneath her station. It’s to defend your love Greta Gerwig when she seems to end up in fairly shitty movies more often than not, but the odds favored her starring in a true winner eventually. That time has come thanks to Whit Stillman’s smart, funny and somewhat satirical look at modern day college life. Gerwig plays the trio’s leader and the one who most believes their own brand of bull, and it’s a joy to watch her play with such loose and casually humorous dialogue. Adam Brody has a small role, but it’s enough to remind us all that he should be headlining more comedies. Also available on DVD. Check out Kate Erbland’s full review. [Extras: Commentary, featurettes, deleted scenes, outtakes]

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Finally, readers, the summer movie season is upon us. So far this year has been solid, but sorely lacking in mega-blockbusters. John Carter did not deliver for the fifteen people who saw it and The Hunger Games, as successful and good as it was, wasn’t an epic actioner or packed with real spectacle. Yet there’s much promise in the action department for the summer of 2012, and it’s starting off just right, with something we’ve all been anticipating. Hopefully the rest of the summer will follow that film’s mighty lead…

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What’s always most exciting about film festivals is the range of different films available for watching and enjoying – all within the same period of time, and often in the same venues. That’s just as evident as ever in this year’s Tribeca Film Festival line-up, a festival that has kicked off with The Five-Year Engagement, will end with The Avengers, and will show over 200 films in between. Our first round of Tribeca reviews only highlights that variety of films, as it include a French actioner, an true American independent, and a dramedy about ladies of the night. After the break, check out mini reviews for Sleepless Night, Supporting Characters, and Elles – all very different Tribeca Film Festival films, and all films likely to find their own unique audiences in the Big Apple and beyond.

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If you’re just catching up with us, Junkfood Cinema head honcho Brian Salisbury and I have made the dubiously sane decision to trek 20+hours across the country to attend ActionFest, an upstart film festival focusing exclusively on badass action films. It’s a long drive from Austin to beautiful Asheville, NC, but we’ve made it relatively unscathed and have two full days and 9 fest films under our collective belt. You can read about those first two days here and here. It is with little sleep and much caffeine that we make our way back to the Carolina theater for the third and final day of ActionFest 2012! We started day 3 with the first of 2 secret screenings on the ActionFest schedules. Rumors were flying, even as we were in line, but none turned out to be correct. The film was Sleepless Night which had previously played Toronto and our own beloved Fantastic Fest. Brian had already seen it so he went up the lounge to “work” (I’m fairly certain he drank beer and ate chicken). Despite trying to see it twice at Fantastic Fest, circumstances conspired to keep me from seeing the last 30-40 minutes or so. OK fine, the first time I just fell asleep. In any event, my dad and I stuck around for the French flick to which Warner Bros. has already purchased the remake rights. We rushed out as the credits rolled and managed to only miss the first minute or two of Goon. Yeah, […]

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Earlier this week, our own Cole Abaius announced the first wave of this year’s Tribeca Film Festival‘s film lineup. That assault was impressive enough, complete with lots of compelling picks in the World Narrative Feature Competition, World Documentary Feature Competition
, and Viewpoints sections, but today’s release of the final feature film sections is a whole other volley of firepower. With today’s announcement of their Spotlight, Cinemania, Special Screenings, and the 2012 Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival, the fest has completed their feature announcements – and made me start to wonder if I should try to hit Gotham for the festival, running April 18 – 29. Picks that stand out to me already include the delightful 2 Days in New York, Chicken With Plums, Don’t Stop Believin': Everyman’s Journey, The Giant Mechanical Man, Headshot, Lola Versus, Take This Waltz, Your Sister’s Sister, and Sleepless Night. Check out the full list of films (along with Tribeca-provided synopses) after the break.

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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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You want big things to happen to your little movie? The secret seems to be to get it in as an entry to TIFF’s Midnight Madness program. The good news just keeps rolling in for films that played at midnight at this year’s festival. First up for a Hollywood remake was director Gareth Evans’s Indonesian SWAT team movie The Raid, which was very nearly just one non-stop action sequence. Then there was news that Adam Wingard’s home invasion horror flick You’re Next was being purchased by Lionsgate and set up for a wide release. And now Midnight Madness hits the hat trick, as THR reports that director Frédéric Jardin’s French thriller Sleepless Night is next in line for an English language remake. Sleepless Night is the story of a dad, a drug deal, dirty cops, a stabbing, a kidnapped son, a big bag of cocaine, and a nightclub all coming together to create chaos. Like The Raid, it’s getting a lot of comparisons to Die Hard because it’s full of action and takes place mostly in one setting.

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