Straight to Video

WWE Studios has had an interesting history. First set up in the hopes that it would be able to develop theatrically released starring vehicles for WWE wrestlers in the action and horror genres, this fledgling wing of Vince McMahon Jr.’s empire has since gone through myriad strategy changes. It’s gone from making R rated films to making PG and PG-13 rated films exclusively, from giving its movies wide releases to giving them straight to video releases, it’s moved away from action and tried its hand at family films and comedies, and most recently it’s even teamed up with Lionsgate to re-boot the Leprechaun franchise. And today the studio announced that they’re going to be adding yet another type of film to their repertoire, by creating an animated feature. Which is an historic announcement indeed, as this new project will be the first time wrestlers have appeared in animated form since Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling hit the television airwaves in the early ’80s.

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The 3D reboot of Piranha from 2010 was one of my favorite movies of that year. And I don’t usually much like horror stuff, especially winky, self-aware horror parody: that means they did something very right. So word of a followup should have been great news. But as soon as Piranha 3DD was announced as re-teaming the creative team behind the Project Greenlight winning horror film Feast rather than re-teaming the creative team that already worked so well together on a Piranha movie, director Alexandre Aja and writers Pete Goldfinger & Josh Stolberg, I was dubious. The next hint that this movie wasn’t going to turn out so great came in October, when Piranha 3DD was scrapped from having its planned November 2011 release and was instead marked with the ominous “sometime in 2012” release date instead. It was starting to look like the writing was on the wall, that Dimension didn’t have much faith in the film and that it was now residing in limbo, probably until an eventual straight to home video release. Well, it looks like the next step toward making that doomed future a reality has happened. It’s looking like the UK has now become the first market to scrap a theatrical release plan for Piranha 3DD in favor of dumping it onto disc. According to the British Video Association website, March 19th is the day it will happen. Unless this is a mistake by the BVA site, this means that not very many people will […]

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Good news for fans of guys who can kick high and have indecipherable accents. Jean Claude Van Damme has got his newest movie lined up and ready to go. Remember how excited everyone was when it was announced that Van Damme would be starring in the new Ernie Barbarash helmed film Assassination Games? Yeah, I don’t either. As a matter of fact, I think my Internet broke when I tried to Google its non-existent IMDB page. Regardless, producer Brad Krevoy is planning on teaming the actor/director duo back up for a new film called Six Bullets. This one would see Van Damme starring as an ex-mercenary kidnapping expert hired by a martial arts fighter to help him find his missing daughter. No, that wasn’t a typo, I actually did write all of those words in a row. I may not have ever heard of Ernie Barbarash, Assassination Games, or seen many of these lower tier Van Damme releases that have come out over the past decade, but I do remember when he played himself in 2008’s JVCD and I found the film to be surprisingly affecting and well made, and Van Damme’s performance to be legitimately nuanced and the best he has ever given in his career. What happened to that? Shouldn’t it have sparked at least one talented director to give this guy a more legit chance at a career resurgence?

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