Tell No One

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Silent Night It’s Christmas time in a small town, but instead of holiday cheer the streets are filled with blood. A masked Santa Claus is roaming town, finding those who’ve been naughty and ending their lives in violent and often gory ways. Steven C. Miller‘s remake of the nasty 80s original keeps the violence and mayhem but adds both personality and humor with the result being a fun slasher that vastly improves on Silent Night, Deadly Night. Jaime King brings charm and some serious heroine chops to the proceedings, and she’s joined by Malcolm McDowell, Donal Logue and Ellen Wong. That’s right, the most underrated player in Scott Pilgrim finally got another job! Horror fans will be pleased with and surprised by this early Christmas present, so if you’ve missed its (very brief) theatrical window it’s definitely worth picking up on Blu-ray/DVD.[Extras: Behind the scenes, deleted scenes]

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The recent revelation that Chris Columbus will be producing a US-based, English-language remake of Troll Hunter was met with everything from mild irritation to outright derision. A typical report of the news included 1) a statement that the original is great/awesome 2) a question of whether this really needed a remake 3) a comment that Hollywood was craven and unoriginal and, for a select few pieces, 4) swear words. My own take was fairly neutral (much like my reaction to Andre Ovredal‘s film), which prompted at least half an email asking me why I was giving this one a pass after years of making up clever insults at the expense of anyone attempting a remake. After some soul-searching, it was clear that I had either made peace with the recent glut of remakes or been beaten into submission by it. Either way, I’m tired of complaining about remakes, and here’s why.

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Ben Affleck is two for two as a director with both Gone Baby Gone and The Town being damn fine pieces of entertainment. They share a common denominator though beyond simple quality and Affleck’s name on the director’s chair… they’re both adaptations of solid mystery/thriller novels. His third film looks to be based upon a real-life incident involving lies, film-making, and the CIA, but he’s already lining up a fourth that returns to the formula that’s worked so well for him so far. According to Deadline Punxsutawney, Affleck has signed on to direct an adaptation of one of Harlan Coben’s best-selling mysteries. Awesome news isn’t it? Did I mention the mystery in question is Tell No One? Yup, that’s right… the first Coben book to get the Hollywood treatment is the only Coben book that’s already been adapted. But hey, it was made into a French movie, so that doesn’t count. Except that French movie was one of 2006′s best foreign language films (my review here) and a huge hit both in Europe and the US (relatively speaking for a subtitled movie). Fucking Hollywood.

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Tell No One is a fast-paced, twist-filled, and highly engaging thriller from American writer Harlan Coben, and like many of his books it seems tailor made for adaptation into an entertaining and suspenseful action film. At least the French thought so, and in 2006 French writer/director Guillaume Canet did just that. Tell No One, the film, was a huge hit in Europe, won several awards, and even managed a very respectable box-office return (for a foreign language film) here in the US. So you knew a US remake couldn’t be too far behind…

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This week, Landon uses a trip to the bar to watch the World Cup as a catalyst for discussing nationality (and a lack of it) in films throughout the last 60 years – culminating in a look of the broad, international flavor (and financing) of modern films.

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tellnoone_1

Despite the obvious negativity conveyed in perhaps the worst headline of all time (see above), I actually don’t feel one way or the other about Miramax busting out an English-language version of Tell No One. As long as there are French subtitles.

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2008review-foreign

I’ve been tasked with presenting the Top Ten Foreign Films (and while you may think that some of my choices are mistaken as well, you would in fact be mistaken). You may also notice that it differs substantially from other foreign film ‘best of’ lists…

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A wise man once said, “French films are… too French.” For those who agree, here’s a list of eleven French films that will make you want to break out your DVD player’s poor, neglected subtitle option.

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Tell No One

Foreign Objects travels the world of international cinema each week to highlight films worth visiting. So renew your passport, get your shots, and brush up on the local age of legal consent, this week we’re heading to… France!

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published: 04.20.2014
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published: 04.20.2014
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published: 04.20.2014
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published: 04.20.2014
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