The Beaver

This Week in Blu-ray

This Week in Blu-ray we take a late look at some of the best releases from four days ago, and eleven days ago. Okay, so it’s been a boring fortnight in Blu-ray, so were combining two weeks worth of coverage into one shot of high definition adrenaline. In this long list, however, you will find plenty of stuff worth your time and money. This includes a definitive release for The Dude, an adventure with Trolls, some time spent with everyone’s favorite serial killer and a few under-the-radar, direct-to-DVD films that are worth watching at least once. The Big Lebowski For The Dude shall get the release he so deserves. That’s how I would assume it is written in the Book of Lebowski. And that’s what we have here: the Blu-ray release — for the most part — The Dude has deserved all along. Not only is the Coen Brothers’ most popular cult hit presented in crisp, dynamically transferred and near-perfect HD, it is also presented with a few new special features. The packaging isn’t as impressive as the DVD edition I have on my display shelf that comes inside a bowling ball, but I’m willing to look past that for this particular release. It’s a great movie and this is a very good Blu-ray release. There is some HD-exclusive content, including a picture-in-picture commentary track and an interactive pop-up trivia track. It also comes with Digital Copy, because you never know when you might want to bust out Lebowski and […]

read more...

This Week in DVD

After some lackluster weeks in the DVD department today sees a pretty solid selection of titles. Even better for viewers is the fact that some of this week’s best releases are movies you probably missed in theaters… if they even hit theaters. Our pick of the week for example never had a theatrical run in the States, but it’s an absolutely brilliant film from actor/director Peter Mullan. The two other titles with Buy recommendations saw a limited release and deserve better than the small number of viewers they received. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. NEDS (Non Educated Delinquents) Peter Mullan directs this drama about growing up in the rough and tumble world of 1970s Glasgow Scotland. We first meet young John McGill around the age of thirteen, and while he’s the head of his class in smarts every other aspect of his life seems stacked against him. His father is an abusive drunk, his older brother is an infamous thug, and the choice between being bullied by a gang or joining one is really no choice at all. Mullan, who wrote and co-stars as well, has crafted a fantastic film highlighting one boy’s early life, and while these kinds of movies can often feel too bleak and oppressive he manages to accentuate the drama with heart, humor, and honest suspense. And the final shot is wild.

read more...

Whether you’re trying to avoid the releases this week or augment them with even more movies, Your Alternate Box Office offers some options for movies that would play perfectly alongside of (or instead of) the stuff studios are shoving into the megaplex this weekend. This week features a hammer-wielding Norse God from the pages of Marvel, a woman who can’t keep her hands off her friend’s fiance, and a crazed Mel Gibson with a puppet on his hand.

read more...

Last summer was a good (not great) movie season. Granted, there were some notorious duds with Robin Hood, Jonah Hex, Avatar: The Last Whatever-It’s-Called, the one where Jake Gyllenhaal talked real funny and had his shirt off a lot, and many, many others. And, of course, there were some rather disappointing missed opportunities (*COUGH* Iron Man 2 *COUGH*). But overall, it was a solid time for both big event films and the smaller ones. There were two excellent high profile films (Toy Story 3, Inception) and a handful of great little-seen ones (Animal Kingdom, Cyrus, Solitary Man, etc.). And who could forget about Scott Pilgrim vs. the World? This summer will most likely be no different. There are a few films not to get too excited about, but there are plenty of other films to get tingly about. There are two Marvel films, a new frickin’ Terrence Malick epic, a great looking new X-Men…the list goes on and on. In fact, the list goes on right now with the 15 Must See Movies of Summer 2011:

read more...

The opening shot of The Beaver is of a pool on a sunny day. A body drifts through the frame, slowly, on a raft. It’s Mel Gibson doing his best impression of a starship and The Beaver doing its best impression of Star Wars. It’s kind of a foreboding image. Walter Black isn’t doing so well. He’s depressed. But, more than that, he’s depressed to the point where he has completely checked out on his job and family. He has somehow reached such a hopeless state that he has sat passively and watched his once great toy company fall into financial straits, and his once loving family become isolated from one another. We are never explicitly told what has led to Walter’s current state, but The Beaver is mostly a film that focuses on the present moment. The past exists here as a ghost, haunting the characters and coloring their actions, but only half remembered and never spoken of. The big gimmick of the film, if you haven’t seen any of the advertising, is that Gibson’s character begins to deal with his inner turmoil by speaking through a plush beaver puppet and using a voice that sounds like Michael Caine in a bar fight. Much of the film details the phases of Walter’s beaver experiment; the initial shock, the turnaround when The Beaver starts helping Walter get his life back together, and then the darker stuff that comes as his mental state degrades again. If you saw only the ads, […]

read more...

Summit Entertainment has passed along to us an exclusive look at the first TV spot for Jodie Foster’s The Beaver, starring Mel Gibson. As is the case with the film, it’s not all fun and games — there’s a somber, bittersweet tone to the story of Walter Black (Gibson), a man who must use a hand-puppet that talks like Ray Winstone in order to communicate with the people he loves. As I mentioned in my review from SXSW, the film finds laughs in the situation, but balances it perfectly with the drama of a family in turmoil. The performances from Mel Gibson and Anton Yelchin, who plays his son, are worth the price of admission alone. You can see a bit of it all in the 30-second spot found after the jump.

read more...

As the first question points out from the Jodie Foster roundtable at SXSW, the trailer for The Beaver is truly a disservice to the film. While a decent piece of marketing material, it really does showcase the film as a fluffy drama, and The Beaver isn’t that. Foster’s film is a dark, sad, witty, and poignant — factors that Neil’s review perfectly captured — story about depression and isolation, and how there’s no such thing as quick fix for that. Summit can’t be having an easy time selling trying to sell this film. Not only for the obvious reason that I’ll refrain from mentioning, but for the simply reason that it’s difficult to accurately pitch a film like this in a two-minute time frame. Tonally, Foster goes for odd and not-so-commercial plays. Here’s what Director and star Jodie Foster had to say about marketing, commercialism, symbolism, and more:

read more...

So, we now know most of which films will screen in the two major competitions at Cannes this year, and a few out of competition titles as well (including one huge shock for me). Here’s the list in full — great to see The Beaver, and a host of huge-name directors in competition like Von Trier, Almodovar and Miike — and you can expect my commentary to follow soon. Opening Film Midnight In Paris (dir. Woody Allen) Out of Competition The Beaver (dir. Foster) La Conquete (dir. Xavier Durringer) The Artist (dir. Hazanavicius) Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (dir. Rob Marshall)

read more...

The Beaver is just as much Anton Yelchin‘s film as it is Mel Gibson‘s. Jodie Foster‘s film is an ensemble piece, and all the leads – not just Walter Black (Mel Gibson) – are suffering from some form of depression. The greatest fear of Yelchin’s character, Porter, is becoming just like his father. He doesn’t understand Walter, and Porter doesn’t understand himself as well. The character is so uncomfortable in his own voice that he makes a living off other people’s voices; Porter writes school papers for others. Small character devices similar to that truly add a lot to the film. Being so afraid of becoming his father, Porter even has 5o-something post-its planted on his wall filled with their similarities, so he can avoid doing them. Here’s what Anton Yelchin had to say about the SXSW reaction to the film, the notecards, and his character’s relationship with Norah (Jennifer Lawrence):

read more...

This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, we talk SXSW with the Reject team and find out why Netflix is doing what they’re doing. Gigaom site editor Ryan Lawler joins us to help makes sense of why Netflix would get into the distribution game with House of Cards and what it might mean for the future. Joe Nicolosi (who made that video of the girl retelling Star Wars without seeing it and that Super Mario indie short film the kids are talking about), discusses the perils of the SXSW softball game, how he got the job making all the bumpers that play before the movies, his creative process, and the beauty of film festivals. Neil and Rob dust off the SXSW from their chaps to tell us about their favorite films and the movies that will coming to a theater near you. Plus, Kate Erbland from Gordon and The Whale and Scott Weinberg from Twitch Film go head-to-head in our movie news quiz, and we all end up talking about Cameron Crowe and the power of nostalgia. Loosen up your tie and stay a while.

read more...

Ten minutes in to Jodie Foster’s The Beaver, you may forget that you’re watching Mel Gibson. In light of all the things that have happened to Gibson off-screen, this is probably a good thing. But more importantly, it is something that any actor sets out to accomplish in every role they play: total immersion. It’s that immersion that makes this one of Gibson’s best performances to date. Could it be the best performance we’ve ever seen from him? That’s for history to decide. But this one is damn good. And it’s made better by the well-crafted film that surrounds him.

read more...

What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

read more...

So you’ve eaten at Pita Pit and Best Wurst (because there’s nothing wrong with two lunches) and you’re scoping out theaters ready to get more movies on, but you have no idea what you’re going to see. That teary indie drama or that ridiculous sci-fi comedy? You don’t know do you? And you can’t figure it out on your own for some reason. Fortunately, we’ve created this handy guide to help you in your time of duress. Use it wisely. There’s no chance it’ll send you to the porno theater across the highway, so if you end up there, it’s on you.

read more...

What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

read more...

There are 130 films this year at Austin’s SXSW, and 60 of them being world premieres. When you scroll down the list of the films showing there, 99% of them you’ve never heard of before. Only a handful stick out that you actually know about or have eagerly (or mildly…) been anticipating. The films at the fest that currently are the most exciting for us are also the most high profile. That’s not to say there won’t be far superior little known flicks playing there – there most definitely will be – but the big ones showing are always the early attention grabbers. We’ll be running a bigger and more comprehensive list of SXSW must-sees closers to the fest, which is basically when we’ll have more info on the films there that aren’t being released by Universal or Summit. But as of right now, here are a few features that already got our excitement on high. As for those of you interested right now in knowing more about those 130 films, check out the full list here.

read more...

The Week That Was

It’s been another awesome week here at Film School Rejects. We launched several new columns, including our first action-centric weekly romp (Bullet Points), a feature focused on Cole Abaius and Landon Palmer’s IM conversations (Talking Heads) and our two new dailies (Vintage Trailer and News After Dark) are going strong. The hard work is happening, and hopefully you’ve noticed. If not, that’s okay. You will soon. For now, lets focus on the best articles of the week as we explore The Week That Was.

read more...

If you want to be one of the first people on the planet to see Mel Gibson with a puppet on his hand and a psychological block on his brain, you’ll want to head down to SXSW this year. In fact, you might want to be there anyway because 1) there are always some stellar movies 2) there’s a great gyro place right down the street and 3) we’ll be there. The Beaver will get its world premiere there, as will Paul. Two highly anticipated movies that will have their first real audiences before seeing wide release later in the Spring. The rest of the list (of films so far announced) includes a ghostly thriller from Ti West, Conan O’Brien’s ability to go all night long, and proof that John Melloncamp still exists. All of these films will join the ranks of the opening night movie – Source Code.

read more...

Hope springs eternal. As we round the bases of another year, it’s important to let the average and outright crappy slough off and realize that we’re all standing on the precipice of another year of movies. The future stretches out before us full of possibilities. That cheesy trailer you saw last week could end up producing your favorite film of the year. That epic blockbuster you’ve been waiting for could be bigger than you ever imagined. There’s hope for everything, but there’s also expectation, which is why Rob Hunter, Neil Miller and Cole Abaius painstakingly put together our list of the 30 Most Anticipated Films of 2011. It’s the stuff we’re most looking forward to this year, put together when our hope and optimism is at its peak.

read more...

It would be easy to take the concept of a man using a beaver puppet to recover from a psychological break and use it as emotional slapstick. About as easy as it would be to make a vaginal reference when discussing the title of the film. However, easy jokes aren’t what we’re about, and it’s definitely not what this trailer is about. The trailer for The Beaver takes itself seriously for good reason. The character arc is clearly there – Mel Gibson plays a man on the brink of crippling depression whose wife, played by director Jodie Foster, is pulling away alongside a young son who doesn’t understand and an older son, played by Anton Yelchin, who understands too well. By the looks of it, everyone here is in top drawer performance mode. It’s especially nice to see Yelchin get to stretch a little bit in the Charlie Bartlett vein, but it’s also great to see Gibson and Foster return to the screen for something a bit more substantial. There’s a familiar sort of Regarding Henry feeling to all of it, and that’s a good thing. Plus, with the way they’re flashing around the Oscar pedigree, it’s unclear why they’re releasing it in the Spring. There goes a Best Supporting for the Beaver. Maybe he’ll get another shot in the new Muppet movie. [Apple]

read more...

A spy movie might see the pair reunited after all these years. And this time, Gibson is the one getting too old for this shit.

read more...
NEXT PAGE  
Twitter button
Facebook button
Google+ button
RSS feed

published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+


Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Fantastic Fest 2014
6 Filmmaking Tips: James Gunn
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3