The Hunter

This Week in DVD

Welcome back to This Week In DVD! I just moved to Arizona a couple days ago, and I have yet to get carded. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Barbarella (Blu-ray) A leftist pinko astronaut named Barbarella (Jane Fonda) is tasked with finding the origin of Duran Duran’s name and rescuing a lost scientist along the way. Neither plan comes to fruition, but she does manage to use her skill at love-making to help the resistance in their struggle against tyranny, teach an angel to fly, and break a musical dildo machine. (Probably worth reminding readers that my ‘Pick of the Week’ isn’t necessarily reserved for excellent movies or even the week’s best releases, but instead it’s meant to highlight a title worth, well, highlighting.) This boob and innuendo-filled, PG-rated, late-sixties romp is ridiculous and ridiculously entertaining. Cheesy, absurd and pretty damn funny.

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This Week in Blu-ray

Between this week and last, the world of Blu-ray has been rather quiet. Each week provides its own go-to titles, but it’s not quite the deluge of high definition spirit that we’re seeing at the box office this time of year, there are a few real standouts. It’s our job to sift through the buffet of choices and find said standouts, and that’s what we intend to do with This Week in Blu-ray. We begin this week with one of this author’s favorite films of 2012 thus far… God Bless America The Pitch: One man’s rage over the fall of reason in American pop culture turns into a killing spree with a teen girl sidekick. This is known: Putting a quote from my theatrical review on the back of your Blu-ray packaging will not guarantee you pick of the week status, but it certainly won’t hurt. Purchasers of Bobcat Goldthwait’s excellent tale of a fed up guy (Joel Murray) and his bloodthirsty, pubescent friend (Tara Lynne Barr) will find the following quote on the back cover, accredited to this very site: “It’s a magnetic film that provides 100 minutes of subversive, blood soaked fun.” We do not print lies, friends. This one is highly political, hyper-violent to the point of being militant and above all, hilarious. Joel Murray and Tara Lynne Barr are a regular Butch and Sundance, if Sundance rocked an a-cup and the gang was out to kill the Kardashians. You won’t want to be the like who […]

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Willem Dafoe delivers a quiet performance in The Hunter, Daniel Nettheim‘s observant character-driven feature debut. It’s a character which relies purely on movement, expression, and action – all internal. The protagonist, Martin, a.k.a. The Hunter, is a man skilled in violence, and that’s about as much as you can say for him for most of the film’s running time. As you would’ve predicted, the character grows in a way of showing warmth and humanity, but, as Dafoe explains, not in a sentimental way. Martin is the type of character who feels at home in the woods wielding a rifle, rather than watching after a pair of children. Do not expect this to be the story of a cold man who in actuality has a big heart of a gold they’re ready to unleash, because it’s far from it. Here’s what actor Willem Dafoe had to say about Martin, directors with intense passion, and Bobby Peru, the ultimate force of nature:

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Editor’s Note: This review first ran as part of our SXSW coverage on March 11, but The Hunter is hitting limited theaters this week. The Hunter is a film of surprising scope and intimacy. On the outside, it’s a basic “dangerous hunting” tale, but on the inside, it’s a story of a man, said hunter (Willem Dafoe), connecting with people on an emotional level for what might be the first time in his life. That reeks of hokiness, but with with an assured directorial hand, most of the drama is calm and collected. A lot of that stems from Dafoe, giving the sort of high caliber performance we’ve grown to expect from him. Martin David is a hunter of the illegal sort, and he’s given quite the challenge: get a sample from a Tasmanian tiger. Not an easy task. When we’re introduced to Martin, he’s shown in isolation, completely out of place in a snazzy hotel room. After his hunting services are acquired by a biotech company, Martin heads down to an unfriendly Australian town to seek out the tiger. He stays at a broken family’s home, where he ends up having to look after and connect with two children whose father may or may not be dead. You see the cold Martin get humanized by the children, as expected – and it’s affective, due to Dafoe.

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Last month was eclectic. We got Disney‘s like-it-or-hate-it box-office bomb, a sweet and violent comedy following the goons of hockey, one ass-kicking and nonstop action picture, an 80s TV show adaptation that was better than it originally had any right to be, and a Tarsem kids’ film that defied most expectations based on that horror story of a trailer. A pretty strong March, and that’s not even counting The Hunger Games. Before we head into the unpredictable summer movie season, we got 30 days filled with a plenty of excellent and probably not-so-excellent releases coming out. Here are 8 1/2 movies worth seeing this month.

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South by Southwest is our favorite film festival not just because it’s in our own backyard (relatively speaking) or because it affords us a chance to eat BBQ on daily basis or even because it means we can sit in the Drafthouse all day but because – wait, no, it’s our favorite film festival for precisely those reasons. What else could you possibly want from a film festival? Good films? Fair enough. Luckily, finding good films at SXSW isn’t hard, not even remotely, which explains why our list of Our 16 Most Anticipated Films came together with no overlap – there’s truly something for everyone. For Rob Hunter, that means a lot of guns and violence, for Dear Leader Neil Miller, he just wants to stop being the last person in America who hasn’t seen The Raid. We even let Jack pick some films too. Sixteen in total, these films encapsulate the variety that makes SXSW so great – stick with this list and you probably can’t go (too)  wrong. Why sixteen films? Because we’re sweet. Or just suffering from anticipatory exhaustion from our favorite film festival. Check out all the movies we’re aching to see after the jump.

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SXSW 2012 is just over five weeks away, and I haven’t bought my plane ticket yet. But I will, especially now that I’ve seen today’s official announcement of the features (narrative and documentary) playing at this year’s fest. FSR will be on the ground in Austin in the form of Kate Erbland, Jack Giroux, Neil Miller, and myself, and we look forward to seeing as many of the films below as our eyeballs can stomach. I know what you’re thinking, but gastronomical biology really does work differently within the confines of Austin. We’ll offer up some films we’re looking forward to closer to the fest, but it should come as no surprise that some of my most anticipated include The Raid, The Cabin In the Woods, The Hunter, Thale, and the documentary Seeking Asian Female. (Don’t judge.) Check out the complete (as of now) listing below of the feature films playing at SXSW 2012!

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