The Lorax

Blu-ray Spotlight

As many a dedicated FSR reader will note, there has long been a column on this site called This Week in Blu-ray. The operative statement that illuminates the lack of effectiveness in its run is “week,” as it’s never been the most consistent feature we’ve run on this site. So as we do from time to time, we’re going to allow it to evolve into something new. Blu-ray Spotlight, it’s replacement, is a different concept for my coverage of the world of high definition home entertainment. This week, it will look similar to old entries. Reviews of the Blu-ray releases of the day. In coming weeks and months, we’ll expand it a bit to look at Blu-ray technology, news and other topics within the realm of home entertainment. Bigger releases (like the upcoming release of Jaws) will get the more in-depth treatment they deserve and we may even mix in a few giveaways. In the end, it will ultimately still serve the mission of highlighting the best of the world of Blu-ray. So lets get started, shall we? Pick of the Week Full Metal Jacket The Pitch: Stanley Kubrick’s classic Vietnam exploration explodes on its 25th Birthday. As you’ll see below, it was incredibly difficult for me to not place High Fidelity as my Pick of the Week. I love that movie fully and unabashedly. But the release quality of Warner Bros.’ 25th Anniversary Edition of Full Metal Jacket is far too strong. A brand new HD remaster of the film provides beauty, a […]

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Welcome back to This Week In DVD… now with more Blu-ray! The times they are a changing, and occasionally that means FSR’s DVD department is sent Blu-rays to cover instead. It happens. This week it happened to a handful of older Touchstone films, a couple Chuck Norris classics, two TV series, a beloved children’s classic and two direct to disc horror films. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Strike Back: Cinemax Season One (Blu-ray/DVD) Michael Stonebridge is an elite member of Britain’s anti-terrorist squad, and his latest mission finds him taking on the world’s most dangerous madman while he simultaneously takes on a new partner in a disgraced Delta Force soldier named Damien Scott. Together they kill, screw and blow(up) their way around the world trying to stop an impending terrorist attack. This is technically the British series’ second season, but it’s the first with the extra financial backing from Cinemax. And anyone who knows Cinemax knows they bring lots of sex wherever they go. Seriously. The show crosses the line into implausibility more than once, but that never diminishes the fun. Fantastic action sequences, strong pacing, high production values, solid chemistry between the leads and a bevy of buck-naked ladies make this one worth watching (and possibly owning). [Extras: Commentaries]

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The Reject Report - Large

The 1990s are so 13 years ago. At least, that was the attitude this weekend when two films with roots in the last decade of the 20th Century came, saw, and had their proverbial butts kicked by something that is very much 2010 and beyond. The Hunger Games made this third weekend in release its bitch, pulling out another $33.1m and breaking past the coveted $300m mark, tying with Revenge of the Sith as the sixth fastest film to do so. The Lionsgate film was also able in its third week of release to surpass every film in the Twilight franchise, but comparisons between the two were dead, buried, resurrected, and staked in the heart about two-and-a-half weeks ago. With an additional $157.1m in foreign markets – Australia and the UK rank highest with $16.7m and $15.7m, respectively – The Hunger Games if officially a worldwide, cinematic phenom, nearing the half billion mark. The “is he or isn’t he” game Gary Ross and Lionsgate seem to be playing for the sequel, Catching Fire, isn’t stopping audiences from packing theaters, and why should it. Uwe Boll could helm the follow-up, and it’d still bring in record-breaking coin. That’s getting way ahead of ourselves, though, so let’s back-track to the film that’s currently killing everything else in release. Literally killing them. Okay, not literally.

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The Reject Report - Large

Happy Easter, everybody. It’s the time of year for giving, for hollow, chocolate bunnies, and for Stifler to make some crude remark just before ingesting something disgusting. That’s right, it’s time for a reunion with the American Pie crew, and, like it or not, the movie is going to come out on top. It doesn’t matter that Katniss and her Hunger Games are still shooting strong. Never mind that the 2nd biggest movie of all time is getting a 3D update. All that’s moot when it comes to the financial strength behind dick jokes and bare breasts. So grab a chair, and heat up that warm, apple cobbler, check out this week’s Reject Report, and never let go. Not like Rose, though. She totally let go.

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The Reject Report - Large

A lone film hits on a multitude of screens this weekend. The playing field is all for its amusement, and this one film appears to be holding every card in the deck. It’s not a matter of if The Hungers Games will be a success. The real question is how many records will it be breaking this weekend. The incredibly popular book series finally makes its cinematic debut, and, like the Twilight series before it, The Hunger Games is sure to take its core audience by storm. It’ll be sure to bring in audiences who aren’t familiar with the book series, as well, ensuring its place in box office history, or, at the very least, offer a strong enough debut to warrant the inevitable sequel. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? The franchise. Let’s take a look at how this lone wolf stacks up against all these familiar cubs.

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Kevin Carr

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr grabs his camcorder and tries to find the biggest all-night party in Pasadena, filled with slutty, dancing high school girls who looks amazingly like they’re in their early twenties. Of course, he never finds that because this sort of 15-year-old wet dream fantasy doesn’t exist. So he sets his sights on finding something far more realistic than any of the events that take place in Project X: the short, hairy peanut with a mustache and Danny DeVito’s voice known as The Lorax.

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Everyone involved in Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, from co-directors Chris Renaud and Kyle Balda to the Universal Pictures marketing division, has been faced with a tricky balancing act. On one hand, there’s the need to remain true to the spirit of Seuss’ anti-consumerist work, his most earnestly activist effort. On the other, there’s the requisite allegiance to 3D animated family movie standards and the obligatory corporate tie-ins that come with promoting such an effort. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve seen Seuss’ mystical mustachioed creation across the advertisement spectrum lately, in everything from IHOP ads to printer spots and Mazda car commercials. Sure, Universal has made a point of pursuing advertising partners with “green” tie-ins/messages, or so they claim, but the Lorax’s ubiquitous commercial presence leaves the sort of rotten taste that only comes with the betrayal of a sacrosanct legacy. Fortunately, the film itself fares better. It’s a pleasant, minor-key affair that gives appropriate attention and weight to the important environmentalist message. The picture asks that its young viewers sit up and take notice of the world around them; it demands that they put down the video games, learn to care about nature and seek to preserve it.

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Archer gets Justified

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly collection of movie news, notes and links that will make you very happy that you decided to stop and take a look at what’s going on. Seriously, it’s the bringer of joy. We begin tonight with a shot from this evening’s episode of Archer, which has mixed a little bit of Justified into its plot-lines. The AV Club has begun a campaign for a cross-over comic that would team Sterling Archer with Raylan Givens. I support this idea 100%.

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This Week in DVD

Welcome back to This Week In DVD, and happy Valentine’s Day you sexy sons of bitches! In honor of the holiday I’ve themed this week’s pitches to the idea of love. As in if you love the environment you should buy a copy of the re-issued The Lorax.  Or if you love your adopted Asian daughter you should check out Woody Allen: A Documentary. You get the picture. Speaking of love, if you happen to be currently unattached (or maybe your better half is just out of town) FSR has partnered with an intriguing new dating service. How About We matches people by the date itself instead of shared personality traits or surface-level preferences. I know, it’s a weird thing for a movie site to do, but sometimes you just want to go watch The Vow with someone who won’t judge. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Take Shelter Curtis LaForche (Michael Shannon) is a husband and father who fears he may be slowly falling victim to schizophrenia. The alternative is that a storm of end-times proportions is heading his family’s way, and he’s not sure which outcome is ideal. Writer/director Jeff Nichols’ film is a successful slowburn of a drama that rewards viewers who stay with Curtis throughout his troubles. The film explores the onset of possible mental illness as a parallel to the hardships of a down economy and daily stresses, and in addition to a powerhouse performance from […]

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Reel Sex

One of my greatest loves, besides full-frontal male nudity in films, is a beard. Normally I would get up on my soap box and spout out tributes to the greatness of male facial hair, how it can instantly make a baby-faced boy look tough and intimidating. Or take a scrappy young man and make him appear soulful or whimsical. Facial hair can even play as much importance in telling the difference between a hipster or a homeless person (a game that is one of my favorite past times). And while I like to think more people share my love of male facial muffs, I’ve come to realize many audiences see facial hair as a costume or accessory meant to show a level of untrustworthy or roguish manliness that a clean-shaven character lacks. This is unfortunate as any level of facial hair can really mean more than just good versus evil on screen. I have spent many years disappointing my parents with my choice in men and their accompanying facial hair, starting from the celebrities I chose to crush on (90s teen boy bands aside) to the men I brought home for Sunday night dinners. I have long been cursed with a love of beards I cannot deny myself. And as I have spent years writing about and stroking them (research!) it is about time Hollywood takes note of the diversity in beards and how they aren’t just for the bad guys anymore.

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It’s already the second day of 2012, which means we’ll all be sober within the next day or two. It also means that we can officially start looking (through blurry eyes) ahead to the future. A future of promise and potential. A future of hope. A future of tingling anticipation that the road stretched out in front of us that leads to the cinema will be paved with gold. Will there be piles of excrement along the way? Of course, but we don’t know how many or how badly they’ll tarnish our yellow-bricked roller coaster ride. All we can see from this far out is the shimmering wonder of movies to come – the vast unknown that looks wonderful (and might just live up to the hype). In past years (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), we’ve gone with a fairly arbitrary count of 20-30 movies. This year, we decided to prove that there were 52 movies worth prematurely celebrating (even though what we found were many more). That’s one for every week (even if there are some weeks with a few and some weeks with none at all). Regardless of the number, Rob Hunter, Neil Miller, Kate Erbland, Allison Loring, Landon Palmer, Brian Salisbury and Cole Abaius have joined forces to remind us all that there are a lot of great movies to hope for this year. Go grab a calendar and pencil in everything that gets your blood pressure up toward unsafe levels. It’s going to be a busy, flick-filled […]

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It was the summer of 2009 when the filmmakers behind Horton Hears A Who! announced they would be making green eggs and ham of Dr. Seuss’s “The Lorax.” Since then we’ve gotten updates on casting – with Zac Efron playing the young man and Danny DeVito voicing the title tree-hugger – and even some imagery. Today, EW has even more pictures, and two of them reveal The Once-ler (the crotchety pair of arms that tells young Efron about the lush, beautiful world of the past that was destroyed by his greed). Check them out for yourself:

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We reported last October that Danny DeVito would be suiting up to voice The Lorax in what has the chance to be the first 3D adaptation of a beloved children’s character that doesn’t creep everyone on the planet out. Now, the rest of the cast is filling out (according to a remarkably well-punctuated press release) with Ed Helms voicing the Once-ler who needs to cut down the forest to make an amazing product everyone needs; Zac Efron voicing Ted, the young man who befriends the Lorax; and Taylor Swift voicing Audrey, the girl of Ted’s dreams. Betty White and comedian Rob Riggle are also rounding out what looks like a solid cast. This flick could turn out being really fun with the names involved. So fun that Rob Hunter even got a Lorax tattoo in anticipation of the release. Just ask him.

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Around here, every single writer (except everyone who isn’t Rob Hunter) has been clamoring for more details about The Lorax. “Who do you think will play him? What do you think the story will be like? Will the character design look like he’s fondling Boo Boo the Bear?” All of these are valid questions, and some of them can be answered right this very minute. In fact, you’ve probably already answered the third one for yourself already after looking to the right. More importantly, it’s been announced that Danny DeVito will put a shirt on, and hopefully drive straight from the set of It’s Always Sunny to go do the voice work for the main tree lobbyist.

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On a very special episode of Reject Radio, mistake guest host Landon Palmer for Bill O’Reilly, get pissed at movie marketing, and Neil has one more margarita than is advisable.

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lorax-stage

The filmmakers behind Horton Hears A Who! are bringing Dr. Seuss’ cautionary environmental masterpiece to the big screen… somewhere high above Al Gore is smiling down.

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+
published: 12.15.2014
B


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