The Raven

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! Hope you have some time cleared on your schedule this week… As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Bedevilled Hae-won leaves the big city on a forced vacation and heads to her childhood home on a remote island, but the years have not been kind to the place or her once best friend, Kim Bok-nam (Seo Yeong-hie). She’s little more than an abused workhorse for an ungrateful husband and community of seven, and understandable fears that her daughter may suffer the same fate lead her to beg Hae-won for help. The dangers of isolation, abuse and irresponsibility come home to roost in this darkly menacing and eventually bloody dramatic thriller from South Korea. Part social commentary, part violent and bloody as hell revenge thriller, this was one of my favorites from Fantastic Fest 2010. The extras are sparse, but I highly recommend the making-of doc after watching the movie if only to see Seo smiling along with the other actors in between takes. Also available on DVD. [Extras: Behind the scenes, trailer]

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The Reject Report - Large

No one was expecting this. The chances The Avengers had of breaking the opening weekend box office were slim. They were there, but few thought it was anywhere near reality. There’s a lot of egg on a lot of faces today. Not only did The Avengers beat Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2‘s opening weekend take of $169.1m, it left every film that has ever been released in its dust. The first film to ever break $200m in its opening three days of US release – That’s to say nothing of the $441.5m it’s already made overseas – this is a milestone in Hollywood’s history that everyone thought would come one day. Not many thought it would happen in 2012.

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The Reject Report - Large

Cue the Don Henley, because the boys of Summer have arrived. The girls are here, too. We don’t want to sound like Moviefone over here. Boys, girls, aliens, piranha. They’re all being represented this Summer, and the first of many earth-shattering weekends is upon us. As with opening weekends of Summer’s past, the team over at Marvel have it all to themselves, this time with the culmination of years of tiring work. Will all the work be for naught? Hell naw. The Avengers is going to completely rule this weekend. The only question is what, if any, records will it be breaking. You take a look. We’re going back to Henley for the time being.

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Think Like a Man

Four new movies hit theaters this weekend, a few of them looking like valid candidates to take a strong win at the box office. However, it was a returning film, Think Like a Man, who stepped up, led the pack, and made every other film – including those newbies – look downright mediocre by comparison. Producer Will Packer, whose union with Screen Gems has created such timeless films as Obsessed and Takers, hasn’t had a film top the chart two weekend in a row since 2007 when Stomp the Yard came on strong. That film ended its run with $61.3m domestic and not much else overseas. Think Like a Man, with its current trajectory, is a lock to be Packer’s biggest movie for Screen Gems, as it’s nearing the $68.2m Obsessed pulled in during its release. Posters for Think Like a Man 2 have already been Photoshopped.

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Aural Fixation - Large

At only twenty-eight years old, Spanish-born Lucas Vidal has not only over come a battle with cancer, mastered the ability to write orchestrations, instrument by instrument (all by hand), and honed his ping pong skills against director James McTeigue, he is also beginning to make a name for himself here in the states starting with his score for the upcoming film, The Raven. I had the opportunity to sit down with Vidal in his studio in Santa Monica and see just how this up-and-coming composer brought his ideas from the page to the screen.

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Sometimes, it’s hard to avoid longing for the good old days, when movies about historic figures were about those historic figures and not the slapdash way they might be jammed into a straightforward genre piece. That’s clearly a passé way of thinking in the age of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, but sometimes old-school is the way to go. The life of Edgar Allan Poe was fascinating and mysterious enough to warrant a new movie about it, to be sure. You could call it The Raven and cast John Cusack as your lead. Amusingly enough, there is indeed a movie opening in theaters this weekend called The Raven and it does star Cusack as Poe. Unfortunately, it’s basically a waste of time, forgoing the opportunity to tell the poet’s extraordinary story for a mundane detective narrative that recasts him as Sherlock Holmes (the one Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created, not Guy Ritchie).

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The Reject Report - Large

Movie fans can feel it. The Summer movie season is in the air, and we’ll be analyzing what it’s opening attack has to offer. For now, though, we’ve got four new films squaring off to soak up as much pre-Summer sun as they can, some of them sure to be more successful at that than others. Here’s a hint: the movie set in foggy Baltimore in the 1800s won’t be getting much sun. Another action film for the adult crowd and an animated yarn have better chances, but it’ll end up being the romantic comedy hitting that top spot here just before we’re flooded with superhero blockbusters. It’s the final Reject Report before Summer hits, and the flood of new movies this weekend is just one more indication that the industry has no urge to slow down now.

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What is Movie News After Dark? A lot of nightly movie news columns are about life, this one is like a slice of cake. We begin tonight with the master himself, Alfred Hitchcock. More appropriately, we begin with Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock in Sacha Gervasi’s Hitchcock, the story of the making of Psycho. He’s got a bit of the look, in so much as he had the Nixon look. But as we know, even if he looks like Don Rickles playing Alfred Hitchcock, he’s likely to bring the thunda.

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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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“I will send you to hell!” You know, I’m not quite sure The Raven is going to be an accurate bio pic of Edgar Allan Poe. The Se7en-esque murder mystery aside, why isn’t Poe acting like a big alcoholic in this portrait of his final days? Where’s the binge drinking? Where’s a mean drunk? Sadly, an intoxicated John Cusack is nowhere to be found.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly round-up of movie news and informational links that will marry whomever it damn well pleases, male, female, alien or otherwise. Except /Film’s Page 2, that bitch never called it back. She thinks she’s so cool because she’s on a “legitimate” film site that “people actually read.” Bitches be trippin’. Our most photogenic story tonight, a first official look at John Cusack in The Raven (working title) as the tormented Edgar Allen Poe. Lets face it, if that hair (facial and cranial) is real, we should be impressed. Also impressive is the expansive amount of Cusack-related news included in tonight’s edition of Movie News After Dark, so stick around.

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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 shit late at night, what do you expect?

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The Peruvian director who earned some buzz for the action-fueled, CGI chase scene The Raven will have a chance to stretch his feature length legs now that Paramount has acquired the rights for the short. The plan is to have Justin Marks (the abysmal Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li) write the film as a starring vehicle for Mark Wahlberg. The concerns here are obvious. The short is fun, but it’s just a chase scene, and while other shorts have had the foundation to become larger stories (like District 9), others turned out to be butter spread thin over far too much bread (like 9). The Raven doesn’t seem like it has the meat to be anything more substantial, but it also has the blank slate of potential that doesn’t have the burden of a plot. Either way, it’s good news for directors trying to make a mark with calling cards, it’s another chance for Paramount to dip into the world of sci-fi, and it’s another opportunity for Mark Wahlberg to run away from something shooting at him. Check out the original short below:

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ff-mcteigueinterview

Since Ninja Assassin comes out on Wednesday to slice your turkey for you, I thought you might want to re-read my interview with its director. Sadly for you, it’s on video.

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oldass-raven

A poison-pen letter has reached the hands of Laura, a social worker married to the local psychiatrist, Dr. Vorzet, regarding Dr. Rémy Germain and accusing him of severe moral atrocities. Soon, everyone is getting letters.

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


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