The Tall Man

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! I’m at Fantastic Fest in Austin, TX! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Damsels In Distress A newcomer at Seven Oaks College is guided through her year by a trio of erudite girls determined show her the light of socializing, reason and dating beneath her station. It’s to defend your love Greta Gerwig when she seems to end up in fairly shitty movies more often than not, but the odds favored her starring in a true winner eventually. That time has come thanks to Whit Stillman’s smart, funny and somewhat satirical look at modern day college life. Gerwig plays the trio’s leader and the one who most believes their own brand of bull, and it’s a joy to watch her play with such loose and casually humorous dialogue. Adam Brody has a small role, but it’s enough to remind us all that he should be headlining more comedies. Also available on DVD. Check out Kate Erbland’s full review. [Extras: Commentary, featurettes, deleted scenes, outtakes]

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The Tall Man - Jessica Biel

Editor’s note: The Tall Man creeps into theaters tomorrow, so hold your children close and enjoy this re-post of our SXSW review, originally posted on March 21, 2012. SXSW Midnighter pick The Tall Man falls into the category of the most aggravating kind of disposable movies. It’s not bad, there’s a certain level of competency, and a few of its ideas, if translated right, would make for an interesting film. Unfortunately, those ideas aren’t handled right, and the final result is a tedious, bland, and unsubtle thriller. Set in the small rundown town of Cold Rock, there lives the legend of “The Tall Man,” someone who’s been snatching kids away from their families. While there’s been no sighting or hard evidence of his existence, he’s still been talked up into a nightmarish figure. The government and anyone else of real importance hasn’t done anything about it since it’s a poor town. The lead of the film, Jessica Biel‘s Julia Denning, is a local free clinic nurse and a widow and, like everyone else, she fears even the very idea of The Tall Man. As expected, the legend comes and takes her child away.

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The Tall Man - Jessica Biel

Remember that old argument that foreign directors who make the jump to English-language and/or Hollywood studio films, usually make something that’s not so good? Pascal Laugier (Martyrs) might be adding more proof to that theory. The international trailer for The Tall Man (aka The Secret) features Jessica Biel trying to find her son after he’s taken, possibly, by a sort of urban legend who wears a big black cloak and could probably play professional basketball. It’s pretty bland, but it might just be bitterness that this isn’t that Angus Scrimm documentary everybody’s been clamoring for. Check it out for yourself:

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Pascal Laugier’s Martyrs is my favorite of the ultra-violent French horror resurgence for several reasons. Now Laugier is attached to another film designed as his English-language debut, and while it’s no Hellraiser, it still seems to have some pretty interesting potential.

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