The Three Musketeers

This Week in DVD

Welcome back to This Belated Week in DVD! Last year SXSW caused me to post a lesser incarnation of this column as I had no time to check out most of the week’s releases. That didn’t go over so well, so this year I decided to simply delay the column so that I’d have time to cover the titles in my usual (ie more thorough) manner. So let’s get to it! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Young Adult 2011 was a good year for divisive film reactions as very few releases garnered anything resembling near-universal acclaim. (Even the year’s Best Picture winner experienced as much hatred as it did love.) Jason Reitman’s latest film had viewers split as well with its story of a selfish and often mean-spirited writer who returns to her home town to woo an ex-fling who’s now happily married. Charlize Theron gives a stellar performance as an unlikeable and possibly irredeemable protagonist, and Diablo Cody’s script is her most mature and intelligent effort yet. It’s funny, sad and one of the most honest films of last year.

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Drinking Games

There have literally been dozens of adaptations of Alexandre Dumas’ classic novel The Three Musketeers… even more if you count sequels, adaptations of other Dumas books (like The Man in the Iron Mask) and even Peter Hyams’ whackety-schmackety The Musketeer with martial arts fight choreography. Forget Charlie Sheen and the Disney version. This new film features 3D, impossible sci-fi action elements and Orlando Bloom acting as a proper dandy. If that’s not an incentive to drink, I don’t know what is. Being a film about famous Frenchmen, I’d suggest a nice French wine for this movie. Of course, considering it has the flavor of a big, dumb American action film, you’d also do fine with a case of Schlitz.

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The Reject Report

Just when you thought it was safe to station video cameras in an attempt to capture the nightly doings of some nefarious supernatural entity. Oh, those pesky ghosty things and their habits of turning innocent tea parties into screaming nightmares. That’s not based on first-hand experience, by the way. My tea party days are over. Luckily for Paramount, audiences were in the mood for chills this weekend, as Paranormal Activity 3 had a dump truck of cash backed up to its haunted house doors and unloaded. The third entry in the now-never-ending series not only trounced the competition and stunned box office analysts, its broke the records for both October opening weekend and Fall opening weekend. Both of those records were previously held by last year’s Jackass 3D, which debuted to $50.3m.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr dresses up in a frilly lace cravat and some leather boots, grabs his sword and takes a trip to France to become a Musketeer. Unfortunately, he seems to be almost 400 years too late for those kinds of shenanigans. So he hops the English Channel to become a spy with MI-7. Of course, no one told him that MI-7 was actually nothing more than propaganda. So he heads back home for a good night’s sleep, and to make sure that happens, he videotapes himself throughout the house. While he doesn’t witness any paranormal activity, there are many unspeakable things that can be seen on them.

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When I first heard that a new version of The Three Musketeers was being made by Paul W.S. Anderson I initially thought that he was a bad choice for the material, that he would just end up making something ridiculous. Now that I’ve actually seen the movie, I’m certain that he was a bad choice for the material, because he did in fact make something ridiculous. You know this story by now, it’s been around for like 175 years or something, so too much plot summary probably isn’t necessary. There are three famous Musketeers, the king’s personal soldiers, Athos (Matthew MacFayden), Porthos (Ray Stevenson), and Aramis (Luke Evans). They used to be big time, but now they’re out of a job because a corrupt Cardinal (Christoph Waltz) is taking control of France and instituting his personal guard as the new power in the nation. Also there’s a young chap name D’Artagnan (Logan Lerman) who has traveled to Paris to become a Musketeer, but he finds the place in disarray. Backstabbings and power plays commence. But let’s get back to how bad most everything in this movie is. The most egregious of all the offenses this new Three Musketeers commits is the punishment it doles out to its characters in the form of horrible dialogue. Never have you come across a script with more hackneyed, generic movie clichés than this. Everything that comes out of the characters’ mouths is clunky and unnatural. It feels like the movie went through absolutely zero […]

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The Reject Report

This Reject Report doesn’t stand over your bed for hours on end. It swing all the doors in your kitchen open violently. It doesn’t even knock your keys onto the floor in the middle of the night. It’s a much kinder, gentler Reject Report, one that brings you flowers and chicken noodle soup and Gatorade when you’re sick. Which, hey, if that’s your thing, you might not be seeing Paranormal Activity 3 this weekend, but you’ll be in the minority. That’s what Paramount is hoping here in its third run at the established franchise that is Paranormal Activity. It’s hoping to drive people to the cinemas then scare them witless, and it’ll more than likely succeed. There isn’t much competition to prove it wrong. The 18th crack at The Three Musketeers and the second crack at Johnny English sure won’t knock the activity off its pedestal. But let’s get into just how much money Paramount is looking at.

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Ambitious. Bold. Serious. Groundbreaking. None of these words can be sanely used to describe the vibe emanating from the trailer for Paul W.S. Anderson’s “adaptation” of The Three Musketeers. This a W.S. Anderson picture through and through. This trailer does a fantastic job at selling a future camp classic in the making, and I don’t even mean that in an ironic way, either.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news round-up that finds the darndest things. Like Sacha Baron Cohen’s beard, creepy Musketeer posters, Mark Wahlberg, Simon Pegg, Paul Walker and a way to make your tweets into epic cinematic adventures. You need this and you know it. We begin tonight with Sacha Baron Cohen looking crazytown as The Dictator, his latest mockumentary prank film. Only this time, it’s got a more concise narrative. Cohen will play the dual roles of a ruthless dictator who heads to the U.S. for a meeting at the United Nations and finds that his number two has replaced him with an unsuspecting sheepherder lookalike. The big guy has sort of a Cosmo Kramer meets Mr. T vibe going on, with all the frills of the late Saddam Hussein. That feeling deep in your loins is unbridled excitement. That’s a good thing.

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It’s possible that Paul W.S. Anderson’s The Three Musketeers will be the smartest adaptation of the novel yet. This trailer doesn’t help the odds of that possibility. What it does show is plenty of fighting, some beautiful explosions, and Milla Jovovich awkwardly spinning with Shirley Temple curls in her hair. Hand-cranked flame thrower? Flying war ship? Buckled swash? These are all great things, and this trailer has them in spades and fleur de lis. Check it out:

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The biggest star of the silent era puts on one hell of a last silent show and manages to pay homage to the exciting new technology of sound.

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Juno Temple has been getting around lately. Not like that. Weirdos. What I mean is that she’s been getting a lot of work lately. Get your heads out of the toilet.

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, Eric Vespe from Aint it Cool News pitches Jaws: The Revenge of the Sith and sticks the landing.

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Judging by the list of names released today, Paul W.S. Anderson has never read The Three Musketeers.

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Favreau isn’t locked in as director yet, but he wants the job, and he wants the biggest bad guy of them all.

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The Three Musketeers! In three dimensions! In two years! All for one and one for all! …Meh. Unless this version also stars Oliver Platt, count me out.

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The Three Musketeers

Millennium Films recently acquired Alexandre Dumas’ “Three Musketeers” with plans on adapting it in to at least one feature film.

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