This is Where I Leave You


Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. Lord of Illusions Members of a cult rebel against their leader when he takes a young girl hostage, but thirteen years later the man they left for dead threatens to return from the underworld. Members still loyal to him begin slaughtering the innocent in preparation for his return, and a NYC detective (Scott Bakula) with a history of taking cases that lean towards the supernatural might be all that stands in the way of the murder of the world. Clive Barker‘s third and final feature as director brings together all of his trademarks — nightmarish visions, a disdain for religion, a terrible sense of fashion — and mashes them into a tale that combines noir elements with the supernatural. He delivers some wonderfully creepy and icky visuals involving the cult members and like the story it’s based on it makes me look forward to the return of Harry D’Amour in Barker’s upcoming novel. As much as I love Barker’s fiction though he’s not always the best person to bring them to cinematic life — because his appetite for cheese is never satiated. Some of the digital effects are dated too, although the practical work is all still stellar. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Theatrical and director’s cuts, commentary, featurettes, deleted scenes, interview, photo gallery]


XYZ Films

The Weekend Watch is an open thread where you can share what you’ve recently watched, offer suggestions on movies and TV shows we should check out (or warnings about stuff to avoid) and discover queue-filling goodies from other FSR readers. The comments section awaits. I’ll get the ball rolling with the movies/TV my eyeballs took in this weekend.


The Flat documentary

If you are in the mood to see a film about a Jewish family coping with the death of a loved one, then there is, believe it or not, a documentary alternative to This Is Where I Leave You that falls under that extremely specific set of parameters. Granted, that premise is pretty much all that The Flat shares with the new drama, but it is by any metric a more interesting use of one’s time. The most consensus on This Is Where I Leave You is that it wastes a good cast on standard faux-indie story tropes. The Flat, meanwhile, goes nowhere the viewer expects it to. After the death of his grandmother, director Arnon Goldfinger set to cleaning out the Tel Aviv flat in which she lived for more than 70 years. It was in the midst of this cleaning that Goldfinger and his family discovered some stowed-away documents that baffled them. Goldfinger’s grandmother and grandfather had fled Germany to escape its persecution of Jews ahead of the instigation of the Holocaust. But the two had remained in contact with an old friend, both during and long after the war. This friend was a high-ranking Nazi official. Goldfinger documented his long quest to figure out just what had happened all those years ago, and this film is the result. READ MORE AT NONFICS


This Is Where I Leave You

Editor’s note: This review was originally published on September 7, 2014 as part of our TIFF 2014 coverage. We know Judd Altman. He’s the guy in the movie that looks and acts like he has it all figured out, but who’s about to find out – quite suddenly, in fact, and by way of some sort of dramatic event that would never happen quite that way in real life – that nothing is actually as it seems. We know Judd Altman. We’ve seen Judd Altman plenty of times before. But is there anything new to this particular Judd Altman? Based on Jonathan Tropper’s novel of the same name, Shawn Levy’s This Is Where I Leave You explores what happens to Judd (Jason Bateman) after the rug is pulled, spectacularly and swiftly, out from underneath him. But Levy’s overstuffed and unfocused feature is unable to give Judd the attention he deserves – or, at least the attention necessary to really engage us in his plight – and is instead stuck telling stories about all the Altmans as they handle tragedy (big and small) together. When we first meet Judd, he’s just about to discover that his wife Quinn (Abigail Spencer) is cheating on him with his sleazeball boss, and has been for quite some time. Wade Beaufort (Dax Shepard) is a shock jock deejay (his show, which is also technically Judd’s show, is called “Man Up,” and it involves him yelling a lot about what things men should do, which apparently […]



Whether you’re home for the holidays or sitting shiva after the loss of a loved one, family get-togethers can be rough. Never mind if yours is a “dysfunctional” clan or not. Aren’t they all, anyway? It may be relative, but we all have our family dramas and difficult times when reunited with our most direct relatives. If not, you’re a lucky one, except when it comes to trying to relate to a lot of movies. The rest of us like to see stuff like This Is Where I Leave You for both the identification and the exaggeration, the former allowing us to laugh at ourselves, the latter hopefully leading to an understanding that everything could be worse. Movies about family get-togethers can also be a source of learning. We already relate to the basic experiences, but how much do we connect with the specifics of how the characters survive those events? A bunch of these movies feature complete parallels as far archetypes and plot and jokes, so it would seem they’d be universal. And a lot of the times everyone turns out just fine in the end. So, for your next get-together, perhaps this fall for Thanksgiving or next summer for a road trip or full-on reunion, consider the following steps, each one applicable in the movies and, of course, therefore in real life. 


This Is Where I Leave You Movie

In This Is Where I Leave You, Tina Fey, Jason Bateman, Adam Driver and Corey Stoll play siblings reunited for their father’s funeral. They’re convinced by their mother, played by Jane Fonda, to fulfill the pater familias’ final wish for them to sit Shivah for a week, ensuring that they’ll all have to confront their life problems instead of heading back into them immediately. The trailer is filled with the typical elements of a dramedy: broken lives, personality problems, recognition of life’s messiness, potential new beginnings and smiling reconciliations. It also has Driver stealing scenes and Timothy Olyphant looking like a tennis pro. Check it out for yourself:


Hailee Steinfeld

What is Casting Couch? It’s almost like if all the news about actors getting cast in movies was compiled into one place. No, scratch that. It’s exactly like that. Who’s the lovely lady joining handsome hunks Colin Farrell and Anthony Hopkins in Solace? Read on to find out. Look, when you get an Oscar nomination for acting in a cowboy movie, you don’t just stop acting in cowboy movies, okay? That’s why True Grit star Hailee Steinfeld has now signed on to appear in that new movie that Tommy Lee Jones is directing about crazy ladies who’ve been out in the West traveling across the prairie and back to the East, The Homesman. According to Deadline, Steinfeld will be playing the role of Tabitha Hutchinson, who is described as being barefoot, poor, simple, and teenaged. She’ll be joining a cast that already includes Jones himself, Meryl Streep, Hilary Swank, James Spader, John Lithgow, and Tim Blake Nelson, which is pretty good company for a barefoot simpleton.


Shawn Levy

Director Adam Shankman has helmed A Walk to Remember, Bringing Down the House, The Pacifier, Cheaper By the Dozen 2, Hairspray, Bedtime Stories, and Rock of Ages. This is not a good resume (save for Hairspray, which is certainly passable as a fun revamp of the ’80s John Waters classic, at least in terms of sudsing it up for a new audience). The attachment of Shankman to a project does nothing for me (particularly after recently watching Rock of Ages after months of putting it off, which firmly established that production as a strong contender for Worst Film of the Year, at least in my mind), and yet, similarly, neither does the attachment of Shawn Levy (to be fair, Levy’s resume includes Just Married, Night at the Museum, Date Night, and Real Steel). So how funny then that a long-gestating project that once belonged to Shankman is now in Levy’s hands. Cue the shrugging. Variety reports that Levy is now in final negotiations to direct the Warner Bros. adaption of Jonathan Tropper‘s dysfunctional family-centered novel “This Is Where I Leave You.” This is, unfortunately for the production, not the first time that This Is Where I Leave You has been put through the creative ringer. WB first picked up the rights for the book back in 2009, when they were then planning to have Greg Berlanti direct it, until the project ultimately became a Shankman dealio, before the entire thing fell apart earlier this year after both Shankman and a […]


Author Jonathan Tropper’s 2009 novel, “This is Where I Leave You,” is all set to become a feature film over at Warner Bros., and the production is getting the cast to prove it. The book, which details a down-on-his-luck man’s week of insanity as he’s forced to live in the same house with his estranged mother and siblings for seven days, has been adapted into a screenplay by Tropper himself, and is set to be directed by Rock of Ages director Adam Shankman. The main character, Judd, has a wife who has just cheated on him with his boss, a boss who has just slept with his wife, a mother who has just lost a husband, and three neurotic siblings that he must spend a week with, due to his dying father’s last request. Needless to say, this one is going to be an ensemble piece, and Shankman has just kicked the casting process off with a bang. Deadline New Rochelle reports that Jason Bateman has signed on to play the lead role, Zac Efron and Leslie Mann have come on as two of his siblings, and Goldie Hawn is set to act for the first time since 2002’s girl power dramedy The Banger Sisters as the family’s matriarch. If you’re keeping track, that means that there’s still one sibling, a wife, and a boss that’s left to be cast, so before everything is all said and done this movie could become even more star-studded.

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published: 12.19.2014
published: 12.18.2014
published: 12.17.2014

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