This Means War

This Week in DVD

Welcome back to This Week In DVD! Some great releases hit shelves today with two of the best hailing from the UK. Also out this week are the McG misfire This Means War, the classic TV series Route 66, the hilarious tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen Red Tails, Daniel Radcliffe’s creepy period piece The Woman In Black, and many more. Bonus points to anyone who can match the three ‘giant’ items from this week’s title above to the three characters/performers below. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Perfect Sense A chef (Ewan McGregor) and an epidemiologist (Eva Green) meet and fall in love just as a strange new disease begins to spread worldwide. People are struck with a strong emotional response immediately followed by the loss of one of their senses. It’s like Contagion but with heart and personality. This is a beautiful film about life, love and what it means to be human. It’s a must-see about mankind’s resilience in the face of loss and devastation. Just be sure to watch it before your vision and hearing fade away.

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The Reject Report - Large

Four new movies are hitting theaters this weekend, all of them fixed with their own pros and cons. In one corner, we have Amanda Seyfried, Jennifer Aniston, and Tyler Perry. In the other corner, we have the Navy SEALs. It’s not a fair fight no matter how you look at it. All four spark with different demographics, as well, making for an interesting melting pot of genres, varying star power, and even a little bit of brand loyalty. This weekend comes down to which of these films had the best resonance with its marketing, and one of these films clearly has the edge over the others. Yes, guns and live ammunition help.

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The Reject Report - Large

It took its second weekend – and even Saturday and Sunday of that – but Safe House slipped by the competition this President’s Day Weekend, just edging past The Vow‘s second weekend take and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance‘s debut. The Denzel Washington starrer might find itself down a notch when the actual numbers are revealed. When the numbers are this close, it could be anyone’s ballgame until all the numbers come in. For now, though, it remains at #1. This is Washington’s first film to hit #1 at the box office since American Gangster debuted in 2007 with $43.5m. Not surprisingly, that film remains Washington’s biggest domestic earner to date with $130.1m. Safe House‘s chances of toppling that are not completely out of reach. The film dropped just over 40% from last weekend. That’s not great, but it’s definitely below average. With a few more solid weekends such as this, the film could very easily get past that $130m mark. I’m sure Ryan Reynolds would appreciate that, as well.

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This Means War is, as McG puts it, exactly what you think a McG movie is. It’s as commercial and open as a movie can get, something the director has no shame about. Plenty scoff at the idea of loving the tag of a “populist” filmmaker, not McG. Clearly he sees his films as being more than dumb fun, though, and strives to make sure they’re not that. Films similar to This Means War usually don’t strike audience members as being a “personal” project in some fashion. That doesn’t seem to be the case for McG, as he puts it. This Means War has a scene featuring two of the leads discussing Alfred Hitchock, and you can just feel the director taking the opportunity to talk through his characters. It’s a fanboy touch, and he came off as the most energetic kind in our conversation. Here’s what McG had to say about embracing the title of a populist filmmaker, leaving behind med school for music and film, and reflecting on Terminator Salvation:

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Kevin Carr

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr takes the week off because the studios didn’t screen the new releases anywhere near him. In fact, he was specifically told not to come to one particular screening. And that can’t be a good sign, can it? What else can you expect for the movies in the weeks leading up to the Oscars, ‘cause the new ones in the theaters don’t stand a chance of winning anything next year. To take away the pain of not seeing movies this week, Kevin makes a deal with the devil, selling his soul for the ability to set his skull on fire whenever he sees a bad movie. Unfortunately, the light from said flaming skull got him kicked out of the theater because someone thought he was using his cell phone to pirate the film.

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The Reject Report - Large

There’s a lot of anger in that headline, which should be noted since this is the week of Valentine’s Day and all that. Three new films find release, and while the Reese Witherspoon rom-com doesn’t exactly live up to the explosive nature of its title, we’ve also got Nicolas Cage to make things a little crazy out there. Don’t you just love it when the box office goes full Cage? I know I do. Throw in the latest from Studio Ghibli, and you’ve got a nice little storm of separate demographics, except for that one guy who’s a monster Nicolas Cage, Reese Witherspoon, and anime fan. You know you’re out there. It’s the Reject Report, and, before it’s all said and done, someone’s gonna be peeing fire.

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Depending on how you interpret it, This Means War is either another insipid, aggressively convoluted candy-colored flick from that auteur of nothingness McG, or one of the great unrequited male love stories of all time. The portrait of two men who really only have eyes for each other, it’s an aggressively formulaic, borderline nonsensical fantasy about Los Angeles-based CIA studs FDR and Tuck (Chris Pine and Tom Hardy) who fall for a woman named Lauren (Reese Witherspoon) and set out to woo her in an elaborate pissing contest.

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It looks like your Valentine’s Day movie-going options might now be limited to The Vow, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, Safe House, and maybe Rampart if you and your significant other are feeling particularly punchy, as Fox has reportedly ditched their plan to open McG‘s This Means War on the 14th (next Tuesday). Deadline Springwood reports that the studio “hasn’t seen the pic’s poor tracking pick up at all in recent days,” pushing the studio to move the picture back to a wide release date on Friday the 17th, though there will be some sneak peeks sticking around on the 14th. What’s the issue? Well, oddly enough, Nikki Finke herself doesn’t seem to get it – her exclusive post on the matter includes lines like “I don’t get what the moviegoing public’s problem with this pic is: Chris Pine, Tom Hardy, and Reese Witherspoon are just as cool casting as Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams” and “the film didn’t look dumb (and that’s is half the battle with this genre).” Clearly, Finke’s got a short memory on this one – the film went through a protracted cycle of casting, with names like Sam Worthington, Seth Rogen, and Bradley Cooper all getting bandied about before Hardy and Pine finally signed on for the flick (for some, frankly, pretty strange casting – Pine is set as the smooth operator and Hardy is the good boy), and the film was lensed back in 2010. Does the moviegoing public really care about stuff like that? […]

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Hook!

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly collection of links and stories that you won’t know about unless you continue reading. Then come back tomorrow night and read more. Then the night after that. And the… You get the point. The power of Christ compels you. We begin this evening with a promo image from the 1991 Steven Spielberg fantasy epic Hook, featuring Dustin Hoffman as the titular captain and Robin Williams has his pudgy, crowing nemesis. There’s no news here, though I’m sure you were all thinking remake or sequel for a moment, just that I saw Hook on the big screen last night while eating a giant turkey leg courtesy of the Alamo Drafthouse’s Hook mini-feast. It was delightful. But more on that later.

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I’m not sure how we missed this one, but I can only assume it was intentional. If you do a search of our site for the name ‘McG’ you’ll find mostly negative comments, critiques and flat-out insults including us celebrating the idea of the director being launched into space on a one-way ticket. (Of course, you’ll also find my Transformers 2 review that inexplicably calls for an apology to be given to McG.) But while we’re a month late in featuring this trailer for McG’s newest movie, we’re at least covering it with an open mind and a positive attitude. Because surprisingly, This Means War looks like it could actually be kind of fun. Tom Hardy and Chris Pine play CIA agents at the top of their game. They’re partners and friends who have each others backs and would let nothing come between them. Nothing that is, except a hot blonde. When the two discover that they’re both dating the same woman (Reese Witherspoon) they decide to let her choose the better man. But that doesn’t mean they can’t try to hedge their bets using all the skills and equipment at their disposal. So yes, it’s basically Mad Magazine’s Spy vs Spy with a love story angle thrown in as motivation. Check out the trailer below, and get ready to accept the fact that even with Chelsea Handler co-starring it doesn’t look anywhere near as bad as we all feared.

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After the success of both Wedding Crashers and The Hangover, Bradley Cooper seemed ready to jump all over the wave of good fortune and get to work on becoming a genuine movie star. And since, he’s made a series of good choices.Today we learned of another good choice made by the young actor: to stay far away from Terminator Salvation director McG.

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After dispensing upon the world a movie (Terminator Salvation) that probably made James Cameron cry, sometimes not-so-bad director McG is heading to the world of formula action-comedy. And of course he’s bringing along his keen eye for telling the story of romance, with action.

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