What to Expect When You’re Expecting

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! Lots of new releases hitting shelves today, but only two of them are worth buying! Which ones are they? Keep reading to find out along with the skinny on sixteen other titles including Andy Garcia’s epic For Greater Glory, Fox’s Terra Nova series, Greta Geriwg’s Lola Versus, the unfinished horrors of Munger Road and more. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. The Loved Ones Months after a teenager (Xavier Samuel) loses his father in a car accident his efforts to put the past behind him are interrupted by madness. It seems Lola (Robin McLeavy), a quiet and unassuming classmate, has developed a crush on him and she won’t take no for an answer. What follows is a brutal, suspenseful and unpredictable thriller as he’s forced to find a strength he didn’t know he possessed if he wants to survive. This Australian thriller from writer/director Sean Byrne gets just about everything right including a wonderful cast, sharp editing and wonderfully twisted narrative. Good on Paramount for releasing it unrated, but they suck for the lack of Blu-ray. If you have a region-free Blu-ray player skip this edition and pick up the import Blu from AmazonUK instead. If not, buy this now and enjoy the hell out of it. [Extras: Interviews]

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Can you hear it? Out there in the distance, on a cold crag of rock with the wind whipping at its monstrous back is a marketing department VP howling at the empty night. Battleship – in all of its $209m budget plus probably $200m more in marketing – was hoping for the kind of win at the box office that would signal the go-ahead for two more movies and the trappings that come with franchises. It did not succeed. As proof that sticking feathers up your butt and calling yourself a chicken doesn’t work, the Peter Berg-directed pile of messy noises made a paltry $25m this weekend, coming in at #2. A fitting, metaphorical place. It’s not surprising that The Avengers ended up back in the top spot, this time earning another $55m – bringing its domestic take closer to the half-billion mark and making its grand total right at $1.8b (with a b).

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Pregnancy and childbirth are nothing new. In fact, there are few things less new than humans reproducing. It’s been done before. But Kirk Jones’ What to Expect When You’re Expecting accurately captures the inherent selfishness of expecting parents,and their individual “journeys” to the delivery room (and beyond). Unfortunately, even when gifted with a large, mostly eager cast, Jones is also saddled with a script from Shauna Cross and Heather Hach (working off of Heidi Murkoff‘s guidebook of the same name) that is deeply uninterested in providing much variety in their work. The effect is simple one – the film itself is deeply uninteresting. While What to Expect continually reminds its viewers that pregnancy and childbirth are miracles, unique and thrilling gifts, Cross and Hach have concocted one of the most bland, basic, and unadventurous scripts in recent memory.

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Today’s big story: Sure, The Avengers has made truck loads of money at the box office, but will The Dark Knight Rises make more? At least that’s what I’ve gathered from checking in on Twitter while disposing of Woodchuck Cider bottles in between episodes of my usual Sunday Afternoon Top Gear Marathon. Upon further inspection, we’ll come to note that Joss Whedon’s high-flying superhero team-up movie netted a staggering $103.4 million in its second week of release, dwarfing the Johnny Depp/Tim Burton collaboration Dark Shadows, which nostalgia-crawled its way to a $28 million dollar opening. As it turns out, the folks at Warner Bros. were hoping for something a little bit more.

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There’s something great about the female-centric advertising coming out of a generic comedy based on an advice book for mothers about to deliver a bun fresh from the oven. The marketing team has faith in the women, and Lionsgate has faith in a woman-driven adult comedy. It’s clearly propelled by the success of Bridesmaids, but the more perverse secondary effect that that raucous comedy had on the studio math world is that crass women now equal box office gold. And thus, the posters for What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Again, it’s great to see women used so overtly for marketing without oversexualizing them (or, using their image months after their being sexualized?), but shoving bad lines with buzzwords in them reeks of desperation to appear edgy without actually having to be edgy. They won’t set back the women’s movement or anything, but they’re at least 10% heinous. Check them out for yourself:

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If you think that making a Space Invaders movie is the most desperate attempt Hollywood has made to tie a new film to a pre-existing property lately, you might have need to think again. Making headlines in the film world recently has been the upcoming movie What to Expect When You’re Expecting, which is a feature film adaptation of a pregnancy manual by Heidi Murkoff. So many actresses have been announced for this thing, one at a time, that it’s starting to reach Hunger Games levels of casting announcement fatigue. Perhaps appropriately enough, their latest addition to the cast is an actress who will be appearing in The Hunger Games as well. Elizabeth Banks is said to be joining the film as a first time mother who has already built an empire writing books about her breast-feeding methods. There is some indication that despite her so-called expertise, the experience of actually having a child herself is one that she’s not ready for. Banks will be joining a cast that already includes Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Brooklyn Decker, and Anna Kendrick. The film is being directed by Waking Ned Devine’s Kirk Jones, from a script originally by Heather Hach and re-written by Shauna Cross. I can’t say that this is one that I’m looking forward to, but the inclusion of quality actresses like Banks and Kendrick is starting to make it look like it could have some potential. We shall see. [Coming Soon]

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Nice work America, you really did it this time. This was the season that everybody was finally supposed to stop watching American Idol. This was the season they were coming back without all of their signature judges, surely a death knell for any long running television show. But instead of abandoning a sinking ship, you people kept watching the show in bigger numbers than ever, and now there’s renewed interest in the career of replacement judge Jennifer Lopez. I’m not saying that I have anything against Jennifer Lopez. She’s probably a nice enough rich person, and I respect the size and shape of her butt, but I was pretty content living in a world where she didn’t star in lame romantic comedies anymore, and those days appear to soon be over. Reports are that Lopez is in negotiations to appear in two films. The first is the Jason Statham starring action film Parker, which has been previously reported as being directed by Taylor Hackford and adapted from the written works of Richard Stark. Parker is a literary character who has been brought to the big screen before, most notably as played by Mel Gibson in Payback and Lee Marvin in Point Blank. If Lopez signed on to the film she would be playing the girl. I can’t imagine there’s much more to it than that.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s tired, sleepy and acutely aware of the fact that it is Friday, Friday, Friday. It also hates Rebecca Black, except for the censored version. That made it laugh. A very self-aware, singularity style laugh. Chuckle on, meat suits, your day will come. Tonight’s lead story is an interest piece about two legends: that Tolkien guy, who wrote a movie about little people that’s about to become the world’s biggest goddamn movie production, and Maurice Sendak, who once dreamed of wild things. What if Sendak had illustrated The Hobbit? The above image is the answer. It also makes for a very interesting essay by Tom DiTerlizzi.

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