‘ROOKIE BLUE’S’ GREGORY SMITH TAKES ON A ‘HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN’

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Fans of Rookie Blue can also catch cast member Gregory Smith as a psychopathic thug in Hobo with a Shotgun, an homage to B-movie, exploitation flicks.  The blatantly over the top feature centers on a train hopping hobo (Rutger Hauer) who eliminates a plethora of criminals in a sleazy, run-down town.

Click on the media bar below to hear director Jason Eisener recount how Gregory Smith landed the role of Slick in Hobo with a Shotgun.

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“I saw this potential of this sort of cult phenomenon that’s kind of happened now,” said the actor.  “And everybody thought I was crazy.  And now that it’s actually happened, I feel a little vindicated because it was a big risk but it turned out great.  Peter Travers (Rolling Stone critic) gave it this incredible review.  People love the movie.  I’m really hoping the producers of Rookie Blue don’t see it!  But I’m very proud of it.”

Smith, who also starred in the beloved TV series Everwood, was not exactly the perfect choice to play a vulgar, woman hating murderer, and he explains how he got into character while shooting in the streets of Halifax.  Click on the media bar to hear Smith (Rookie Blue co-star Missy Peregrym can also be heard). 

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Rookie Blue airs Thursday night (ABC, 10 pm et/pt).  Hobo with a Shotgun is now out on Blu-ray and DVD, and special features include deleted scenes, audio commentary with Jason Eisener and Rutger Hauer, an alternate ending, and video blogs.

‘PRIEST,’ WITH PAUL BETTANY & MAGGIE Q, HITS BLU-RAY AUGUST 16TH

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Priest failed to catch box-office fire domestically during its May release (an estimated $29 million), but I’m actually pretty excited this film is coming out on Blu-ray (and DVD) on August 16th.

Director Scott Charles Stewart’s 2009 apocalyptic diner film Legion was not as bad as critics suggest, and I really dug how most of the main characters in met a grave demise.  Paul Bettany, who played the gun toting fallen angel Michael, reteams with Stewart for Priest.

This time out, a reclusive warrior priest (Bettany) ends his reclusive nature after his niece (The Blind Side’s Lily Collins) is kidnapped by a a group of vampires led by RED actor Karl Urban.  Maggie Q (La Femme Nikita) and Twilight hunk Cam Gigandet aid the Priest on his violent rescue mission.  As in Legion, Priest contains an excellent ensemble, which also includes co-stars Stephen Moyer (True Blood) and Christopher Plummer (The Last Station).

Special features on the disc include audio commentary from director Scott Charles Stewart, writer Cory Goodman, Paul Bettany, and Maggie Q, plus deleted and extended scenes, and a couple of featurettes.  Blu-ray owners will get the exclusive feature Bullets and Crucifixes: Picture-in-Picture Experience.

Click on the media bar below to hear Maggie Q talk about her character in Priest.

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RICHARD DONNER LOOKS BACK ON ‘SUPERMAN’ JOURNEY

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Superman: The Motion Picture Anthology (1978-2006) was released this week on Blu-ray, and the collection contains all five of the films including the two alternative versions of Superman and Superman II. Fans of Superman Returns will also be treated to the never-before-seen opening of the film.

Hollywood Outbreak talked to Richard Donner about directing the first Superman (he also helmed the sequel).  “I loved the experience,” said the filmmaker, whose illustrious career began with directing television.  “It was a very tough film to make, because I had adversaries in the process but it didn’t matter because the end result was pretty damn good and I look back at it and I just remembered the fun and the joy and the feeling of accomplishment.”

Click on the media bar and listen to Donner elaborate on how his early days in television influenced his film career:

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One of Superman’s many strengths lie in the A-list cast, which included some of Hollywood’s most talented actors (Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Ned Beatty, and Glenn Ford). Before working with Brando, Donner talked to the actor’s former agent Jay Kanter and his Apocalypse Now collaborator Francis Ford Coppola. “By the time I met him, he totally threw me even though I had the insight,” said Donner.  “I was smart enough to realize he was a very bright man.  (He had) a great sense of humor and he could talk his way out of working and still get paid.   So it was my job to keep him on the set.  And he was a delight.  I had the most wonderful time with him, and he became a dear friend.  So it was a good experience.  It was tough.  I was scared stiff of Gene Hackman, but he turned in to be not only one of the most special actors I’ve ever worked with, but one of the most special people. “

Donner, who also directed the Lethal Weapon movies (and the overlooked cop drama 16 Blocks), adds that he is not too thrilled watching Hollywood churn out remake after remake.  It’s a very interesting clip, and if you want to hear what Donner thinks of the remake of his film The Omen, as well as his take on producer Joel Silver, click here: 

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posted by Greg Srisavasdi

‘INSIDIOUS’ HAUNTS BLU-RAY & DVD JULY 12TH

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Insidious (PG-13, 102 minutes, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment), the hit horror/thriller from Saw team  James Wan and Leigh Whannell, comes out on Blu-ray and DVD July 12th.  Made for an estimated $1 million, the April release took in over $53 million domestically, proving that low budget filmmaking can thrive amidst big budget studio flicks.  The story centers on a couple (Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne) whose comatose son may be haunted by an evil spirit.  On the Special Features end, both the Blu-ray and DVD versions contain three featurettes: “Horror 101: The Exclusive Seminar,” “On Set with Insidious,” and “Insidious Entries.”

In an interview conducted for the Insidious, director James Wan explained why his film is not an average, run-of-the-mill horror story (Leigh Whannell penned the screenplay and co-starred in the film): 

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posted by Greg Srisavasdi

‘THE BIG BANG’ DIRECTOR TONY KRANTZ MIXES FILM NOIR, ANTONIO BANDERAS, & THE GOD PARTICLE!

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I’m a sucker for a film noir with a strong visual sense, and the recent Blu-ray release of the neo noir thriller  The Big Bang, though flawed in certain aspects, is worth a look.  The story centers on an investigator (Antonio Banderas) whose search for a missing woman gets even more complicated by the minute.

Hollywood Outbreak interviewed The Big Bang director Tony Krantz, and he talked to us about working with Banderas, the Blu-ray release, and hiring The Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr to score the film.

Outbreak: So this movie is a film noir which also deals with particle physics?  How did you decide on creating such a complex story?

Krantz: Film noir is about opposites.  Light and dark.  Shadows and light.  Good and evil.  Life is weirdly, according to physicists, about a duality of things.  About the fact that everything is both a wave and a particle at the same time, literally.  People are shades of grey, pieces of good and evil, even parts of them are male and female, black and white, left and right.  Opposites.  This movie at its core is about opposites.  It’s about two stories that you think are completely opposite that turn out to be in fact to be connected and the same story.  The movie is a search for a missing woman, which is a classic noir movie, but it’s also a search by the Sam Elliott character for a missing sub-atomic particle and you discover that these two stories are the exact same thing.  What the Antonio Banderas character is looking for is love and what Sam Elliott, the physicist, is looking for is literally that particle that gives mass to energy which is also called the God particle.  One might say he’s looking for God itself.  Antonio Banderas is looking for love and in our opinion, as filmmaker,, are the same thing.  Love and God is the same thing.  And we did a detective story that blended with particle physics to say that.

Outbreak: Are there any films that inspired you for the visual look of The Big Bang.

Krantz:  There was a movie I loved called Hud that Paul Newman was in.  The director of photography won the Oscar for that movie, a guy named James Wong Howe.  And I loved how that movie looked. The sort of long horizontal vistas punctuated by telephone poles in west Texas.  And so I wanted a similar kind of organizing principle.  If you look at The Big Bang and what it is and you look at it all across the movie, you’ll see the same kinds of ideas.

Outbreak: Can you talk about casting Antonio Banderas as the private eye?

Krantz: We live in a multi-cultural society.  And the idea of the white male, hard bitten detective which was sort of immortalized by people like Humphrey Bogart in the classic film noirs of the 1940s and 50s isn’t necessarily applicable in the multi-cultural world we live in today.  You look at America, America isn’t one color, it’s every color and that’s what makes America so great.  The idea of today, doing something like having a Latin lead as a classic American icon felt very right to us. It felt like it was actually the right kind of choice for a movie that’s set in the world today.  So when Antonio responded to the script we knew that we had our leading man and we were thrilled that Antonio joined us.

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Outbreak: How did the Johnny Marr collaboration originate?

Krantz:  Johnny Marr is the guy who did all the music in the movie and he is known as the co-leader of The Smiths with Morrissey. My roommate in the early part of my career was the manager, believe it or not at the same time, The Smiths, UB40, and the Simple Minds.  Johnny came and spent  a couple of weeks with us in our little house in the Hollywood Hills when we were living there and we remained friends.  When I was thinking about the music for this movie I was listening to Johnny Marr’s album Boomslang on my iPod and I thought ‘This is the sound of The Big Bang.’  We got a hold of Johnny and it turns out his favorite movie is Mulholland Drive, which I had produced.  And the rest is history, but he is a genius and one of the greatest guitarists, I think, that has ever lived.

Outbreak: What do you think movie fans will get from The Big Bang on Blu-ray?

Krantz: I think they will get a beautiful looking movie, first off.  People who are fans of visual pyrotechnics and beautiful movies on their home theaters will love the look of the movie.  The movie, in many ways, is better seen in a great home system than some of the funky prints I’ve seen in theaters, honestly.  I think with the Blu-ray they will get the pristine version of what the movie is.  There are a number of extras that we put in the Blu-ray.  There are extended scenes, an extensive making of documentary, commentary, and that kind of thing.

sam1Outbreak:  What are your favorite film noirs and why?

Krantz: I’ll answer that question by not answering it.  I’ll tell you what my favorite film is.  Apocalypse Now is a masterpiece.  The first two Godfathers are up there, and weirdly, The Conversation. If you look at those movies, all directed by Francis Ford Coppola, they were all directed one after the other.  They were all works of art, all of them masterpieces in many ways.  I would also say that even though it may not be considered a noir film exactly, but recently No Country For Old Men has to rank as one of the great sort of thriller, detective movies I’ve ever seen.  I thought that movie was masterful.  The storyboard artist of No Country For Old Men, J. Todd Anderson, did the storyboards for The Big Bang and has done the storyboards for the last twelve Coen Brothers movies.  So for fans of the Coen Brothers, even though this movie movie is different, they will appreciate that the same storyboard artist for those movies was the storyboard artist for this movie.

Outbreak: How hard is it to make a film that has a specific and complicated vision like The Big Bang?

Krantz: It is difficult for movies like this to find an audience because they rarely get financed because they are risky and they rarely get marketed because it is expensive to market a movie.  Unless a movie is a four quadrant movie, which is a movie that appeals to men and women, old people and young people.  It’s a movie where, if you’re spending 40, 50, 60 million to market a movie, you better be sure you get back that investment.  Because you know that the movie will appeal to that broad audience.  The Big Bang doesn’t on the surface feel like a four quadrant movie.  It feels like a movie college kids would love or more of an indie crowd would love.  But I think there is something in this movie for a lot of people.  But I think the target audience for it is a different target audience than Fast Five. It is hard to get movies like this made in the marketplace but I think it can get kind of a cult following.  With a little luck people can see and discover what we did with The Big Bang.

The Big Bang, now out on Blu-ray and DVD, co-stars William Fichtner, Sienna Guillory, Snoop Dogg, and Delroy Lindo.

(If you want to check out our giveaway for The Big Bang, click here).

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posted by Greg Srisavasdi

MALCOLM MCDOWELL INTERVIEW: REMEMBERING LINDSAY ANDERSON

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Malcolm McDowell is getting his share of media coverage this week, thanks to the A Clockwork Orange 40th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray release and tonight’s premiere of the series Franklin & Bash (TNT, 9 pm et/pt).   The actor’s most personal work, however, is the new DVD Never Apologize (also released by Warner Home Video), which has McDowell offering stories and recollections of his mentor, director Lindsay Anderson.

Anderson and McDowell worked together on If…, O Lucky Man!, and Brittania Hospital, and during a recent interview to promote A Clockwork Orange and Never Apologize, McDowell described the late filmmaker as one of his best friends.  “He was an extraordinary man,” said the actor.  “He was absolutely one of the greatest directors I’ve ever worked with.  He was a brilliant film director and a brilliant stage director.”

One of the many highlights of Never Apologize is when McDowell recounts Anderson’s decision to visit legendary filmmaker John FordAnderson was a lifetime fan of Ford’s, and while promoting O Lucky Man! in Los Angeles he traveled to Palm Desert to visit Ford, who was dying of cancer.

I asked McDowell about the Anderson/Ford meeting, and he recounted the incident.  “It’s a very, very beautiful piece,” added McDowell.  “How did I feel about it?  I found it very hard to read it without breaking down and crying.”

Click on the media bar and listen to McDowell talk about Anderson’s Palm Desert journey to see John Ford. (it’s a long clip, but a really cool story):

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posted by Greg Srisavasdi