Monday, September 10, 2012

'Chained' screening at Calgary Int'l Film Festival



It’s 10 days to CIFF’s opening gala, so I’ll be posting a quick write-up per day on some of my favourite movies at the fest. I’m not exactly unbiased — CIFF does give me a paycheque, after all — but these posts are my own opinions and not those of the festival.
Alright, now that the disclaimer’s out of the way: Chained. I used to be a huge horror fan, but the post-millennial trend towards torture porn has largely left me cold, so I went into Chained with fairly low expectations. It took about 15 minutes for my reaction to change from “that main guy looks a lot like Vincent D’Onofrio” to “Oh, wait, that’s because it is Vincent D’Onofrio” to “I can’t stop watching this.” If I’d looked at the credits first and seen that it was from Boxing Helena director Jennifer Lynch, maybe that would’ve sped up the process.
Anyway. D’Onofrio plays a serial killer and rapist who takes home a woman and her nine-year-old son. He does what he usually does with her (off-screen, thankfully), but decides to keep the kid around as a sort of son/slave/pet. That’s where the film changes from a thriller to a character study, with D’Onofrio turning in what might just be his best performance since the first Men In Black movie (less showy, but with a lot of depth). It’s more about the power dynamic, the damaging effects of captivity and, yes, the desire for a legacy, but there’s enough tension throughout that the term “character study” shouldn’t scare you off. Especially if you made it past “serial killer and rapist.” Yes, it’s definitely disturbing, but it’ll stick with you.

'Fire With Fire' coming on DVD/Blu-ray...

Title: Fire with Fire
Starring: Josh Duhamel 
Released: 6th November 2012
SRP: $19.98 (DVD)

Further Details:
Lionsgate Home Entertainment has announced DVD ($19.98) and Blu-ray ($24.99) releases of Fire with Fire for November 6th. Extras will include an audio commentary with director David Barrett and cinematographer Christopher Probst, a second commentary with actors Vincent D'Onofrio, Julian McMahon, James Lesure and Eric Winter, behind-the-scenes interviews, and Extended Interviews with actors Josh Duhamel, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, Julian McMahon, Eric Winter, James Lesure and director David Barrett and producer Randall Emmett. We've attached package artwork for each release below:


Cinema is a Flintstone, Blu-ray and VOD are Jetsons. That seems to be the way Hollywood’s thinking of late, anyway.

One filmmaker, whose movie is going to direct-to-DVD and Blu-ray this week in the states, told me yesterday that anything less than a budget of a $20 million will undoubtedly bypass cinemas now – especially in America. The studios know it’s going to cost a packet marketing the movie for a theatrical bow, sometimes costing more than the budget of the film itself, so these days they’ll just push most of the product straight to the video-rental boxes or digital download. And that’s the reason, despite many of these titles boasting name actors like Bruce Willis or Robert De Niro, that you’ll see so many titles not going theatrical now – unless they’re a sure thing, in which case the studios can warrant spending so much on the film’s theatrical campaign. And I tell ya, they definitely won’t be bothering after Bruce Willis’s latest, “The Cold Light Of Day” made less than a strip club buffet night over the weekend. Whoever thought Bruce Willis would be one of today’s main direct-to-DVD stars though!? Sad, right!?

Two big-name titles have just been announced for direct-to-DVD treatment – “Vamps”, the “Clueless” reunion of Alicia Silverstone and Amy Heckerling, and “Fire with Fire”, starring – here we go again – Bruce Willis.

More Jennifer Lynch Q and A on 'Chained'...

  'Vincent is easily one of the coolest guys you will ever meet. He's everything you want him to be. He was my first choice for this, absolutely. There was talk about other people like a Phillip Seymour Hoffman and that was almost too obvious for me. Nothing against Phillip...it just felt a little too easy. Vincent was my first choice, I sent him the script and he called me the next day and said 'You know we know each other' and I said 'Yeah, I remember meeting you'. 'You didn't hire me the first time...are you going to hire me this time?' After getting over my initial horror at Vincent remembering me and not hiring him, we just shot the shit and starting having a conversation. He said, 'Well, I really want to do this' and I said, 'OK, let's make a movie.' He is the kindest, smartest, funniest, warmest man ever and has sort of made himself my older adopted brother for which I am incredibly grateful. Great fuckin' guy...amazing. And, brave as hell; he did things for me and entrusted me I can hardly believe. At one point I asked him to do something that wasn't planned and he sorta thought of it for a minute and said, 'I'll do it once' and I said 'OK, I'm going to shoot it.'

Published on Sep 9, 2012 by 
The Q&A after presentation of Jennifer Lynchs movie Chained on the big screen at the Fantasy Filmfest in Germany.

Sorry for the bad video quality.

Official poster art for Woodstock Film Festival 2012


 Artist Bill Miller