Lionsgate Announces Release Date, Specs For Child 44

Courtesy:  Lionsgate

Courtesy: Lionsgate

Lionsgate’s big screen adaptation of author Tom Rob Smith’s book Child 44 didn’t stay in theaters very long when it made its theatrical debut back on April 17th. Thankfully though, audiences that wanted to see it but didn’t get the chance will now finally get that chance as Child 44 will come home this summer.

Child 44 will be available in stores and online on Tuesday, July 21st. It will be available both on Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack and DVD + Digital combo pack. Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises, Inception, Lawless), Gary Oldman (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises) and Noomi Rapace (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Prometheus, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows) star in the movie, which centers on Hardy’s Soviet secret police officer Leo Demidov. After the son of Leo Demidov’s friend is killed, Demidov suspects that his superiors are covering up what really happened to the boy. When he starts investigating what really happened, he is quickly demoted and sent off to a provincial outpost with his wife Raisa (Rapace). It is there that Leo discovers that the death of his friend’s son was not the only one of its kind that has happened recently. So it is up to Leo to convince his new boss General Mikhail Nesterov (Oldman) that a crazed serial killer is on the loose and must be stopped before he takes another innocent life.

Both combo packs will include a bonus behind-the-scenes featurette titled “Reflections of History” that examines the work that went into re-creating the Soviet Union circa the 1950s. The DVD + Digital combo pack will retail for MSRP of $19.98 and the Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack for $24.99. More information on Child 44 and other titles from Lionsgate is available online now at:

Website: http://www.lionsgate.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lionsgate

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Crime Drama Fans Will Love Lawless

Courtesy: The Weinstein Company Home Entertainment/Anchor Bay Entertainment

Shia LaBeouf’s new starring vehicle, Lawless, is a good movie for any fan of the crime drama genre of movies.  This gritty, violent movie follows the story of the infamous Bondurant brothers.  The brothers were known throughout Franklin County, Virginia during the prohibition era.  Knowing this, it’s tough to not make a quick comparison to the likes of The Untouchables.  And while knowing that it’s another period piece that takes place during the Prohibition era, it would also be wrong to compare it to The Untouchables.  It really is its own movie.  It shows a completely different side of life in the Prohibition era.  The story itself is compelling.  And it’s nice to see lead star Shia LaBeouf starring in a less typecast role this time out instead of running around screaming nonstop.  He actually is convincing in the role of Jack Bondurant.  This dramatic turn is a nice change of pace for him.

Shia LaBeouf’s take on Jack Bondurant is one part of Lawless’ success.  The movie’s cinematography and backdrop make for another pair of high points here.  The manner in which the movie was shot does an especially impressive job of capturing the intensity of the gunfights between the Bondurant brothers and their rivals.  And the way Virginia’s countryside was captured helped to make the story’s period setting that much more believable.  Speaking of that setting, everyone behind the cameras should be commended for making the story believable.  From the characters’ attire to the vehicles to minutiae such as the coca-cola signs and markings of the nation’s racial divide on the buildings helps to establish that all important suspension of disbelief.

For all the positives that Lawless offers, there is one blaring downside to this movie.  It’s a problem that so many writers face in trying to make a good story.  That problem is pacing.  As impressive as the story is thanks to all of the work that went into bringing it to life, its pacing is problematic to say the least.  Considering that the movie runs just shy of two hours, it feels as if it took forever for the entire thing to unravel.  It’s almost as if writer Nick Cave wasn’t sure where to take the story as he attempted to adapt it from Matt Bondurant’s original book about his family.  Ironically, it’s Bondurant’s own words in the bonus feature, “The True Story of the Wettest County in The World” that helps to make up for that slow pacing.  And that bonus feature brings up another interesting point about this movie.  That point is that this is one more home release in which the movie’s bonus features help to make the movie, too, rather than break it.

The bonus features in the home release of Lawless are rare.  Typically, a home release’s bonus features can be saved for viewing after the movie.  But this is one of those rare times when they should be viewed first.  To go into the movie without some understanding of its background will undoubtedly change how one views the story presented here.  Among the most important of those features is “The True Story of the Wettest County in The World.”  Matt Bondurant, who is a direct descendant of the original Bondurant brothers helps tell the brothers’ story along with those behind the cameras.  The comparison of the original story to that of the movie actually helps make the story’s pacing more bearable, and thus makes the movie more watchable.  Add in the director’s commentary both on the Blu-ray and DVD feature included in the set, and any crime drama fan has on their hands a movie that’s worth at least one watch.

Batman Finale One Of 2012’s Best Movies, Home Releases

 

Courtesy:  Warner Brothers Home Video

Courtesy: Warner Brothers Home Video

Thank you David S. Goyer.  Thank you Christopher Nolan.  And thank you Jonathan Nolan.  Thanks to this trio, action film fans have gotten what is one of not only the best actions films of 2012, but one of the best films of 2012, hands down.  And while it is an impressive movie, one can’t help but wonder if perhaps it would have been better served to have been split at least into one final movie instead of trying to cram the entire thing into a near three hour time span.  That, perhaps, is the only true fault of this franchise closer……or is it the closer.  For those who have yet to see The Dark Knight Rises, Goyer and the Nolanâ(TM)s leave the door somewhat ajar for the possibility of another movie, even if it isn’t helmed by either of the Nolans.  What that means will not be given away, for the sake of those who have yet to experience this thrill ride of a story.

The Dark Knight Rises is a fitting title for this third and final(?) movie in Christopher Nolan’s Batman franchise.  What audiences see in this installment is Bruce wayne having had everything taken away.  He even loses his fortune through a series of twists and turns written into the primary plot.  That is one of the problems with the story’s writing.  How he loses his money exactly won’t be given away, either, here.  But the manner in which it is tied into the larger storyline is somewhat roundabout.  But being that said instance happens, combined with another downfall of sorts (there’s a little hint there), it makes the movie’s title that much more of a fit.  Audiences see Bruce Wayne AND Batman rise.  There’s even homage to the comic storyline in which Bane broke Batman’s back.  Of course, in that storyline, another character named Azrael had to take on the Batman mantle.  That doesn’t happen here.

As subtle as it was there was another factor that made The Dark Knight Rises an interesting movie.  In the first fight scene between Batman and Bane, there is no music to heighten the mood of the moment.  Typically, with any action movie, said music would be standard.  But in this case, that fight scene in question as just as powerful without the music.  That’s because audiences see just how tough Bane is.  There’s no need for music to emphasize that he was one tough villain.  The music is actually discussed in the bonus features in the new home release of The Dark Knight Rises.  It’s just one of many bonus features that make the movie even better now that it is available on DVD and Blu-ray.  Whether one is a trained movie production professional or simply has an appreciation for the work that goes into bringing such an epic movie to life, the extensive bonus features included in this release make for much more appreciation for the dedication to the Batman franchise.  The only irony of the new home release of The Dark Knight Rises is the lack of commentary on the main disc with the movie.  That isn’t entirely a loss though.  Considering the extensive bonus features included in the set, the lack of commentary is a minor issue.  Add in impressive quality footage in the Blu-ray presentation and audiences get a work that is not just one of the best movies of 2012 but also one of the best home releases of 2012.

As previously noted, The Dark Knight Rises clocks in at nearly three hours in length.  Goyer and the Nolans should be commended for making such an effort to bring everything from the first two movies and bring the whole franchise full circle.  Even Dr. Crane (A.K.A. The Scarecrow) is back again.  But because the trio made such an effort, it felt like too much was crammed into too little space.  While most critics might have panned the men for doing it, since the Harry Potter franchise did the same thing,The Dark Knight Rises might have been even more of a joy had it been spread out into another movie.  It would have left both the most seasoned Batman fans and the more casual ones feeling fulfilled while still wanting more.  Instead, it obviously left some audiences feeling winded after such a wild ride.  Regardless, what David S. Goyer and the Nolans have done for audiences with not just given this generation its definitive Batman, but it has clearly left the door open for Nolan or anyone else to continue the franchise in his or her own vision.  Should that happen, here is to the hopes that whoever should take the reins next will bring audiences a Batman franchise as impressive as Nolan’s, AND Burton’s.

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