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The Sitter DVD Release

Posted by: Matthew Turner 11/05/2012 @ 11:57
Subject: Film

Total films seen so far this year: 134
Films seen in the last week: Jeff Who Lives At Home, All In Good Time, Dark Shadows, The Angels' Share, What To Expect When You're Expecting, Snow White and the Huntsman

FILM OF THE WEEK: Jeff Who Lives at Home

Annual Case of Cannes Envy
In five days, the 2012 Cannes Film Festival kicks off, which means that, once again, it's time for my annual case of Cannes Envy. Made all the worse in the era of Twitter and Facebook, because my feeds fill up with film journalist friends swanning around on La Croisette, attending parties on boats and all that sort of thing, to say nothing of the films themselves.

This year, at least, I can console myself slightly with the fact that I'll be seeing Wes Anderson's new film (festival opener Moonrise Kingdom) almost immediately after its Cannes screening, plus the fact that I've already seen one high-profile British entry (there is a clue somewhere on this blog, but embargo conditions prevent me from pointing at it), though there are still plenty of other mouth-watering prospects to induce waves of seething jealousy. Chief amongst these are David Cronenberg's Don DeLillo adaptation Cosmopolis (even if I have reservations about the casting of Robert Pattinson), and A Prophet director Jacques Audiard's Rust and Bone (based on a short story by Craig Davidson), starring Marion Cotillard, about a bareknuckle fighter and someone losing limbs to an Orca whale. Other films I'm dying to see include Ben Wheatley's Sightseers (starring Alice Lowe, one of my favourite unsung British actresses, reputedly brilliant in the film) and Walter Salles' adaptation of Jack Kerouac's Beat classic On The Road, starring Kristen Stewart, Sam Riley and Garrett Hedlund.

On top of that, I recently interviewed Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen (for the upcoming, brilliant A Royal Affair) and his new film The Hunt (or
Jagten) is also screening in Cannes, in which he plays a smalltown divorcee accused of abusing a child. This is directed by Thomas Vinterberg (who made Festen), so I'm expecting great things, even if it's not exactly destined for feelgood movie of the year status.

This blog post is depressing me now, but there are two more films I'm already sick with envy about:

1. Andrew Dominik's Cogan's Trade (stupidly retitled Killing Them Softly and not to be confused with Heather Graham stinker Killing Me Softly), based on a George V. Higgins novel, starring Brad Pitt as an enforcer investigating a heist (Pitt and Dominik made my favourite film of the 00s – The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford), and

2. Michael Haneke's Amour, starring Isabelle Huppert as a woman dealing with her elderly parents (Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva).

Enjoy, Cannes-goers. Don't mind me – I'll be over here, sulking. And weeping.

Trailerwatch: Piranha 3DD (Red Band trailer)
There have been no press screenings for Piranha 3DD, which traditionally, is not a good sign. However, there was only one press screening for Piranha 3D in 2010 and that turned out to be one of the guiltiest pleasures of the year, so there's some hope for the sequel at least, even if the fact that director Alexandre Aja isn't on board this time means we probably won't get anything as inspired as the naked lesbian underwater ballet sequence (that also referenced The Creature from the Black Lagoon) from the 2010 film.

As the red band trailer (I don't have to explain red band trailers again, do I?) below indicates, there's plenty of blood and guts (and boobs) this time round, plus they have brought back both Christopher Lloyd (essentially playing his part as Doc Brown turned fish expert) and, hilariously, Ving Rhames (“BRING ME MY LEGS!”) from the first film. Frankly, if they were willing to do that, even though Ving HAD HIS LEGS EATEN OFF last time, then they missed a trick by not casting Kelly Brook as her previous character's twin sister, investigating her sister's death.
Clearly the key casting coup this time round is The Hoff (playing himself), so here's hoping David Hasselhoff has more to do than just the inspired cameo in the trailer. (Distressed potential piranha victim: “Help us – people are dying!”, The Hoff: “First of all, I'm not a real life-guard. Never was. And second, that's what natural selection is all about ...”).

I'm also excited about the presence of David Koechner as the water park's manager, because no-one does deadpan sleaze better than David Koechner. The imdb page lists rising star Katrina Bowden (Tucker & Dale, 30 Rock, last seen in American Pie: Reunion) as one of the cast, but as she's nowhere to be seen in the trailer, it's probably a safe bet that she gets eaten early on. (Actually, watching the trailer again, I think she's the one with the piranha inside her in the bedroom, but it's not very clear). The film also stars Gary Busey, but, frankly, that could go one of two ways – I am pretty certain that's Gary Busey eating a piranha at the 1m39s mark, so frankly, when it comes to Busey vs Piranha, all bets are off.

Anyway, I'll be seeing this in approximately an hour and 45 minutes from the time of writing (review will follow shortly) and I can't wait. Bring on the nibbly little blighters!

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):
Only one new entry in the top ten this week, although I should point out that at the time of writing, I have not yet seen Piranha 3DD and that is almost certainly going to be AWESOME (see trailer, above). The new entry is slacker comedy Jeff Who Lives At Home by the Duplass Brothers (and if you like the Duplass Brothers, check out their debut feature The Puffy Chair – I still treasure my limited edition Puffy Chair badge from the Edinburgh Film Festival), but I will also put in a good word for Tim Burton's Dark Shadows (which has had a kicking elsewhere but is not as bad as you might have heard), Mel Gibson Mexican jail thriller How I Spent My Summer Vacation and two French films (who releases two French films in one week? Honestly) Beloved and Cafe de Flore.

Interview-wise this week we have a semi-exclusive interview with Gareth Evans and Iko Uwais, the director and star of kick-ass ass-kicking thriller The Raid, which opens next week. Elsewhere, you can still read: our exclusive interview with Damsels in Distress director Whit Stillman, an exclusive interview with horse whisperer Buck Brannaman (subject of Buck), press conference interviews with most of the Avengers, a press conference interview with Robert Redford (who was over for Sundance), and an exclusive interview with The Monk director Dominik Moll. Plus semi-exclusive interviews with American Pie Reunion stars Eugene Levy and Jennifer Coolidge, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Tara Reid, Eddie Kaye Thomas and Chris Klein, and directors Hayden Schlossberg and Jon Hurwitz.

We also have our exclusive interview with Marley director Kevin Macdonald, a press conference interview with Salmon Fishing in the Yemen stars Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt, our exclusive interview with Battleship star Taylor Kitsch and director Pete Berg, an exclusive interview with Return (and Freaks & Geeks) star Linda Cardellini, and an exclusive interview with Gideon Defoe, author of The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists.

1. Avengers Assemble
2. Titanic 3D
3. The Kid With A Bike
4. Damsels in Distress
5. The Hunger Games
6. Marley
7. Goodbye First Love
8. Clone
9. The Cabin in the Woods
10. Jeff Who Lives At Home

DVD of the Week: The Sitter (out Monday 14th, online RRP £9.99-£14.99 for DVD or Blu-Ray)
This week's DVD of the week is The Sitter, directed by David Gordon Green. Jonah Hill stars as twenty-something slacker Noah Griffith, who agrees to babysit anxiety-riddled Slater (Max Records), fame-obsessed Blithe (Landry Bender) and adopted junior arsonist Rodrigo (Kevin
Hernandez) so that his kind-hearted mother (Jessica Hecht) can go out on a date. However, things quickly go wrong when Noah's would-be girlfriend Marisa (Ari Graynor) calls and drunkenly promises that she'll finally sleep with him if he picks up some drugs from her dealer (Sam Rockwell as Karl) and delivers them to the party she's at. Noah duly drags the kids along on the drug deal and they end up in a whole mess of trouble after Rodrigo steals and breaks a fake dinosaur egg full of cocaine, leading Karl to demand that Noah comes up with $10,000 by midnight.

Hill delivers a likeable performance that keeps the film watchable and stays the right side of sympathetic despite some poor decision making on his part. There's also strong support from all three child actors, particularly Max Records (Where The Wild Things Are), who delivers a sweetly sensitive performance as Slater. The main problem with the film is that it just isn't funny enough – there are a handful of good lines and one stand-out moment (an over-too-quickly fight scene) but that's basically it, while some half-hearted toilet humour falls painfully flat. The script also falls foul of some excruciating racial stereotyping and completely wastes both Sam Rockwell and JB Smoove as the drug dealers. That said, Hill's likeable performance ensures that the film remains watchable, even if it's not quite as funny as it should have been.

In this week's blatant attempt to make DVD people switch to Blu-Rays, the DVD has no extras at all, while the Blu-Ray has: both extended and theatrical versions of the film; ten deleted/alternative extended scenes; a gag reel; a 15 minute Making Of featurette; a Sits-N-Giggles featurette (with several alternative line readings, essentially the Line-O-Rama feature that frequently pops up on Apatow-style comedies); a compilation of co-star Landry Bender’s outtakes (from a single scene); the theatrical trailer and a five minute specially-filmed featurette entitled Jonah The Producer, with Hill “mentoring” the kids.


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