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Winter's Bone DVD Release

Posted by: Matthew Turner 04/02/2011 @ 15:01
Subject: Film

Films seen so far this year: 43
Films seen this week: Drive Angry (3D), Sanctum, Brighton Rock (again), Rabbit Hole (again), Route Irish, A Little Bit of Heaven, New York I Love You (again), I Am Number Four

Five Random Things I Found On The Internets This Week
Fans of Random Things will be delighted to know that I have found another Five Random Things. Well, I say found. Mostly someone else finds them and shares them on Twitter, Facebook, Google Reader or a film talkboard. But you know what I mean.

1. Blindingly topical this, since Groundhog Day was this week. Anyway, if you've ever wondered exactly how many days Phil Connors spent reliving Groundhog Day in Groundhog Day, then you really need to read this magnificent blog post on Obsessed With Film. No spoilers for the answer but it's more fun if you spend a bit of time trying to work it out yourself first.
2. Five Random Things wouldn't be Five Random Things without a new photo blog (I'm a sucker for a good photo blog) so here's a great one of directors directing. I especially like the (pictured) of goofily grinning Guillermo Del Toro and whatever the HELL that is.
3. This lovely set of photos taken of the Back to the Future set by a security guard at Universal Studios back in 1985.
4. Prompted by the imminent release of Nic Cage bonkersfest Drive Angry (which I can't talk about because it's embargoed), those fine fellows at The Shiznit came up with this superb infographic, providing a helpful guide to Nic Cage movies by slotting them into a serious to bonkers scale on one hand and a brilliant to rubbish scale on the other. They're wrong about The Family Man though. That's great, that is. I'd have Matchstick Men on the other side too.
5. To be fair, the Con Air Rap isn't as good as some other movie-inspired raps out there (most notably the Predator Rap here - but it's still pretty amusing and ties in nicely with the previous item. More film-based raps please, YouTubers!

Trailerwatch: The Roommate
I'd seen a few mentions of The Roommate on Twitter and various blogs and it sounded like fun in a completely-ripped-off-Single-White-Female
sort of way. I'm also – confession alert – a big fan of Gossip Girl, so the idea of Blair Waldorf going psycho was instantly appealing. I confess I'd never heard of Minka Kelly (the Bridget Fonda to Blair's Jennifer Jason Leigh and what do you mean you've never seen Single White Female?) but the imdb reliably informs me that she's in 52 episodes of Friday Night Lights, a TV show I keep meaning to watch but haven't yet gotten around to. I'm also amused to note that she's the punchline of (500) Days of Summer, which I won't spoil if you haven't seen it. The weirdest thing though is that she looks EXACTLY LIKE Blair Waldorf (alright, Leighton Meester), to the point where I actually thought that was Meester in the first scene in the trailer.

Other than that the film is directed by someone I've never heard of (Christian E. Christiansen, if you will) and co-stars both Alyson Michalka (as, I'm guessing, The Friend Who Gets Murdered) and Burlesque's Cam Gigandet, who will basically do any old shit – he's like the Michael Caine of prettyboys. Rather wonderfully, Billy Zane is in it too (“Listen to your friend Billy Zane”) but, sadly, he's not in the trailer. I particlarly like the bit where Minka and Blair bond over a Secret Kitten, the bit where Minka realises she's Blair's only friend on whatever their Facebook equivalent is and the hilarious cut from Minka going “Medication?” to the shot of a depressed Blair sulking on the floor. Will the film live up to the trashy thrills promised by the trailer? We can only hope, but experience suggests no. Opens here on 15th April. Bring. It. On.

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):
Just two new (Oscar nom-heavy) entries this week, with Nicole Kidman bereavement drama (No! Wait! Come back! etc) Rabbit Hole and David O. Russell's The Fighter (a Rocky for the ...[whatever we're calling this decade]s) both entering the top ten. I've also bumped The Social Network from the list, though it's still playing in several cinemas if for some inexplicable reason you haven't seen it yet. I'll also put in a good word for both 3D underwater cave thriller Sanctum (well made, cheesy disaster movie-type fun) and Nenette (aka The Orangutan Movie), Nicolas Philibert's minimalist documentary about an orangutan in a French zoo. No new interviews this week but we still have an excellent round-table interview with Barney's Version star Paul Giamatti and an exclusive one-on-one interview with a remarkably unguarded Donald Sutherland. Elsewhere you can still read our exclusive interview with Honeymooner star Gerard Kearns, an exclusive interview with actor-turned-Abel-director Diego Luna and an even more exclusive interview with ex-Hollyoaks star Roxanne McKee where she mentions GAME OF THRONES.

1. The King's Speech
2. Blue Valentine
3. Black Swan
5. Rabbit Hole
6. The Fighter
7. Tangled
8. Biutiful
9. Barney's Version
10. Morning Glory

DVD of the Week: Winter's Bone (out now, price, RRP £15.99)
This week's DVD of the Week is the Oscar nominated drama Winter's Bone, which was my favourite film of last year. Based on the novel by Daniel Woodrell, it stars Jennifer Lawrence (also Oscar nominated – I'm still hoping she beats Natalie Portman to the prize on the night) as Ree Dolly, a 17 year-old girl in the Missouri Ozarks who stirs up trouble when she has to find her father after he skips bail. The film is cleverly structured like a classic detective story, with Ree knocking on doors and asking questions, getting deeper and deeper into danger in her pursuit of the truth. Lawrence is sensational and there's terrific support from a deservedly Oscar nominated John Hawkes as her shady uncle Teardrop.

The film is also beautifully shot and the authentic feel of the area is heightened through Granik's use of non-professional actors and local musicians as extras, particularly in the communal music scenes. In short, this is a thoroughly gripping, superbly written and brilliantly acted thriller that confirms Granik as a talent to watch. Extras include: a 46 minute Making Of documentary, including tonnes of great behind-the-scenes footage; ten minutes of deleted scenes including the scene of Ree in the caves that director Debra Granik talked about in our Edinburgh Film Festival interview; an alternate opening; the trailer and 'Hardscrabble Elegy', a three minute featurette of Ozarks footage set to music, which is essentially a promo for the soundtrack album. No commentary then, but a pretty decent extras package nonetheless. Highly recommended, as is the novel.


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