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Blockbuster vs. The Beatles

Beatles HelpI’m pretty sure my local has committed artistic blasphemy.  Allow me to explain:

About a week ago, I was in the mood for something fun and nostalgic, so I swung by Blockbuster to rent a copy of Help!, which, for anyone who doesn’t know, is the second film made.

Now, Blockbuster didn’t carry it, and that doesn’t shock me too much as it’s not one of the more monumental of their films.  But, upon further prying, I discovered that they didn’t have A Hard Day’s Night, Magical Mystery Tour, or Let It Be either.  The very nice girl at the counter did tell me (with a degree of excitement), that they carried , which she thought was just ... awesome.  At this point, I had to quickly excuse myself before I began to do my hostile re-education routine on a complete stranger.

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This Week on HD DVD and Blu-ray: February 05, 2008

Elizabeth The Golden Age HD DVDAs the 80th Annual Academy Awards inch ever closer, some of us are still scrambling to see the contenders in question before the big night. Those anxious to see their favorites before the inevitable acceptance speech or scowl-behind-forced-smile have the chance to watch a few in high-def this week.

On HD DVD is Elizabeth: The Golden Age, nominated for Cate Blanchett‘s performance and the opulent costumes. On Blu-ray are Across the Universe, nominated for its costumes, and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, nominated for Casey Affleck‘s supporting performance.

Look for other nominees, brought to you in crystal clear high definition, throughout the month.

Check out the full list of high-def releases after the jump.

Click to continue reading This Week on HD DVD and Blu-ray: February 05, 2008


Beatles to Soar ‘Across the Universe’

Beatles For SaleThey helped unify a generation and defined what successful recording artists should aspire to…so maybe they can become alien ambassadors, too?

NASA will broadcast Across the Universe, a tune, literally across the universe next week. Or at least, some small portion of the universe. The song will be broadcast to Polaris, the North Star. This will be the first time a radio song is beamed into deep space, perfect timing as this marks the 40th anniversary of the song, the 45th anniversary of the NASA Deep Space Network, and the 50th anniversary of NASA itself.  The / tune will take 431 years to reach the star Polaris. It will be broadcast at 7 pm (EST) on Monday from Madrid, Spain.

Personally, I’m a lifelong Beatles fan (What can I say? My dad turned me on to them) so I can’t think of a better song to fill the universe.  The big-screen version of last year’s Across the Universe will also hit the shelves just hours after the song’s broadcast (Feb. 5th).

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2008 Golden Globe Nominations (Film)

Assuming the ongoing doesn’t put a wrench into everyone’s plans, the 65th Annual ceremony is scheduled to air on Sunday, Jan. 13th. (The telecast will come just 9 days prior to the nominations.)

Here are the most notable omissions/additions in this year’s list of film honorees:
Atonement

(Click below for the full list of film nominees; click here for the TV nominations.)

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Box Office Breakdown: Tyler Perry vs. George Clooney

Michael Clayton

This weekend saw , , and all fighting for your box office dollars—so who would have thought would come out the big winner?

Even though two of his last three films opened with impressive numbers, very few predicted the writer/actor/producer/director would topple the competition.  Now the number crunchers know better.  Though the debut underperformed 2005’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman ($21.9 million) and 2006’s Madea’s Family Reunion ($30 million), Tyler Perry’s still scored $10 million more than its nearest competitor.

Additionally surprising was the lasting success of Disney’s .  The film finally dropped one notch to #2 in its third week—also beating out and .  Although kid-friendly fare is rarity these days, the movie’s ability to remain so strong is quite impressive.

 

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Box Office Breakdown:  The Game Plan Scores the Win

The Game Plan

The execs at Disney must be loving themselves this week.  Not only are are they attached to one of hottest concert tours of the year, they have just taken a surprise win at the box office.  Although many had predicted good things for the terrorism thriller, The Kingdom, a simple father/daughter bonding film moved theatergoers this weekend.

At $22.9 million, The Game Plan took in almost $6 million more than the / vehicle. The movie about a football player who meets the daughter he never knew he had (how exactly is that a Disney storyline?) gave “The Rock” his second best opening (behind 2002’s The Scorpion King).

Meanwhile, Julie Taymor’s Across the Universe made its first entry into the Top 10.  After several weeks in limited release, the musical—which uses 33 Beatles songs to tell its story—will expand into more theaters come October 12th. 

Click to continue reading Box Office Breakdown:  The Game Plan Scores the Win


REVIEW:  ‘Across the Universe’

Across the Universe class=

When I first heard the words Julie Taymor, The Beatles and musical linked in the same sentence, I immediately etched the title Across the Universe into my brain.  Without even glimpsing a trailer, I knew I had to see the film.  I was raised on The Fab Four and was curious to see what Taymor, the award-winning director behind the stage production of The Lion King, would do with their library.  After months of waiting, I knew from the minute I heard Jim Sturgess’ haunting vocal on the opener (‘Girl’) that this would be a special event.

The movie centers around a dock worker from Liverpool, England (Jude) who travels to America in the early ‘60s to find the father he never met.  He quickly befriends a rich college dropout (Max) and later falls in love with his younger sister (Lucy).  All three eventually end up in New York where their lives become tied to the anti-war movement.

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In Theaters This Weekend (9/14)

The Brave One

If you need a little help planning your weekend, here are a few possible suggestions:

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