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Weinstein Co.'s 'Hurricane Season' blows straight to DVD

January 22, 2010 |  1:05 pm

A movie about a high school basketball team that rose above the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina -- a film that starred an Oscar winner -- got caught up in Hurricane Weinstein and was quietly dumped into video stores by the production company last month.

WHITAKER "Hurricane Season," starring Forest Whitaker, was based on the true story of a Marrero, La., high school basketball team's amazing run to a state championship with a group of players who were all displaced by Katrina. Besides Whitaker, the movie features Taraji Henson and rapper Lil Wayne.

Filmed in 2007 and 2008, "Hurricane Season" was supposed to be released last year but was kept on the shelf. Company Town specifically asked Weinstein Co. about the fate of "Hurricane Season" last week when we wrote about "Piranha 3-D" getting delayed. We were told there was no hard date for it (or several other movies sitting on the shelf there), and became aware of its straight-to-DVD fate only when a reader sent us a note. (Sorry, we don't get to Blockbuster as much as we used to.)

"Hurricane Season" director Tim Story ("Barbershop," "Fantastic Four") told Company Town that he was disappointed the movie never made it to the big screen. “I have to applaud them for making the movie, but I don’t believe the job was finished,” he said.

The company said its well-publicized financial issues had nothing to do with the decision regarding "Hurricane Season." In a statement, Weinstein Co. senior executive David Glasser said, "It's a very tough marketplace and unfortunately the film did not test well. It was in the best interest of the financial returns on the picture to go straight to video."

Other Weinstein Co. movies in limbo include John Cusack's "Shanghai" and Ryan Gosling's "All Good Things." The company also has recently said it was delaying the releases of "Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil" as well as the above-mentioned "Piranha 3-D." If any of these are already in video stores, please let us know.

-- Joe Flint

Photo: Forest Whitaker. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times
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