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Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Tim & Eric

Home theater: Channing Tatum, Tim and Eric top new releases roster

May 8, 2012 |  3:31 pm

The Vow
 Looking to catch a film on Video on Demand or DVD or Blu-ray? Following are some of the newest options available to home theater aficionados.

'The Vow'
Sony, $30.99; Blu-ray, $40.99
Available on VOD on May 8

Movie romances don't get much more gimmicky than “The Vow.” Based on a true story, the film stars Rachel McAdams as a boho type named Paige who suffers an accident that wipes out her memories of the previous five years -- including her entire relationship with her husband, Leo (Channing Tatum), and the reasons why she left behind her wealthy parents to pursue art. Leo has to re-woo Paige, and to reconnect her with who she used to be. “The Vow” is predictable, corny and loaded with stereotypes, but it's also genuinely moving, thanks largely to the performances of McAdams and Tatum. The DVD and Blu-ray come with featurettes, deleted scenes and a commentary track by director Michael Sucsy.

'The Front Line'
Well Go USA, $24.98; Blu-ray, $29.98

Jang Hun's pulpy military thriller “The Front Line” is set during the final days of the Korean War, as soldiers try to grab as much territory as they can before the final peace gets brokered. The film follows an officer sent to investigate a possible murder, who instead finds enemy combatants that have been living and working in the same place so long that they've developed a love-hate relationship with each other. The action is bloody and tense, but “The Front Line” also depicts reluctant warriors who understand the arbitrary nature of conflict. The DVD and Blu-ray include a featurette and a highlight reel.

'42nd Street Forever'
Blu-ray Edition
Synapse Blu-ray, $24.95

The ideas of exploitation films are often more enjoyable than the experience of actually sitting through the movies themselves -- the trailers nearly always promise more brain-jangling scenes of sex and violence than mere celluloid can deliver. “42nd Street Forever: Blu-ray Edition” collects nearly four hours of those trailers -- previously scattered across various other DVD anthologies -- accompanied by smart, funny commentary from grindhouse scholars. The previews run the gamut from tame B-movie sci-fi to wild T&A, but nearly all hint at a host of lurid thrills: flesh, gore and shocks. You'll have to keep repeating to yourself: “It's only a trailer…”

'Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie'
Magnolia, $26.98; Blu-ray, $29.98/$34.98

Those unfamiliar with Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim's endurance-testing brand of “anti-comedy” probably shouldn't get anywhere near “Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie,” but the duo's fans won't be disappointed with the film's willful weirdness. The plot involves Tim and Eric -- as “themselves” --  squandering a huge budget for a big Hollywood production, which they then try to repay by taking over a run-down mall. Despite the presence of comedy heavyweights like Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis (in small roles), actual punch lines are in short supply here, since Heidecker and Wareheim generally find it funnier to annoy audiences with repetition and sloppiness. This is their shtick, though -- and good for them for remaining defiantly unpolished. The devotees will dig it and also will appreciate the DVD and Blu-ray, which adds typically twisted deleted scenes, a commentary track and a featurette.

ALSO:

'The Artist' to get re-release over Mother's Day weekend

'Killer Joe' trailer: Will NC-17 boost the McConaughey pic?

'Casablanca' tops lineup for film academy's outdoor theater

-- Noel Murray

Photo: Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams star in "The Vow." Credit: Kerry Hayes/Screen Gems


Sundance: Tim & Eric, Rashida Jones and 4 other stories to watch

January 19, 2012 |  7:00 am

At Sundance 2012, "Tim & Eric's Billion Dollar Movie" and Rashida Jones' and Andy Samberg's "Celeste and Jesse Forever" are some of the movies generating buzz

The Sundance Film Festival that kicks off Thursday afternoon in Park City, Utah, will offer its share of celebrity sightings, glitz and mayhem (though somewhat less than it once did, as this astute essay from Salon's Andrew O'Hehir points out). But for film fans, the festival remains, as much as ever, a place where the biggest story lines and actors emerge -- basically, if it happens at the festival, it will happen in the wider world of cinema eight or 10 months from now.  So let us be your guide for these coming Sundance days. We'll start you off with six mini-trends we're keeping an eye on.

Red light, green light. Rodrigo Cortes had one of the most ballyhooed genre films at Sundance in recent years when "Buried," the Ryan Reynolds-starrer about a man trapped in a coffin, premiered there two years ago. Cortes is back with another conceptual horror movie, a supernatural thriller called "Red Lights." But will audiences get a chance to see it? Last time, Lionsgate paid a cool $3 million for "Buried" only to see it flop. We'll see if another buyer bites this time around. (It does star Robert DeNiro as a blind psychic, so ... you know.) Cortes isn't the only one with a genre title: The found-footage movie "V/H/S," from a host of young horror comers, and an intriguing film called "John Dies at the End" will try to spook the spirited post-midnight crowd.

Love is in the air (sort of). Sundance is known for its dark dramas, its heavy relationships, its ... light comedies? A panoply of sweet films, many of them centering on young love, or at least the struggle to maintain it, are landing at this year's festival. A small sampling includes the Rashida Jones-Andy Samberg romance-cum-breakup story "Celeste & Jesse Forever" (keep a count of how often it's compared to "(500) Days of Summer"), the high school tale "The First Time" and the wedding comedies "Bachelorette" and "Save the Date." Expect one or more to break out and form a critical part of the inevitable "Not Your Father's Sundance" story.

Everyday America. If the features are light, the documentaries are bleak, bleak and bleak. Rape in the military, hunger, AIDS, the war on drugs, the housing bust. Also, Detroit. The last few years the breakout docs have ranged from the wonky ("Waiting for Superman") to the experimental ("Exit Through the Gift Shop") to the poignant ("Being Elmo," "Buck"). But things will get downright gritty this year. For starters, Kirby Dick's story, "The Invisible War," examines the aforementioned military subject in a movie that's already earning raves. (Check back in this space shortly for Kenneth Turan's take on it; you can also read his shortlist of recommended films here.) 

Drama queens. Of course, it wouldn't be Sundance without a strong lineup of dramas, the genre that keeps on giving. Back in 2010, the lineup was particularly strong, with Winter's Bone" and "Blue Valentine" among the movies that premiered there. This year, keep an eye out for a story about a disabled man who hires a sex surrogate (Ben Lewin's "The Surrogate"); a drama about a man who takes up with a mysterious French prostitute ("Simon Killer"); a "Margin Call"-evoking financial drama (the Richard Gere-starring "Arbitrage"); the Melanie Lynskey-starring illicit romance ("Hello, I Must Be Going") and a film in which Paul Dano is a young rebel grappling with fatherhood ("For Ellen"). Good times.

Sales game. The average filmgoer doesn't pay much attention to how many available titles are bought for distribution at a given festival. But it's relevant just the same: The number directly affects how quickly films get out to your local multiplex. Last year, more than two dozen movies sold, but most of them didn't fare very well. That could put a damper on how many movies are bought this year -- though don't tell the sellers, who remain optimistic.

Two guys named Tim and Eric. They already have a huge following from their Adult Swim and various live and Web-related efforts. Can Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim make a go of it in the feature world too? They'll try with "Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie," a fictional tale they wrote, directed and star in about their attempt to construct a movie, then a shopping mall. (Will Ferrell, who also produced 'Bachelorette," has a supporting part.) As if that isn't wacky enough, the comedic pair star in a movie called "The Comedy" that isn't a comedy -- it's a drama.

RELATED:

Sellers anticipate a bounty of deals

Sundance 2012: Films to see in Park City

Wingard, West headline new Bloody Disgusting film

-- Steven Zeitchik
twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

Photo: Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim in "Tim & Eric's Billion Dollar Movie." Credit: Magnolia Pictures


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