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Welcome to another week in quarantine! As we continue to find ourselves sequestered in our domiciles, there’s never been a better time to block out the horrors of the real world and kick back with some movies. And while streaming is great – and convenient – you just can’t beat the quality of physical media, folks. So, without further adieu, these are the new Blu-ray releases you should check out this week.Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is a huge step down from The Last Jedi, and an unsatisfying conclusion to what was on its way to being a strong trilogy. Still, it’s not a complete wash. The actors are all giving it their best – Daisy Ridley remains a wonderful actress who can convey so much emotion just with her eyes, and Adam Driver keeps Kylo Ren compelling, even as the script does not. And there are plenty of great action beats. But every time The Rise of Skywalker starts to seem like it’s finding its footing, it ends up stumbling again. The story is nonsensical, the return of the Emperor makes absolutely no sense, and despite clocking in at 2 hours and 22 minutes, the proceedings seem rushed. Still, it brings the saga to a close, and that counts for something.
Why It’s Worth Owning on Blu-ray:
Look, I’m a completist. I own the first two films in this trilogy, so of course, I’m going to own the third, even though I don’t like it. That said, there are things to enjoy about this release. Specifically the feature-length documentary The Skywalker Legacy. This making-of feature is quite wonderful, and doesn’t totally shy away from the behind-the-scenes issues that plagued the film. In the end, this is a better conclusion to the saga than the movie itself.
Special Features Include:The Skywalker Legacy – The story lives forever in this feature-length documentary that charts the making of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Pasaana Pursuit: Creating the Speeder Chase – Dive into the making of the movie’s epic landspeeder chase and discover how this spectacular sequence was brought to the screen. Aliens in the Desert – See what it took to create the Pasaana desert scenes, from the sheer scale and complexity of the shoot to its colorful details. D-O: Key to the Past – Explore the ship that connects Rey to the mystery of her missing parents and get to know the galaxy’s newest, irresistible droid. Warwick & Son – Warwick Davis, who played Wicket in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, dons the Ewok costume once more; this time joined by his son Harrison. Cast of Creatures – The team behind the film’s memorable creatures reveal the puppetry, makeup, prosthetics and digital magic that bring them to life! 1917
1917 got a lot of press for being a...
Uncut Gems generated a massive buzz for its inclusion of unexpected guest performances from the likes of Kevin Garnett and The Weeknd but it turns out there was one potential performance we all missed out on. According to Harlem rap godfather Cam'ron, he was supposed to star in the film alongside Jonah Hill and Manhattan Diamond District jewelers Izzy and Joseph Aranbayev aka Avianne & Co., but he was ultimately bypassed for unknown reasons.
Cam posted to Instagram in response to a feature on Complex about Avianne & Co. and their role in helping to make the Safdie brothers' film a reality. The feature reveals that the Aranbayev brothers were supposed to join the other sibling duo in crafting the film — however, despite providing many of the jewelry pieces used in it, they didn't get the opportunity to appear in it themselves.
Cam'ron not only confirmed their story, he added a detail of his own: That he believes Josh Safdie used him to get to the Aranbayev brothers, as he was one of their loyal customers. He complains that the role they wanted to give his was “sucker ass role” and that he didn't even get a shout-out in the credits. However, he insists that Safdie is “still my guy” and jokingly requests a consultant fee, ultimately congratulates everyone involved on the film's success.
Check out the post above.
In honor of Women’s History Month, Lionsgate has given us digital download codes for movies featuring some of the studio’s favorite leading ladies, and we’re passing them along to you. You could always use more things to watch during this time of self-isolation, right? Read on to find out how to win copies of Bombshell, Judy, The Hunger Games, A Simple Favor, and The Spy Who Dumped Me.
One lucky winner will win a bundle prize containing a digital download code for each of these films. To enter, send us an e-mail at [email protected] with the words “Lionsgate Giveaway” in the subject line. And since this giveaway is honoring Women’s History Month, we want to hear about your favorite performances from the women who play prominent roles in these movies. So in the body of the email, explain what your favorite performance is and why! from Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie, Renée Zellweger, Jennifer Lawrence, Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, Mila Kunis, or Kate McKinnon. If you’re bored and looking for something to do to kill some time, feel free to write about more than one of them. We’ll choose the answer we like best, and email the winner with their winning codes. The contest begins now and ends at midnight PST on Wednesday, March 25, 2020.
First up is Bombshell, director Jay Roach‘s 2019 film about the sexual harassment scandal that took down Fox News chief Roger Ailes. The movie won an Oscar for Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling for the incredible work the team did, transforming actress Charlize Theron into the spitting image of Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly. Read our review here.
Next up is The Hunger Games, Gary Ross‘s 2012 dystopian action film that launched Jennifer Lawrence to the next level of her career. This movie kicked off one of Lionsgate’s biggest franchises, and continued the trend of YA adaptations that dominated much of the 2000s and 2010s. Read our review here.
Then there’s A Simple Favor, director Paul Feig‘s sexy, funny mystery thriller starring Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively from 2018. This is an underrated and underseen movie, and now is the perfect time to catch up with it. Read our review here.The Spy Who Dumped Me Giveaway
And finally, we’re also giving away five copies of Susanna Fogel‘s The Spy Who Dumped Me, the goofy 2018 spy comedy starring Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon. Read our review here.
The cuts, numbering in the high teens, go into effect this week.
Lionsgate has laid off a number of employees within the film marketing and distribution team, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
According to a source familiar with the matter, some 15 to 20 employees across the entire company were given pink slips, many as part of an ongoing restructuring of the film group's marketing and distribution divisions. The source added that the layoffs had been in the works for months and were not impacted by the shutdowns caused by the growing coronavirus pandemic. No other layoffs are currently planned at the studio, which concludes its fiscal year on March 31.
Lionsgate's movie studio has seen success with Rian Johnson's Knives Out which grossed $311 million worldwide, and with a sequel in the works, Jay Roach's Bombshell $60 million worldwide and its newest release, the faith-based film I Still Believe which grossed $10 million earlier this month before theaters shuttered.
The layoffs come as Hollywood grapples with the closure of film and TV productions and movie theaters going dark to prevent the growing spread of COVID-19 amid the global coronavirus pandemic.
Lionsgate was forced to push back the bows of the upcoming films Antebellum originally slated for April 24, Run May 8 and Saw spinoff Spiral May 15, opting to hold for a theatrical release rather than an early VOD release. I Still Believe and Brahms: The Boy II are receiving early digital releases to cater to the audience at home.
This is the second round of layoffs under Joe Drake, who was named chairman of the film group in 2018. In January 2019, some 25 employees were let go from the marketing and distribution teams in the company's Santa Monica headquarters amid restructuring of the theatrical marketing division, run by Damon Wolf.
In its most recent earnings report, the studio's motion picture revenues were $473.9 million, up from $362.3 million a year ago, on strong box office from Knives Out and John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum.
Source: Hollywood Reporter