August 31, 2010

New on DVD & Blu-ray: HARRY BROWN, MARMADUKE, WHY DID I GET MARRIED TOO?

This week on DVD & Blu-ray: Michael Caine seeks revenge in HARRY BROWN. Owen Wilson brings a classic comic strip character to life in MARMADUKE. Tyler Perry gives us more marriage analysis in WHY DID I GET MARRIED TOO? The classic 1981 horror flick, THE EVIL DEAD, gets a hi-def treatment. Read what the critics had to say.



MRQE Pick: Harry Brown
MRQE Metric: 61

Much like Clint Eastwood before him, Michael Caine takes a page from his own oeuvre with Michael Brown, a revenge thriller that's in-keeping his 70s classics, like Get Carter. The elderly Michael Brown (Caine) lives in a neighborhood that is changing for the worse. At first indifferent, Brown's feelings change first as he arrives too late to see his wife pass on in the hospital because of gangs hanging out under and overpass. It gets worse when his close friend, Leonard (David Bradley), is murdered. Brown soon turns vigilante. Critics praised Caine's performance, and it's clear how Roger Ebert came to the assessment that Harry Brown is "...a revenge thriller poised somewhere between 'Death Wish' and 'Gran Torino.'"

WatchIt!
Harry Brown [DVD]
Harry Brown [Blu-ray]
Harry Brown [VOD]
Harry


Marmaduke
MRQE Metric: 37

Brad Anderson's comic strip about a large dog and his family owners comes to life, with Owen Wilson voicing the eponymous dog. The plot revolves around the Winslow family who move from Kansas to California, and the people…er, pets, they meet along the way. In spite of powerful voice talent from Wilson, George Lopez, Kiefer Sutherland, Emma Stone, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, this family flick was largely panned, and while kids might get some enjoyment out of talking animals, parents might wince at the forced humor.



WatchIt!
Marmaduke [DVD]
Marmaduke [Blu-ray]
Marmaduke [VOD]
Marmaduke


Why Did I Get Married Too?
MRQE Metric: 38

A sequel to 2007's more well-received comedy, Why Did I Get Married?--with the entire cast returning--Why Did I Get Married Too? follows the same four couples on their annual couples retreat to the Bahamas, in which they work out their marital troubles by asking "Why did I get married?" This time around, as an ex-husband arrives unexpectedly, accusations of unfaithfulness threaten to break a couple apart. While the film was the third highest grossing opener for Tyler Perry, it was also his worst critically. As Lisa Rosman of Time Out New York wrote, "Burdened with a bevy of unlikely plot twists, this is less a movie sequel than the latest installment in a big-screen soap opera."

WatchIt!
Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too? (Widescreen Edition) [DVD]
Why Did I Get Married Too? [Blu-ray]
Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too? [VOD]
Tyler


The Evil Dead
MRQE Metric: 76

Sam Raimi's iconic 1981 horror movie about five college students vacationing in a cabin in the woods, who soon discover an audiotape that releases evil spirits, is now out on Blu-ray with a bevy of extras. According to press releases, Raimi personally supervised the hi-def transfers, and worked on new audio commentary, which also features producer Robert Tapert, and star Bruce Campbell. Other features include, deleted scenes, two making-of docs, and three featurettes in which the cast reunites in front of fans at various conventions. While the film didn't get such praise upon its first release in 1981, over the years reception changed as the film reached cult status among horror fans.

WatchIt!
The Evil Dead (Limited Edition) [Blu-ray]


Head on over to MRQE to see more movies and TV just released on DVD & Blu-ray!



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August 30, 2010

Box Office Wrap-Up: 'LAST EXORCISM' scares 'THE EXPENDABLES' out of top slot, 'TAKERS' take No. 2

The Expendables was no match for The Last Exorcism, as the scary movie grossed $21.3 million in its debut weekend, dethroning the action flick that claimed the spot for the past two weeks. In a close second, was heist movie Takers, which took in $21 million. The re-release of Avatar, with 9-minutes of extra footage not seen in the original release, also fared well, taking in $4 million; this from a movie that was in theaters for 37 weeks.

The Last Exorcism, with some positive reviews and good pre-release buzz, found exceptional glory. The horror movie was made for only $2 million, so this comes as a great success for distributor Lionsgate. The Last Exorcism also was ahead of the average for the typical exorcism movie, save for The Exorcism of Emily Rose, which, according to Box Office Mojo, took $10 million more on its opening weekend. With such a strong opening, it's likely that The Last Exorcism will stay towards the top through its second week.

Takers, the bank heist movie with an ensemble cast, including Matt Dillon, Paul Walker, Hayden Christensen, and Tip "T.I." Harris, was leading the pack for much of the weekend, though ended just falling short. However, there still is a chance that it will claim the top slot when the actuals come in this afternoon.

For a movie that's been widely available the home video market, Avatar: Special Edition did pretty well, grossing $4 million across only 812 3-D screens. According to Box Office Mojo, accounting for the total from this weekend, "Avatar's lifetime gross finally pushed past the $750 million mark and stands at a mighty $735.8 million."

Eat Pray Love and The Other Guys stood strong, taking in $7 million and $6.6 million, respectively. Inception also held strong in the Top Ten for a seventh week, taking in $5.1 million over the weekend, and grossing $271 million in total.

Here's the Top Ten:
  1. The Last Exorcism - $21.3M
  2. Takers - $21M
  3. The Expendables - $9.5M
  4. Eat Pray Love - $7M
  5. The Other Guys - $6.6M
  6. Vampires Suck - $5.3M
  7. Inception - $5.1M
  8. Nanny McPhee Returns - $4.7M
  9. The Switch - $4.7M
  10. Piranha 3D - $4.3

August 27, 2010

MRQE Critic Roundup: Fri., Aug. 27

Heading to the theater this weekend? Get caught up with what the critics have to say about this week's new releases.



The Last Exorcism
MRQE Metric: 64

As EW's review says, "Any movie with the word exorcism in the title is inviting you to compare it to a movie that a great many people consider the scariest horror film ever made." And, that's exactly what The Last Exorcism is up against. The film tells the story of a priest who documents his final exorcism, while exposing corruption within his ministry. Being presented as "lost footage," the film hopes to find the same chills that movies like The Blair Witch Project achieved with great success.




Takers
MRQE Metric: 52

Matt Dillon, as a hard-nose detective, takes on an ensemble cast of bank robbers, including Paul Walker, Idris Elba, Chris Brown, Tip "T.I." Harris, and Hayden Christensen in this heist action flick. With its slick pacing and hip cast, comparisons can be made to Ocean's Eleven, but critics warn the flick might be too stylized for its own good.







Centurion
MRQE Metric: 56

British film, Centurion, comes State-side in limited release. Set in A.D. 117, in the thick of the Roman Empire, the film tells the story of the Romans' battle to capture the Scottish Highlands from the Picts. Critics warn this action-packed, bloody adventure speeds too quickly through characters and borrows too heavily from similar themed movies.







Mesrine: Killer Instinct
MRQE Metric: 75

The first of the two part saga about French gangster, Jacques Mesrine. Killer Instinct, based on Mesrine's autobiography, documents the rise of the notorious gangster, played by Vincent Cassel, as a soldier who returns home and gets seduced by the easy money of Paris in the 1960s. The second part, Public Enemy No. 1, comes to theaters next week. Critics praise Cassel's performance, but warn the story might be best seen as a whole.






Avatar: Special Edition
MRQE Metric: 77

James Cameron's 3-D box office juggernaut comes back to theaters with 9 minutes of additional footage. The movie grossed a whopping $750 million during its initial run in the U.S. and Canada, sold 19 million DVDs since it hit the video market in April, and continues to sell millions more in downloads and rentals. Cameron believes there are still people out there who have yet to see it the way it was meant to be seen. Avatar will only be re-released to theaters that can project digital 3-D.




Head to MRQE to read the reviews of more movies now playing.



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August 26, 2010

MRQE Rewind: Best Sandals and Swords Movies

Joey, do you like movies about gladiators? Well we do and we've compiled a list of the best guys to ever don a sandal and sword. Some of the greatest stars of all time went back in time to prove themselves as men above men, to rise from poverty into greatest and to defy an empire!

Take a look at our greatest gladiators fight for the top spot on our list and prove themselves heroes immortal. And for the entire list on MRQE, click here!



5. Conan the Barbarian (1982)
MRQE Metric: 73

The first great Arnold film comes in at 5 on our list this week. Oliver Stone wrote the script with director John Milius about everyone's favorite barbarian. Arnold actually had to tone down his workout for the role since his arm and chest muscles were so big that he couldn't properly wield the sword. Yet his muscles were big enough to catapult him to stardom and later to a Governor's seat in California. There's a new movie in the works with newcomer Jason Momoa taking on the title role. Whether of not Jason has political motivations though are unknown.



4. Hercules (1997)
MRQE Metric: 73

Who put the glad in gladiator: Hercules! Disney brings Greek Mythology to life in Hercules, an action filled animated movie that featured the voices of Tate Donovan, Danny DeVito and James Woods. Woods has frequently said that the role has been one of his favorite and has subsequently agreed to take on the role, whether it is through television series or video games. Overall, the greek hero muscled his way into Disney success and to a prequel entitled "Hercules: Zero to Hero."




3. Gladiator (2000)
MRQE Metric: 73

Ridley Scott's explosive Gladiator charges to 3 on our list. Gladiator took home the Best Picture honor in 2000 (Scott lost to Traffic's Steven Soderbergh for Best Director). Russell Crowe also took home the Oscar for Best Actor and Gladiator proved itself to be a hero of the genre. Easily one of the most manly films of all time, with its huge Oscar success, Gladiator proves worthy of a thumbs up by all.





2. Spartacus (1960)
MRQE Metric: 75

Kirk Douglas IS Spartacus in this epic Stanley Kubrick classic film. While Kirk Douglas wanted the film to parallel the story of the Jewish people, screenwriter Dalton Trumbo was more interested in making the film a comment on modern-day politics and the Cold War. John Wayne, a leader of Hollywood's right-wing element, even publicly condemned the film as "Marxist propaganda." Yet, with all that controversy, the phrase: "I am Spartacus" was recently voted as number 64 of the 100 Greatest Movie Lines by Premiere Magazine and the film is ranked 5th with the American Film Institute's list of greatest epics.



1. Ben-Hur (1959)
MRQE Metric: 85

Though Kirk Douglas, mad at director William Wyler's choice of Charlton Heston for the title role, wanted Spartacus to be the best Gladiator movie in retailation, nothing could top Ben-Hur. Known as one of the greatest films of all time, Ben-Hur won 11 Oscars, a record at the time only matched by Titanic, and cemented Charlton Heston's role as the greatest gladiator. With CGI taking a forefront in movies today, a film with the scale of Ben-Hur will probably never be recreated but should always be cherished.







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August 24, 2010

New on DVD & Blu-ray: THE BACK-UP PLAN, CITY ISLAND, SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD


This week on DVD and Blu-ray Jennifer Lopez and Alex O'Loughlin learn that life never happens according to plan in THE BACK-UP PLAN. George A. Romero brings us another zombie epidemic in SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD. An ex-con shakes up a family in CITY ISLAND.





MRQE Pick: City Island
MRQE Metric: 67

This indie gem went largely unnoticed when it opened in limited release in March, and garnered a bit of buzz following its premiere in the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival. Set in the Bronx neighborhood of the same name, City Island focuses on the Rizzo family and their web of lies that soon gets the best of them. When father Vince (Andy Garcia), learns that his illegitimate child, Tony (Steven Strait) is being held at the same prison where he's a guard, he employs Tony as his help at home. Just as the Rizzos learn about the crazy dysfunctions they're hiding from each other, so too does Tony learn his real truth.


WatchIt!
City Island [DVD]
City Island [Blu-ray]
City Island
City


Survival of the Dead
MRQE Metric: 52

Not exactly George A. Romero's best effort, Survival of the Dead brings back the appearance of a group of National Guardsmen who briefly appeared in Diary of the Dead. The guardsmen help battle more zombies, of course, as an epidemic spreads across the coast of North America effecting the local residents who hope to find a cure for their un-dead relatives.





WatchIt!
George A. Romero's Survival of the Dead (Two-Disc Ultimate Undead Edition) [DVD]
George A. Romero's Survival of the Dead (Ultimate Undead Edition) [Blu-ray]
George A. Romero's Survival of the Dead [VOD]
George


The Back-Up Plan
MRQE Metric: 33

A number of pregnancy comedies hit theaters earlier this year, and this J-Lo effort was caught in the middle. The same day Zoe (Jennifer Lopez) decided to undergo artificial insemination, she meets Stan (Alex O'Loughlin). While they don't hit it off at first, fate continues to throw them back together until they decided to go on a date. When things go well, Zoe is left with the choice of having to tell Stan that she's pregnant, potentially running what could be a great relationship.




WatchIt!

The Back-Up Plan [DVD]
The Back-Up Plan [Blu-ray]
The Back Up Plan [VOD]
The


LOST Season 6 & Complete Collection
MRQE Metric: 86

Back in 2004 a plane crashed on what appeared to be a deserted island in the South Pacific. As we learned more about the past of the survivors, so too did we delve into the strange enigmas, and mysterious inhabitants living on the island. J.J. Abrams' television phenomenon, LOST, left viewers at the edge of their seats for six seasons. The final season, which completed this year, as well as the complete collection, is now available with tons of extras, including an epilogue that hopes to answer some of those remaining burning questions.



WatchIt!

Lost: The Complete Sixth and Final Season [Blu-ray]
Lost: The Complete Sixth and Final Season [DVD]
Lost: The Complete Collection [Blu-ray]
Lost: The Complete Collection [DVD]



Head over to MRQE to see more titles now available to own on DVD and Blu-ray!


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