Although the 1950 documentary of Thor Heyerdahl’s epic 4,300 mile Pacific journey was compelling enough to earn an Oscar win, this 2012 cinematic effort from directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg brings the story of Kon-Tiki to a whole new generation. Less raw than the documentary, Kon-Tiki paints a portrait of Heyerdahl (Pål Sverre Hagen) as a stubborn and rebellious young man who defies authority in the quest for answers. That being said, the highlight of Kon-Tiki remains the journey itself, although the colorful cast certainly makes the ride all the more enjoyable. For those who who are interested in picking up the Blu-ray in the hopes of discovering more historical information, there’s only a cursory look at the events of the real Kon-Tiki and the original documentary is, sadly, not included. Hit the jump for my Blu-ray review.
Here’s a look at this week’s new Blu-ray releases:
Note: Collider earns a small referral fee when our readers purchase something on Amazon through one of our links. The money generated helps pay our staff and keep the site running. Thank you for reading and supporting Collider.
With a production budget in the neighborhood of $150 million and a worldwide pull of just under $50 million entering its second weekend, it’s probably fair to say that White House Down will ultimately be seen by the powers that be as a bust. Blame its proximity to the similarly themed Olympus Has Fallen (which, on the whole, received similar critical reaction but comparatively more box office success) if you will, but having watched and enjoyed the heck out of the film last night I believe at least some of the blame lies at the feet of Sony’s marketing. Whereas Fallen was packaged, and ultimately delivered, as a dead serious action/thriller, I don’t think White House Down marketing did enough to prep its potential audience members for the over-the-top, often times ridiculous, self-aware genre piece they would encounter. The best examples I can give to support this theory are the multiple scenes that left me laughing out loud while the majority of my fellow moviegoers sat quietly, unsure whether the movie was actually asking them to laugh with it or was just that silly and contrived. It’s possible that I’m going Roland Emmerich and co. too much credit, but I went with the former every single time and ended up having a great time with the film as a result.
All White House drama aside, this week’s Top 5 includes a slew of interviews from The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp and more, a list of 15 movies from the first half of 2013 that you may have missed but definitely deserve a look, Christian Bale insisting that he is not involved with the Justice League movie in any way, The Way, Way Back interviews with Steve Carell and more, and a look at our most anticipated movies from July to September.
Hard to believe we’re already half-way through 2013. What’s even more surprising is the number of quality films from the first half of the year that flew under the radar. Want some quirky horror? Check out John Dies at the End and 100 Bloody Acres. Looking for the newest efforts from some up-and-coming writer-directors? How about Zal Batmanglij’s The East or Quentin Dupieux’s Wrong? Perhaps historical dramas like No, Lore and Kon-Tiki are more your style. Whatever your interest, 2013 surely has a film for you, you just might have missed it. Hit the jump for 15 movies from 2013 that deserve another look.
A few release dates for all you calendar-owners:
- This Is the End – The apocalyptic comedy starring Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, and Danny McBride will now open on Wednesday, June 12—two days earlier than the planned June 14 release.
- Kon-Tiki – The Norwegian film will follow up a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nomination with an April 26 release in the U.S.
- Mail-Order Groom - Tina Fey and Steve Carell signed up for a Date Night reunion, but because of scheduling conflicts, they will postpone production and wait until 2014 to find the time to shoot it.
More on each project after the break.
A new trailer is now available for the Oscar-nominated Norwegian film, Kon-Tiki, which tells the heroic true story of Thor Heyerdahl’s expedition across the Pacific Ocean on a balsa wood raft in order to prove his theory on island colonization. Directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, Kon-Tiki stars Pal Sverre Valheim Hagen, Gustaf Skarsgård, Odd Magnus Williamson and Anders Baasmo Christensen. Hit the jump to watch the new trailer.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have reduced the number of eligible foreign films to nine. For those who don’t know how the Best Foreign Language Film category works, every foreign country can submit one movie for consideration. That list has now been whittled down to nine movies, and five of these nine will get Oscar nominations. The films on the shortlist are Amour (Austria), War Witch (Canada), No (Chile), A Royal Affair (Denmark), The Intouchables (France), The Deep (Iceland), Kon-Tiki (Norway), Beyond the Hills (Romania), and Sister (Switzerland).
Amour is the frontrunner for the win based on critical acclaim, but I’ll put my money on The Intouchables since I think the Academy will go with the feel-good caretaker movie as opposed to the remind-us-of-our-fragile-mortality caretaker movie.
The line-up for this year’s Toronto International Film Festival has been announced and it is a doozy. The festival will play host to some of the year’s biggest world premieres including Rian Johnson‘s Looper (which will be the festival’s opening night film), The Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer‘s Cloud Atlas, Ben Affleck‘s Argo, David O. Russell‘s The Silver Linings Playbook, Derek Cianfrance‘s The Place Beyond the Pines, Joss Whedon‘s Much Ado About Nothing, Noah Baumbach‘s Frances Ha, and Neil Jordan‘s Byzantium. Films making their International/North American debuts (which means that they’ll like show up at the Venice Film Festival first) include Terrence Malick‘s To the Wonder, Joe Wright‘s Anna Karenina, Robert Redford‘s The Company You Keep, and Billy Bob Thornton‘s Jayne Mansfield’s Car.
Hit the jump for the first wave of announced films. The 2012 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6 – 16th.