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article imageHow Viggo Mortensen survived a post-apocalyptic world on The Road Special

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By Earl Dittman     May 26, 2010 in Entertainment
As the father, Viggo Mortensen delivers another phenomenal performance in The Road (on BD/DVD). The Oscar-winner reveals how he and his Road son fought to survive in a devastated world where food is scarce and men have resorted to cannibalism to live.
As a modern civilization teeters on complete disaster, Viggo Mortensen portrays The Man, a devoted and loyal father who is constantly struggling to keep himself and his young son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) alive in director John Hillcoat's cinematic adaptation of author Carmac McCarthy's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Road, a powerful tale that takes place in a ravished post-apocalyptic America. While on the journey of their lives in The Road, the father and his young son fight to survive after an unspecified apocalyptic event pushes them to travel towards the warmer coast with the hope of possible food, safety, and the company of fellow survivors. However, along their journey, with scarce shelter and resources available, they encounter many horrors and hardships, and must endure the constant fear of roaming cannibals and other desperate gangs. Despite having next to nothing but each other, and with little more than the clothes on their back, a rusty shopping cart and a pistol for defense, they manage to maintain their humanity, decency and a human connection.
With a screenplay by Joe Penhall, and closely based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy (who also penned No Country for Old Men), Mortensen and Aussie newcomer Kodi Smit-McPhee play the father and his son who make their way through one burning metropolis after another and miles and miles of dying wilderness as the head for “the coast” – where rumored food, shelter and other civilized survivors of the unknown, cataclysmic event have gathered to start a new society. As they travel through the barren landscapes, the the father and son meet others hoping for a chance to survive. The Road also features an all-star cast that includes Australian actor Guy Pearce and Academy Award-winning actors Charlize Theron and Robert Duvall. During a press day set up to discuss last December's release of the heartbreaking drama, Viggo talked about a myriad of subjects, including what he thought his chances would be on a series like Survivor.
Viggo Mortensen & Kodi Smit-McPhee in The Road
Viggo Mortensen & Kodi Smit-McPhee in The Road
The Weinstein Company/Sony
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There was some initial talk that you weren't going to do The Road. Why did you have second thoughts about making the film? What was holding you back from doing it? “Initially I told my agent, 'I don't think so.'. I loved all of McCarthy's books and the messages with in – especially The Road – but I was too tired. 'I don't think so.' I said to him, 'I can't, I'm really worn out, and I won't be focused.' And then I looked at the story and felt, 'Well, you know, being worn out, it works.' Not so much, really in a way. I mean it does and it doesn't. It's hard to focus when you're tired, obviously. And you need to really find a way to be very relaxed, I find, anytime you want to do a good job as an actor. Particularly for something like this where you have to really be honest emotionally. You can't manipulate it or bring some research to bear on it or force anything; you have to really be honest about how you feel. It was a different challenge than I've ever had as an actor and because it was so difficult in way for both of us, I think at the end, I think Kodi and I not only do we remain really close friends, but there was a sense of satisfaction of having gotten through it some how. And then, if the movie turns out well, fine. But the actual experience was intense.”
The Road is set in a world where, obviously, a major disaster has apparently befallen mankind – people are so hungry that they have resorted to cannibalism. After being a make-believe character in the post-apocalyptic world depicted in The Road, do you ever worry what is going to happen to the human race one day?“Yeah, sure I do. And I think that even though it's not explained, because it doesn't explain it in the book – because you believe you're on the emotionally journey and you believe, visually, the landscape -- it's real. We shot in real places that had been devastated by nature and by man. Of course, you're going to think about 'Wow, we have to be careful.' The landscape, I guess to a degree, but mostly the relationship and what I felt in telling this story with Kodi (Smit-McPhee) made me think more about my son, Henry. Made me think more about my family and just about how fleeting life is and that it is worth making that effort to see more, learn more, to appreciate it. It's very simple idea in a way. Or that it's always, no matter what the excuse not to be kind, it's always better to be kind. Simple, but if you make this journey honestly as a spectator or us as filmmakers, you earn the right to come to this simple conclusion and you understand it in a profound way now, not just 'Oh yeah sure, it's nice to nice.' No, it really is best to be nice, always. And that did make me appreciate things”
Viggo Mortensen & Kodi Smit-McPhee in The Road
Viggo Mortensen & Kodi Smit-McPhee in The Road
The Weinstein Company/Sony
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How did audiences initially react to the film? “I found that when we did a lot of early screenings with Q&A audiences, very often, afterwards, I'd look at the people in those first few rows and you can see that they were crying or had been crying or obviously moved, but they have the hint of a smile at the same time. Somehow that ending that we earned, I think I was a saying, is strangely uplifting. And I see reflected in their faces exactly how I felt telling this story and watching it. And in fact, even though I know the movie backwards and forwards having shot it, when I saw it the first time, it still effecting me so viscerally and left me kinda going 'Ooooh,' I need to see it again. Because I wanted to then see the construction and the little subtleties and the behavior. You see it, and you first finish seeing it and you say 'Well I don't think I can watch that again.' But after a couple days it stays with you and you kinda want to see certain things again.”
Were you a hands-on-kind-dad when your son, Henry. was the same age as Kodi's character is in the movie? “Yeah, always. I thought, initially, when I started to do the movie, I thought about him, my son, quite a bit. And that transition that he also made into adolescence, actually pre-adolescence - way before adolescence. Because he reminded me of Kodi a lot and the character in the movie in that he was kinda wise beyond his years. And that transition that you see in the story where the kid is calling the Dad on his strength and path of the things he'd been teaching his son. I remembered that phase and how sometimes I didn't like it, but eventually accepted it and when he was right. Because that's something that's universal.”
What is so universal? “Any parent that has a relatively consistent relationship with their kids, no matter how good or bad it is -- there is a point, sometimes it happens earlier with some kids, but generally it's pre-adolescence or adolescence where they suddenly look at their Dad or their Mom or both of them and realize that they're not gods. And they rip them sometimes because it's such a shock, you know you want your Dad to be that and then when they're not, it can be massively disappointing. But it's natural that happened and so sometimes kids -- even really good kids, can be brutal about tearing that adult off the pedestal that they felt they were on. And it can be hard to take as an adult. You're like 'Why are you being so, you know?,' but you have to find a way to take it eventually. And then what's interesting in life is that as you get older, once you go, 'I remember being that way toward my Dad,' but then I got into my twenties and toward thirty or whatever and I started to realize 'Well, I'm not a god either.' It takes a while, because if you're tearing something off the pedestal, it means you're putting yourself above them in some way, but you don't realize it, it's instinctive to do. And I think that's handled really well in this story.”
Viggo Mortensen in The Road
Viggo Mortensen in The Road
The Weinstein Company/Sony
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Overall, what was it like working with a young actor like Kodi? Did you start to feel protective over him since some of the scenes were very emotional and really hard to do?“They were hard emotionally and also just the fact -- which actually helped us and he was aware that it was helping too as much as he didn't like it and I didn't like it sometimes -- the fact that it was so cold and we were wet all the time and tired. Particularly it was cold for him because he's from Southern Australia, not that you would know it listening to him in the movie, and he'd never seen snow. And our first day it was snowing and it was very cold, and he couldn't believe how cold it was, and it wore him out very quickly and it pushed his emotions close to the surface, and mine. It made me more protective of him in a way, I was trying to get him through the day and then the next day -- kinda like the story in a way. And had we shot, let's say it had been not a relatively low-budget movie, and it had been shot with green screen and with a lot of post, it just wouldn't have been the same. Yes, he's a really good actor and together we would have made it seem like we were cold, it just wouldn't have been the same. Because it forced us to places emotionally – it actually helped me, too."
Viggo Mortensen & Kodi Smit-McPhee in The Road
Viggo Mortensen & Kodi Smit-McPhee in The Road
The Weinstein Company/Sony
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I know you had talk with Cormac McCarthy, the author of The Road, what did you take from your conversation together?“We hand a long phone conversation. We just talked about his kid and my kid and being dads. I had tons of notes to ask him about, ready on a pad like this and a pen and I was ready to really pick his brain and at the end of the conversation he asked me 'Do you have any specifics about the book?' Because he hadn't read the script and he didn't want to read the script, which is unusual for a writer. He just said, 'It's a different medium, you guys do your thing, but if you wanna talk about the book.' He says, 'Do you have any questions?' and I looked and I had fifty thousand post-it notes in the book and not one but two pens in case it ran out of ink, I mean I was ready. And I said 'Nah, I don't really' because I realized the conversation we had, that's all I need to get going. That there is something universal about this adult and this child. Anybody can understand and I think that's why it's had such a reach, this book, more than any other, even No Country For Old Men and its Oscar success. This book, because it's so heartfelt and so free of any gimmickry, this story, it just transcends cultures and languages, it's really a very successful book and a lot of people around the world are looking forward to seeing the movie which makes me hopeful, even though it's a daunting kind of movie. It's a difficult thing, it needs to be handled well and how they release it and everything. I do think it has an in-built audience of people who are anxious to see what was done with their beloved book.”
I've asked you this before, but in case your opinion has changed, on a scale of one to ten, how well would you survive in the wilderness on your own? “It hasn't changed all that much. I'd say it's probably somwhere a little past six or seven. I'm trying to be modest, you know. Or maybe I'm just in denial. (laughs)
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Sony
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I try to think of myself as a survivor. I know when it comes to protectting my son, my family and those close to me, I'd do whatever I'd have to do to make sure they are taken of and not hurt in any way. In general, when it comes to my my outdoor skills, I'd have to say I'm still okay. I'm not a super-camper or anything. I'm not bad, and that's because I go camping a lot. I don't know if I would have the courage to keep going when it looked impossible. I like to think I would and I'm actually better with a gun than my character is, I'm more comfortable. But it's just like I'm an action guy. It's not a difficult thing for me. But, I do, I like the outdoors, I like camping. (pauses) Trying to make it in a cannibalistic, post-apocalyptic society, however, is a whole different matter, believe me . I think I'd be out after the first round. And, I'd probably never make it on Survivor, that's for sure.” (laughs)
The Road Blu-ray + DVD Bonus Features: “The Making of The Road” featurette, Deleted scenes, Commentary with director John Hillcoat. BD ONLY:movieIQ+sync & BD-LIVE! - real-time information on the cast, music, trivia and more while watching the movie! including a behind-the-scenes featurette, deleted scenes and commentary with director John Hillcoat.
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Discovery/TLC
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Cake Boss: Season 2
With reality shows focused on fashion, modeling, hair design, apprentices, stranded castaways, overweight Americans, backstabbing housemates and good old fashioned singers, who would have ever imagined a show that focused on the daily comings and goings of a New Jersey bakery. Well, Cake Boss, the TLC hit series that you have come to love every sweet, sugar-filled moment of is even tastier and sweeter in its Second Season. Cake Boss: Season 2 follows the day-to-day life of Buddy Valastro, Master Baker of Carlo’s City Hall Bake Shop in Hoboken, NJ, and one of the most successful and renowned cake artists in the United States. He supervises a team that includes his mother, four older sisters and three brothers-in-law. And when you’re working with family on a daily basis, there is bound to be a lot of drama. As corny as it sounds, it's true – The Valastro’s know drama but at the end of the day they also know a thing or two about love. The half-hour series chronicles Buddy’s over-arching desire to achieve his late father’s dream of making Carlo’s Bake Shop a household name. (Only on DVD) Bonus Features: Sauce Boss - Take cooking lessons with Buddy.Buddy shows viewers how to prepare several tasty pasta dishes including Bobus- Sauce Bodd, Lingine wurg Giant Shrimp and Baby Soinach, Mushroom Risotto, Mama's Sundat Sausage, Brocoli Rabe with Sausage, Chicken with Potatoes and Sausage Pink Sauce Fra Divalo The scrumptious, two-disc, 18 episode DVD is also exclusively available at DiscoveryStore.com and TLCStore.com.
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Discovery/TLC
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Dear John
Best known for penning the ultimate, Kleenex-required big screen romance, The Notebook, best-selling author Nicholas Sparks has done it again with Dear John – by writing another flawless date movie using the Romeo + Juliet's timeless, doomed love story and setting part of it, this time, on the sandy battlefields on the other side of the globe. It's such a fresh, poignant and patriotic love story that even guys can shed a tear or two with their date. Featuring two of Hollywood's hottest young 'It Stars' -- Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried -- Dear John is a touching, romantic drama about Savannah (Seyfried) , a conservative college student who falls in love with John (Tatum), a soldier on leave, only to be separated by years of war. It was two weeks that would change their lives forever. Soon after John and Savannah fall madly in love, their relationship is put on hold. With one leaving to complete his service, and the other to complete her college education, they pass the time by exchanging a continuous stream of love letters, until they can be reunited permanently a year later. But when war breaks out, their separation is extended indefinitely. But, can their relationship survive the greatest test of all: the test of time? Co-starring Richard Jenkins, Henry Thomas and Scott Porter and directed by Lasse Hallstrom, the European filmmaker behind Casanova, The Cider House Rules and Chocolat, Dear John is a finely-acted, uplifting film about the true power of hope and the strength of love. Blu-ray & DVD Bonus Features: Deleted and Alternate scenes, Alternate ending, Outtakes, A Conversation with Channing Tatum, Amanda Seyfried and Lasse Hallstrom and the featurettes “Transforming Charleston,” “Military in Movies: Dear John's Military Advisors,” “Mr. Tyree,” “The Mule,” and “Benny Dietz: The Story of Braeden Reed." BD ONLY: movieIQ+sync and BD-LIVE! More info on the cast, music and trivia, BD-ENABLED!
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HBO
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True Blood: The Complete Second Season
If you thought life was crazy, outrageous and downright bloody in Bon Temps, Louisiana during the inaugural season of the pop culture hit phenomenon True Blood, you simply hadn't seen nothin' yet -- the real, real truth – about the seemingly backwater Cajun (or as they like to refer to themselves in The Pelican State as “coon ass”) residents in this supernatural, voodoo-packed part of Louisiana, because not only did life get crazier, but everyone who lived in the parish of Bon Temps inched closer and closer to sheer madness. In addition to a whole new slew of vampires (including a peace-loving, 2,000 year-old vampire) Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell) thought he had found himself a furry shape-shifter girlfriend in Jessica (Deborah Ann Wolf), someone he could share flea collars with (or so had he hoped), Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten) joined a radical sect of religious, right-right Vampire Slayers (far more hostile than Faith or Buffy), Tara's (Rutina Wesley) so-called best friend, Maryann Forrester (Michelle Forbes) turned out to be a clawed, big horned, human flesh loving creature that could control the weak-minded of the townsfolk – except for the vampires, the supernaturals and Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), of course). Maryann could command the residents of Bon Temps to attack each other, drink loads of booze and have sex in public, in jail, in Marlotte's and everywhere imaginable. And, we are talking about total, full-frontal nudity – both men and women. You haven't seen this much pale, often flabby nekkid flesh on the screen since Caligula or Italian director Pier Paolo Pasolini's infamous film Salo, the 100 Days of Sodom. And, sorry to say, the natives of Bon Temps don't all possess gorgeous bods while they're getting down, either. Actually, there ain't a single nude Victoria's Secret or Calvin Klein underwear model in the bunch. I guess they just don't make 'em tha way in Bon Temps. Created and produced by Alan Ball (based on the popular Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris), the sophomore season finds Sookie and her vampire beau Bill (Stephen Moyer) in even more danger than ever before, and you don't want to miss any blood-curdling second of each episode of Season Two (or Season 3, which debuts on June 13). Blu-ray + DVD Bonus Features: Two special features - “Fellowship of the Sun: Reflections of Light,” which gives “rules to live by” from leaders Steve and Sarah Newlin, and “The Vampire Report: Special Edition,” that highlights the year’s biggest stories in vampire news, politics and pop culture, Audio commentaries with cast and crew including Ball, Paquin; Moyer; Alexander Skarsgård, Forbes; Kwanten; Trammell; and Wesley. BD ONLY: “Character Perspectives” – info straight from the mouths of Hoyt, Pam, Karl and Steve Newlin; “Flashback/Flash Forward” – allows the viewer to relive pivotal moments and revealing the significance of certain scenes, “Pro/Anti- Vampire Feeds” – news updates and information from the American Vampire League and the Light of Day organization; and “Hints/FYI” – featuring trivia facts, show hints and clues.
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Lionsgate
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Rain Fall
Based on the best-selling novel by Barry Eisler and featuring an award-winning cast, the suspense thriller Rain Fall is sure to keep you glued to your big screen and demanding complete silence in every room of the house so that you don't miss a single action-packed sequence. With English actor Gary Oldman in the lead role -- a multiple winning actor of the BAFTA Award (the British version of the Oscar + Emmy) -- Oldman completely commands the screen every moment he appears in frame. Giving a performance nothing less than brilliant, Oldman. – who is currently a member of The Dark Knight film franchise ensemble club -- will be returning for the third and (sadly) final Batman installment in 2011 as Commissioner Gordon. But fans of the two Dark Knight films, as well as The Departed and The Taking of Pelham 123, will be mesmerized by the DVD premiere of Rain Fall, a stunning work of cinematic artistry from award-winning director Max Mannix (an Asian Film Award Best Screenwriter winner for Sonata in 2009). In Rain Fall, Kippei Shiina stars as John Rain, a former U.S. Special Forces operative turned lethal assassin whose world threatens to fall apart when the CIA lists a woman close to his heart as their next target. Alongside Oldman, the film features award-winning actress, Misa Shimizu (a Best Actress winner for her 1998 performance in Unagi from the Japanese Academy) is the woman who Rain loves to the point of risking his life for. For John Rain, life wouldn't be worth living without her declarations of love or a kiss from her lips. But make no mistake, this is no mushy love story, Rain Fall is a riveting, take-no-prisoners, martial arts-dominated, action-thriller. (Only on DVD). Bonus Features: Exclusive interview with Gary Oldman and additional cast and Crew interviews.
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BBC Video
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In The Footsteps Of Alexander The Great
You sat through Oliver Stone's biopic on Alexander The Great – both the long theatrical version and Stone's extra-looong Director's Cut version – so you now think you know everything there is to know about Alexander The Great. Well, for one thing, he didn't look like Colin Farrell and his mom was nowhere as sexy as Angelina Jolie. Now it's time for the true story. Are you ready for the surprisingly exhilarating historical facts? Renowned historian Michael Wood presents the truth behind one of history's most famous and enigmatic heroes in the 2-disc DVD set -- In The Footsteps of Alexander the Great. Combining popular history with adventure and travel, this illuminating documentary follows Alexander's expedition where he opened up contacts between Europe and Asia and examines the political consequences of which reverberated down the ages. Wood also retraces Alexander's epic expedition through 16 countries and four war zones, following as closely as possible the exact route taken by Alexander. Bonus Features: “Alexander's Greatest Battle” - Wood travels through Syria and Iraq to uncover the story of Alexander the Great's decisive battle against the might of the Persian Empire in 331 BC; and a newly recorded interview with Michael Wood.
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CBS/Paramount
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Flashpoint: The Second Season
Inspired by Toronto's Emergency Task Force, Flashpoint became an instant prime-time hit when it crossed the border into the States last television season. And, it was one of the smartest decisions any U.S. network has made in quite a while. At least, Flashpoint didn't have to share it's precious prime-time lead-in hour with the less-than-successful Jay Leno Show. Every week, Flashpoint ruled its night, and there's a perfectly good reason why – it's an exciting, realistic and finely-acted series. With an incredible cast that includes Enrico Colantoni, Amy Jo Johnson, Hugh Dillon, David Paetkau, Michael Cram, Sergio Di Zio and Mark Taylor, the action-packed series follows the emotional journey into the tough, risk-filled lives of a group of cops in Toronto's SRU (Strategic Response Unit) as they rescue hostages, bust gangs, defuse bombs, climb the sides of buildings and talk down suicidal teens. Using intuition to resolve extreme situations that regular officers cannot handle, the SRU negotiates, profiles and gets inside the suspect's head to diffuse the situation and save lives daily. Flashpoint: The Second Season features all of Season Two's nine episodes, including such critically-acclaimed installments as “Business As Usual,” “Clean Hands,” “Aisle 13,” “Last Dance” and “Exit Wounds.” (Only on DVD). Bonus Features: "Stunts" featurette, "Weapons" featurette and the “Hugh Dillon "Works Well With Others" retrospective.
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Universal
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Royal Pains: The Complete First Season
Every season, the quality of new cable series just seem to get better and better. You usually can't hear the kind of witty, innovative and sometimes expletive-laced humorous dialogue on network TV that you do on great cable series like Royal Pains, White Collar and In Plain Sight. The censors wouldn't allow it, the suits would probably think it's way too smart for the average viewer and, in all fairness to the suits, a lot of the show's fine-tuned cleverness would most likely go straight over the heads of most of its cable-free, 'forced-fed-on-mindless-sitcoms' drones known as their viewing audience. So, if there was ever a reason in Heaven's name for you to rush out to sign up for cable or rush out out to the nearest Best Buy to buy a much-deserved DVD set, it's for a fantastically clever and wonderfully whimsical series like Royal Pains. There's Royal Pains, True Blood, In Plain Sight, Leverage and dozens of other well-written and flawwlessly-acted reasons you can do without that pint of Rocky Road ice cream every week. Go ahead, make the sacrifice. So, what am I going on about in praising the wonders of this series called Royal Pains? Well, Royal Pains is the story of Hank (Mark Feuerstein), a rising star in the New York City medical community, until he loses everything fighting for the life of a poor, penniless and deathly ill patient – over the less serious problems of an ultra-rich hospital donor who could wait an hour or two withoutcroaking. With his career stalled and his personal life in shambles (his gal hits the door when he is handed his pink slip), in short, Hank is in need of a new beginning. That's where his younger brother Evan (Paulo Costanzo) steps in. Fed up with Hank's personal pity party, he convinces Hank to join him on a last-minute trip to the Hamptons for Memorial Day weekend. When the brothers crash a party at the home of a Hamptons billionaire (Campbell Scott) and a guest falls critically ill, Hank saves her live and saves the day. His dramatic medical rescue draws attention from the multi-millionaire crowd of party-goers. Inadvertently, Hank becomes the hot new "concierge doctor" in town. With encouragement from Evan and and an ambitious young woman who volunteers to be his physician assistant, he decides to stay in town solving medical crises and helping those in need. Hank is back to doing what he does best. And now he's reinvented himself as the Hamptons' hottest new "doctor-in-demand” – calling his enterprise, “Hank Med,” Evan's idea, of course – and Hank even happens onto a pretty and sweet female surgeon (Jill Flint) who finds that what he is doing is noble. There's hope for Hank yet. And, guess what, for you, too, because the generic Rocky Road tastes just as good as the name brand as you're eating it, while you're watching the DVD of the first season or the beginning episodes of Season Two, which begin airing in early June).
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Genius/Vivendi
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Tell Tale
If you are a fan of the short stories of author Edgar Allen Poe or even an aficionado of the cinematic interpretations of some of his greatest works (movie thrillers often starring Vincent Price like The Pit and The Pendulum and The Tell-Tale Heart, to name a few), then you definitely have to pick up this chilling re-imagining of Poe's most well-known, timeless short story on Blu-ray and DVD. Filmmakers and real-life siblings Ridley Scott (Aliens) and Tony Scott (Pelham 123), along with director Michael Cuesta, offer movie-lovers an even more chilling and heart-pounding celluloid adaptation of the classic Edgar Allan Poe story The Tell-Tale Heart. In his updated adaptation – featuring riveting performances from an all-star cast that includes Josh Lucas (Poseidon, Glory Road), Lena Headey (300, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) and Brian Cox (The Escapist, Fantastic Mr. Fox). Tell Tale follows the story of a hardworking, single father (Lucas) – with a new lease on life – he is recovering from a heart transplant and has met a beautiful new woman (Headley). But things begin to go awry when Terry becomes haunted by his own heartbeat and realizes that he must delve into the shocking death of his donor who saved his live, which leads him on a frantic search to find the donor's killer before a similar fate befalls him. As the pieces of the puzzle begin falling into place, his life begins to unravel. Desperate to protect the ones closest to him – and his own sanity – Terry listens to the warnings coming from within, and he embarks on a gripping quest to learn the secrets of the dead. Tell Tale is a gritty and intense psychological thriller that will definately grab ahold of your heart.
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Paramount
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Leverage - The Complete Second Season
Who ever thought Oscar-winner Timothy Hutton would do some of his best acting work on cable? And, that's not implying that films like Ordinary People and Taps won't always be remembered and considered Hutton classics, but the work he is doing now on the cable series Leverage is sensational, edgy, hysterical and always produces great episodes. Simply put, Leverage is what makes a comedic heist series phenomenal in every way imaginable. Again. cable is forging ahead and creating a new frontier for actor, filmmakers and innovative screenwriting. Cable is no longer a graveyard for befallen, has-been actors, it's become an artistic nirvana where the talented, but ahead of the time, are able to try out new, bold and remarkablly edgy material. As Hutton and his cast mates – Gina Bellman (Coupling), Christian Kane (Into The West), Beth Riesgraf (Alvin and the Chipmunks) and Aldis Hodge (Friday Night Lights) – are breaking new ground for actors and actresses across the board. Before I go much further with my speech on the viryues of DVDs and cable, it should be pointed out that Leverage, as most of you already know from Season One, is a "don't look away for a second or you'll miss the clues behind pulling off the perfect heist" kind of laugh-out-loud comedy. In Season Two, Timothy Hutton is back as the leader of an elite team of thieves, hackers and con artists who act as modern day Robin Hoods by standing up for those who have been victimized by the rich and powerful. In the timely second season, the team takes on corrupt bankers, high fashion, the tabloid media and an old nemesis from their past. This season, Jeri Ryan (Star Trek: Voyager) joined the cast as a special guest star in a continuing a story arc as a temporary member of the team. Released just in time to catch the debut of Season Three of Leverage in June, when it returns to its regular schedule with all new episodes. The Leverage: The Complete Second Season DVD set includes all 15 episodes on four discs. (Only on DVD).Bonus Features: “The Creators of Leverage Q&A,” “John Rogers Set Tour ,” “Behind the Boom featurette, “The Hand Job” Spoof Video, “Andy Lange Music featurette” and “Season 2 Wrap Party Gag Reel.”
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Vivendi/Genius
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Hard Ride To Hell
When AC/DC sang the heavy metal anthem “Highway To Hell,” it's hard to imagine that the rockers from Down Under had the bloody sacrifices from Hard Ride To Hell in mind when they wrote the classic rock tune. In this scary, bloody and heart-stopping thriller, demon-worshiping bikers fire up their engines for blood as Hard Ride To Hell burns its way onto DVD. After accidentally witnessing a cruel human sacrifice, a group of defenseless campers find themselves on the run from a savage gang of bikers on the hunt for their next human offering. As the campers attempt to seek protection at an abandoned church, they find a dangerous priest on a mission from God and a mysterious young boy who carries a horrific secret. A road trip full of nightmares, the Spike TV original movie straight out of Hell stars Miguel Ferrer (Traffic), Laura Mennell (Watchmen), and Katharine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps: Unleashed).
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BBC Video
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Waiting for God: The Complete Collection/Waiting for God: Season Five
Now that Waiting For God has come to a close on British TV, the BBC is marking the ceremonious end of an era for the English viewing public (and loyal fans of BBC America and BBC Canada) with the release of the last season of the sidesplitting, cynical comedy about an elderly couple that refuses to grow old gracefully with the 2-disc DVD release of Waiting for God: Season Five. In the fifth and final season, Diana (Stephanie Cole from Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day) rejects Tom's (Vanity Fair star Graham Cowden) marriage proposal; so in his misery, he decides to go bungee jumping. At the very edge of his leap, Diana withdraws her refusal, but lays down strict ground rules for their future married life. Now the only challenge left is to live happily ever after! Also released on the same day is Waiting For God: The Complete Collection, which includes all five seasons of the classic British comedy.
NOW AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY
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Universal
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Spartucus
Spartacus, the genre-defining epic from director Stanley Kubrick, is the legendary tale of a bold gladiator (Kirk Douglas) who led a triumphant Roman slave revolt. Filmed in glorious Technicolor, the action-packed spectacle won four Academy Awards including Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction. Featuring a cast of screen legends such as Laurence Olivier, Charles Laughton, Peter Ustinov, Jean Simmons, John Gavin and Tony Curtis, this uncut and fully restored masterpiece is an inspirational true account of man's eternal struggle for freedom. Bonus Features: Deleted Scenes, Archival interviews with Peter Ustinov and Jean Simmons, Behind-the-scenes- footage, 5 Vintage news reels, Images Galleries – Production Stills, Concept Art, Costume Art, Costume Designs, Storyboards, Posters and Print Ads and BD-LIVE! - with more bonus content.
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