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DEAD IN TOMBSTONE - New Poster!

DEAD IN TOMBSTONE - New Poster!

Dead in tombstone Roel Reine poster

Supernatural Western with Danny Trejo, Anthony Michael Hall and Mickey Rourke. Directed by Roel Reine.

Movie will be released by Universal Studios in October/November.


rogerebert.com - FRESH BLOOD: THREE GREAT DIRECTORS OF DIRECT-TO-VIDEO ACTION

FRESH BLOOD: THREE GREAT DIRECTORS OF DIRECT-TO-VIDEO ACTION

August 6, 2013

The biggest taboo in American cinema may be the direct-to-video (DTV) market. Director John Hyams was dropped by his agent after making the DTV "Universal Soldier: Regeneration." Fellow director Isaac Florentine has said "I discovered that being a straight to DVD director is…worse than saying you have malaria." 

To some extent, one can understand why DTV films have such a bad reputation: just watch the SyFy channel on Saturday night, or Cinemax at 2 am any night. Yet there's a certain freedom in making genre films without the budget to use extravagant CGI effects, and Hyams and Florentine have put it to good use. Over the past few years, a handful of critics, like ex-con Steven-Seagal-expert Vern and RogerEbert.com contributor Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, have championed their work. As the concept of vulgar auteurism has become a hot topic among the cinephile blogopshere recently, something's gotten lost in all the debate about whether Michael Bay and Tony Scott should be taken seriously. At heart, what seems worthwhile to me about vulgar auteurism is its championing of the best DTV genre films. Most 1950s intellectuals would have been horrified by the notion of taking Edgar G. Ulmer's "Detour" or Sam Fuller's "The Steel Helmet" seriously, and today they're considered essential.  

Isaac Florentine's "Undisputed III: Redemption" (2010) suffers from a surface cheesiness that manifests itself in several ways. The most obvious is the fact that the cast seems to have been assembled as much for its fighting ability as its acting talent. However, that turns out to be a strength in the end. Vin Diesel, pumped-up muscles and all, is no longer so convincing as a tough guy. Scott Adkins, who has teamed up with Florentine six times, is thoroughly believable as a man who's spent years in jail, and the rest of the actors who play prisoners look equally rough. Adkins plays Boyka, a Russian boxer forced to compete in a contest where eight prisoners fight each other for the amusement of depraved gamblers and jailers; the winner supposedly gets his freedom.

"Ninja "(2009) is the other consensus favorite in Florentine's filmography. While less reliant on long takes than "Undisputed III: Redemption"—apart from one breathtaking swordfight caught in a single take—it also uses zooms heavily and conveys a sense of the actors' genuine athleticism. However, it ventures further into fantasyland. Casey (Adkins) is an American raised at a Japanese martial arts dojo and sent to New York to safeguard a cache of weapons from a rogue assassin. The film is marked by an enjoyable goofiness, expressed through subplots like the one involving secret cult rituals staged by a huge corporation. John Woo seems to be a prime influence: the action mixes guns, swords and the body itself. There's a dubious Orientalism around the whole project: While it gives lots of screen time to Asians and creates a Japanese villain who turns out to be more charismatic than Casey, its story ultimately depends on Casey rescuing the Japanese from themselves. Also, his Japanese girlfriend is basically an object to be rescued. (That's a common trope in DTV films, unfortunately.) Despite these flaws, it's extremely entertaining, on a lighter note than "Undisputed III: Redemption", and the sequel will be Florentine's next film.

Dutch-born director Roel Reine has landed one film on Jack Lehtonen's "official" vulgar auteurist top 20 list: "The Marine 2" (2009). While I'm less enthusiastic about it than Lehtonen, "The Marine 2" shows the marks of a distinctive stylist. Reine only shoots close-ups when the narrative really requires him to. He prefers long shots, sometimes taken from a vast distance. He also seems to have more of a special effects budget than Florentine, as the film contains a number of CGI explosions. However, it suffers from a formulaic script that transplants the narrative of "Die Hard" to a tropical island and a protagonist—a Marine (wrestler Ted DiBiase) on vacation with his wife—who has all-American good looks going for him but suffers from an overriding blandness. The film has one astonishingly choreographed fight scene, shot in a 30-second take with a pirouetting camera. I'd love to see what Reine could do with a satisfying script.

Reine's latest film, "12 Rounds 2:  Reloaded" (2013), suggests a marked improvement in his work. This time around, he's working with a script by David Benullo that suggests the David Fincher of "Seven" and "The Game": paramedic Nick (wrestler Randy Orton) is called by a vigilante (Brian Markinson) and forced to play a bizarre round of games connected to an event in their pasts. Stylistically, it's less reliant on long shots than "The Marine 2," but doesn't shy away from them. 

The nocturnal cinematography is quite beautiful at times. Despite the requisite ass-kicking, it feels more like a film noir than an action movie: The narrative turns out to be surprisingly complex and willing to shift focus from character to character. This impression is enhanced by Reine's tendency to film light streaming through venetian blinds. The movie concentrates on the plot with admirable economy and breakneck pacing. It only spends a few scenes setting up Nick's home life, and as soon as the game is over, the story ends, too. Without endorsing vigilantism, "12 Rounds 2: Reloaded" understands populist anger at a two-tiered justice system that tends to spare the privileged. The film's only major flaw is a stiff performance from Orton, who's called upon to do more than just fight.

John Hyams' reputation rests on his two "Universal Soldier" sequels: "Regeneration" (2009) and "Day of Reckoning" (2012). In "Regeneration," a terrorist with an android "universal soldier" (Andrei "The Pit Bull" Arlovski) has seized a nuclear reactor in Chernobyl. Luc (Jean-Claude van Damme), a decommissioned universal soldier, is sent to stop him, but once there, he discovers that he must fight Andrew (Dolph Lundgren), another soldier. The two face off in an epic fight that lasts about fifteen minutes.

"Regeneration" plays with fantasies of invulnerability, only to constantly remind us of aging and bodily decay. By casting middle-aged actors with lined faces—and, in van Damme's case, a perpetually depressed expression—it undercuts the notion of unstoppable force. Luc never indulges in one-liners à la Schwarzenegger. When he prepares for battle, he doesn't become a cool badass, but a machine that must be constantly tuned up with booster shots. (The title of Hyams' documentary "

The Smashing Machine

," about boxer Mark Karr, seems relevant here.) I'm not sure where the film was shot, but one can practically smell the odor of industrial decay. Cinematographer 

Peter Hyams

, the director's father and an accomplished director in his own right, livens up the film, particularly its fight scenes, with an array of blue, red, gray and gold filters. Rarely does "Regeneration" look naturalistic—it creates its own world, with a distinctive and unique feel. Like Florentine, Hyams avoids CGI, apart from blood-splatter effects.

"Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning" brings back van Damme, Lundgren and Arlovski, and introduces Scott Adkins to the "Universal Soldier" world, yet it feels very different from "Regeneration". It begins with the murder of John's (Adkins) wife and daughter by a group of thugs led by Luc. He falls into a coma and wakes up after nine months, but he seems to be suffering from mental problems. "Day of Reckoning" shows off Hyams' cinephilia, drawing first-person camerawork from Gaspar Noe's "Enter the Void," ominous walks down corridors from Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining" and a boat trip down a swamp from Francis Ford Coppola's "Apocalypse Now." It's slightly less stylized than "Regeneration"; shot in Baton Rouge, its images sometimes resemble the real world, but that only makes John's psychological collapse more disturbing. Dozens of sci-fi films have drawn from Philip K. Dick's novels over the past thirty years; "Day of Reckoning" is one of the few to get his sense that everyday life could turn into a hallucination at any moment.

"Day of Reckoning" relies on the notion of living and dealing with implanted memories for its emotional charge. But what is cinema if not the art of implanting false memories? The film's DVD box features two separate quotes touting its brutal nature, and it is indeed startlingly violent. (Hyams himself describes the NC-17 cut as an endurance test.) Yet there's more to the violence than meets the eye. In an interview with Sara Freeman for the website MUBI, Hyams shows that he's thought seriously about the ethics of depicting bloodshed. "Day of Reckoning" takes place in a world where life is spectacularly cheap due to the proliferation of clones. This technology allows it to bring back a character who died in "Regeneration." Its ending shows a man dying and immediately being replaced by his clone. Both in its treatment of violence and the theme of memory, "Day of Reckoning" evokes the visceral power of good fiction and its ultimate artificiality. It's not cynical: its final scenes affirm the force of emotion, even if separated from real life.

Hyams, Reine and Florentine's work seems at once part of a Hollywood tradition—their fight scenes look like Raoul Walsh or Allan Dwan compared to the chaotic blur of mega-budgeted blockbusters like "World War Z"—and hyper-modern. Beyond the genre tropes, they capture the physical and psychological pressures of the world we're living in. Florentine and Reine's films are less ambitious, but "Undisputed 3: Redemption" and "12 Rounds 2: Reloaded" evoke the same kind of weight as Hyams' "Universal Soldier" films. They may be working in the DTV ghetto—technically, "Day of Reckoning" played for one week in a New York theater last year—but they're describing the same world as a more prestigious filmmaker like Olivier Assayas. (Without making a big deal of it, Florentine uses casts drawn from all over the world.) I can't say that I've been impressed by the entire vulgar auteurist canon, but in the DTV arena, its critics have made some real discoveries.

Release Info - Dead in Tombstone

"DEAD IN TOMBSTONE"

DANNY TREJO, ANTHONY MICHAEL HALL AND ACADEMY AWARD® NOMINEE MICKEY ROURKE PACK A POWERFUL PUNCH IN AN ALL-NEW ACTION-PACKED MOVIE - DIRECTED BY ROEL REINE

BE THE FIRST TO OWN IT ON DIGITAL OCTOBER 8, 2013

AVAILABLE OCTOBER 22, 2013 ON BLU-RAY™ COMBO PACK WITH DVD & DIGITAL INCLUDING ULTRAVIOLET AND ON DEMAND FROM UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOME ENTERTAINMENT

dead-233x300

"A BLAST WITH BOTH BARRELS BLAZING!" - LAURA GADDY, SHOCKYA.COM

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif.July 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A ruthless outlaw returns from beyond the grave to avenge his own murder in Dead in Tombstone. The latest in Universal Studios Home Entertainment's groundbreaking DVD Originals™ series, Dead in Tombstone features a star-studded cast including Danny Trejo (Machete, "Sons of Anarchy"), Anthony Michael Hall (The Dark Knight, "Warehouse 13"), Dina Meyer (the Saw franchise, Piranha, DragonHeart) and Oscar® nominee Mickey Rourke (The WrestlerIron Man 2). Dead in Tombstone will be available on early Digital October 8, 2013 as well as on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack with Digital including UltraViolet™, on DVD and On Demand on October 22, 2013, from Universal 1440 Entertainment, a production entity of Universal Studios Home Entertainment. Includes unrated version.

Straddling the thin line between life and death, Dead in Tombstone is a fiery tale of greed, revenge and atonement set in a Gold Rush boomtown populated by thugs, drunks and unlikely heroes.  DVD Originals veteran Roel Reine(The Marine 2, Death Race 2, Scorpion King 3) directs from a script by Shane Kuhn and Brandon Cowles (Scorpion King 3).  

The Blu-ray™ Combo Pack allows fans to view Dead in Tombstone anytime, anywhere on the platform of their choice. It includes a Blu-ray™ disc, a DVD, and Digital including UltraViolet™ for the ultimate, complete viewing experience.

  • Blu-ray disc unleashes the power of your HDTV and is the best way to watch movies at home, featuring perfect hi-def picture and hi-def sound.
  • DVD offers the flexibility and convenience of playing movies in more places, both at home and away.
  • UltraViolet is a revolutionary new way for fans to collect their movies and TV shows in the cloud that lets consumers instantly stream and download to tablets, smartphones, computers and TVs, including iPad®, iPhone®, Android™ and more. 
  • Also includes Digital Copy.

EXCLUSIVE BLU-RAY™ BONUS FEATURES:

  • BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVES:
    • Horses, Guns & Explosions: Discover how some of the jaw dropping stunts were produced.
    • Roel Reine: The Leader of the Gang: Learn about director Roel Reine's unique style and filming technique.
    • A Town Transformed: Discover and watch how the town of Tombstone was created.
    • Creating Hell: The Visual Effects: Explore the exhilarating visual effects.

BLU-RAY™ & DVD BONUS FEATURES:

  • DELETED SCENES
  • DELETED SHOTS MONTAGE
  • THE MAKING OF DEAD IN TOMBSTONE: Go behind the scenes of this action-packed movie and get a glimpse into hell!
  • FEATURE COMMENTARY with Director Roel Reine

SYNOPSIS:

Danny Trejo (Machete), Anthony Michael Hall (The Dark Knight) and Oscar® nominee Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler)star in this fiery, action-packed battle for vengeance. As a ruthless gang overruns a small mining town, they murder their own leader, Guerrero Hernandez (Trejo), in a cold-blooded power grab. Sentenced to eternity in hell, Guerrero finds himself confronted by Satan himself (Rourke), offering a daring proposition: deliver the six souls of his former gang and he will escape damnation. With time running out, he sets out on a brutal rampage to avenge his own death.

CAST AND FILMMAKERS:
Cast: Danny TrejoAnthony Michael Hall,  Dina Meyer, and Mickey Rourke
Directed by: Roel Reine
Written by:   Shane Kuhn & Brendan Cowles
Producer: Mike Elliott
Editor: Radu Ion
Casting by: Jeff Gerrard and Gillian Hawser
Production Designer: Christi Niculescu                     
Cinematography by: Roel Reine
Costume Designer: Oana Draghici
Music by: Hybrid

TECHNICAL INFORMATION - BLU-RAY™
Street Date: October 22, 2013
Copyright: 2013 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.
Selection Numbers: 63119903            (U.S.), 63123329 (CDN) 
Running Time: 1 hours, 40 minutes
Layers: BD-50
Aspect Ratio: Widescreen 1.78:1
Rating: R for violence and language/ Unrated
Technical Info: Dolby Digital 5.1(English); Dolby Digital 5.1 (Spanish)
Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish

TECHNICAL INFORMATION - DVD
Street Date: October 22, 2013
Copyright: 2013 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.
Selection Numbers: 63119901 (U.S.), 63123330 (CDN) 
Running Time: 1 hours, 40 minutes
Layers: Dual Layer
Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.78:1
Rating: R for violence and language/ Unrated
Technical Info: Dolby Digital 5.1(English); Dolby Digital 5.1 (Spanish)
Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish

For artwork, please log on to our website at www.ushepublicity.com.

The Universal 1440 Entertainment banner develops and produces live-action and animated productions directly for the home entertainment, television and the stage.  Since its formation in 2005, the group has assembled an exceptional roster of animated family fare, including the brand-new animated feature-length home entertainment release The Little Engine That Could; the Daytime Emmy®-winning "Curious George" television series on PBS KIDS; and a string of hit Barbie moviesbased on the world-renowned Mattel-branded doll. The group also has successfully built upon some of Universal's highly celebrated live-action franchises, most recently launching the Tony Award®-nominated hit touring stage production Bring It On: The Musical; the adrenaline-fueled actioner Death Race 3: Inferno; and the epic- adventure saga The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption Projects currently readying for release include the all-new home entertainment features Dead in Tombstone, Curse of Chucky andLittle Rascals, a reboot of the beloved family comedy. The group is part of Universal Studios Home Entertainment.

Universal 1440 Entertainment is a production entity of Universal Studios Home Entertainment (USHE).  USHE is a unit of Universal Pictures, a division of Universal Studios (www.universalstudios.com). Universal Studios is a part of NBCUniversal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, world-renowned theme parks, and a suite of leading Internet-based businesses. NBCUniversal is owned by Comcast Corporation.

CONTACT

Universal Studios Home Video
Cecilia Sandoval
Phone: 818-777-7364
Email: Cecilia.Sandoval@nbcuni.com

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