Posts Tagged ‘Hobo With A Shotgun’

DVD Geek: Hobo With a Shotgun

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Of the two possibilities open to the filmmakers who chose to call their movie, Hobo with a Shotgun, the first was to make a realistic revenge thriller of some sort, like the dozens of others that carry the same basic premise, which would be that a villain in a position of power underestimates the resolve of the seemingly insignificant hero.  The second possibility, however, is the one the filmmakers actually went with in the Magnolia Home Entertainment release, which is to concoct a wildly exaggerated gore spectacle and assume that the title is so precise that viewers will be in on the joke from the start.  The 2011 feature is a deliberate send up of exploitation films from the Eighties.  The bad guys are dressed like Tom Cruise in Risky Business, and there are many other visual allusions to Seventies and Eighties exploitation features, accompanied by a purposefully grating, era-appropriate electronic musical score.  The technology depicted in the film is also of the Eighties.  As for the plot, well it does follow the expected template.  Hauer’s character wanders into a town where anarchy seems to reign, and when he has the temerity to defend a prostitute from abuse, he incurs the wrath of the powers that be.  The performances are as exaggerated as the gore, and the narrative holds no surprises.  Running 86 minutes, some viewers may enjoy the grotesquely silly tone, but most will be disappointed, especially since it appears that a serious movie, featuring the nicely aged Hauer, could have been a great deal more satisfying.

The picture is presented in letterboxed format only, with an aspect ratio of about 2.35:1 and an accommodation for enhanced 16:9 playback.  The film’s colors have an unusually strong, Technicolor-like glow (meant to evoke Dario Argento’s old Technicolor thrillers) that becomes a deliberate part of the image design, though the effect ends up feeling more like one more absurd, dead-end idea than something intrinsic to any potential artistic or emotional achievement.  There are times, as well, when the colors become so intense that the image gets a little fuzzy.  The 5.1-channel Dolby Digital sound gives the shotgun a reasonable kick, but with that musical score you really aren’t going to want to raise the volume too greatly.  There are optional Spanish subtitles and there is English captioning.  Featured as well are 106 minutes of production clips, with an emphasis on executing the gore effects, which can be accessed during the film’s unspooling when prompts appears on the screen, or separately in the Special Features with a ‘Play All’ option. 

There are two commentary tracks, both of which feature the young director, Jason Eisener.  On the first track, he sits with Hauer and they talk all about how they roped the actor into the film and about what went on during the shoot.  Often, Eisener was in a bit over his head and they readily admit that Hauer would contribute, giving advice to the other actors, stepping up to do a stunt and otherwise making himself useful beyond the call of duty.  Hauer also acknowledges that the film has revitalized his career.

On the second track, Eisener is joined by writer John Davies, producer Rob Cotterill and a friend of Eisener’s who was the inspiration for Hauer’s part, David Brunt (a speculative trailer that Eisener made for the film, using Brunt as the star, is part of the production featurettes).  The three filmmakers go into more detail about how locations were secured, how various effects were achieved, what the cast was like, and why their girlfriends were willing to appear topless in the film.  Brunt is quite a character and you can hear echoes of Hauer’s performance in the way that he speaks and what he chooses to focus upon.  He seems generally tickled by all of the attention, and takes it in his stride.

Critics Roundup — May 6

Friday, May 6th, 2011

The Beaver|Green||Green||Yellow
The People vs George Lucas|||Green|Green|
Hobo with a Shotgun||||Yellow|
There Be Dragons|||Yellow||
Last Night|Yellow|Yellow|||
Daydream Nation||Yellow|||
Passion Play||Red|||


Thursday, January 20th, 2011


Alliance pre-emptively acquires Sundance titles including The Son of No One, The Troll Hunter, The Guard and Flypaper

19 January 2011, MONTREAL:  Alliance Films, one of the top five international independent filmed entertainment companies in the world which also encompasses Momentum Pictures (UK) and Aurum Productions (Spain) have inked a first look deal with producer Niv Fichman’s (The Red Violin, Blindness) Rhombus Media.  The distribution deal will utilize Alliance’s distribution pipeline with the company’s collaborating on all stages of production including development, casting, marketing and financing.

Alliance Films and Rhombus Media have partnered on films such as The Red Violin, Silk, Passchendale, Blindness and most recently HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN, which stars Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner) and Gregory Smith (The Patriot, Everwood).  HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN is set to make its world debut at the Sundance Film Festival as part of Midnight at Park City and was initially a trailer made to promote the release of Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez’s feature Grindhouse. HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN is the second of Grindhouse’s trailers to be turned into a feature film, the first being Machete.

Alliance Films will release the film in Canada and the UK (via Momentum Pictures), TF1 will be handling international sales and Magnolia Pictures will release in the U.S.

“Rhombus Media has a brilliant reputation for sourcing and developing award-winning material and we’re delighted to cement our relationship with them,” says Xavier Marchand, President of Worldwide Distribution of Alliance Films. “Furthermore, we’ve built a strong slate of acquisitions in advance of Sundance and look forward to unveiling them around the world this coming year.”

Commenting on the deal Niv Fichman said: “We have worked with Alliance for over a decade and are now fully integrated in every step of the process from initial development to final release.  I can not imagine a better and more seamless producer/distributor relationship anywhere.”

Alliance Films has made a number of acquisitions in advance of Sundance on titles such as:  Dito Montiel’s (A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, Fighting) feature THE SON OF NO ONE, starring Channing Tatum and Al Pacino for Canada and Spain (Aurum); THE TROLL HUNTER from director Andre Oderval for Canada and the UK (Momentum Pictures); THE GUARD which stars Brendan Gleason and Don Cheadle for Canada; and from the writers of The Hangover, Jon Lucas and Scott Moore’s FLYPAPER, directed by Rob Minkoff starring Patrick Dempsey and Ashley Judd for Spain (Aurum).

Current and upcoming films where Alliance Films has an equity position or otherwise enabled projects to be financed include:  The King’s Speech, The Woman in Black, Safe, Area 51, Weekender, Goon, The Moth Diaries, Insidious and The Bay.

Current and upcoming theatrical releases include: The King’s Speech (Canada & UK), The Fighter (Canada & UK), Blue Valentine (Canada), Chalet Girl (Canada & UK), Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere (Canada), The Way Back (Canada & Spain) and Red (Spain).

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About Momentum Pictures and Alliance Films

Alliance Films, Inc. is one of the top five international independent filmed entertainment companies in the world. A leading multinational distributor, co-financier and producer of filmed entertainment, its member companies, Alliance Films and Alliance Vivafilm (Canada); Momentum Pictures (UK) and Aurum Productions (Spain), offer integrated delivery of content in all media.

Strategic partnerships includes exclusive distribution rights with Relativity Media in Canada and UK, Focus Features, The Weinstein Company, CBS Films and Newmarket Films in Canada , as well as ongoing relationships with Summit, FilmNation, Newmarket, Exclusive Media, IM Global, Mandate, Wild Bunch, Constantin Films, EuropaCorp and Nu Image in all 3 territories.

On the production front, strategic partnerships include: a feature film co-production and acquisitions deal with Italy’s Medusa Film; a first-look deal with Iain Canning and Emile Sherman’s See-Saw Films, which yielded the lauded feature THE KING’S SPEECH; the production joint venture with IM Global, Automatik run by Brian Kavanaugh-Jones; and a five-picture deal with PARANORMAL ACTIVITY producers Oren Peli, Jason Blum and Steven Schneider with upcoming titles that include Barry Levinson’s The Bay and James Wan’s INSIDIOUS.

About Rhombus Media

Rhombus Media is renowned the world over for its high-quality feature films, TV drama series and performing arts programmes. Since it’s inception in 1979, Rhombus has released over 200 productions that have been consistently acclaimed by critics and audiences all over the world. Rhombus films have received literally hundreds of awards, including numerous Genies, Geminis, Emmys, Golden Pragues and an Oscar.  Some of the company’s more notable projects include The Red Violin, Last Night, The Saddest Music in the World, Clean, Snowcake, Silk, and more recently Fernando Meirelles’ Blindness and Paul Gross’ Passchendaele.  Rhombus produced Hobo with A Shotgun along with Whizbang Films and Yer Dead Productions.  The film stars Rutger Hauer and will be unleashed at Sundance in January.

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