DVD Review: Outlander

Director: Howard McCain Screenplay: Howard McCain, Dirk Blackman Producers: Chris Roberts, Barrie M. Osborne Starring: James Caviezel, Sophia Myles, Jack Huston, Ron Perlman, John Hurt, John Beale, Katie Bergin MPAA Rating: R Running time: 115 min. Living in Vancouver has it’s advantages (beautiful surroundings, great people, coffee shops on ever corner) but when it comes to movies, especially the limited release fare, we don’t do quite as well as I’d like. The awards favourites usually make an appearance as do Canadian films but if you blink, you can miss things like Nightwatching (our review) or Fanboys (our review) while others don’t even make an appearance (Colleen still seethes at the lack of Black Sheep). I’m was bitter that we were not given the opportunity to see Outlander and now that I’ve seen it on DVD, I really wish I’d had the chance to see it on the big screen. We’ve talked (a lot) about how great Howard McCain’s film looked and I’m happy to report that it doesn’t disappoint. Outlander stars James Caviezel (yes, Jesus) as Kainan, the sole human-looking survivor of an alien ship which crashes on earth. Kainan quickly sets up a beacon for rescue and goes out hunting for an evil creature which they refer to as a dragon, that he was transporting and which is now running lose on earth. While on the hunt he’s captured by a group of Vikings, beaten a little and then taken to camp where, after a few trials, he ends up as their leader. Tell me you didn’t see that one coming from the trailer?

Gabaldon’s Outlander Coming to the Big Screen

Romances. As of late, the majority of these fall into the “chick-flick” category or badly tacked onto some action film. Not necessarily a bad thing but for the rest of us who prefer something with a little more drama, they’re not exactly fulfilling but a recent announcement is bound to change all that. Or so I hope. When it was announced that a film titled Outlander was in the works, I was excited only to then find out that it was not the film I expected but rather a Viking picture but according to news from Variety, it looks like my initial hope has been fulfilled. You see, Essential Pictures, a newly minted production company, has picked up the rights to Diana Gabaldon’s best selling historical romances. I was introduced to the novels by some very persuasive literature bound friends. The fact that they, who tend to read Pulitzer and Giller Prize winning novels, were shelling for a period romance peaked my interest and by the middle of Gabaldon’s first novel, titled “Outlander”, I could see why. Aside from the fact that Gabaldon’s writing is better than average, her characters and their adventures made for some of the most entertaining stories I’d read in years. The series, which now runs into six novels, tells the adventures of Claire Randall, a nurse working for the British forces during World War II when she is transported to the eighteenth century Highlands and finds herself in the middle of Scottish clan life. In the midst of her first adventure, she encounters and reluctantly falls in love with Jamie Fraser, a handsome but brash Highlander. It sounds like fairly standard romance stuff but Gabaldon breaks more than a few romance conventions and along the way inserts her characters into historical events. The great thing about Gabaldon’s novels is that Claire doesn’t simply sit back as a maiden in need of rescuing. Though she sometimes gets herself into trouble, she’s never useless and on more than one occasion, she rescues the men; makes for a nice change of pace. Depending on the direction they take […]

Outlander Goes Direct to DVD

Sad news. One of the films I was most excited to see is, apparently, going to bypass theatrical distribution and head straight for DVD. We’ve talked about Outlander in the past. The viking vs. aliens story staring James Caviezel, Sophia Myles, Jack Huston, Ron Perlman and John Hurt was shaping up nicely but for one reason or another, likely because they don’t feel it has box office appeal, it looks as though the The Weinstein Company, who have the US distribution rights, will not be putting any money into a release. It has come to my attention, via Dread Central, that Movies Unlimited has the film on pre-order with a release date of November 18th. I’ve never heard of Movies Unlimited so I’m not quite sure how accurate that release date is but I’m assuming that since they’re taking people’s money, they know what their talking about. Also worth noting that Amazon also has the film listed for the November 18th release date. Though this means we may not get to see it in North America, other markets may still have a chance to see the film on the big screen. We’ll be keeping you posted if any new developments arise.

First Outlander Clip Hits Web

I‘m not sure what more needs to be said about the, hopefully, upcoming Viking/Alien awesomeness that will be Outlander but for one reason or another, the folks at Weinstein have yet to announce anything even remotely connected to a release date. What on earth are they waiting for? Another viking/alien flick to come along and pave the way? The bloody film is already in the can so there is little more for them to do other than roll it out. Heck, if you have such little faith, start small and expand! But I’m already digressing. The real reason for the post is that the folks at Quiet Earth have uncovered the first clip for the film which also happens to be an official clip for the press from the recently wrapped Locarno Festival. If you’re still scratching your head wondering what this viking and alien talk is about, be sure to check out our previous coverage. We’ll be keeping you posted on the release date if and when it is available.

Outlander Trailer is All Sorts of Awesomeness

Oh sweet mother of all that is good and wonderful in this world. I’d like to thank you for ending my already great week with the biggest smile I’ve had in a while. I’ve already gushed over my excitement at the upcoming Viking awesomeness that will be Howard McCain’s Outlander starring James Caviezel, Sophia Myles, Jack Huston, Ron Perlman and John Hurt. Thanks to reader AD for the heads up, we bring you the first official trailer for the film and it’s glorious. Seriously fantastic. I’m full of glee. See it below or in much bigger, better quality at the official website! Unfortunately, no release date yet. Bugger.

Outlander: 2008’s Viking Movie

I fully realize that a $47 million dollar budget is not exactly “indie” but when you consider the dedication, passion and wrangling that’s taken to put Outlander together, along with the grassroots promotion that the film has relied on for the last year or so (and then throw in the fact that the film has been in pre-production for years), it really does feel like an indie film, even if the budget isn’t. I’ve been tracking the project since late 2006 when it was announced that James Caviezel, Sophia Myles, Jack Huston, Ron Perlman and John Hurt had all been cast in the project. This is not your run of the mill Viking film. From the official website, we get this updated synopsis: An age old battle rages amongst the stars. Kainan’s people have been fighting the Moorwen, fierce animal-like creatures for dominance. When his space craft crashes into the fjords of ancient Norway it’s with dismay that Kainan realizes that he wasn’t the only survivor. A second passenger, a Moorwen also emerges from the wreckage and into the time of the Vikings, intent on causing harm to those it perceives have wronged it. As the Moorwen kills everything in its path, Kainan has to try and get the feuding tribes to work together long enough to destroy the beast before it destroys them all. Yes, you read right: spacecraft. We’re talking aliens vs. vikings. Sweet lord. I know it sounds ludicrous but don’t run away just yet. The video and set photos all suggest that this could actually be pretty good and frankly, anyone who’s ballsy enough to pit aliens against vikings is good in my books. Outlander made it’s first few distribution sales during the Berlin Film Festival and at the moment, is scheduled to open in Russia on September 4th. The Weinstein Company holds the US distribution rights and hopefully, we’ll have a chance to see it at some point this year. I’ll be keeping you posted on new updates as they develop. At this point, I’m ready to see an official trailer, even if it is […]

74th Annual Golden Globe Winners

While I’m kind of over the whole movie awards thing – at least in terms of who wins, I do still enjoy the conversation that surrounds them. From the snubs to the nods, the parties to the costumes, the champagne to the hors d’oeuvres. The Golden Globes is leg one of the triple crown of movie awards. The others being of course The Spirit Awards and The Academy Awards (perhaps the BAFTAS are in there somewhere as well). Now that being said, one of the things I like about the GG is that they’re one of the few shows that honor not only movies but also television. Up until about five years ago that is probably something I would have frowned on or simply waved off. However in 2015 and 2016, arguably the best media I consumed were considered television shows – although that distinction is being blurred more and more every year (case in point: O.J.: Made in America). La La Land led this year’s film nominees with a total of seven mentions, followed by Moonlight with six. On the TV side, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” tops with five, followed by “The Night Manager” with four. Last night, Jimmy Fallon took over hosting duties for the ceremony and put on a nice show. While there were no huge upsets or surprises or anything really grandiose that happened on stage, The GG run a classy show (we don’t cut off our winners’ speeches with music!) and the highlight was possibly the lifetime achievement award and the one-two punch of Viola Davis’ introduction and Meryl Streep’s acceptance speech. I see you. Winners in red are listed below along with all of the nominees: Best Motion Picture – Drama: Hacksaw Ridge Hell or High Water Lion Manchester by the Sea Moonlight Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy: 20th Century Women Deadpool La La Land Florence Foster Jenkins Sing Street Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama: Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea Joel Edgerton – Loving Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge Viggo […]

74th Annual Golden Globe Nominations

While I’m kind of over the whole movie awards thing – at least in terms of who wins, I do still enjoy the conversation that surrounds them. From the snubs to the nods, the parties to the costumes, the champagne to the hors d’oeuvres. The Golden Globes is leg one of the triple crown of movie awards. The others being of course The Spirit Awards and The Academy Awards. Now that being said, one of the things I like about the GG is that they’re one of the few shows that honor not only movies but also television. Up until about five years ago that is probably something I would have frowned on or simply waved off. However in 2015 and 2016, arguably the best media I consumed were considered television shows – although that distinction is being blurred more and more every year (case in point: O.J.: Made in America). La La Land leads this year’s film nominees with a total of seven mentions, followed by Moonlight with six. On the TV side, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” tops with five, followed by “The Night Manager” with four. This year’s fiesta and award handouts, which are voted on by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, will be hosted by The Tonight Show’s Jimmy Fallon on NBC on Sunday, Jan. 8 at 5-8 p.m. PT/8-11 p.m. ET from the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The full list of nominees are as follows: Best Motion Picture – Drama: Hacksaw Ridge Hell or High Water Lion Manchester by the Sea Moonlight Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy: 20th Century Women Deadpool La La Land Florence Foster Jenkins Sing Street Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama: Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea Joel Edgerton – Loving Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic Denzel Washington – Fences Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama: Amy Adams – Arrival Jessica Chastain – Miss Sloane Isabelle Huppert – Elle Ruth Negga – Loving Natalie Portman – Jackie Best Performance by an […]

Row Three Favorite Television Series of 2015

Round here, it’s pretty easy keeping track of all of the film we watched throughout the year; being cinephiles and all. Whether we meticulously log and rate everything on LetterBoxd, keep an album ongoing in Facebook galleries or scribble down thoughts and dates in a spiral bound notebook. But with television, since there are so many episodes and odd airing dates and ways to access the media, it can be a little more daunting. Still, a couple of us managed to keep things logged and rated and ranked throughout 2015. Because let’s be honest, the TV shows these days very often trump a lot of what we saw in theaters. At any rate here’s a look back at some of our favorite shows streaming and airing over the past year…

73rd Annual Golden Globe Winners

Not too many surprises here; except that apparently The Martian is the best comedy of the year. Still, the always streamlined and tight Golden Globe Awards were a fun watch as Ricky Gervais was back to take verbal jabs at Mel Gibson, women drivers, NBC and HFPA itself. Teraj P. Henson clearly had a few before getting up on stage (“here, have a cookie”) and Tarantino pisses off social media (and apparently Jamie Foxx) after uttering the word “ghetto.” Then it was on to the presentations and the awards. The class act award goes to Tom Hanks however, who delivered one of the best introductory speeches for an award I’ve heard in a long time – maybe ever – for Denzel’s “Cecil B. DeMille” award. Too bad Denzel just looked like a bumbling idiot on stage. At any rate, here were all the nominations and winners at tonight’s presentation. The winners are IN RED. Feel free to leave your commentary in the appropriate section below. =========== Carol = 5 nominations = 0 wins The Revenant = 4 nominations = 3 wins Steve Jobs = 4 nominations = 1 win The Big Short = 4 nominations = 0 wins ===========   Best Picture, Drama Carol Mad Max: Fury Road The Revenant Room Spotlight Best Picture, Musical or Comedy The Big Short Joy The Martian Spy Trainwreck Best Director Todd Haynes, Carol Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant Tom McCarthy, Spotlight George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road Ridley Scott, The Martian Best Actress, Drama Cate Blanchett, Carol Brie Larson, Room Rooney Mara, Carol Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl Saorise Ronan, Brooklyn Best Actor, Drama Bryan Cranston, Trumbo Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs Will Smith, Concussion Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl