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Jason Statham’s “Killer Elite”: The First Release From New Theater Chain-Backed Distributor

Jason Statham’s “Killer Elite”: The First Release From New Theater Chain-Backed Distributor (photo)

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Deadline reported earlier today that “Killer Elite,” a new action film starring Jason Statham, Robert De Niro and Clive Owen, will be the first film released by new distributor Open Road Films on September 23, 2011. This is interesting news for a few reasons: 1) It stars Jason Statham. 2) It stars Jason Statham and Clive Owen. And 3) Open Road is a a new (sorta) independent distributor, founded by multiplex chains AMC and Regal Entertainment.

It’s an interesting time for the movie theater business. As they get into the distribution business for themselves, it gets even more interesting. Just last month I interviewed filmmaker Sean Kirkpatrick whose first film, “Cost of a Soul,” was being released by AMC and Relativity Media after it won a nationwide contest. It was a one time deal (and certainly a smart public relations move) but it was also, I thought, an interesting test case. Now AMC and Regal, the two biggest exhibitors in the United States (as well as the two biggest competitors) have teamed to form their own shared distribution company. Open Road was first announced a few months ago but is just now kicking into high gear with “Killer Elite” which, according to Thompson on Hollywood, is based on a true story and a novel called “The Feather Men” and not the Sam Peckinpah movie of the same name. Statham plays “a special ops agent lured out of retirement to rescue his mentor (Robert De Niro). That requires killing three canny assassins led by Clive Owen.” Juicy.

The Open Road press release from March included this quote from AMC president Gerry Lopez:

“As major studio releases have declined in recent years, Open Road Films will fill an important gap that exists in the market today for consumers, movie producers and theatrical exhibitors… Open Road Films will provide a broader availability of movies to consumers.”

Of course movie theaters owning the movies they screen is nothing new; that — or maybe the flip of that — is the very foundation of the Hollywood studio system. At least it was the foundation until the famous “Paramount Decision of 1948,” which found the studios guilty of monopolistic trade practices and forced them to divest themselves of their exhibitor arms. We haven’t quite returned to those heady days of the trusts quite yet — Open Road is acquiring its films, not producing them itself, and Regal and AMC aren’t going to exclusively show Open Road programming — but we’re getting a wee bit closer. That’s interesting too. Maybe not quite as interesting as a new Jason Statham action movie, but pretty interesting all the same.

Psyched for “Killer Elite?” Tell us about it in the comments below or on Twitter and Facebook!

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G.I. Jeez

Stomach Bugs and Prom Dates

E.Coli High is in your gut and on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Brothers-in-law Kevin Barker and Ben Miller have just made the mother of all Comedy Crib series, in the sense that their Comedy Crib series is a big deal and features a hot mom. Animated, funny, and full of horrible bacteria, the series juxtaposes timeless teen dilemmas and gut-busting GI infections to create a bite-sized narrative that’s both sketchy and captivating. The two sat down, possibly in the same house, to answer some questions for us about the series. Let’s dig in….

E.coli-class-

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

BEN: Hi ummm uhh hi ok well its like umm (gets really nervous and blows it)…

KB: It’s like the Super Bowl meets the Oscars.

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

BEN: Oh wow, she’s really cute isn’t she? I’d definitely blow that too.

KB: It’s a cartoon that is happening inside your stomach RIGHT NOW, that’s why you feel like you need to throw up.

IFC: What was the genesis of E.Coli High?

KB: I had the idea for years, and when Ben (my brother-in-law, who is a special needs teacher in Philly) began drawing hilarious comics, I recruited him to design characters, animate the series, and do some writing. I’m glad I did, because Ben rules!

BEN: Kevin told me about it in a park and I was like yeah that’s a pretty good idea, but I was just being nice. I thought it was dumb at the time.

ecoli-computer

IFC: What makes going to proms and dating moms such timeless and oddly-relatable subject matter?

BEN: Since the dawn of time everyone has had at least one friend with a hot mom. It is physically impossible to not at least make a comment about that hot mom.

KB: Who among us hasn’t dated their friend’s mom and levitated tables at a prom?

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

BEN: There’s a lot of content now. I don’t think anyone will even notice, but it’d be cool if they did.

KB: A show about talking food poisoning bacteria is basically the same as just watching the news these days TBH.

Watch E.Coli High below and discover more NYTVF selections from years past on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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via GIPHY

We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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GIFs via Giphy

Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

via GIPHY

The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

via GIPHY

They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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