Walden Media’s Film Library on Sale

November 8th, 2015 by Paul Martin

Walden MediaWalden Media has plans to ramp production back up at their studio. After a massive restructuring, they have a goal of producing four films each year, as well as entering the television market.

They’re going to fund this by selling their film library.

Could this lead to Blu-ray versions of some of their films that haven’t been given proper Blu-ray releases at all? I’m talking about under-appreciated films like Bandslam and City of Ember.

Apparently this is a normal thing that studios do to raise funds. Walden Media has 46 films up for sale, and has identified several interested buyers. The auction will not include any of their upcoming projects.

“Like other film companies, we often receive interest in our library,” the company said in a statement to Variety. “As part of the rejuvenation of Walden Media, we are exploring the market and plan on re-investing into building our growing slate which already includes ‘Everest’ with Universal Pictures and Steven Spielberg’s ‘The BFG’ with DreamWorks and Disney.”

Other upcoming Walden productions include DreamWorks’ “A Dog’s Purpose,”“Happy Krampus!,” a co-production with Jim Henson Co., and “A Babysitter’s Guide to Monsters,” a children’s book adaptation.

The Giver is Now Available on Blu-ray!

November 30th, 2014 by Paul Martin

One of the most underrated films, but also one of my favorite movies of 2014, The Giver is now available to own on Blu-ray and DVD!

The Giver on Blu-ray

Andrew Garfield and Mel Gibson may make Hacksaw RidgeThe Conscientious Objector is a movie that’s been in the works since at least early 2010. A while back it seemed like it was finally going to be moving forward, and now it’s possibly going to have Mel Gibson to direct it. It also has a new title in Hacksaw Ridge, and may star The Amazing Spider-Man‘s Andrew Garfield.

Hacksaw Ridge is based on the true story of Desmond T Doss, the first conscientious objector in U.S. history to win the Congressional Medal of Honor.

The project is being led by producer Bill Mechanic (Coraline) through his Pandemonium banner, with David Permut (Face Off), Terry Benedict (The Death Of Reasonable Doubt), Steve Longi (Youth In Revolt) and Gregory Crosby on board as producers. Walden Media has also been developing the project.

Journey 2: The Mysterious IslandNew Line Cinema and Walden Media have signed brothers Chad and Carey Hayes to pen the scripts for movies that follow 2008’s Journey to the Center of the Earth and 2012’s Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.

Journey 3 and Journey 4 could film back-to-back, if they can work on the filming schedule to accommodate the cast.

Plot details are being kept underwraps at this time. Journey 3 was originally announced back in 2012, after Mysterious Island proved to be fairly successful. At the time, Brian and Mark Gunn were hired to write, having written the second film.

Dwayne Johnson, who joined the cast for the second film in the franchise, is signed on to star in the sequels. Josh Hutcherson, while expected to return, has not formally signed yet.

Flynn Picture Company’s Beau Flynn will return to the franchise as producer. Charlotte Huggins will also serve as producer. Evan Turner will executive produce. New Line execs Sam Brown and Michael Disco are overseeing for the company.


Should I see ‘The Giver?’

August 16th, 2014 by Paul Martin

The GiverI’ve never read Lois Lowry’s Newberry Award winning book The Giver. I have, however, seen the feature film based on that book.

One of the best compliments that you can give to a movie, that is based on a book that you’ve never read before, is if the movie makes you want to read the book. I’ve had that happen a number of times over the years, including City of EmberBig Fish and a few others. This one is no different. I definitely want to pick up the book, and the three other books that are set in the film’s world.

The Giver is a film that I’ve been actually looking forward to seeing for a number of years. As the movie got closer, I got a little more nervous about the movie. I knew it was possible that I wouldn’t like the movie, which happens from time to time (I’m very selective with movies that I see).

What I saw was a movie that has a lot of great messages. The ending of the movie is an especially good talking point about where true freedom comes from. The symbolism there is subtle, but it made me very happy, showing a bit of where true freedom comes from.

The movie has a lot of good conversation starters. There are some parts where the filming is a little odd, but intentionally so. It’s not a movie for small children, though. It deals with some things that would be scarring to young minds that would not be able to come to terms with how people can do bad things to each other, or to babies.

One major element of the film is how it addresses the value of life. All of life. And it does so in a way that is very moving and life affirming.

Something that might surprise you, but not readers of the book (based on some controversy around the first trailer that was released) is that the film starts out in black and white. It doesn’t stay that way, but definitely uses it as a storytelling device. The color saturation or de-saturation was a subtle device used to help the viewer understand what the characters are seeing.

The characters in the story are caught up in a world that is striving to protect its’ people from the dangers that come with being able to feel emotion, and to have choices in life. It seems that it’s also lead to a world in which the people that have grown up within this limited environment have no sense of the despicable things they may be carrying out. They’re purposefully kept naive. And where the story begins is a graduation of sorts, where the various ages of the people in the community have hit their next stage, and assignments are given.

To one, though, is given the memories of the time before the communities. That way, the elders can seek the advice of the receiver, to avoid making past mistakes once more.

The movie is PG-13, but not Michael Bay PG-13. Parents, see it first before taking your kids, so that you know what sorts of things you should be ready to talk about.

There was a sequence in the movie that nearly brought tears to my eyes, in a good way.

I highly recommend The Giver, and I look forward to reading the book.

If you have read the book, here are the author’s comments:

Watch the Trailer for ‘The Giver’

March 19th, 2014 by Paul Martin

The Giver

The Giver movie, based on the best selling novel by Lois Lowry. Starring Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep, in theaters 2014!

In a perfect world where there is no conflict, racism or sickness, every member of society has a specific role, and 16-year-old Jonas is selected to be the Receiver of Memories. As Jonas uncovers the truth behind his world’s past, he discovers that many years earlier his forefathers gave up humanity in order to have a stable society.

First Set Pics from ‘The Giver’

November 19th, 2013 by Paul Martin

We’re looking forward to seeing The Giver next summer, when it is released on August 15, 2014.  Here are a couple of photos from the set, courtesy of Instagram, and Twitter:

Taylor Swift poses with Cameron Monaghan and Odeya Rush on the set of The Giver

Taylor Swift, Cameron Monaghan and Odeya Rush on the set

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Taylor Swift joins cast of The Giver

November 19th, 2013 by Paul Martin

Taylor SwiftTaylor Swift has joined the cast of The Weinstein Company and Walden Media’s movie adaptation of “The Giver.”

The singer-songwriter is the latest member of the cast that features previously reported stars Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges, Brenton Thwaites and Katie Holmes.

Other cast members include “True Blood’s” Alexander Skarsgard, “The Odd Life of Timothy Green’s” Odeya Rush and Cameron Monaghan of “Shameless.”

The film, an adaptation of the popular young adult novel by Lois Lowry, stars Thwaites as a young boy who is selected for life service as the Receiver of Memories. He works with The Giver (Bridges), an old man who teaches the boy to use his sensory gifts.

Streep will play the antagonistic Chief Elder, who assigns the young their tasks, in the film about a society in which there is no sickness, conflict or racism.

Holmes will play Thwaites’ character’s mother.


Rachel and a Block of WoodI just found an article that mentions one of my favorite movies, Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, in a very positive light.  It’s about time that more people start digging a little deeper into the great messages that are held within that wonderful gem of a film.

From the article, which is about believing children who happen to have ADHD, but I believe can also apply to any and all children regardless of what they may have:

One of our family’s favorite movies is Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. It’s a beautiful movie with many beautiful lessons in it. One of the lessons that I found so profound comes from a block of wood. Mr. Magorium’s protégé, Mahoney, is stumped by the purpose of the block, and when she’s frustrated and at wits end with what to do with it she tells her mentor that it’s just a block of wood. His response baffles her at first. He says, “What do you think would happen if once, just once, somebody believed in it?”

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Katie Holmes joins cast of ‘The Giver’

September 27th, 2013 by Paul Martin

Katie HolmesKatie Holmes has closed a deal to join Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges in The Giver, a drama from The Weinstein Co. and Walden Media that’s being directed by Phillip Noyce.

Brenton Thwaites is the young star of the sci-fi project, which tells of a society in which there is no conflict, racism or sickness.

Thwaites plays a young boy who is selected for his life service as the Receiver of Memories and works with The Giver (Bridges), an old man who teaches the boy to use his unique gifts of the senses. Streep is the society’s Chief Elder, an authoritative and antagonistic woman who assigns the young their tasks.

Holmes will play Thwaites’ mother, a strict obeyer of the laws that govern what is described as an antiseptic society.

The movie, which is eyeing a budget of around $25 million, is being produced by Nikki Silver of Tonik Productions along with Neil Koenigsberg and Bridges.

Michael Mitnick wrote the most recent script adapting the Lois Lowry YA novel.

A shoot in South Africa is being planned, although it is likely that Steep will shoot her scenes in England, where she is filming Disney’s Into the Woods.