January 2009

01/30/09New Theaters list

If you didn't catch Outlander during the last week in theaters, then you still have a chance to check it out if you are anywhere near a theater in the following list. Many of these locations are new so you may just find something closer to you than last time. Again here are the locations for outlander for this week:

  • Kennesaw, GA: Barrett Commons 24 Theatres, AMC

  • Knoxville, TN: Wynnsong 16, CARMKE

  • Dothan, AL: Carmike 12, CARMKE

  • Huntsville, AL: Madison Square 12, IND-US

  • Albany, NY: Madison Theatre 7, IND-US

  • Greensboro, NC: Carousel, INDTB

  • Schaumburg, IL: Woodfield 20, AMC

  • Valley View, OH: Valley View 24, CINMRK

  • Mentor, OH: Atlas Diamond Centre Cinemas 12, COOPOH

  • Cleveland, OH: Tower City 11, FLORIN

  • Grapevine, TX: Grapevine 30 Theatres, AMC

  • San Antonio, TX: Huebner Oaks 24, AMC

  • Mesquite, TX: Mesquite 30 Theatres, AMC

  • Plano, TX: Legacy 24, CINMRK

  • Southfield, MI: Star Southfield 20, AMC

  • Hialeah, FL: Hialeah 14, MUVICO

  • Davie, FL: Paradise 24, MUVICO

  • Tampa, FL: Centro Ybor 20, MUVICO

  • St. Petersburg, FL: Baywalk 20, MUVICO

  • Las Vegas, NV: Brenden Palms 14 + Imax, BRENDN

  • Las Vegas, NV: Century 18 Sam's Town, CINMRK

  • Las Vegas, NV: Neonopolis 11, GALAXY

  • North Las Vegas, NV: Galaxy Cannery Casino 16, GALAXY

  • Mobile, AL: Carmike 14, CARMKE

  • Mobile, AL: Stadium 18, WALLCE

  • Pensacola, FL: Carmike 10, CARMKE

  • San Diego, CA: Mission Valley 20, AMC

  • Modesto, CA: Brenden Modesto 18, BRENDN

  • Pittsburg, CA: Brenden Pittsburg 16, BRENDN

  • Elk Grove, CA: Century 16 Theatre - Laguna, CINMRK

  • San Francisco, CA: San Francisco Centre 9, CINMRK

  • Santa Rosa, CA: 3rd Street Cinema 6, THBKGS

  • Hanover, MD: Egyptian 24, MUVICO

  • 01/28/09Seattle Screening and Director Interview

    Here's an opportunity all of you in the Seattle area won't want to pass up. On Tuesday, February 17, 2009 at 7:00 pm the Warren Report is presenting in association with the 'The Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame' a screening of Outlander to be followed by a live interview with Director Howard McCain at the JBL theater at 325 5th Avenue North, SEATTLE.

    "With the Exposed: Inside Film series, EMP|SFM screens cult favorites and classic sci-fi films in the state-of-the art JBL Theater. Each screening is followed by a behind-the-scenes look through an interactive discussion with local filmmakers and experts in the subject matter, or with actors, directors or screenwriters associated with the film. Discussions are recorded for posterity and added to our archive of oral histories. Conversations are also available online as podcasts."

    Visit the Warren Report website to request a seat now!


    Important Update: For all of you bemoaning the Weinsteins lack of screenings in places like New York or LA... actually everyone of you, please head over to Dirk Blackman's Outlander blog and vote on where and if you think Outlander should be released. If you have a suggestion for a city there's a spot for that too. So go vote over at http://outlanderthemovie.wordpress.com/ now!

    01/28/09More US Locations

    Didn't get a chance to watch Outlander last weekend because none of the Locations we're close enough to you? Well, Maybe one of these newly announced markets will suit the bill! Outlander will add screenings in these 7 locations this weekend. It's unclear at this time how many of the theaters on the previous list will keep showing the film this comming weekend but you will for sure be able to find the film in the following places:

    • Mobile-Pensacola , AL

    • Knoxville, TN

    • Huntsville-Decatur, Fl

    • Greensboro-H. Point-W. Salem , NC

    • Dothan, AL

    • Cleveland , OH

    • Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY

    01/27/09Review Round-up

    As promised here's a list of various reviews available online for Outlander. They range all over the board but what is clear is that if you are a genre fan and aren't put off by the very concept of blending sci-fi with a period-action-drama, then you will most likely have a good time.

    Reviewer / Publication Score
    Brian Orndorf, DVD Talk, Filmjerk, Oh My News ****/5
    "'Outlander'" is one amusing motion picture, and it helps that the filmmaking remains refreshingly alert throughout. Director Howard McCain deftly mixes cues from Viking iconography and sci-fi staples to indulge in a straight-up monster movie, a swift B-picture that knows its audience and endeavors to offer fans a full plate of monster mayhem, bloodletting, and sword-happy heroics... 'Outlander' is one amusing motion picture, and it helps that the filmmaking remains refreshingly alert throughout. Director Howard McCain deftly mixes cues from Viking iconography and sci-fi staples to indulge in a straight-up monster movie, a swift B-picture that knows its audience and endeavors to offer fans a full plate of monster mayhem, bloodletting, and sword-happy heroics."
    Semantic Drift ****1/2
    "Outlander delivers on the premise and then some."
    Annalee Newitz, io9
    "Rarely have I seen a monster movie that punches both my "cool alien" button and my "kickass swordfight" button... if you want a great example of the alien smackdown genre, Outlander will please the hell out of you. It's a fresh, original take on a timeworn topic that's been ruined by many giant Hollywood movies with budgets four times bigger than Outlander's. And did I mention the giant sword? Made out of a spaceship? Holy crap I love this movie."
    Justin Strout, Orlando Weekly ***
    "Outlander is a harmlessly entertaining, old-fashioned epic that fuses a SciFi Channel-esque space-colonization parable with an Iron-Age period actioner... Outlander is the kind of film you don't see in theaters too often anymore: a solid, rainy-afternoon escapade that actually enjoys its own genre."
    Curt Holman, Creative Loafing ***
    "Director Howard McCain deserves his own Hollywood action franchise for helming a film that's just silly enough to be fun, while taking it just seriously enough to be exciting and kinda cool."
    William Goss, Cinematical
    Jonathan Kiefer, Sacramento News & Review ***/5
    "All I'd really require would be a few no-nonsense Viking warriors, a predatory alien just reminiscent enough of the villains from other space-monster movies, like Predator and Alien, and one bad-ass astronaut for a hero - from whose courage, rugged individualism, fencing skills and insouciant sexual charisma I would infer how to behave when I grew up. Well, all right, Outlander: That's check, check and check." "Outlander may be getting a courtesy dump in fifteen markets after receiving the good ol' "Weinstein Shuffle", but instead of being buried in a winter wasteland as it might seemingly deserve, it stands as a welcome antidote to awards season and a welcome release for those who think that vikings taking on extraterristrials might be the single coolest thing since snakes ended up on a plane."
    Cary Darling, Guide Live, DFW B-/***
    "Director-writer Howard McCain takes the age-old story of the loner hero who comes to the defense of innocents - think The Road Warrior and the classic Western Shane - and gives it a few novel twists in Outlander, an unexpectedly enjoyable science-fiction adventure that should be generating louder fanboy buzz than it has so far."
    Ray Bennett, The Hollywood Reporter
    "It's entertaining nonsense with major league special effects, larger-than-life characters and inventive monsters that draw on the "Aliens" and "Predator" models, being terrifying but also vaguely sympathetic"
    Derek Hardman, Top Ten Reviews
    "Outlander might not be something as straight-forward or predictably enjoyable as a Snickers candy bar, but, I imagine it will surprise many like the rare, successful food concoctions of my youth"
    Steven Rea, The Philadelphia Inquirer **1/2
    "An enjoyably goofy hybrid of extraterrestrial sci-fi and Iron Age action, Outlander boasts a super-serious Jim Caviezel in the title role."
    Josh Tyler, Cinemablend **1/2
    Tasha Robinson, A.V. Club B-
    "In particular, the side story involving Ron Perlman as a neighboring Viking leader with ties to and grudges against Hurt's enclave offers a chance at the kind of character development found in few films featuring grunting protagonists in fur loincloths."
    Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times **
    "Outlander" is interesting as a collision of genres: the monster movie meets the Viking saga. You have to give it credit for carrying that premise to its ultimate conclusion."
    Drew Lazor, Philadelphia City Paper
    Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune **(Fair)
    "One thing's certain about director and co-writer McCain, though. He knows how a Mixmaster works, and he's not afraid to wield it."
    Roger Moore, McClatchy Tribune
    "Co-writer director Howard McCain does OK by the battles and lends the dialogue just enough Norse saga-speak to make it credible."
    Tom Keogh, Seattle Times **
    Russ Fischer, CHUD 4.3/10
    Arya Ponto, Just Press Play 4/10
    Brian Miller, SF Weekly
    Mick LaSalle, SanFransico Chronicle

    01/26/09A Few Interviews...

    Well, I just stepped off the plane a few hours ago, but I've been making sure to try and keep track of things in my absensce, considering how vital this week is for the release. If you haven't seen Outlander yet, click here to check our list of theaters where Outlander is showing, and then make your way to the one nearest you.

    Though tired I figured it would be good to point you all to a few great interviews that appeared recently online. Do yourself a favor and head over to HD Expo to read Dirk Blackman explain the genesis of Outlander. You can find the interview HERE. Also, actor Patrick Stevenson recently talked with The Daily Gleaner about his role as a Viking. You can find that discussion here.

    Given that things go according to plan, I hope to run down a number of reviews that are online tomorrow. Oh, and I still have that interview to work on... I haven't forgotten.

    01/22/09From Outlander.Solsector.Net to You

    French Blu-Ray

    Hello Everyone.

    With the North American debut of Outlander only a day away I figured it was high time to formally introduce myslef. Here and on our forums I go by 'AD'. I'm also a staff writer over at wcnews.com. I'm not in the industry, I'm not getting paid, and I have a day job that isn't anywhere near a camera or computer.

    The first order of business is that I'd like to apologize for delaying in getting my interview with Director Howard McCain up for you all. I'll be going away on personal business over the weekend and I just don't have the time to do it. I could lay blame but that serves nothing. Ultimately it was my responsibility and I just haven't had the time to finish it (Sorry Howard).

    Howard was gracious enough to talk my ear off for two hours and we covered a lot of ground and I hope to share it all with you all soon. It will really be an interesting look inside the making of a film and all the blessings and heartache that goes along with it. Plus there's some neat details about deleted scenes and could-have-beens you won't want to miss.

    One thing I didn't intend to include though was a bit at the start where Howard and I talked about this site and why exactly it was that I was doing this. I kind of regret being so tired (I had just gotten back from a plane trip the night before and the same personal business was pretty much consuming my thoughts) and not being a more fluent participant but Howard had a lot to say for which I am thankful.

    I answered Howard's question about why I started the site in a somewhat technical manner I suppose, and what I said was the truth. But at the same time, I feel it was a bit - perhaps - negligent that I didn't really think to delve into whys more than just the history of the site. It's been over two years that I've been regularly updating this site with new content, and simply being a Wing Commander series fan only goes so far. Quite simply, I fell in love with the production along the way.

    While it's true my friends and I are Wing Commander fans, that was only really the entry point. And I don't think I was entirely clear to Howard about why I do it. This was a crazy sounding concept of a film from the start. But like in most areas of my like I latched on to possibilities - dreams. This idea was so crazy that it could just work.

    Part of what inspires me has always been the creative process and as such I'm fascinated by their inner workings of Hollywood and the process that is involved in bringing dreams to life on the big screen. I've always thought very emotively and pictorially and had a desire to bring those feelings to life.

    My youth pretty much revolved around science fiction. I've never been a huge fantasy fan but ever since I was a young boy science fiction has always grabbed me. Technology, lest if be placed on too high a pedestal, has always represented a kind of hope. I can't get enough really, not matter how good or bad. Asimov, and Clarke and of course Douglas Adams.... Star Trek and Star Wars...

    At the outset I don't think I really had any clear goal in mind other than to be perhaps the best and most thorough resource on the film on the net to which I believe I've succeeded. I modeled my site loosely after the wcnews site and it's earlier iteration at WCHS - In particular their coverage of the production of another film that need not be named (and you only get three guesses but the first two don't count). Yet something else emerged along the way beyond a desire to gather info into one place, and it was my love for movies and the creative process (and yes I listen to almost every commentary on the films I own).

    I could go off on a tangent now about the making of the 'Wing Commander' film but I'll resist for now. Anyway, there is a lot of work that goes into any given movie that is rarely ever appreciated or ever even noticed when someone goes to the theater (indeed they probably shouldn't notice). So for a time, I think I felt a need to champion the hard work of all those people you don't see or think of in the multiplex: The concept artists, the extras, the craftsmen forging by hand various period accurate pieces for the set, and more. What's more there was so much talent surrounding the production of Outlander, and the more I learned about the story and the more I saw it was hard not grow attached to the project.

    And so it goes as we learned of the plight of the theatrical release of the film. Like the original planned opening scene(sadly the opening funeral of King Halga - which was shot - was cut for time. A following scene of the Moorwen battling Kainan's crew on the ship before the crash but immediately after the funeral scene was cut before shooting ever started.), this kind of provided a nice symmetry - Championing a film that others didn't want to believe in fit right in with what I had already been doing.

    Howard also asked if I had seen the film yet. I didn't exactly give a straight answer. But the real answer is only sort of. I've been so close to this production for so long and have so much info on the film sitting on my hard drive that I feel like I have. I actually envy everyone that gets to go in and watch the film fresh with no expectations. I hope that clears that up Howard. Part of what I've done over the time I've been running the site is to purposefully avoid spoilers. If you've seen the film, feel free to discuss it on our forums but please clearly mark threads with spoilers or use spoiler tags in your posts.

    What also became clear was that Howard is very proud of what they were able to do with the film but also a little disappointed that they didn't have the freedom to create the best possible film with the material they had filmed. Outlander is a really fun movie regardless (and as I said, I sort of have seen it) but what I hope is that given enough time, Howard will be able to go back and deliver his preferred cut of the film.

    With that I leave the weekend to all of you. I hope you all who possibly can get to find Outlander in a theater near you and discover something that makes you smile... maybe even feel like a kid again. And ultimately maybe that's why I do this. (Scroll down for a list of theaters for the US January 23rd opening)

    Please pardon my leave while I hop a plane with my daughter to visit my wife and new son in the hospital.

    01/21/09Outlander to Play Glasgow Film Festival

    In what is an offshoot of their summer London genre festival , Frightfest has a contigent within the Glasgow Film Festival. You can find the list of films they'll be showing at the festival here on their site. Notice anything?

    Outlander will be showing at the festival at 9:15pm on Friday, February 20th. You can visit the festival site here for a full lineup of films at the festival. You can also book tickets starting today, though online booking is apparently offline at the moment but there's a number you can call to reserve your spot. There are two types of tickets. A two day pass to see all eight films or single tickets to see individual films. The two day pass costs 36 and single tickets 6. You can call 0141 332 6535 to book now.

    01/21/09Spanish DVD/Blu-Ray date

    Along with our previous update Spain - where the film was released theatricaly November 28th and has since brought in nearly 3 million in box office receipts - has announced that Outlander will be available for rental on DVD and Blu-Ray on March 11th. We don't quite understand if that means you'll be able to buy the Region 2 and B disks at the same time or not. Both Disks will have the audio in spanish and english with apparently a couple of minor dialects as well.

    In other release news we forgot to mention yesterday that genre fans in Lebanon will be happy to hear that Outlander will be gracing theaters in that middle-eastern country beginning in March as well. Empire International will be doing distribution duties.

    01/21/09International Release Shedule Update

    We're not entirely sure it counts as an international release but We've been trying to get more info on what's up with the Canadian release of Outlander. At first it seemed that it would come out day and date with the US yet as January 23rd aproaches that seems more and more unlikely. For example, when questioned about when to expect to see the film in Halifax - Where Outlander was mostly filmed no less - Dean Leland (vice president of media studio relations) of Empire theatres said "we have been doing some checking with the film's distributor and at this point all they are saying is it MIGHT be released in the Halifax market towards the end of February but nothing for sure." That doesn't sound very promising.

    What does all this mean for the rest of Canada? We haven't a clue. At this point, however, the only province that has submitted the film for classification is Quebec (13+ for violence). What's more, while most sites - including Empire Theaters still list a blanket release date of January 23rd, Cineplex has removed the listing altogether. Our efforts to contact Cineplex has so far been met by a blank wall, and Alliance Films has equally been tought to get in touch with.

    A sunny spot on the release scene has always been India where 'Behind the Scene' has been busy trying to promote the film heavily. A few setbacks (Slumdog Millionaire apparently... a good excuse if you must have one) have meant that they've had to move the film back to February 6th. THey're hard work is evidenced by all the time and money they've spent on their localized website for the film over at http://www.outlanderfilm.com/.

    In other territory news, Signapore apparently shifted their release back to March, whereas the film is currently still showing in Malayisian as well as Spain.

    Unfortunately not all territories seem destined to get theatrical releases. When we contacted Telepool to find out what was happening with the German release, they informed us that they had no plans for a theatrical release and that a DVD would be available some time this year. So, unfortunately, if you missed Outlander when it played throughout Germany at last year's Fantasy Filmfest, then you'll have to keep checking back to see when the DVD will be available.

    Following suit, we've seen rumors that Imagem's Brazillian release on February 19th is also a DVD/Blu-Ray release and indeed a number of sites are preselling the Portuguese Region 4 release online though no details about the release are currently available.

    French Blu-Ray French DVD

    Also disapointing is that it would seem like this might be the same route being taken by the French distributor for the film. While no announcements have been made and no info is available in the press section of the Wild Side website (the DVD arm of Wild Bunch Distribution) Amazon Presales for the disks went on sale today. Interestingly it seems the full french title is 'Outlander - Le Dernier Viking' which meant 'the last viking'... strange.

    This could turn out like a bad April Fools joke since the release date is listed as April 1st, but unlike the November 18th fiasco that the American release went through, Amazon actually has some really cool box art for this. Have a look to the right. Other than perhaps Kainan's pose, it's the first time we think that the artwork really sells what the movie is about! There's a bit of everything in there including Vikings, spaceships, the Moorwen, the Moorwen's planet.

    There isn't really any info on what to expect from the Region 2 disks. Supposedly there'll be French and English audio though. Also interesting is that while the Blu-Ray - which goes for 29,99 Euros - is listed as a single disk, whereas - as is evidenced in the box shot - the DVD which is listed at 19,99 Euros is a 2 disk collector edition! We have no clue at this point what kind of extra features will be on the disk hopefully we'll find out soon. Possibly there might be some of the numerous Deleted scenes that we'll have more details about when we post our interview with Howard McCain soon. The disks are also up for preorder from Alapage.

    01/20/09Outlander Initial Release Screens:

    Print Ad ad_thumb.jpg

    Finally, the moment everyone has been waiting for is nearly here. And here it is - The list of theaters showing Outlander in the US this weekend (Thanks Dirk!). Also check out the neat print ad to the right. If none of these theaters are near enough to you, there will be more openings in the weeks to come so keep checking back.



      Chicago - 600 North Michigan Ave. 9 - AMC

      Addison - Addison Cinemas & IMAX - MARCUS

      South Barrington - South Barrington 30 - AMC

      Warrenville - Cantera 30 - AMC

      Woodridge - Loews Woodridge 18 - AMC


      Cherry Hill - Cherry Hill 24 - AMC

      Pleasantville - Towne Stadium 16 - TRISTA

      Hamilton - Hamilton 24 - AMC


      San Francisco - San Francisco Centre 9 - CINMRK

      Daly City - Century 20 Daly City - CINMRK

      Union City - Century 25 - Union City - CINMRK

      San Leandro - Century 16 Bayfair Mall - CINMRK

      Richmond - Hilltop 16 - CINMRK

      Fremont - Cinedome 8 Theatre - Frem - CINMRK

      Santa Clara - AMC Mercado 20 - AMC

      San Jose - Century Capitol 16 - CINMRK

      San Jose - Century 25 - CINMRK

      Santa Rosa - 3rd Street Cinema 6 - THBKGS Confirmed


      Danvers - Liberty Tree Mall 20 - AMC

      Methuen - Methuen 20 @ The Loop - AMC


      Mesquite - Mesquite 30 Theatres - AMC

      Plano - Legacy 24 - CINMRK

      Irving - Irving Mall 14 - AMC

      Irving - Hollywood MacArthur Market - WALLCE

      Lancaster - Movies 14 - Lancaster - CINMRK

      Grand Prairie - Movies 16 - Grand Prairie - CINMRK

      Dallas - Cinemark 17 Webb Chapel - CINMRK

      Dallas - Grand 24 Theatres - AMC

      Burleson - Premiere Cinema 14 - CSCO

      Grapevine - Grapevine 30 Theatres - AMC

      Hickory Creek - Hickory Creek 16 - RAVE


      Sterling Heights - Forum 30 - Sterling Hts - AMC

      Auburn Hills - Star Great Lake Crossing 25 - AMC

      Dearborn - LCE Star Fairlane Theatre - AMC

      Canton - Emagine 18 - ARCNGL

      Dearborn - Ford Wyoming Drive In 1 - 5 - MJR


      Atlanta - Magic Johnson Theatre - AMC

      Kennesaw - Barrett Commons 24 Theatre - AMC

      Woodstock - Cherokee Stadium 16 Cine - CFB-GA

      Lawrenceville - Colonial 18 Theatres - AMC

      Decatur - Galaxy South Dekalb Funple - PHNIXA

      Morrow - Southlake Pavilion 24 Theatre - AMC

      Snellville - Carmike 12 - CARMKE


      Tomball - Silverado 19 IMAX - SANTIK

      Houston - Gulf Pointe 30 Theatres - AMC

      Houston - Studio 30 Theatres - Houston - AMC

      Houston - Tinseltown 290 - CINMRK

      Houston - Yorktown 15 - RAVE

      Katy - Cinemark 19 - CINMRK

      Jacinto City - Tinseltown 17 - CINMRK


      Seattle - Meridian - REGAL

      Woodinville - Woodinville 12 - AMC

      Renton - Renton Village 8 - AMC


      Tampa - Veterans Expressway 24 - AMC

      Tampa - Centro Ybor 20 - MUVICO

      St. Petersburg - Baywalk 20 - MUVICO


      Aventura - Aventura Mall 24 Theatres - AMC

      Hialeah - Cobb Hialeah 18 Theatre - BRAND

      Hialeah - Hialeah 14 - MUVICO

      South Miami - Sunset Place 24 Theatres - AMC

      Davie - Paradise 24 - MUVICO

      Ft. Lauderdale - Las Olas 15 - ESP


      Elk Grove - Century 16 Theatre - Laguna - CINMRK


      Orlando - Universal Cineplex 20 - AMC

      Lake Buena Vista - Pleasure Island 24 - AMC


      Hanover - Egyptian 24 - MUVICO


      San Diego - Gaslamp All Stadium 15 - READIN

      San Diego - Palm Promenade 24 - AMC

      San Diego - Mission Valley 20 - AMC


      Franklin - Thoroughbred 20 - CARMKE


      Kansas City - Parkway 14 - AMC

      Shawnee - Westglen 18 - DICKIN


      San Antonio - Huebner Oaks 24 - AMC

      San Antonio - Northwest 14 Theatres - SANTIK

      San Antonio - Rialto Piccolo - SANTIK

      San Antonio - Mayan Palace 14 - Santikos - SANTIK


      Memphis - Majestic Theatre 20 - MALCO

      Bartlett - Hollywood 20 Cinema - BRAND

      Bartlett - Malco Stage Cinema 13- MALCO

      Memphis - Palace 10 Cinema - BRAND

      Atoka - Cine Planet 16 - BRAND

    01/16/09Screen Numbers?

    UPDATE: Outlander is Guaranteed a minimum of 200 screens over it's US run. If it plays well there could be more. But at the very least that guarantees that Outlander will show in more US cities than just the list below.

    Box Office Mojo is suggesting HERE that Third Rail's distribution plans include 80 screens... That means that if it's 80 accross the initial slate of release cities there's a fair chance that if you are in one of those cities you might stumble accross it playing in your cinema. If it's 80 total that could mean there's a decent chance it might end up in a city closer to where you live eventually... but it could also be a typo or inaccurate info. For a reminder, here's the list of initial cities that Outlander will be playing in next Friday:

    • San Francisco, CA
    • Chicago, IL
    • Philadelphia, PA
    • Washington D.C.
    • Dallas, TX
    • Atlanta, GA
    • Boston, MA
    • Houston, TX
    • Seattle, WA
    • Miami, FL
    • San Diego, CA
    • Detroit, MI
    • Sacramento, CA
    • Orlando, FL
    • Tampa, FL

    01/15/09Trailer 1 Now in HD

    In a move that's a little disapointing, Third Rail has released to IGN a trailer - likely the one that will be in theaters this weekend. However this is nearly exactly the same trailer we first unleashed on the world back in July. The main differences are that there's a Third Rail Logo at the start, the "from the producers of Lord of the Rings" line is missing, and there's a 2009 at the end instead of 2008.

    This isn't bad news though - just not as nice as an actual new trailer. The trailer is still as exciting and effective as ever and best of all, IGN has the trailer for download in a handful of formats including Windows Media HD at 720p. You can find them HERE or download the 720p version here or here. We also have decent quality h264 versions of both trailers for download on our trailers page.

    01/15/09Heads Up

    Theoretically (A.K.A. Rumor is) the Weinsteins (Third Rail) will have an Outlander trailers in theaters this weekend. No word on if it will happen for sure or what films may have it attached, so if you spot it there this weekend let us know at outlander@solsector.net. Of Course, should it appear in theaters we'd fully expect to see the trailer online by Monday.

    01/14/09UK Release Change and Trailer...

    Well, it turns out that the rumors we mentioned a couple weeks ago of a date change for the UK release of Outlander were true. Outlander will be in theaters in the UK on April 24th, 2009 instead of the previously mentioned February 20th. However, it's not all bad news across the pond. Momentum pictures is also busy setting up a localized website for the release over at www.outlandermovie.co.uk.

    What is more, we already have at least one extremely positive review from that neck of the woods! Check out this article that is appearing in the February/March issue of DeathRay magazine! You can download it in PDF form here or read it in our articles section here. Here's a few notable excerpts:

    "There are two ways a film like this can go: awesome, or shit. There is no middle ground. Fortunately for us, Outlander is low-fibre, highfat fun SF of the finest kind, the big screen analogue of eating a whole bucket of KFC by yourself. It'll do you no good, you might feel dirty afterwards, but while it lasts, it's heaven."

    "Outlander is a geek's dream film. For its genre blending verve, it's on a par with Pirates of the Caribbean. It's a great cocktail, and that's mostly down to the quality of the ingredients."

    "Outlander is nearly the perfect actioner... It's this year's Pitch Black."

    Along with the Review, new website, and new release date, Momentum Pictures - Outlander's distributor in the UK - has also debuted an alternate trailer for the film. It's fairly similar to the second trailer that was released in the summer with a few key differences. First, there's no Sophia Myles narration. Second, a bunch of the dialogue has been cleverly edited with some minor alternate scenes that allow for less ackwardness and a greater helping of Ron Perlman throughout the trailer. You can watch the new trailer below or compare it to the existing ones on our trailers page.

    01/13/09North American Poster finally here...

    Brazilian Poster Brazilian Poster

    It's been a long time comming but the North American poster for Outlander has finally been revealed! You can see it here in two distinct flavors via Bloody Disgusting and Shock Till you Drop.

    First up is the poster proper... Next can you spot the difference? Apparently the poster first went out with an embarassing typo in the In the main actor's name! (Kind of like a particular trailer...) Anyway, this is just one more sign that this is really finally happening!

    Also note that the poster hints that the Weinsteins (Third Rail) have a website up their sleeves over at http://outlander-themovie.com/ but as of yet there's no page available to view.

    01/09/09EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Geoff Zanelli

    Outlander is comming to North American theaters on January 23rd! A big part of that experience will be the musical score for the film. We got in touch composer Geoff Zanelli to tell us a little about his work on the film.

    The samples in this interview are courtesy of La La Land Records. The Outlander score CD will be for sale at their website at http://lalalandrecords.com/ in the coming weeks.

    Can you introduce yourself to us? Can you tell us a little about your background and how you got into the industry?

    Well, let's see, I moved to Los Angeles permanently in 1996 after I graduated from Berklee College Of Music in Boston. For a few years prior to that though, I'd been coming here whenever school wasn't in session to work with Hans Zimmer since my focus had always been to score films. He was scoring The Lion King when I first arrived in 1994, I remember. I was taking two degrees at the time, one in film scoring and one in music production but most importantly I had a great work ethic so I was put to work pretty early in my life. I must have been 19 when I started engineering for Mojo Records for the first Goldfinger album which was my trial by fire, the humble beginnings of my career. I couldn't have been happier, and the studio became my home. I still work from time to time with the singer and songwriter from Goldfinger, John Feldmann, doing string arrangements for him when he's producing records.

    Anyway, I utilized that experience as an engineer when Hans started using me to assist on his mixes. I did a few movies like that, Preacher's Wife being one I remember but the mix room there was really busy so there was a lot of work for me to cut my teeth on and I was getting exposed to a lot of different composer's work.

    In 1996 it turned out John Powell, one of the resident composers who had his writing room at Hans' place needed an assistant and I took that job on for a few years. That's when I started getting a few writing or arranging assignments for films, the first being Face/Off. In those early days I would get to do just a little bit here, a little bit there, but I was hungry for it so over the next three years I built up a few credits and got some exposure, and Hans eventually asked me if I'd like a writing room of my own there. This was in 1999.

    Is there a project that you'd consider to be your "big break" into film music?

    There isn't really, I have to say its felt more like I've had a series of small breaks rather than one big one. I spent 4 or 5 years picking up more and more writing experience on films with Hans and John, and also Harry Gregson-Williams, Klaus Badelt and Steve Jablonsky. There was a period where I was just surrounded with great writers who wanted me involved in their scores. It was constantly inspiring to see how each of them works, to dig in with them for a few projects so I remember that time fondly. Somehow, seeing how different people enact different methods in scoring a film opened the door for me to realize there are a thousand answers to every question that exists in film scoring. That early experience with so many diverse composers is what makes me versatile, and that versatility turned out to be a huge advantage when I was up against a multi-genre film like Outlander.

    Over time, those breaks started to add up and I was getting offers for solo jobs where I'd take on an entire score. House Of D was the first of my films to come out, and then a co-write on Secret Window. After that I scored a miniseries called Into The West which was a huge undertaking, just a massive project. That was a six part miniseries but it was more like scoring a movie and then five sequels all in a row. It was very cinematic.

    I had a big hit with Disturbia, and then I did Hitman which had a very tight schedule, three or four weeks tops before the plane left for Paris to record orchestra. That was right before Outlander, which I wrote just before Ghost Town, even though Ghost Town came to the theater first.

    You've worked closely for some time with Hans Zimmer's Remote Control Productions. Can you fill us in on which projects you've been involved in?

    There are quite a few. I believe I have an Additional Music By credit on 40 films with all of the composers I mentioned before my solo career started taking off so I'll spare you the details and just tell you about some highlights.

    There was the Pirates Of The Caribbean trilogy where aside from Hans Zimmer I'm the only composer to have worked on all three. I have a tune in those, Tia Dalma's theme, which becomes Calypso's theme for obvious reasons if you've seen the third film. Also, I wrote the tune for Cannibal Island in the second film.

    Some of the other films I worked on were Hannibal, Matchstick Men, The Last Samurai, Shark Tale.

    What inspires you most in your job?

    It can be anything on any given day. I like working with directors so I'm inspired by the ongoing conversation that goes on when you're working on a film together. I really enjoy that part of the process, the phone calls when someone has a new idea or getting together to play some music for someone. There's this romantic image of a lone composer hunched over the piano, torturing himself to write his score and to some extent that's very true but it's something I try to fight as much as possible by having a conversation going about the film at all times with the filmmakers.

    Another aspect that inspires me is the real, palpable energy that surrounds the process of scoring a film where you've really only got this one chance to get it perfect... and there's a deadline looming... and you've got to inspire your orchestra to play with the right energy... and you've got to get the mix just right before you set it all in stone... That combines in a way that makes the process very engaging.

    Can you tell us what drew you to Outlander? At what point did you come on board with the project?

    I believe it was one of the producers for the film, John Shimmel, who introduced me to director Howard McCain. I had sent them some music when I heard about the project because I thought it was an interesting concept and John was the first to respond to what I'd sent.

    What sort of music did you send to him? Was it rough concepts or work you had previously done and thought fit the motif of the story?

    It was music I'd written for other films, like my work from Pirates, Hitman and Disturbia.

    I suspect they responded to the range of music I sent them, and invited me over so I went to their editing room to meet John, Chris Roberts, the editor David Dodson and Howard. They were still in the process of editing so they could only show me a few scenes here and there, like an early version of one of the Moorwen attacks. I don't want to give any big story points away but how about if I say there was a whole bunch of fire and lots of stuff was breaking, including Vikings. I was sold!

    Brazilian Poster

    What Kind of conceptual direction were you striving for with the Music in Outlander?

    There were three main elements I wanted to give a separate musical treatment to. It's a delicate balance actually, since it's an ambitious film with so many elements but it basically breaks down to three main ideas.

    The first is the Viking music, which I wanted to be rooted in something earthly and familiar. I wrote them a proud yet primal orchestral theme, very acoustic and honest. That tune ended up being malleable in the film, it can be noble, emotional, epic, adventurous, inspiring, tentative, even tense when I needed it. There's a moment where that theme transfers over to Kainan who gradually takes on Viking characteristics in the story, but he has to earn that tune, it doesn't come easy for him.

    Did you make any attempt to reference what real Viking music might have sounded like?

    Well, even though I don't consider myself a purist or a conventional composer by any means, I did at least think to go and find out what we know about Viking music before I started writing the score. It turns out we don't know much since their musical culture was passed on as an oral tradition rather than a written one. There are a few examples of what historians believe to be Viking music, but it's still disputed so we don't really, truly know what their music sounded like. I thought "Hey, that's great news!" because the handcuffs come off, you know? There won't be any music police showing up to say "that's not real Viking music." So that was liberating on the one hand. We do know from artifacts that have been discovered what instruments were played, most of which are pretty common to a lot of cultures. There was a hand drum, they had an instrument much like a pan pipe, they sang, and there was a lyre which is basically an early, smaller version of the harp. All of their instruments seem to be designed with portability in mind.

    So that was really just a long winded way of saying why I used the harp like instruments to handle some of the romantic aspects of the score. It was partly to make it a unique element, separate from the other aspects of the score, but also to retain something earthly and acoustic for the Viking music. And those drums and early woodwind instruments show up plenty as well.

    You mentioned three main themes. What was the second?

    Before he earns his Viking theme, Kainan is still our spaceman and he gets another musical idea which is where the sci-fi aspect comes in. It had to be some blend of the synthetic, alien world he comes from and the human side of it. He is, after all, a human of some sort so his music is more of a hybrid of acoustic elements and synthetic elements. I didn't want him to have a big, familiar Hollywood tune cause if you latch on to it in that way he loses his mystery. He instead has a more brooding, calculated, maybe slightly military theme that leans toward being synthetic.

    Kainan has a deep backstory, so in addition to his brooding music there's another piece of music that tells the emotional side of him. That needed to feel distinct from the emotional Viking music so you'll hear it's got more of a sci-fi bent to it. There's a female vocal that makes it feel haunting, and that's coupled with the more electronic, scientific sound that I use to keep it feeling slightly alien.

    The third main idea with the music is for the Moorwen, our monster. There's a big, nasty, oppressive tune that shows up a few times for it and it's unashamedly hideous. It needed to have mass and weight for some of the shots which really highlight that aspect of the creature. Other times it plays more like a horror film. There are some very dark moments in the film, so if you're wondering what to expect for the Moorwen music I'd say expect hideous, revolting dissonance.

    You mention dissonance and hideousness. How did you approach the evolution of that theme as the Creature's own backstory is revealed in greater detail and it intersects with Kainan's own redemption arc?

    Actually, the creature's backstory is told through the eyes of Kainan so the music for that isn't really informed by the dissonant "monster music." It's more about Kainan's guilt for his role in the Moorwen genocide. I'd call it more operatic than dissonant.

    Apart from those three main concepts, were there any other motifs you used to bridge these various elements?"

    There's a love story between Kainan and one of the Viking women, Freya. Her theme also doubles as the love theme. It's really the "Kainan's relationship with Freya" theme, if you want to think of it that way.

    Also, there's an offshoot of the Viking music I could discuss. Part of the story incorporates the tradition of one king succeeding the next, so there's a noble melody played on horns for John Hurt who plays King Rothgar. It's a cousin of the main Viking theme I wrote, and it too transfers between characters. Without saying too much, part of the redemption story in Outlander has to do with the succession of kings, so this tune helps communicate that by transferring from one character to the next.

    One element that has challenged the expectations of some viewers is the mixing of Science Fiction and Period movie. What challenges were there in scoring such seemingly disparate elements?

    It's funny, this isn't something I had to give much thought to until you asked me because the blend of genres is very smooth in the film. That's a credit to the writing and the direction, I think. Once you give yourself over to the concept, it just becomes about telling the story through music.

    Like I said earlier though, I felt a certain freedom to write the music from a contemporary point of view since there is no definitive knowledge about what Viking music sounds like. I probably would have given it a contemporary slant even if we did know exactly how their music sounded though. I think it's the job of the composer to tell the story to your audience in the present day, so if you're scoring a period film like this one, sure you can go and write period music, that's one approach, it's just not my first instinct for this particular film. I want it to feel relevant in 2009, to have a contemporary meaning.

    How does the score for Outlander differ musically from your previous projects?

    I usually embrace the raw energy that music can bring to a film with an unconventional approach, so that's a thread that runs through nearly all of my scores. But as far as how it differs, I think I got to bring in a unique blend of different elements. I can't think of a time where I've combined a raw but epic orchestral theme with a synthetic and electronic one in the same movie. Maybe the closest thing I've done to this is the Pirates trilogy but Outlander is more raw, more primitive.

    How many minutes of Music did you compose for the project? Was it all used in the final film?

    I think it was just over 100 minutes. Everything I wrote for the film was used, but with the collaborative process of working with Howard, Chris and John we'd experiment with elements in the individual cues. That's a big part of my process. It's the reason I like to have that conversation going with the filmmakers. Sometimes, most times really, once you're eight weeks into the scoring process you've learned something that makes you want to go back and address things from earlier.

    Kainan's theme in particular underwent a few shifts. I'd originally played him more as an action hero before I came to the idea of playing tighter to his story arc. I started thinking of him as a brooding, self torturing character with inner turmoil and a redemption story. It's still the same theme I wrote in the beginning, just a very different presentation of it once the idea evolved.

    There was another concept I wanted to get across with Kainan which is that even when he is still, there's activity going on in the subtext of the music. He's a soldier so he's stoic, but the music keeps him in motion, it describes what's going on in his head. He also has some vulnerable moments which I took advantage of.

    How long did the entire process take, from composing the score to recording and mixing the actual score?

    Twelve or thirteen weeks, total. I spend a great deal of time in the beginning writing the main themes to use as a jumping off point. I don't like to write to picture in the beginning because I'd think too soon about the edit, the durations of each gesture, instead of concentrating on just writing a good piece of music. So it was probably the forth or fifth week, maybe even later, before I wrote anything to picture. Howard was very engaged in the process, especially once I started writing individual scenes. Chris Roberts and John Shimmel were as well, but I was given plenty of room to go and try my ideas out and present them.

    What was the first thing you had to do when assigned? Was there a temp track or a specific jumping off point that the director referenced to get you going in the right direction?

    There was a temp track but that was largely just a guideline for the editing process. This was a project where my ideas were invited, so it wasn't about deciphering what did and didn't work about the temp score at all. Howard did talk about some general things he wanted the score to do and we were on the same page early on. I remember talking about what sort of synth sounds would work best for instance.

    When I first started, I told everyone that I'd like to just go away for a few weeks and write themes, which is what I did. About a month later I had the Viking theme, the Moorwen theme and the beginnings of what would become Kainan's music. Things gradually fell into place from there.

    How would you describe your working relationship with Outlander's director? Some directors are very straight forward about what they want to hear whereas others describe things more in emotional or pictoral terms.

    Howard is pretty clear about what he wants to hear but we really were on the same page pretty early on. Once we got going, he'd come by once or twice a week and I'd play him whatever I'd done since the last time we got together. He was always open to any ideas I had, so I'd write something and then present it to him as opposed to him outlining what he was expecting before I went and wrote it. From there we'd maybe make some subtle changes but I don't remember any time where we were far apart in what we wanted the music to accomplish.

    Every project has dificulties. What would you say were the greatest challenges working on Outlander? How have you grown (and what have you learned) from facing these challenges?

    You know, a lot of the challenges were my own inner conflicts. I'm a guy who stays up late at night obsessively thinking about the project I'm working on. I remember reading about a chess teacher who said "when you see a brilliant move, don't play it. Keep looking for an even more brilliant move." So while I know that was a bizarre chess analogy, I think it's relevant, that really is where my head goes when I'm writing a score. As far as what I've learned, I've taken away a sense of how to balance all these elements that the score possesses. It's more dense and complicated than some other scores I've done.

    What would you say was the most interesting scene to score? And the most challenging?

    I enjoyed scoring a scene which is a flashback to the Moorwen home planet. That's where I thought the depth of the story really took shape. It sets in motion the redemption story for Kainan and it brings a whole backstory to everything that's going on.

    There's a sequence where the Vikings prepare to do battle with the Moorwen that was interesting as well because it allowed me to bring a lot of different thematic material to one place.

    The most challenging was probably Gunnar's Raid. This is where a rival tribe attacks the village Kainan has become a part of, so it's pure Viking on Viking combat. You'd think it'd be easier actually. I mean it's an action scene, it's about energy so some of the major questions are answered before you even start writing. It's got to be fast, percussive, loud, energetic. But the challenge is to find what you can do to be interesting within a framework that is pretty confined. When you hear it, you'll see the approach was to take the very acoustic sound I was using for the Vikings, the drums in particular, and play them in a more contemporary and electronic way, organized chaos, if you will. There are also some battle calls on non traditional instruments.

    Recording of the orchestral score was done by the Budapest Symphony Orchestra through the folks at Interscore. Can you explain a little how this whole process works?

    Sure. The recording was actually done remotely. It's not really the first choice scenario, but I was in Los Angeles during the recordings. We had an internet connection with Budapest where I could speak with the conductor just like if he were in the room next to me and I'd have a live audio feed from their control room on the other side of the world so I could produce the session nearly as usual. It's almost seamless the way that all works now, just slightly odd without any face to face contact.

    What's next? What will (and have) you be working on post-Outlander?

    There've been a few things. Right after I finished Outlander I scored a comedy called Ghost Town which David Koepp co-wrote and directed. It was the first lead role in a film for Ricky Gervais whom you'd know if you've ever seen the original BBC series The Office. That score was almost the polar opposite of Outlander too, there was still a little string section, but a lot more emphasis was on clarinet, bassoon and guitars.

    I worked a little on Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa for some fun. If anyone is dying to know who did the polka arrangement of Morricone's "The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly" for that, it was me! I did a few other things for that film, but as far as interesting writing assignments, it's hard to top polka versions of classic film music themes.

    A few weeks ago I finished up another sci-fi/action film called Game. That was a co-write with another composer which looks like it'll be released late summer of 2009. It's about multiplayer video games in the future which are televised and have real humans, prisoners actually, who are controlled by players at home. So Gerard Butler is playing to win back his independence. That's another sci-fi film for me, which is a genre I love working in. The score for that is an interesting hybrid of electronica and rock elements and there are a few 8-bit music moments I loved doing, where I incorporated the sonic elements that early video game consoles were capable of.

    Right now, I'm starting a miniseries that I have to keep quiet about for the moment... It's a really, really great project though and it'll keep me busy for a while.

    Thank you so much for your time. We really appreciate it.

    No problem, my pleasure!

    01/08/09International Box office Update

    Outlander contiues to add to it's totals in spain adding nearly another million dollars in ticket sales since our last update about it. The film has also opened in at least one more territory (on Jan 1st) in Malaysia. With that, we figured it would be good to brief everyone on the film's current international box office total(all figures in US Dollars):

    Country Gross to date (as of Jan. 4th)
    Lithuania $12,475
    Latvia $38,417
    Kuwait $280,325
    UAE $262,436
    Spain $2,632,098
    Taiwan $96,160
    Malaysia $87,017
    TOTAL: $3,408,928

    01/07/09Outlander US Release details

    With Outlander's North American Debut looming just ahead on January 23rd, it's important that everyone spread the word about where you will be able to see this fun film. In the United states the Weinstein Company will be releasing the film in select locations. The first set of locations are as follows:

    • San Francisco, CA
    • Chicago, IL
    • Philadelphia, PA
    • Washington D.C.
    • Dallas, TX
    • Atlanta, GA
    • Boston, MA
    • Houston, TX
    • Seattle, WA
    • Miami, FL
    • San Diego, CA
    • Detroit, MI
    • Sacramento, CA
    • Orlando, FL
    • Tampa, FL

    Canadian distribution is separate from this, and is being handled by Alliance Films. We'll post more details about the Canadian release as they become available. In the mean time Dirk Blackman's words over on his blog are certainly apt and we couldn't agree more:

    "Finally, after too many years to count, the movie will be out there. So do what you can, oh ye faithful - email your buds in those cities, make some noise. If we do well, we might even get the recalcitrant folks at TWC to roll it out further."

    In the days ahead we have a number of exciting things instore for you all, including exlusive interviews with Composer Geoff Zanelli, and Director Howard McCain.

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