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’Basterds’ DVD Due Later This Year; Film Gets Ready For A Date With Oscar
With a surprisingly strong opening weekend, and a somewhat decent reception from critics, Harvey Weinstein has cleared some space on his mantle for another statue as he gets ready to throw “Inglourious Basterds” into the Oscar race. However, with the studio widely reported to be cash strapped (with some outlets speculating that The Weinstein Company’s very future depended on the performance of Tarantino’s film), Harvey is looking to the Best Picture winner everyone loves to hate, “Crash”, as a template on how to get the film into the hands of Academy voters on the cheap.
According to the LA Times, Harvey plans to release “Inglourious Basterds” on DVD in time for Oscar season to save money on shipping specialized, watermarked DVDs to Academy members which are a small fortune to produce. With a regular DVD costing only $5 to churn out versus $20 for each individually tagged screener (that will end up online anyway), Harvey is going to flood anyone and everyone in Hollywood with DVD copies of Tarantino’s latest. Apparently, Lionsgate flogged the industry with an estimated 120,000 copies of “Crash” ensuring everyone from studio heads to catering assistants saw the film, helping to vault it right into a Best Picture slot and eventual win. (Though with that many gratis copies floating around, it’s kind of mind-boggling “Crash” still remains the most Netflix-ed film of all time). What else will work in Harvey’s favor? Well, with ten Best Picture slots now up for grabs instead of five, weird left field choices are going to be the name of the game. If you thought “Juno” was an outrageous Best Picture nominee, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
Despite how people have felt about the film, most agree that Christoph Waltz’s performance as Col. Hans Landa is one of the standouts. And certainly, in addition to Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay nominations, one for Waltz doesn’t seem completely out of the question, though it’s doubtful ‘Basterds’ would get anywhere near Best Picture if there were only five slots.
But as the Oscar season shapes up, it will be interesting to see how viable (or not) of a player “Inglourious Basterds” will remain in the major categories. The danger with throwing Tarantino’s film into the Oscar mix is that Harvey could end up with a “The Dark Knight” situation on his hands. As readers might recall, that film did boffo box-office numbers and was universally loved by critics, but as far as the Academy was concerned, it was still just a fanboy film. Aside from Heath Ledger for Best Supporting Actor, the film’s eight nominations were all in technical categories, shutting Nolan out of Best Director and the film out of Best Picture. And with ten Best Picture nominees, you can expect the studios to flag anything remotely well received for awards consideration. So not only will “Inglourious Basterds” face an uphill battle against the season’s standard prestige pics, but films like “Star Trek” — which will certainly get an awards campaign — may even bump it out of technical categories.
As for the DVD release, it will be distributed by Universal who entered a deal (check out
<LINK_TEXT text=“http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/m … terds-deal”>http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/more-woes-for-the-weinstein-company-needing-to-change-original-inglorious-basterds-deal</LINK_TEXT>) along with Genius to help the ailing Weinstein Company earlier in the year. While there is no release date yet, you can expect the disc to be a bare bones affair, with a more elaborate edition including all the bells, whistles and Quentin you can handle to appear sometime down the line.