What's in the Weinsteins' (Liberation) Closet?

by Anthony Kaufman
February 15, 2006 4:58 AM
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A small one paragraph item in Variety today reported "Genius Products, exclusive U.S. home entertainment distributor for the Weinstein Co., is adding hundreds of high-quality titles to its slate of DVD releases through a distribution agreement with independent entertainment company Liberation Entertainment."

High quality? That must come from the press release, because a visit to Liberation's website yields a decidedly lackluster catalogue. Movies include the incest drama "Presence of Mind," starring Sadie Frost and Harvey Keitel, "Shades," a "film-within-a-film thriller" starring Mickey Rourke, everyone's favorite 1982 kung fu spoof "They Call Me Bruce? " and the 1990 dud "The Return of Superfly." Perhaps the only coveted titles are two TV products possibly ripe for big-screen treatment: "Daniel Boone" and "Peter Gunn" (famous for its killer soundtrack).

What strikes me is that since the Weinstein Co. has launched, the moguls have seemed to focus solely on their most commercially crass instincts. Except for their pair of Oscar contenders ("Transamerica" and "Mrs. Henderson Presents"), their production and release slate is filled with kid-pics, genre fare and Tarantino-Rodriguez suckups. What ever happened to the Harvey that loved art cinema?

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