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Update: The mighty have fallen as Travolta and De Niro go straight to Blu-ray in Killing Season

05.22.2013

UPDATE: Reports have KILLING SEASON getting a theatrical release on July 12th in "large markets" but without much other details and a release less than 2 months away, this is still quite a drop for both actors.

There was a time, not very long ago, that a movie from the director of GHOST RIDER and DAREDEVIL, starring Academy Award Winner Robert De Niro and Academy Award Nominee John Travolta would have been a lock to get a wide theatrical release and at least a respectable box office. But, as the market for films changes, so do the fates of our favorite actors. The film KILLING SEASON is a perfect example of these shifts.

Back at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, a poster was revealed for KILLING SEASON showcasing De Niro with a gun and Travolta with a bizarre beard and a bow and arrow. The film, while not an instant must see, did have an intriguing premise that sounded like it would have appealed to the fans of films such as TAKEN and UNKNOWN.

American military veteran Benjamin Ford (Robert De Niro) has fled to a cabin retreat somewhere in the Appalachian Mountains, to forget the painful memories of the Bosnian War he fought in. One day, visitor Emil Kovac (John Travolta), a European tourist, knocks on his door, and the two men begin an unlikely friendship. When it develops that Kovac is in fact a former Serbian soldier bent on revenge, there begins a one-on-one confrontation and battle between the two throughout the harsh mountain environment.

Fast forward to the present and KILLING SEASON still has not seen a big screen release. Directed by Mark Steven Johnson, the movie has not even had a trailer released. But, in perusing the latest releases on Blu-ray.com, there is box art for KILLING SEASON along with a release date of August 20, 2013. I highly doubt there is any chance of even a short run in theaters with that time, but it looks like the movie isn't even getting a VOD run, which shows just how bad this movie is or how far Travolta has fallen as a leading man.

The last box office success that Travolta has had was four years ago with THE TAKING OF PELHAM 123 and OLD DOGS in 2009. Since then, Travolta has made 2 movies (FROM PARIS WITH LOVE and SAVAGES). De Niro has had a mixed bag as well, but he has at least been consistent with balancing the bad comedies with great performances like SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK. But, between the two of them, this is a bad sign.

KILLING SEASON has release dates lined up later this year in Argentina and Denmark, but if any of you have seen the movie, feel free to let us know if it is as bad as we are thinking.

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Source: Blu-ray.com

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8:25AM on 05/23/2013

The problem is DeNiro!

The problem is... DeNiro is in too many movies these days! The big wedding is playing, then Malavita is coming... Last Vegas... they even moved GRUDGE MATCH from november to next year because of LAST VEGAS. Hes also in AMERICAN HUSTLE coming next december and there is a movie listed in IMDB named MOTEL with John Cusack and Dominic Purcell also coming in 2013 (another straight to BD?). The problem is him, people dont see it a good sign that hes in every movie! I mean, hes saying YES! to
The problem is... DeNiro is in too many movies these days! The big wedding is playing, then Malavita is coming... Last Vegas... they even moved GRUDGE MATCH from november to next year because of LAST VEGAS. Hes also in AMERICAN HUSTLE coming next december and there is a movie listed in IMDB named MOTEL with John Cusack and Dominic Purcell also coming in 2013 (another straight to BD?). The problem is him, people dont see it a good sign that hes in every movie! I mean, hes saying YES! to everything, he didnt select the movies as before. Years ago you see DeNiro in a movie per year not 5 or 6! Unfortunatelly this one looks like a decent flick. Anyway I live in Argentina so maybe Ill catch it.
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9:49PM on 05/22/2013
They should have waited until this fall to release it. It's just gonna get buried among summer tent poles. And I thought From Paris with Love was awesome.
They should have waited until this fall to release it. It's just gonna get buried among summer tent poles. And I thought From Paris with Love was awesome.
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9:38PM on 05/22/2013
The film was written by Evan Daugherty and I think he won some screenwriting contest with it. I don't think this was originally intended as a direct-to-DVD film, but alas, these things happen. Reminds me of the time "The Madien Heist" which starred Morgan Freeman, Christopher Walken and William H Macy went direct to DVD.
The film was written by Evan Daugherty and I think he won some screenwriting contest with it. I don't think this was originally intended as a direct-to-DVD film, but alas, these things happen. Reminds me of the time "The Madien Heist" which starred Morgan Freeman, Christopher Walken and William H Macy went direct to DVD.
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6:24PM on 05/22/2013

Not surprised, just disapointed

I dont understand DeNiro...lately he has been making more flops then box office sucess . He needs to stop being a semi paycheck collector.. As far as Travolta...damn this guy cant seem to get himself out of Bad movies...speaking of Movie Jail...I would say Travolta is two steps away, unless he can produce a good movie soon.
I dont understand DeNiro...lately he has been making more flops then box office sucess . He needs to stop being a semi paycheck collector.. As far as Travolta...damn this guy cant seem to get himself out of Bad movies...speaking of Movie Jail...I would say Travolta is two steps away, unless he can produce a good movie soon.
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6:05PM on 05/22/2013
And right after DeNiro had a great year. An Oscar-nominated (and worthy) performance plus 2 other performances in smaller indies that may not have been the best movies but at the very least were great individual efforts made by DeNiro (Red Lights and Being Flynn)
And right after DeNiro had a great year. An Oscar-nominated (and worthy) performance plus 2 other performances in smaller indies that may not have been the best movies but at the very least were great individual efforts made by DeNiro (Red Lights and Being Flynn)
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5:37PM on 05/22/2013

Well, this article is wrong.

Travolta's people confirmed a July release: [link]

However, I agree with the general sentiments of this article. I read about this film a few times in the last year and it just reeked of "flop." The director sucks, Travolta is hammier than ever these days (and playing a European guy -- just imagine how much scenery he'll chew!), and De Niro has been slumming for the paycheck for the better part of two decades now. De Niro was once my hero, a truly amazing actor, but I think Heat may have
Travolta's people confirmed a July release: [link]

However, I agree with the general sentiments of this article. I read about this film a few times in the last year and it just reeked of "flop." The director sucks, Travolta is hammier than ever these days (and playing a European guy -- just imagine how much scenery he'll chew!), and De Niro has been slumming for the paycheck for the better part of two decades now. De Niro was once my hero, a truly amazing actor, but I think Heat may have been the last real masterpiece he's made. (Casino came out the same year, but I'd include that as being of very good quality as well.) Sadly, I'll never forget reading an interview with him surrounding the release of The Good Shepherd, where he basically admitted straight-up that he does acting to help fund Tribeca (his film production company) these days, so basically, the art of acting -- the Method and all that jazz he was known for -- is something that faded with his youth. Even in Silver Linings, I felt like the quality of the movie was what stood out - De Niro was good, but I don't think he was particularly great; his performance was just impressive because it was framed within a quality film. Nothing about his role in that movie was particularly better than some of the other movies he's done recently. His heart just ain't in it anymore.

And Travolta is box office poison, and I don't think his career will ever fully recover from the Scientology and masseuse stuff. He's been hit-or-miss for ages and always bounces back after a few big flops, but I think as he's now entering his later years and losing his 'Sex Symbol' status, he's going to struggle to find good favor. Even in Savages he was playing almost a lampoon of people's perception of him, a kind of sleazy, past-his-prime, desperate character.
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5:30PM on 05/22/2013
Shame about De Niro, but Travolta's never been that great. He's lucked out with some decent roles in great films, but he's just not a star of the same calibre that De Niro was.
Shame about De Niro, but Travolta's never been that great. He's lucked out with some decent roles in great films, but he's just not a star of the same calibre that De Niro was.
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7:23PM on 05/22/2013
Travolta should worship Tarantino at least 4 times a day.
Travolta should worship Tarantino at least 4 times a day.
5:10PM on 05/22/2013
Oh man I can't wait to hear how bad Travolta's accent is.
Oh man I can't wait to hear how bad Travolta's accent is.
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