In these frigid winter months, the best way to bide your time waiting for spring may be to wrap yourself up in a warm blanket in front of the TV and watch a good movie. Fortunately, the beginning of February brings us new Blu-ray editions of an animated classic and a recent Oscar-nominated performance to help distract from the encroaching chill.
After wasting the past decade making soulless, dead-eyed motion capture animation, director Robert Zemeckis finally returned to live action last year with ‘Flight‘, a drama about a reckless airline captain (Denzel Washington) with addiction issues. The movie was a modest hit that received respectable notices and an Oscar nomination for Washington. While Luke here at HDD wasn’t a fan when he saw it in theaters, Shannon gave the Blu-ray a much more favorable review.
From the indie film scene, Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg play a divorcing couple who try to stay friends in the comedy ‘Celeste and Jesse Forever‘, which was well received on the festival circuit.
In the documentary ‘Side by Side‘, Keanu Reeves of all people interviews a host of notable filmmakers about the industry’s transition from film to digital. It’s a topic that I’m inherently interested in, but is Reeves really the guy to explore the nuances in depth? Perhaps a rental is in order to find out.
In less interesting developments, Kevin James has another crappy comedy about a fat moron who does stupid, allegedly wacky things. This time, he tries to become an MMA fighter in ‘Here Comes the Boom‘. I would never, ever pay to see this, but if I were forced to watch a Kevin James movie, one in which he’s repeatedly punched in the face has some appeal.
Tyler Perry steps out of his drag costume and attempts to sell himself as an action hero in the box office bomb ‘Alex Cross‘. Having utterly failed at that task, he puts the fat suit back on for the filmed-play adaptation ‘Madea Gets a Job‘. I can’t decide which one sounds worse.
Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde play brother-and-sister criminals trapped in a blizzard while making a run for the Canadian border in the thriller ‘Deadfall‘. I had to get that synopsis from Wikipedia, since I’m pretty sure this movie never got a theatrical release or advertising of any kind.
Funny anecdote: When I was prepping some recent posts here in the blog that involved the Dustin Hoffman movie ‘Quartet’, my Google image searches kept pulling up pictures of Philip Seymour Hoffman and Christopher Walken, neither of whom actually appear in that movie. It turns out that they’re in something called ‘A Late Quartet‘, of which I’d never heard and otherwise know nothing about. From the pictures and title, they seem to play Classical musicians. That’s all I’ve got on this one, sorry.
Poor Miley Cyrus. The skanky pop princess’s latest attempt to play at acting, called ‘So Undercover‘, goes direct to video and nobody cares. I certainly don’t.
To celebrate its 60th anniversary, Disney offers up a Diamond Edition release of ‘Peter Pan‘. I’m surprised that the studio didn’t give this one a 3D conversion, what with all of the flying and derring-do adventure scenes that might lend the movie to that treatment.
Meanwhile, Fox gives us Otto Preminger’s classic noir ‘Laura‘, and Warner drags out a couple of musicals from the 1970s: ‘Cabaret‘ and the Barbra Streisand remake of ‘A Star Is Born‘.
The Criterion Collection has just one title this week, the 1958 Kabuki drama ‘The Ballad of Narayama‘. No, I’d never heard of it either.
My compulsion to collect all of the Disney animated classics will put ‘Peter Pan’ in my Amazon shopping cart (though I wish a Steelbook edition were available). As mentioned above, I’ll probably rent ‘Side by Side’. Will you spend any money on Blu-rays this week?