Are we really so far into the summer that the season’s big tentpole releases are already hitting Blu-ray? This week brings us a huge blockbuster that made tons of money a few months ago, even though hardly anyone who saw it would claim to actually like it.
‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2‘ – In order to maintain film rights to the character, Sony is contractually obligated to crank out a new ‘Spider-Man’ movie every few years. At this point, the studio has apparently stopped caring how well they turn out so long as something gets projected onto theater screens on schedule. I’ll give the sequel-to-the-reboot this much: Its trailers certainly looked very comic book-y. Unfortunately, they reminded me why I never cared for superhero comics as a kid. Also, when will movie producers learn that shoving dozens of villains into a sequel rarely works?
‘The Quiet Ones‘ – Despite an appealing 1970s setting and a talented cast, this British haunted house horror flick was widely excoriated by critics for its nonsensical and incoherent script.
‘The Sacrament‘ – Better received was director Ti West’s thinly-veiled telling of the Jonestown cult story, staged as a Found-Footage thriller.
‘Only Lovers Left Alive‘ – Jim Jarmusch puts his own peculiar spin on the vampire genre with this tale of ennui-stricken immortal hipsters who’d rather hang out and listen to carefully-selected classic rock albums than hunt humans or drink blood.
‘Fading Gigolo‘ – In one of his rare appearances strictly as an actor in someone else’s project, Woody Allen plays an inadvertent pimp for aging male escort John Turturro (who wrote and directed). From what I understand, the low-key comedy’s script explicitly pokes fun at how inappropriate both characters are for their respective jobs.
‘Jarhead 2: Field of Fire‘ – The original ‘Jarhead’ wasn’t a particularly great movie, but it benefited from Sam Mendes’ artful direction and a strong cast. Naturally, the belated in-name-only DTV sequel jettisons all of that. I suspect that this was filmed as an unrelated military drama, and someone at the studio decided to foist the ‘Jarhead’ title on it after-the-fact.
Are you ready to brush up on your Spanish? The Criterion Collection offers Pedro Almodovar’s sexy black comedy ‘Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!‘ and Alfonso Cuaron’s sensual road trip ‘Y tu mamá también‘. Conveniently coinciding with these, Lionsgate has Alfonso Arau’s passionate food drama ‘Like Water for Chocolate‘.
Perhaps you’d rather go silent? Flicker Alley compiles ‘Chaplin’s Mutual Comedies‘ and the first volume of ‘The Mack Sennett Collection‘.
From the darkest depths of the Guilty Pleasure Zone comes the “Alien under water” knock-off ‘Leviathan‘. It’s been years since I’ve seen this, but I remember being entertained by it.
Sad fact: The atrocious 1994 live-action version of ‘The Flintstones‘ was the last feature film appearance for the legendary Elizabeth Taylor. Despite that, and the pretty much ideal casting of John Goodman as Fred, I can’t imagine that too many people really have any nostalgia for this crapfest.
With just enough time to gear up for the show’s upcoming final season, HBO rolls out the fourth season of ‘Boardwalk Empire‘ on Blu-ray.
Other big TV offerings include the second (and final) season of NBC’s dopey ‘Revolution‘, the third season of ABC’s inexplicably popular ‘Once Upon a Time‘, the pointless miniseries remake of ‘Rosemary’s Baby‘, and Pixar’s Halloween special ‘Toy Story of Terror!‘
Rental possibilities for me might include ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’ and ‘The Sacrament’. The two Criterions will go on my wish list for some future Barnes & Noble sale. (I really do enjoy the Almodovar flick, but I’m not feeling a need to rush out and buy it right away.)
¿Y usted? ¿Qué vas a comprar?