Whether you’re a fan of zombies, musicals, giant monsters or Adam Sandler riding an ostrich, this week may have a Blu-ray or two for you. Just imagine if we could put all these things together into one movie. I’d pay good money to see singing Sandler crushed under the foot of a zombie kaiju.
‘Blended‘ – I think we all know Adam Sandler’s M.O. by now. Whenever he wants to go on vacation – say, to a water park, a cruise, or an African safari – he gathers some of his friends together and convinces the movie studio to write the trip off as a production expense. Oh, and if they happen to ad lib a few jokes on camera for five minutes a day, that’s good enough to call a feature film. In this one, Sandler tries to restore a little of the good will from his earlier, funnier movies by reuniting with his ‘Wedding Singer’ and ’50 First Dates’ co-star Drew Barrymore. Most accounts say that the rom-com is somewhat better than his other recent outings, but still pretty lazy and inane.
‘Belle‘ – I mentioned this a couple weeks ago. I guess we had the date wrong. The movie still looks like shameless awards bait.
‘The Double‘ – Jesse Eisenberg faces off against Jesse Eisenberg in an existential black comedy based on a classic novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Directed by Richard Ayoade, the British goofball from ‘The IT Crowd’. What a strange confluence of talent. The movie sounds interesting and I hear that it’s good.
‘Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return‘ – Yikes. I suppose this low-budget, animated ‘Wizard of Oz’ spin-off (based on a children’s book by Roger S. Baum, great-grandson of L. Frank Baum) was rushed to theaters last year to piggyback off publicity for Disney’s blockbuster ‘Oz: The Great and Powerful’. It looks about Saturday morning cartoon quality. Lea Michele does the voice of Dorothy, in case you needed another reason to avoid it.
‘Age of Uprising: The Legend of Michael Kohlhaas‘ – I don’t know what this is. It has a bad title and cheesy cover art. But the plot description (a revenge tale set in the 16th Century) sounds like it could have potential and Mads Mikkelsen usually picks interesting projects. A rental?
You know how Criterion will sometimes pair similarly-themed movies together to release on the same date? The only thing linking Bob Fosse’s brilliant, semi-autobiographical musical ‘All That Jazz‘ and the Japanese crime thriller ‘Vengeance Is Mine‘ is that both films were originally released in 1979. Both are worthy movies, but you probably don’t want to watch them in a double-bill.
Kino also has an odd pairing with the classic Gregory Peck post-apocalyptic drama ‘On the Beach‘ and the Peter Sellers/Peter O’Toole screwball sex comedy ‘What’s New Pussycat?‘. The latter co-stars and was an early screenwriting credit for a young comic by the name of Woody Allen. I wonder whatever became of him?
In the lead-up to Warner’s video release of this year’s blockbuster ‘Godzilla’ reboot in a couple weeks, Tokyo Shock is trickling out some of the Big G’s classic adventures. This week brings us ‘Godzilla vs. Megalon‘ and ‘Destroy All Monsters‘.
Listen up, daddy-o: “If you flake around with the weed, you’ll end up using the harder stuff.” Beware the Reefer in the ’50s B-movie gem ‘High School Confidential‘.
Almost as exploitative is the ’70s haunted house thriller ‘The Legend of Hell House‘, now available from Scream Factory.
With new seasons starting shortly, now would be a good time to catch up with the fourth season of ‘The Walking Dead‘, the sixth season of ‘Sons of Anarchy‘, or the fourth season of ‘Haven‘.
Also available are the first season of BBC’s ‘The Musketeers‘ and the HBO TV movie ‘The Normal Heart‘.
I’m quite excited for ‘All That Jazz’, and ‘The Double’ sounds like an intriguing rental. Other titles going on my wish list include ‘Vengeance Is Mine’ and ‘On the Beach’.
What will you buy this week? Did I overlook something you’re excited about?