We’re in the final stretch now. Christmas Day is right around the corner, so you better stock up on Blu-ray goodies for the movie buffs in your life. While the titles being released this week weren’t necessarily the biggest films of the year, there are a few things of interest.
Here’s the list:
- ‘Devil‘ (Universal)
- ‘Easy A‘ (Sony)
- ‘Family Guy: It’s A Trap!‘ (20th Century Fox)
- ‘Futurama: Volume 5‘ (20th Century Fox)
- ‘Laugh it up Fuzzball: The Family Guy Trilogy‘ (20th Century Fox)
- ‘The Matador‘ (Vivendi)
- ‘Orlando‘ (Sony)
- ‘Salt‘ (Sony)
- ‘Step Up – 3D‘ (Disney/Buena Vista)
- ‘Step Up 3‘ (Disney/Buena Vista)
- ‘Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps‘ (20th Century Fox)
Perhaps the most appealing title of the week is ‘Easy A‘, the modern-day reworking of ‘The Scarlet Letter’. You know, it’s kind of like how ‘10 Things I Hate About You‘ updated ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ for the high school set. I didn’t have a chance to see it in theaters, but reviews were mostly favorable and I liked star Emma Stone in both ‘Superbad‘ and ‘Zombieland‘. The movie didn’t do huge business in theaters, but seems like the sort of things that will make a nice discovery on video.
Oliver Stone’s long-belated sequel ‘Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps‘ also underperformed a bit during its theatrical run, even though its subject matter is perhaps more topical than ever right now. Personally, I think that a lot of people just have trouble taking Shia LaBeouf seriously in an adult dramatic role. Michael Douglas received good notices for his return to the role that won him an Oscar the last time around, and will likely get another nomination out of this one too. Drew said the movie was decent enough when he reviewed it here in the blog.
For some reason, people still let M. Night Shyamalan make movies. Now, not only is he directing mega-budget atrocities, he’s also producing high-concept horror schlock like ‘Devil‘, which is the story of a group of people trapped in an elevator with Satan. Yes, seriously, that’s what the movie’s about. Nate was extremely generous when he reviewed the Blu-ray (follow the link above), but hasn’t quite convinced me.
This summer, Angelina Jolie tried to reassert herself as an action movie heroine in ‘Salt‘. Reviews and box office were both mixed. (Drew pretty much hated it.) I would stick to a rental on this one, if you’re still curious anyway. I’m not.
Are the ‘Step Up‘ movies really successful enough to warrant another sequel, in 3-D no less? Dear lord, is Channing Tatum still in them? Suffice it to say that I’m not the target audience for this.
The catalog front brings us a couple of interesting releases. In ‘The Matador‘, Pierce Brosnan nicely plays against his suave James Bond persona as a washed-up hitman having a mid-life crisis in Mexico City. He decides that he needs a new best friend, and recruits meek Middle American businessman Greg Kinnear for the job. The movie is a very dark comedy that’s a lot of fun, and deserved more attention than it got during its brief theatrical run back in 2005.
True story: ‘Orlando‘ is the movie that Mrs. Z and I went to see on our very first date. Tilda Swinton stars as an inexplicably immortal person whose life through the centuries sees many changes, including at least one switch of gender. Based on a novel by Virginia Woolf, this one’s very much for the art film crowd. I look forward to watching it again on Blu-ray.
Finally, Fox brings us new high-def entries from both ‘Futurama‘ and ‘Family Guy‘. The latter jumped its own shark a long time ago, but its ‘Star Wars’ parodies are pretty funny.