In an odd quirk of fate, this week’s Blu-ray release slate brings us one of the best films of the year, as well as one (or more) of the worst. Choose wisely.
After a couple of box office disappointments, Wes Anderson returned to the top of the art film scene with ‘Moonrise Kingdom‘, one of the director’s best reviewed and highest grossing movies to date. I’ve enjoyed all of Anderson’s films, but I know that his emotional aloofness is a turn-off for some viewers. This one has more heart and should be more accessible than most of his other pictures. I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets some attention come Oscar time.
Rest assured that the only award Adam Sandler’s latest cinematic turd, ‘That’s My Boy‘, might garner at year-end is a Razzie (or several). About the only thing this one has going for it is the casting of Andy Samberg as Sandler’s son, which is fairly inspired given that one of the first skits Samberg performed on ‘SNL’ was an Adam Sandler impersonation. Beyond that, everyone who’s seen this is in agreement that it’s a terribly unfunny waste of time. In other words, it’s exactly the same as most of Sandler’s movies. Yet people continue to pay to see them. The world is a strange place.
Speaking of lazy, unfunny comedies, DreamWorks has cranked out another ‘Madagascar‘ sequel. This one’s called ‘Europe’s Most Wanted’. I wonder if anyone at the studio is aware that Madagascar isn’t anywhere near Europe? I guess kids like these flicks. Fortunately, I don’t have any kids, so I’m not forced to watch them.
Amazingly, the “found footage” horror genre hasn’t played itself out yet. From the studio’s perspective, the appeal of these things is that they’re so incredibly cheap to produce that even a small box office gross will yield a solid return on investment. Thus we have ‘Chernobyl Diaries‘, which does the “Oh my god, what’s that scary thing over there in the dark that I’m shaking my camera vaguely in the direction of while screaming loudly?” thing in Russia. Ooh, what a twist.
Having previously directed ‘Neil Young: Heart of Gold’ and ‘Neil Young: Trunk Show’, Oscar-winning filmmaker Jonathan Demme returns to his favorite musician with his latest documentary, ‘Neil Young Journeys‘. If you like Neil Young as much as Jonathan Demme does, this must be a very exciting development.
After two years of being stuck as a manufacturer exclusive only available in Panasonic bundle packages, the 3D edition of ‘Avatar‘ finally breaks loose into general retail today. Does anyone still care about ‘Avatar’ anymore, or are you all finally over it now? For what it’s worth, this triple-dip edition contains only the theatrical cut of the movie in 3D. If you want the extended cut in 3D, I guess you’ll have to wait for the inevitable quadruple-dip. Thanks a lot, James Cameron.
Olive Films has once again licensed a bunch of vintage titles from major studios that don’t seem to care about them anymore. The one that catches my eye this week is Max Ophuls’ classic melodrama ‘Letter from an Unknown Woman‘.
Children of the 1970s may look back nostalgically at Disney’s live-action/animation hybrid ‘Pete’s Dragon‘ with some fondness. I’m not sure how much this will entertain children today, though. Maybe very, very young toddlers.
Finally, Sony pitches the girls can play baseball too drama ‘A League of Their Own‘, while Warner repackages Stanley Kubrick’s ‘Full Metal Jacket‘ into yet another new edition. Be warned: The latter is the same disc that’s been available for years, now in a Digibook and with a soundtrack CD thrown in.
TV fans can look forward to the second season of ‘That ’70s Show‘, the fifth season of ‘Mad Men‘ and the first (only) season of ‘Alcatraz‘. I don’t regret watching ‘Alcatraz’ during its broadcast run, but I feel no need to own it.
The only title on my to-buy list this week is ‘Moonrise Kingdom’. What interests you?