Sorry, What to Watch took a turkey day break as last week was really light on new product worth mentioning. This week? Pretty much the same but we don’t want you to miss us too badly. Here’s five recent Blu-ray, DVD, and streaming releases that may have caught your attention on new release shelves lately, ranked in the order we’d add them to our holiday wish list.
CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 40 pairs of movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of the highly anticipated “Olympus Has Fallen” starring Morgan Freeman, Aaron Eckhart and Gerard Butler!
CHICAGO – ABC/Disney has released three of their Spring 2012 mid-season shows on DVD in time for, well, to say goodbye to two of them and catch up on the third. The releases for “GCB” and “Missing” could have been labeled “Complete Series” as ABC pulled the plug on both shows but Shonda Rhimes’ “Scandal” is being given another chance to find a larger audience in the Fall. All three sets are well-loaded with special features.
CHICAGO – I’m right on the critical median with ABC’s “Missing.” On one hand, it’s inconsistent, poorly written, and kind of just silly. It’s tempting to dismiss like an overheated Lifetime movie. On the other hand, Ashley Judd is better than most Lifetime leads, the action is actually pretty tight, and I like the creative potential of a show that’s promised viewers that it will wrap up its first story in ten episodes. Which hand wins out? You decide.
CHICAGO – As a refreshing departure from the snarky, shrill and soulless time wasters passing for children’s entertainment these days, this wholesome, fact-based drama works perfectly well. It captures some of the innocence and warmth that characterized ’60s-era Disney fare, as well as the blandness and exceedingly high cheese factor.
CHICAGO – After the not-so-surprising success of the heavily marketed farce “The Hangover,” Jon Lucas and Scott Moore have quickly become Hollywood’s most overrated screenwriters. They specialize in injecting high concepts with frat-boy vulgarity, mean spirited gags and entirely superficial warmth. If Zach Galifianakis hadn’t bolstered “Hangover” with his deadpan genius, the film almost surely would’ve flopped.
CHICAGO – Charles Martin Smith has had a varied career as an actor and a director. He was one of the famous ensemble cast members of “American Graffiti,” directed by George Lucas, and broke out himself as a director in the mid-1980s. His latest work as a filmmaker was one of last week’s big box office hits, “Dolphin Tale.”
CHICAGO – In the tradition of live-action Disney films of another era, “Dolphin Tale” wears its heart on its sleeve, while at the same time using the characters as two-dimensional window dressing around a based-on-truth story of humans and an animal bonding together to inspire a nation.
CHICAGO – Michael Mann might first seem the ideal fit for Blu-Ray. He’s a notorious perfectionist, apparent in every frame of his remarkable output of films that includes such great modern classics as “Manhunter,” “The Insider,” “Collateral,” and “Public Enemies”.
CHICAGO – It’s time to dig a little deeper at HollywoodChicago.com and pull out a standard and HD edition of the Round-Up, our regular column that gives you the synopsis, features, and technical details on several titles that we either couldn’t get around to full-length reviewing or we didn’t think deserved the time.