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 Feb. 2012, the Music Box Theatre (on Chicago’s north side) offered a challenge to Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert. If he could beat them in predicting the 86th Annual Oscars – as part of his “Outguess Ebert” contest – then the theatre would screen any film chosen by the Pulitzer Prize-winning legend. Roger Ebert presents “Red Rock West” at the Music Box Theatre on May 1, 2012.
CHICAGO – Being a child of the ’80s, I can vividly remember when David Lynch’s “Blue Velvet” took the world by storm. I was too young to see it in theaters but I would be an early teen when the decade ended and the film made a stunning number of lists of the best films of the previous ten years. I could finally see what the fuss was all about on VHS. I would never be the same. There are a few movies I can point to and say, “That shaped the way I look at film.” “Blue Velvet,” recently released on Blu-ray to celebrate its 25th anniversary and complete with 50 minutes of never-before-seen deleted scenes, is one of those movies.
CHICAGO – In this edition of the HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 3 VIP prize packs up for grabs to the new animated film “Alpha and Omega” with the voices of Hayden Panettiere, Dennis Hopper, Danny Glover, Justin Long and Christina Ricci!
CHICAGO – Beloved actor and legendary easy rider Dennis Hopper lost his long battle with prostate cancer this morning at age 74. With a career spanning over the last half-century, Hopper is best known for directing, co-writing and co-starring in 1969’s counterculture classic “Easy Rider”.
CHICAGO – Peter Fonda, part of Hollywood acting royalty, made his mark with the counterculture classic “Easy Rider” in 1969. Fonda made an appearance last weekend at the Hollywood Palms Cinema in Naperville to introduce that seminal film.
CHICAGO – The Blu-Ray Round-Up is back with this week’s collection of HD titles that may not get the buzz of something like the latest Sandra Bullock romantic comedy or what Sam Raimi brought back from Hell but could be just what you’re looking for at the mall this weekend. A few modern horror movies, a notable box office bust, and a beloved BBC show highlight this week’s list. Pick your favorite.
DVD Rating: 3.5/5.0
CHICAGO – They have yet to perfectly adapt the great author Philip Roth’s tone from page to screen, but Isabel Coixet’s “Elegy” comes the closest. With other modern masters like Ian McEwan (“Atonement”) and Cormac McCarthy (“No Country For Old Men”) finding a new audience through the successful adaptations of their work, maybe “Elegy” will bring fans to Roth.
CHICAGO – Joshua Michael Stern’s “Swing Vote” hit theaters at the peak of the Presidential campaign and it’s no coincidence that the Blu-Ray release lands in stores a week before President-Elect Obama takes office. With a great ensemble and old-fashioned sensibility, “Swing Vote” is a film that should work. Like a misguided campaign for office, it just doesn’t come together.
CHICAGO – In our latest edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 10 DVDs up for grabs for David Zucker’s new comedy “An American Carol”. Zucker has brought us films including “Airplane!,” “The Naked Gun,” “Scary Movie 3,” “Scary Movie 4” and “BASEketball”.
CHICAGO – When done improperly, there’s nothing more embarrassing than actors playing against their type or social class. There is a subtlety to channeling the lower middle or the working class beyond dressing down or developing a bad hairstyle. “Sleepwalking” is the type of film that gets it wrong and just gets worse as it tries harder.