What to Watch prides itself on often offering a wide variety of material from TV seasons to On Demand exclusives to remasters of classic flicks. Not this week. All six of the New Releases that you may be drawn to in your favorite store or on your favorite service are movies, and all released in the last 18 months. But the variety within those movies is remarkable. A Best Picture winner, action flicks, a superhero, and two indie drams that waste talented casts. Pick your favorites. Here’s how we would rank ‘em.
Eric Christian Olsen
CHICAGO – Rashida Jones has been a reliable co-star for years in films like “I Love You, Man” and TV shows like “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation” but she gets her most notable role to date in a film she co-wrote, the romantic dramedy “Celeste and Jesse Forever,” opening this weekend in Chicago. Jones’ complex performance is the best thing about a film that ultimately feels a bit too unfocused, almost as if Jones and her co-writer Will McCormack took the opportunity to use every idea they had about the art of the break-up without streamlining their concepts into something more coherent and entertaining.
CHICAGO – Actors Rashida Jones (“Parks and Recreation”) and Will McCormack (“Dirt”) dated a long time ago and have turned their break-up into an acclaimed new romantic dramedy, “Celeste and Jesse Forever.” Don’t be fooled by its title. Jones and McCormack’s film opens with Celeste (Jones) and Jesse (Andy Samberg) at the end of their marriage.
CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 25 admit-two movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of the irresistible romantic comedy “Celeste and Jesse Forever”!
CHICAGO – John Carpenter’s “The Thing” is a brilliant study in paranoia. It is more than a mere horror film. The remake/prequel, recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, is a decent horror film but the comparison to the classic original and some serious mistakes in the final act make “decent” not good enough by association.
CHICAGO – With Halloween approaching, what will truly scare us at the cinema this month? One strong entry is this weekend’s “The Thing,” the third remake of a wild and mysterious monster movie. It combines a European-style approach to paranoia with some truly unique monster effects.
CHICAGO – Christine Jeffs’ “Sunshine Cleaning” has its ups and downs, its pros and cons, but it’s worth a look, now on Blu-Ray and DVD, for one of the most delightful, multi-faceted performances of the year from one of the better actresses of her generation. What Amy Adams delivers in “Sunshine Cleaning” is her most interesting turn since “Junebug”. Even with an average Blu-Ray release, Adams makes “Cleaning” worth at least a rental on its own.
CHICAGO – How desperate are you for laughs? If you rent all the straight-to-video comedies that come down the line, then “Fired Up” may have enough lines that hit the funny bone to warrant a rental. It’s certainly not as unbearable as some theatrical junk like “Disaster Movie” or “White Chicks,” but that’s doesn’t mean it’s worth your time.
CHICAGO – In our latest edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 75 admit-two passes up for grabs to the Chicago screening of “Fired Up,” which stars Nicholas D’Agosto, Eric Christian Olsen, Sarah Roemer, AnnaLynne McCord (who auditioned for the “Twilight” sequel “New Moon”) and Molly Sims.