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.
CHICAGO – “Dark Shadows” flops on the screen like an undead fish out of water. It doesn’t have one ounce of the spontaneity or style that made the work of its director, Tim Burton, or its star, Johnny Depp, so irresistible during their hot streak of the ’90s. The was back when Burton/Depp collaborations promised something more than peerless production values and morbid variations on familiar themes.
CHICAGO – For a film that promises steamy scenes between two stars who share a fearlessness for performing in the nude, “Perfect Sense” is a doozy of a downer. It’s a fine showcase for the oft-underutilized talents of Ewan McGregor and Eva Green, but the plot is one slow descent toward doom that leaves viewers with very little to contemplate besides the sickening tragedy of death.
CHICAGO – Tim Burton’s “Dark Shadows” is one of the most inconsistent and frustrating major films in a long time. There are elements here and there that work but Burton and writer Seth Grahame-Smith seem incapable of figuring out how to wrangle them into a coherent, successful film.
CHICAGO – One of the most popular opinions among modern audiences is the notion that television shows have become consistently better than films. This is partly because many of the year’s best movies are relegated to urban art houses, while shows like “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad” are available on small screens nationwide. Yet I’d argue that there’s just as much derivative dreck on TV as there is in mainstream multiplexes.
CHICAGO – Starz Channel’s “Camelot” is an attempt to cash in on the same success that the network found with “Spartacus” and it almost works to provide a similar level of Friday night escapism, mostly delivering just that with an adult version of Arthur, Merlin, and the Knights of the Round Table.
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.0/5.0
CHICAGO – “Quantum of Solace,” the second Daniel Craig 007 movie after the earthquake to the franchise that was the brilliant “Casino Royale,” didn’t make quite the same waves in the action genre and left a few viewers dissatisfied but it still makes for a better-than-average action movie rental. Sadly, MGM continues to struggle a bit in the HD revolution, releasing a so-so Blu-Ray that won’t help the viewers who felt let down by the film in theaters.