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 – Do kids still play with He-Man and Skeletor? When I was young, there wasn’t a single kid at my school who didn’t know these characters and pretend to harness the power of Greyskull. The irony of the Gary Goddard movie from 1987 wasn’t just let that it was pretty awful but that it kind of came on the tail end of the “Masters of the Universe” trend. At least for me. By the time “Masters” came out, He-Man didn’t have quite the same power. And Goddard’s movie, recently released on Blu-ray, really didn’t help.
CHICAGO – Frank’s world is fading before his eyes. With his wife gone and his children all grown up, Frank lives a reclusive existence, though he doesn’t seem to be in particular need of company. His memory may be fading, but his instincts as a retired cat burglar are still ever-present. He can’t helping stuffing a few soap figurines into his pockets while casually browsing through a store.
CHICAGO – This 28-image slideshow contains most of the official press images for the highly-anticipated “Unknown,” starring Liam Neeson, Diane Kruger, January Jones, Aidan Quinn, Bruno Ganz, and Frank Langella. The film was directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. It will be released on February 18th, 2011.
CHICAGO – Remember when every Oliver Stone movie caused waves? There was a time when he was a love-him-or-hate-him director who provoked conversation with every outing. Perhaps the most interesting thing about his recent work like “World Trade Center” and “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, is how little impact it has had. He seems to be making movies most people like but no one loves or hates. The sequel to one of his best films is a good drama but doesn’t really resonate like the man used to do every time out.
CHICAGO – Having loved Andrew Jarecki’s “Capturing the Friedmans” and having recently named Ryan Gosling the best actor of his generation for his year-best work in “Blue Valentine,” I was psyched to fall for their collaboration on the true-crime thriller “All Good Things.” Sadly, my anticipation quickly turned to disappointment as this muddled work lurched toward a bizarre conclusion. Gosling and co-stars Kirsten Dunst and Frank Langella don’t do anything wrong here but the movie is such a mash-up of tones, fiction, and reality that it never comes together into anything coherent.
CHICAGO – Family secrets seems to be a specialty of Director Andrew Jarecki. He made a big splash with his 2003 Oscar nominated documentary, “Capturing the Friedmans,” which explored the real life matters of the title family, and in his debut feature film narrative he uncovers a prominent New York City family in “All Good Things.”
CHICAGO – After a string of disappointments that include “Alexander,” “World Trade Center” and “W,” one of the best directors of the 1980s and 1990s at least draws closer to form with the entertaining “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps”.
CHICAGO – Most filmmakers are content in recycling ideas. Richard Kelly strains to come up with new ones every time he steps behind a camera. It’s difficult to think of him ever becoming a commercial commodity (thoughts of David Lynch directing “Return of the Jedi” come to mind). Yet Kelly’s boundless ambition has often far exceeded his abilities.
CHICAGO – Stephen Belber, the acclaimed playwright behind “The Laramie Project” and “Tape,” which was adapted into a feature film by director Richard Linklater, makes his directorial debut this week with the quirky romantic comedy “Management” starring Steve Zahn and Jennifer Aniston. He took time out of his busy schedule to make an international call from Paris, France to discuss the film with HollywoodChicago.com.
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0
CHICAGO – I want to love “Frost/Nixon”. I’m generally forgiving of historical dramas, especially ones that paint Richard Nixon in a bad light. And I think the world of Michael Sheen, Frank Langella, Sam Rockwell, Rebecca Hall, and Oliver Platt. But “Frost/Nixon” is a good movie that was too commonly praised as a great one because of its subject matter and pedigree. Worth a rental? For sure. Worth a purchase or its Best Picture nomination? I don’t think so.