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 – Over a decade ago, Jill & Karen Sprecher made waves on the indie scene with “Clockwatchers” and “Thirteen Conversations About One Thing” but then virtually disappeared. They’re back with another arthouse piece, a “Fargo”-esque black comedy called “Thin Ice,” starring Greg Kinnear, Billy Crudup, Alan Arkin, and more. The strong ensemble makes the relatively weak script (as presented…more on that later) easier to take as the film skates over some treacherous rough patches but never falls through.
CHICAGO – “I Don’t Know How She Does It” could have been just another misogynistic (you would never see “I Don’t Know How HE Does It”…the very title implies sexism) alleged comedy but it goes well beyond that partially because it features one of the worst screenplays of 2011 but also because it is easily one of the most miscast movies ever made.
CHICAGO – She produced and starred in one of the great TV-to-film franchises of the last 15 years. She has made millions in endorsements for the fashion industry. She is married to a prominent celebrity who once played Ferris Bueller. Regarding Sarah Jessica Parker, “I Don’t Know How She Does It.”
CHICAGO – The History Channel made headlines when it announced it was developing a mini-series called “The Kennedys” about the legendary family and even more of them when it dropped the finished product amidst rumors that some actual Kennedys had pressured them to do so. After other networks reportedly passed on the 8-part historical dramatization, it fell to the Reelz Channel.
CHICAGO – Nicholas Sparks is the Michael Bay of touchy-feely weepies. No matter how derivative or cynically calculating his stories prove to be, they never fail to rake in the dough. Several of his books have been turned into blockbusters, the best of which benefit greatly from the strength of their cast, as in “A Walk to Remember” and “The Notebook.”
CHICAGO – Paul Greengrass suffered the first failure of his career with the disappointing “Green Zone,” a film that flopped with both critics and audiences early in 2010. As Kathyrn Bigelow was winning awards for her realistic examination of life behind enemy lines in the Middle East with “The Hurt Locker,” people dismissed Matt Damon’s long-delayed take on the failure of the war in Iraq.
CHICAGO – With three of the most charming and enjoyable leads in any romantic comedy released in 2008, David Koepp’s “Ghost Town” should find a steady and satisfied audience on Blu-Ray this winter.