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 – Every element of “Jack the Giant Slayer,” released today on Blu-ray and DVD, feels like a subpar version of something done better in a superior film. There’s the epic scope and final siege of a “Lord of the Rings” film. There’s the reimagined fairy tale not unlike “Alice in Wonderland” or “Oz the Great and Powerful.”
CHICAGO – The trend of taking ancient fairy tales – “Hanzel and Gretel” and “Snow White,” for example – and converting them into computer generated mega-pictures is peculiar, and glaringly profitable (no “rights” to buy). The latest, “Jack and the Giant Slayer,” has some fun up the beanstalk again.
CHICAGO – If you can stomach forgiving the film’s uneven acting, inconsistent pacing and a higgledy-piggledy script that feels like it’s still in draft mode, just zero in on the only newsworthy question about “Snow White and the Huntsman”: Who are those “dwarves”?
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 “Snow White and the Huntsman” with Charlize Theron!
CHICAGO – When I heard that Johnny Depp had been sucked back into the cash cow that was the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise so shortly after everyone agreed that the series had run its course with the original trilogy, I was more than a little sad. Depp is still one of our most interesting actors and I’m not alone in wishing he would show a bit more of his range in recent years instead of taking easy roles (and, yes, Jack Sparrow is fun but this is not challenging work for the movie star). And the mediocre reviews caused a bit of dread when the Blu-ray showed up on my desk. So, consider it faint praise when I tell you that “On Stranger Tides” is, well, okay.
HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 5 Blu-Ray, DVD Combo Packs of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’Submitted by HollywoodChicago.com on October 11, 2011 - 10:22pm
CHICAGO – In our latest blockbuster edition of the HollywoodChicago.com Hookup, we have 5 Blu-ray and DVD combo packs up for grabs to the highly anticipated home release of “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”!
CHICAGO – A new photo from the set of the upcoming film “Snow White and the Huntsman” was released today, giving an inside look at Kristen Stewart in a full body armor suit. After years of “Twilight” work, Stewart looks to be taking on a much darker role as the new Snow White.
CHICAGO – It’s easy to remember that the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series is on its fourth formulaic film, but harder to remember that it’s based on a freaking amusement park ride! Director Rob Marshall livens it up with “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.”
CHICAGO – Some films invite instant parodies before they’re even released. Jodie Foster’s ill-advised Mel Gibson vehicle, “The Beaver,” is one of them. Christian Alvart’s long-buried Renée Zellweger vehicle “Case 39” is another. The film’s tagline reads, “Some cases should never be reopened,” which inspires the obvious (and defensible) retort, “Some films should never be released.”
CHICAGO – Ken Follett’s “The Pillars of the Earth” is in the great tradition of old-fashioned adventure serials. The line between good and evil is clearly drawn and there is little doubt which side of the line each character belongs. This story is a battle between heart and hierarchy, nobility and debauchery, light and darkness. It’s fraught with clichés, melodramatic in the extreme, and entertaining as hell.