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 – It’s a weird week at the video store (do they still have those?) or in the New Releases section of your favorite Video On Demand service. There’s some real junk that we’ll get to (“The Internship”) along with some flicks that are just too good not to break out into their own special Blu-ray reviews (“Before Midnight,” “The Conjuring” — both must-sees). And then there’s a unique array of catalog releases and TV seasons. Those could easily fall through the cracks if not for the informative What to Watch. All of these are new to Blu-ray, some for the first time and some in anniversary/special editions. At least one will grab your attention.
CHICAGO – “Mirror Mirror” reimagines the tale of Snow White as one of dictatorial corruption and the little David taking down the big Goliath. It’s an interesting way to interpret the material and made more so by Tarsem Singh’s incredibly strong visual eye. Small problem — while he’s a visual master, he’s not a strong storyteller and “Mirror Mirror” needed a more capable narrative thread.
Blu-ray Review: Universal 100th Anniversary Titles ‘Erin Brockovich,’ ‘Smokey and the Bandit,’ ‘The Sting’Submitted by BrianTT on June 6, 2012 - 9:59am
CHICAGO – Universal has slowly but consistently been releasing an amazing collection of Blu-ray combo packs (BD, DVD, and Digital Copy) throughout 2012. Spanning the entire catalog of this 100-year-old company, movies like “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “The Deer Hunter,” and “All Quiet on the Western Front” have been given lavish, restored treatments and “E.T.” and “Jaws” will come later in the year. By the time it’s done, this will be one of the most important waves of Blu-ray releases in the history of the form. This week’s inclusions feature two Oscar winners and one true ’70s phenomenon.
CHICAGO – Since I know I’m the fairest of them all, I won’t focus on the symbolic impressions of ‘Mirror Mirror.’ This is the Snow White legend based on the original story by the Brothers Grimm, and includes Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, Armie Hammer and Nathan Lane in its cast.
CHICAGO – In the middle of an Oscar race where their film “The Artist” is favored to win the top prize, The Weinstein Company announced news about a future film today. Co-Chairmen Harvey and Bob Weinstein announced two big names that they have signed for one of their next films: Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts.
CHICAGO – “Larry Crowne” is a would-be crowd-pleaser that’s filled to the brim with chipper laughter. It’s the sort of laughter often heard on morning news programs, where overpaid anchors giggle and quip while laughing all the way to the bank. Yet very little of “Crowne’”s onscreen gaiety transfers to the bored, mildly annoyed audiences paying to sit through the self-congratulatory drivel.
CHICAGO – It’s always risky for a screenwriter to craft a film about a family of writers in that when the result is a script so generically awful as that for “Fireflies in the Garden” it’s going to stick out even more prominently. After sitting on the shelf for years (it played festivals in 2008 and was supposed to be released that year) and reportedly undergoing some reshoots, this stale drama is finally getting a limited release and will prove just how limited it is to the poor saps who pay to see it.
CHICAGO – Movie stars need certain types of films to keep their star power safe and audiences expect certain things from them, with limitations, to create summer movie comfort. Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts fill the bill in “Larry Crowne.”
HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 25 Pairs of Chicago Passes to ‘Larry Crowne’ With Tom Hanks, Julia RobertsSubmitted by HollywoodChicago.com on June 24, 2011 - 11:27am
CHICAGO – In our latest dramedy/romance edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 25 admit-two passes up for grabs to the advance Chicago screening of the new film “Larry Crowne” with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts from co-writer, director and star Tom Hanks!
CHICAGO – Despite its flaws, the often-beautiful “Eat Pray Love,” starring Julia Roberts, works because it refuses to talk down to its audience. This is the rare “chick flick” that treats its demographic with respect, never becoming the sentimental or manipulative dreck that so many other filmmakers would have delivered from Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestselling memoirs.