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 – What is the remedy for the holiday blues? How about a dose of “Liza with a ‘Z’!” The sparkling and funny “We Three Lizas” is back for the holiday season from About Face Theatre of Chicago, just in time for the lights and tinsel. Danielle Plisz, Mark David Kaplan and Bethany Thomas play the three title Liza Minellis, with a deft direction by Scott Ferguson.
CHICAGO – It’s easy to see why “Cabaret” was such a phenomenon when it was released in 1972. The film not only tackles issues of sexuality that the musical genre had largely ignored up to that point, it features the kind of evocative visual compositions and performances not often seen in the genre. It is a “serious musical.”
CHICAGO – Critics were pretty hard on the remake of “Arthur” starring Russell Brand, Helen Mirren, Jennifer Garner, and Greta Gerwig (including our very own Patrick McDonald, who gave the film 2 stars out of five) and the film relatively bombed at the box office, opening in 2nd place to “Hop” and making only $12.7 million in its first frame with a lower per-screen average than “Hanna” or “Soul Surfer.” Now you can compare the new version to the award-winning original and its dreadful sequel in a 2-movie collection, now on Blu-ray.
CHICAGO – Those of you longing for a film version of “The Sopranos,” “Friends,” or “24” (all of which have been rumored at some point or another), should look no further than “Sex and the City 2,” which was recently released on Blu-Ray and DVD, for a cautionary tale. HBO’s “Sex and the City” was a fantastic comedy but both films based on it have been disastrous. Their only value is for filmmakers to learn what not to do with a creative property.