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 – Sam Raimi’s “Oz the Great and Powerful” starts so promisingly. The full-frame black-and-white scenes that open the film have a clever charm as they introduce us to the title character (James Franco) and whisk him off to the legendary land of witches and talking scarecrows. And that scene where the film expands as he reaches his fantasy land is a beauty.
CHICAGO – “Oz the Great and Powerful” is a great and powerful visual and 3D experience. It expands the landscape of what cinema can produce in a visceral and evolutionary way. But a great film also needs a great story, and this Land of Oz tale is not equivalent to the awe-inspiring imagery.
CHICAGO – “Take This Waltz” is one of my most personally divisive films of the year. What I mean is that for every element of the movie that I truly adore, there’s one that I loathe. In the former category, there’s Michelle Williams’ striking performance and director Sarah Polley’s eye for color. In the latter category, there’s Polley’s script, one that simply never resonates as truthful and carries some of the worst dialogue of the year. There are elements here that work but every one is balanced by something that drives me crazy.
CHICAGO – Sarah Polley’s “Take This Waltz” both illustrates its director’s uniquely confident vision as a filmmaker and her room to grow as a screenwriter. Despite the best efforts from a very talented cast led by a fearless performance from Michelle Williams, Polley’s film is frustrating in its inability to reflect the real world.
HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 50 Pairs of Passes to ‘Take This Waltz’ With Michelle Williams, Seth RogenSubmitted by HollywoodChicago.com on June 21, 2012 - 10:39pm
CHICAGO – Last year’s slate of Best Actress Oscar-nominees was among the weakest in recent memory. There was no clear front-runner since there was no picture worthy of the exemplary actress at its core. From Meryl Streep in “The Iron Lady” to Glenn Close in “Albert Nobbs,” 2011 deserves to be remembered as the year of great female performances trapped in subpar material.
CHICAGO – This 26-image slideshow contains a selection of ABC-provided red carpet arrival images from the 84th Annual Academy Awards, which were handed out on February 26th, 2012 on ABC. Celebrities featured include Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Nick Nolte, Shailene Woodley, Rooney Mara, Michelle Williams, Meryl Streep, Berenice Bejo, Natalie Portman, Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Lopez, and many more.
CHICAGO – This 37-image slideshow contains a selection of NBC-provided images from the 69th Annual Golden Globes, which were handed out on January 15th, 2012 on NBC. Celebrities featured include Ricky Gervais, Laura Dern, Michelle Williams, Kate Beckinsale, Meryl Streep, Claire Danes, Jean Dujardin, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Emily Blunt, Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Madonna, Peter Dinklage, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, and many more.
CHICAGO – Award season is definitely in full swing and nominations for ceremonies are just starting to be released. For the fan of the indie film, today is a very significant date: the release of the nominations for the 27th Film Independent Spirit Awards.
CHICAGO – Bringing the popular culture past back to life in a movie is always a tricky proposition. No matter what, there are always inevitable comparisons to the real thing.