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 – Jonathan Levine is quickly ascending lists of the more interesting young directors out there with “The Wackness,” “50/50,” “All the Boys Love Mandy Lane,” and the very original “Warm Bodies,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD. Merging Shakespeare’s “Romeo & Juliet” with the zombie genre, “Warm Bodies” draws clever performances from its entire cast and offers a unique take on what could seem overly familiar at first. The film’s pace is sometimes not quite urgent enough and Levine hits a lot of the same beats repetitively but this a remarkably enjoyable flick, perhaps the sole occupant of the “zombie rom-com” genre.
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 – For the one millionth time in movie history, zombies walk among us in “Warm Bodies.” But this isn’t an ordinary entry in the undead genre, this has a load of romance, symbolism and John Malkovich. “It” couple Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer give a whole new meaning to going steady.
CHICAGO – With the popularity of TV’s “The Walking Dead,” and just the whole trend of faux zombie gatherings in social culture, the undead have never been more popular. A distinct twist on the concept is found in “Warm Bodies,” starring Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer, portraying two very unlikely lovers, alive or undead.
CHICAGO – Due to popular demand, we have a second HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology for the new zombie film “Warm Bodies” with John Malkovich!
CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 40 pairs of movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of the new zombie epidemic film “Warm Bodies” with John Malkovich!
CHICAGO – In many ways, “X-Men: First Class” is the most loyal film yet to the Marvel aesthetic in the way director Matthew Vaughn and the film’s multiple screenwriters capture the tone, spirit, and themes of one of the most legendary comic books of all time. It is a spectacular mix of great performances, well-choreographed action, and cleverly-revised history. It is crowd-pleasing to action fans and yet intellectually complex at the same time. It is what more producers of superhero movies should strive to accomplish and it deserves mention with the best of the genre (“Spider-Man 2,” “X-Men,” and even “The Dark Knight”).
CHICAGO – Matthew Vaughn rights the ship of mediocre superhero movies with the incredibly accomplished “X-Men: First Class,” the best Marvel Movie since “Spider-Man 2” and a film that proves that big blockbuster summer entertainment can be both commercially crowd-pleasing and intellectually complex at the same time.
CHICAGO – I wonder if more people had seen Colin Firth’s incredible performance in “A Single Man” if he wouldn’t have been considered more of a frontrunner at last year’s Academy Awards. Easily one of the best male performances of last year (along with Jeremy Renner in “The Hurt Locker” and Jeff Bridges in “Crazy Heart), Firth’s work here is revelatory, displaying depth heretofore only hinted at by this already underrated actor.