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 doesn’t sound like a particularly bad idea. In exploring the globe-trotting adventures of author Ernest Hemingway and war correspondent Martha Gellhorn, why not use archival footage of the actual sights and sounds that they encountered, while nesting the actors into the frame, a la “Forrest Gump”? I didn’t think it was a bad idea at all until roughly three minutes into the movie.
CHICAGO – There is cause and effect in life, and there are times when random acts of circumstance rinses it all away. Those emotions are realized in the strange yet compelling composition of the new film “Stoker,” featuring Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, and Matthew Goode.
CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 50 pairs of movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of the new psychological thriller “Stoker” starring Nicole Kidman!
CHICAGO – Some have embraced Lee Daniels’ super-weird “The Paperboy,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, as pure pulp entertainment, the kind of sexy, sweaty, ridiculous B-movie that they don’t make enough of any more. Others have called it absolute trash with The Onion A.V. Club going as far as to name it the worst movie of the year. I’m much closer to The Onion in this case. As hard as I tried to get on the wavelength of this film’s growing cult movie reputation, I couldn’t shake the fact that it’s just a piece of junk.
CHICAGO – With all the steamy heat, and the thick, gluey southern accents from mostly non-southern actors, the audience for “The Paperboy” might need to wear lawyer-like suspenders and flap a funeral home fan to take it all in. The sweaty new film features Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey and John Cusack, all chewing the scenery.
CHICAGO – It pains me to say this — HBO’s “Hemingway & Gellhorn” is a complete mess, a film littered with awful directorial decisions, built on a misguided screenplay, and featuring performances that range from mediocre to downright horrendous. I’m as big a cheerleader for HBO and their line of original films as you’re likely to find but this is one of the worst.
CHICAGO – What’s an inevitability when a company like Lionsgate gets access to a film archive like that of Miramax (besides the wonderful wave of Blu-ray reissues that has seen recent HD releases of “Amelie,” “Shakespeare in Love,” “Swingers,” and more)? DVD collections! Three of today’s biggest stars, all three Oscar winners, are getting the 4-film collection treatment from the company this week with some definite fan favorites in each set. Pick your favorite.
CHICAGO – There have been a series of catalog releases so far this year (releases that aren’t exactly new but weren’t available in HD before) and there are many exciting ones still to come (Universal has an amazing slate of releases scheduled throughout the year). 2012 is going to be the year in which you complete your collection. You may want to include one of the three recently-released Lionsgate/Miramax movies to celebrate Oscar season. These were some of the Academy’s most beloved.
CHICAGO – Few Oscar-winning actors have made as many bad movies as Nicolas Cage. His cinematic bombs have become so numerous that one could easily mistake him for a bad actor. Yet that is hardly the case. In fact, his vast number of outrageous gambles outweighs his list of easy paychecks. He’s a performer clearly unafraid of falling flat on his face.
CHICAGO – Joel Schumacher’s “Trespass” represents a new low for the often divisive and (lately) horrendous director of such gems as “The Number 23,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Bad Company,” “8MM,” “Batman & Robin,” and “Batman Forever.”