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 – Critics and viewers fell in rapturous adoration of the legend of The Dark Knight when Christopher Nolan and his team took the risk of making character-driven superhero movies. To kick off the second phase of the Marvel Universe of films with this weekend’s “Iron Man 3,” Shane Black and the team behind this guaranteed blockbuster have done the same – presenting us with the most human Marvel flick since “Spider-Man 2.”
CHICAGO – A sneak peek has hit the web for “The Avengers” advertisement that will premiere during the Super Bowl this Sunday and gives more looks of action, explosions, Iron Man in flight, and a screaming Hulk. “The Avengers” is just one of many films that will be putting out a new advertisement during the biggest football game of the year on Sunday.
CHICAGO – J.C. Chandor’s CFCA-nominated “Margin Call” is the kind of film that makes me concerned about the lack of mainstream audience for adult drama. There’s no reason at all that this excellent drama with several major actors shouldn’t have found a much-larger audience. Lionsgate needs to go back to the drawing board and figure out what’s going on with their marketing and promotions since it’s total nonsense that a critically-acclaimed work like this and their even-better “Warrior” both flopped at the box office. “Warrior” was at least given a chance. “Margin Call” never went beyond 199 screens. So you probably haven’t seen it. You should.
CHICAGO – “Priest,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, is one of those films which suffers greatly by comparison to the works that clearly inspired it. On the level of character and storytelling, this thing is a derivative mess. You’ll never once give a damn about anything that’s happening, especially when the action slows down and the paper-thin dialogue kicks in. On the other hand, the film is surprisingly stylish and has a visual aesthetic that’s greatly enhanced by Blu-ray. It looks great on the surface. Just don’t examine it too closely.
CHICAGO – When “The Tourist,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, was released theatrically, it was dealt a pretty brutal blow by critics and most assumed it would be relatively forgotten before long, but the Hollywood Foreign Press Association gave the film its true place in history when they nominated it for three awards, including Best Picture, Actor, and Actress after a particularly suspicious amount of lobbying by Sony.
CHICAGO – Though you probably don’t know his name, Christopher McQuarrie’s involvement might sell you on paying to see “The Tourist” even more than “A”-list stars Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp.
CHICAGO – It’s hard to say what about “Legion” is the film’s worst offense: some of the most laughable dialogue of the year, mediocre special effects, uninteresting characters, or truly bad performances. Yes, “Legion” is a head-scratchingly horrible movie. Take your pick. It’s all wrong.
CHICAGO – One of the functions of royalty seems to be an expected adoration from the peasants. Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend and Paul Bettany offer their interpretation on a monarch’s origins with “The Young Victoria.”
CHICAGO – Iain Softley’s “Inkheart” is about a man who can literally read characters into existence. They pop off the page and into reality. Sadly, the film that tells his story is shockingly dull and inert, a movie that is about stimulating a young reader’s imagination but is too boring to keep their attention.