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 – I had notable problems with “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” when it premiered in theaters but they were softened a bit when I saw it on Blu-ray and not in 3D nor 48 frames per second, two effects that I believe actually hurt the world designed by Peter Jackson in these films in that they make it look less artistic and faker than the standard HD image. Now I’m here to flop back again to the disappointed side with the extended edition of the film, one that runs WAY too long for a flick that was already too short.
CHICAGO – Can we end this 48fps nonsense now? Having seen “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” in 3D/48fps, I found the film artificial and boring. At home, in traditional, flat HD, the movie works so much better.
CHICAGO – The story of the West Memphis Three is not over. Yes, Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley are finally, mercifully, out of jail but questions still linger about who really killed three children two decades ago. And Echols has to deal with life outside of prison with his wife Lorri Davis as the whole world is new to him and thousands are so grateful for his release.
CHICAGO – Twice as many frames per second and another dimension only serve to amplify the notable flaws of Peter Jackson’s truly disappointing “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” a bloated, dull mess of a film that meanders when it should move and stumbles when it should run.
CHICAGO – The talented New Zealand actor named Karl Urban has had a pretty decent run in some recent blockbusters – does the “Lord of the Rings” Trilogy and “Star Trek” ring a bell? He breaks out in the title role of the upcoming action flick “Dredd 3D,” portraying legendary comic book character Judge Dredd.
CHICAGO – Some Blu-ray re-releases are more essential than others. Often they add special features, remaster the video and/or audio, or offer previews of new films that might be related. There’s little of any of that with the new, repackaged, stand-alone Blu-ray versions of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, three releases that are simply must-own…unless you already own them.
CHICAGO — Warner Bros. Pictures geared up for the release of Peter Jackson’s upcoming epic “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” by screening 10 minutes of never-before-seen footage at CinemaCon, the official convention of the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) according to a studio press release. Ian McKellan, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom and Elijah Wood return to reprise their roles as seen in the trilogy “The Lord of the Rings”, the sequel to J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit”.
CHICAGO – Being a Steven Spielberg super-fan, I looked forward to being able to re-appreciate “The Adventures of Tintin” with a beautiful HD picture and, I hoped, some special features to enhance my opinion of a film that I found pretty seriously flawed in theaters. Well, the HD transfer is a beauty — the film looks just as good as its 3D theatrical presentation — but the film is still flawed and the special features are lackluster. In theaters, it was a near-miss and my opinion has not changed on Blu-ray.
CHICAGO – The exciting trailers for next year’s blockbusters just keep coming. Only a few days after “The Dark Knight Rises” had its first full length trailer released, Peter Jackson’s long awaited prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy finally has a trailer.
CHICAGO – A few times every year, a box set comes into our office that simply feels beyond review. What is there to say about something as notable as the “Alien Quadrilogy” with its five days worth of special features or the gorgeous set for the “Back to the Future” movies? They’re must-owns that are beyond any minor criticism. Such is also the case with Warner Bros.’ recently-released set for the extended editions of Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” films. If you own a Blu-ray player, it’s incomplete without this box set. It’s that simple.