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 – Alexander Payne’s “The Descendants” was one of my favorite films of 2011 and, no, nothing has changed in the last 12 weeks. The window between theatrical release and Blu-ray has become so small that there’s not even time really to allow a film to age or change between a film review and a Blu-ray review. “The Descendants” was great a few months ago. And it’s still great.
CHICAGO – There’s “potential” all over FOX’s highly-anticipated “Alcatraz,” debuting tonight, January 16th, 2012 with two back-to-back episodes. A great cast, strong production pedigree, interesting concept — so why are both of the first two episodes so forgettable? Why is this show more “meh” than amazing?
CHICAGO – If one looks solely at the central male characters, it can seem remarkably easy to classify Alexander Payne’s movies under the subgenre heading of “mid-life crisis comedies”: Jim McAllister (“Election”), Warren Schmidt (“About Schmidt”), Miles (“Sideways”), and now the memorable protagonist of his stellar new dramedy “The Descendants,” Matt King.
CHICAGO – I’m old enough dear readers to vividly remember Quentin Tarantino’s premiere with “Reservoir Dogs” and then how much he took the world by storm with “Pulp Fiction,” a common choice for the best film of the ’90s. At the time, “Jackie Brown” seemed like a disappointment by comparison (how could it not?), but it is now widely respected and even beloved. These aren’t just good movies — they’re classics of their time. What more do you want from a pair of Blu-rays?
CHICAGO – There was a day not that long ago when it felt like Nick Stahl was the next rising star. He delivered nuanced performances in films and on HBO’s “Carnivale” that led one to believe there was potential for stardom. “The Thin Red Line,” “In the Bedroom,” “Bully” — he was going somewhere in the early ’00s, but he was derailed into basically nothing but straight-to-video junk like “Mirrors 2” since 2005’s “Sin City.”
CHICAGO – “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” is the cinematic blending of two familiar formulas: the “love, lose and then love again” framework of most romantic comedies with the idea of transforming ghosts from the classic “A Christmas Carol”.
CHICAGO – This 29-image slideshow contains the official images from Warner Brothers’ “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past,” starring Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Michael Douglas, Emma Stone, Breckin Meyer, Lacey Chabert, Robert Forster, and Anne Archer. The film, directed by Mark Waters, opens on May 1st, 2009.