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.
After years in development hell, Spike Lee’s remake of Park Chan-wook’s beloved “Oldboy” is finally here. Does it live up to the high expectations set by the original?
CHICAGO – “I ain’t pawning my responsibility off as a parent and saying she’s in God’s hands.” What a powerful line. The idea that religion has been used as a crutch, an excuse for communities who preach that God will save their young ones when they need to do their part is a passionate and powerful one.
CHICAGO – Spike Lee has been getting national buzz again after the Sundance premiere of his controversial “Red Hook Summer” and the ageless Denzel Washington is back in the spotlight as his latest action vehicle, “Safe House,” premieres in theaters on Friday. It seems a perfect time for a Blu-ray release to bring audiences back to one of their career highlights. Over twenty years ago, the two collaborated on their most artistically rewarding venture, the epic “Malcolm X,” a fantastic film that has held up remarkably well, in no small part due to the excellent HD transfer from Warner Bros.
CHICAGO – Apparently, Spike Lee is upset with Hollywood. And if you didn’t know, he made it loud and clear at a Q&A after the first screening ever of his new film “Red Hook Summer,” which premiered Sunday night at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. The film, which received mixed remarks on Twitter from the audience in attendance, was made by Lee completely independent of a studio.
CHICAGO – If a remake of the 2003 Korean film “Oldboy” didn’t look like it was going to happen, it sure does now. After Spike Lee had signed on to direct the Americanized remake a few weeks ago, just yesterday Empire reported that Josh Brolin has signed on to play the lead character.
CHICAGO – Perhaps no American artist has chronicled a modern disaster with as much passion and meticulous attention to detail as Spike Lee. His 2006 documentary about the struggles of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts,” was television at its most vital, provocative, wrenchingly powerful and resoundingly humanistic.
CHICAGO – In our first IMAX edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: IMAX, we have 50 admit-one passes up for grabs to the Chicago IMAX screening of “Michael Jordan to the MAX”.
CHICAGO – I can still vividly remember seeing Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing”. For a teenager just becoming interested in the world of film, it was life-changing. And it still resonates as one of the best films of the ’80s and a searing commentary on the state of race relations in the big city. The 20th Anniversary Blu-Ray Edition of Lee’s amazing film is a must-own.
Blu-Ray Rating: 1.0/5.0
CHICAGO – There is a great film to be made about the African-American experience during World War II. Spike Lee’s “Miracle at St. Anna” is not that film and the below average Blu-Ray of it should make this once highly-anticipated epic one of the more easily forgettable releases of the month.
CHICAGO – Spike Lee has announced that “Time Traveler” will be his next project. “Time Traveler” will be an adaptation of Ronald Mallett’s memoir. Mallett was one of the first African-Americans to earn a doctorate in theoretical physics.