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 really wish “Terra Nova” had worked. I not only wanted to like it more myself but it’s the kind of unique program that I wanted audiences to hook on to so its creators could iron out the problems and deliver true sci-fi greatness on network TV. Sadly, it wasn’t meant to be, and “Terra Nova: The Complete Series” merely serves as a bittersweet reminder of what could have been.
CHICAGO – There were a disturbing number of remakes in 2011 that failed to justify their existence, including “The Thing,” “Footloose,” and, perhaps worst of all, Marcus Nispel’s “Conan the Barbarian.” The man behind the equally worthless remakes of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Friday the 13th” has carved out his own niche of dubious filmmaking decisions that make the original look like a masterpiece in comparison. The first “Conan” worked almost entirely because of the star power brought to it by Ah-nuld. The words star power and Jason Momoa have never been used together in a sentence before now.
CHICAGO – Highly anticipated and produced in part by Steven Spielberg, “Terra Nova” gets a choppy start, but has enough fascinating elements and is promising enough to earn future viewing. The two hour premiere is Monday, September 26th on FOX.
CHICAGO – Sword and sandal epics are almost expected to have wooden acting and absurd dialogue. The new film “Conan the Barbarian” meets those expectations, and doesn’t offer any action or originality to counteract the anticipated flaws.
CHICAGO – In our latest 3D action/adventure edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 40 admit-two passes up for grabs to the advance Chicago screening of “Conan the Barbarian” in 3D with Jason Momoa!
CHICAGO – In April, Fox released one of the best Blu-rays of the year for James Cameron’s “Avatar,” an edition that proved that the film would still work even without the theatrical benefits of 3D or IMAX. It was one of the most impressive-looking HD releases in history but the lack of special features made clear that a double dip was on its way. Seven months later, Fox unveils the “Avatar: Extended Collector’s Edition” and it is simply amazing.
CHICAGO – When “Avatar” played in theaters, many viewers wondered how it would look at home without the benefit of 3D or IMAX to help propel the awe of the experience. The recently-released Blu-ray should settle any arguments.