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 – Was “Toy Story 3” the last great Pixar production? With the modest critical reaction to “Cars 2,” “Brave,” and “Monsters University,” it seems an entirely defensible position to take. In fact, one could easily argue that “Small Fry,” the “Toy Story” short that premiered with “The Muppets,” and “Partysaurus Rex,” which played with “Finding Nemo 3D,” should be considered higher on the Pixar hierarchy than “Cars 2” and maybe even “Brave.”
CHICAGO – Captain Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks) leaves his wife Andrea (Catherine Keener) for yet another journey captaining a cargo ship off the coast of Africa. Shortly thereafter, a Somali boy named Muse (Barkhad Abdi) heads into the same waters on a collision course with the Maersk Alabama.
CHICAGO – There’s a large part of me that wants to wholeheartedly recommend and embrace “Cloud Atlas” for two reasons. One, it’s based on arguably the best book of the millennium so far, David Mitchell’s stunning masterpiece. And if more people see the movie, more are likely to read a book that everyone should experience.
CHICAGO – We’ve officially entered the summer movie season, which means that any true film fan has already set their sights on the fall. While, sure, we’re jazzed to see “Star Trek Into Darkness” and “Hangover Part III,” they’re now SO close to finally being released that it’s almost not worth speculating about them anymore.
CHICAGO – Not all great works of literature make great works of film. David Mitchell’s “Cloud Atlas” is a masterpiece but Tom Tykwer, Andy & Lana Wachowksi’s “Cloud Atlas” is definitely not. It is an ambitious work with many of Mitchell’s fascinating ideas about the ripple effect of emotion through time left intact but it is a work that frustrates as often as it thrills.
CHICAGO – So there I was at a packed awards consideration screening for Stephen Daldry’s latest prestige-filled tearjerker. Though a few of my fellow colleagues were grumbling about the grim task of sitting through more Daldry Oscar bait, my heart was filled with goodwill. I loved Daldry’s feature debut, “Billy Elliot,” and had plenty of favorable things to say about “The Hours” and “The Reader.”
CHICAGO – The September 11th tragedy is still percolating through the cinematic filter, and there is a well intentioned thread throughout the various interpretations.
HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 50 Pairs of Passes to ‘Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close’ With Tom HanksSubmitted by HollywoodChicago.com on January 13, 2012 - 12:31am
CHICAGO – In our latest drama edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 50 admit-two movie passes up for grabs to the highly anticipated new film “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” starring Tom Hanks!
CHICAGO – “Larry Crowne” is a would-be crowd-pleaser that’s filled to the brim with chipper laughter. It’s the sort of laughter often heard on morning news programs, where overpaid anchors giggle and quip while laughing all the way to the bank. Yet very little of “Crowne’”s onscreen gaiety transfers to the bored, mildly annoyed audiences paying to sit through the self-congratulatory drivel.
CHICAGO – One of the most beloved holiday gifts this season will be the wonderfully-packaged gift set for HBO’s “Band of Brothers” and “The Pacific,” now presented in one lovely case with new special features and stunning HD transfers. The two Steven Spielberg-produced mini-series are not only two of the best programs in the history of television but two of the most impressive Blu-ray sets as well. “Band of Brothers” is the #1 best-selling TV-on-DVD/Blu-ray of all time and “The Pacific” was the #1 best-selling release of 2010. Now they’re available together in time for both Veteran’s Day and the upcoming holiday season.