This week there’s a pretty big slate of movies hitting shelves for your purchasing/viewing pleasure. It’s been a number of weeks since this many films have been recommendation worthy in my eyes. To be fair, none of these blew me away, but there’s lots to like with this grouping, so I’m hardly complaining here. For my PICK OF THE WEEK, I had a hard time making the choice, as 3 top contenders all were about the same in my eyes…good comedies that weren’t outstanding but entertained me. Ultimately, I went with the one that I had the least amount of reservations about. It’s not an amazing work, but I did dig it quite a bit and thought it was better than it had any right to be. It’s:
Friends with Benefits
I was very pleasantly surprised with this romantic comedy, as it had some of the best chemistry between leads in 2011. Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis made a great pairing, and the supporting cast was eclectic and well used. While not on the level of director Will Gluck’s last flick Easy A, it still was a very good time at the movies. It suffered at the box office a bit due to comparisons between it and the similarly themed rom com from earlier in the year No Strings Attached. This is a much edgier, hipper, and ultimately better film, so this is the one to see. It’s ultimately a feel good flick, but the first half is an excellent deconstruction of the romantic comedy genre. Give it a look and DVD and you should enjoy yourself more than a little.
-Also getting a thumbs up from me this week are the comedies 30 Minutes or Less and My Idiot Brother (the other top pick contenders), as well as the interesting but flawed sci-fi drama Another Earth, and the 3D documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams. I liked each of these for what they were, but none of them thrilled me too much. They’re all recommendation worthy, but you’ll know better than I if they work for you or not. I hope they do, but that’s out of my hands…
-The next tear down in terms of the releases this week are the romance One Day, the indie dramedy The Art of Getting By, and the horror comedy Tucker & Dale vs. Evil. All three had issues that kept them from being full on recommendations from me, but they have things to like about them still. I’d say if you think you’ll like them, you will, so take it from there.
-The final also-rans are the action misfire 5 Days of War and the animated dreck The Smurfs. These are just not good flicks at all, so there’s no point in wasting your time with them unless you actively want to. I can’t help that, so feel free to not heed my advice if you so desire.
-My Vintage pick, in honor of this week’s release of Shame, is the last film to go through this type of ratings scrutiny. It’s Blue Valentine, my favorite movie of 2010. Yes, I mention it a lot, but it’s just that damn good. It was originally rated NC-17, and for a moment it seemed like it would be going out as such, but it was an unjust rating and was overturned on appeal. Mostly, this is just an excuse to tell you all to watch the flick again…I’m still bowled over by it, especially the lead performances by Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams. Wow, it still remains a very special work in my eyes.
-What will you be watching on DVD this week? Discuss it on the Forum!