This week, we’re getting back to basics here in the column. Yes, it’s one of those decently average to slightly above average days for Blu-Ray/DVD releases that we used to have oh so frequently around these parts. Lately, it seems that all the good films are coming out in clumps, leaving us with multiple weeks of very little hitting shelves, but this is one of those slates that’s very respectable, if not at all spectacular. My top pick this week was between a visually stimulating movie that slightly underwhelmed me and a tiny indie that I liked but didn’t feel particularly strongly about. Not exactly a phenomenal choice, but both are better than a certain title out today as well, one that’s easily the worst film of 2013 so far. I’ll tear that flick down a little bit more later, but for my PICK OF THE WEEK I opted to go with the English language debut of a heralded foreign filmmaker. That should be a good hint for many of you, but if you’re in the dark, you won’t have to wait long for all to be revealed. Until then, it’s time now for my Vintage pick!
In honor of this week’s release of World War Z, I wanted to cite one of the better modern zombie movies out there. I briefly considered a few other things, but ultimately I went with 28 Days Later. Danny Boyle is more than a little responsible for the fast zombies populating the genre today, but more so than that Boyle just delivered a nifty little horror flick that strongly holds up upon repeat viewing. I even liked the more problematic sequel and still hope that it eventually becomes a trilogy, but this is the one that started the trend, so if you like the walking dead (no pun intended, as those are still slow zombies on that show), this is a film to take a look at this week, especially with Brad Pitt about to fight hordes of them on the big screen over the weekend…
Here’s what I chose as my runner up selection this week:
One of a seemingly endless supply of films last year involving Alex Karpovsky, this Woody Allen-ish indie comedy is actually the rare one he didn’t write or direct. He simply stars in this quiet yet amusing look at movie editors and the struggles they go through, both personally and professionally. It didn’t bowl me over, but as I mentioned in my review here, it’s charming enough and something worth checking out.
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $4,917
Major Awards: None
Other Films Being Released
21 and Over
Very much a version of The Hangover simply set at college, this comedy didn’t very little for me, but it did hint at what Miles Teller can do. He’s tons better in the upcoming dramedy The Spectacular Now, but if you’re starved for a laugh I suppose you can try this one on for size. Just don’t expect much, as I said here in my initial review.
Box Office: $25,682,380
A tiny horror movie that got such a small release there’s not even any box office numbers available for it. I have no idea what to say about this one, so give it a look if you’re feeling adventurous I suppose?
Box Office: N/A
I had actually wanted to see this odd little flick, since it seems like almost an indie take on The Box. I also enjoy Michael Angarano, so that was another reason it was on my radar. I hope to see it soon, but for now you’ll just have to go with your gut in regard to whether you give it a chance or not…
Box Office: $6,997
The Last Exorcism: Part II
Though I was a bigger fan of the first movie in this now franchise (an oddly titled one, at that) than most, I never made it to a screening of this flick. I really liked Ashley Bell’s work in Part 1, so I can only hope she’s half as good here. This seemed like a simple money grab, so if you check it out, keep your expectations in check.
Box Office: $15,179,302
Jack the Giant Slayer
I didn’t particularly dislike this film in any way, but it did very little for me at the same time, so I suppose it’s just the height of mediocrity for me. I know some folks enjoyed it, so if you’re among them, feel free to pick it up and have fun with it for a second time…
Box Office: $65,187,603
By now you must all know my thoughts on this sin against cinema, but besides advising you to simply re-read my half star review here, I’ll quote myself in regard to just how bad this “comedy” actually is: “Movie 43 has convinced me that either there is no god (since nothing this bad should ever be allowed) or that there must be one and that this is some sort of punishment. I just can’t decide which”. I stand by my claim that it’s among the worst films ever made. Yuck.
Box Office: $8,840,453
At one point pegged last year as a potential Oscar contender, Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut just kind of came and went without leaving its mark in terms of the awards race. It seems destined to play better at home anyway, so if you’re looking for something more prestige-y this week, I think this could be a solid selection to make…
Box Office: $18,336,156
Besides a gimmick involving placing the actors into photographs from the time period, I’m not sure what the point was for this flick. Even those who didn’t care for Steven Spielberg’s take on the former President will still likely to opt for that interpretation over this one, right?
Box Office: N/A
Body of Proof: The Complete Third Season
Drop Dead Diva: The Complete Fourth Season
Fraggle Rock: The Complete Fourth Season
Growing Pains: The Complete Third Season
PICK OF THE WEEK
The first film in English from director Park Chan-wook is a visually impressive yet emotional hollow experience. At times the direction overshadowed the work, which includes some fine performances from Matthew Goode, Nicole Kidman, and Mia Wasikowska, but it does help to keep the movie from ever being boring. I found it to be an interesting misfire, but one interesting enough to recommend to you all. I’m personally going to be revisiting it soon, so perhaps we can all do it together and see what we all think? In terms of Hitchcock type works, I preferred Side Effects, but this one is hardly bad.
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $1,703,125
Major Award: None yet, and don’t expect much to come its way…
–What will you be watching this week? Discuss in the comments!