Welcome back! Well, to some of you, anyway. To the rest of you, glad you decided to stop by and I hope this humble column helps you navigate the stacks of new releases each week. My goal is to point you toward titles of interest and warn you away from those films that seek to do nothing but leech away your time and give you nothing in return.
Full disclosure: I have not seen many of these titles, and what follows are not necessarily reviews, but opinions based upon what I know of the titles I pluck from the new release lists I peruse. The opinions I give based on the new releases are my own, and my recommendations are based on my personal interest. In any case, I hope you enjoy and perhaps find something you like or a title to point me towards.
Black Dynamite (also Blu-ray). I missed this on the big screen but was able to catch up with it recently. The film is an absolute blast. It is an homage and a spoof of the blaxploitation films of the '70s. It is pitch perfect and knows just how to push the boundaries. Michael Jai White stars as the title character and also co-wrote the script. He plays the entire thing straight and it is fantastic. The story tells of Black Dynamite and his quest to stop the drug dealers who killed his kid brother. Of course the story goes well beyond the drug dealer and unveils a much larger conspiracy. You simply have to see this one.
Law Abiding Citizen (also Blu-ray). The movie is a battle of wits between two intelligent men that puts up a front of intelligence while not actually being intelligent at all. Law Abiding Citizen is the equivalent of putting a fancy paint job on a Pinto — sure, it may look pretty, but it's still a Pinto. It will get you where you want to go, but you are always in danger of spontaneously exploding. Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx do a good job of sparring over the finer points of right and wrong while the body count rises.
Halo: Legends (also Blu-ray). This is a collection of animated shorts that help expand the Halo universe. I love the game, but have not seen any of these shorts yet. Is it worth picking up?
Clint Eastwood: 35 Films, 35 Years. A box set spanning Eastwood's career at Warner Brothers. It certainly has produced a number of strong films. This box includes the Dirty Harry films (which are also available in a separate set this week), Pale Rider, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Firefox, Pink Cadillac, A Perfect World, Blood Work, Unforgiven, and Gran Torino. Quite the impressive box.
Coco Before Chanel (also Blu-ray). Audrey Tautou stars as Coco in a story that focuses on her rise from obscurity to fame. I have heard mixed word about the film and cannot say I have a great desire to see it, but I do like Audrey Tautou.
Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever. I cannot believe this will be any good and considering the mixed reception the first got, I wonder if it was really necessary. That said, I will give it a shot. I liked the first one and while I know that Eli Roth was not involved in this one, I can hope for something entertaining, right? I did see a clip where one of the kids has his arm cut off with a table saw. That was kind of cool.
Cabin Fever (Blu-ray). The Roth horror/comedy is always entertaining; from the leg shaving scene to the kid shouting "Pancakes!" it is hard not to enjoy it. Well, for me anyway. The homage to the Evil Dead-style films of the '80s works perfectly well. The film arrives in its uncut/director's cut form on Blu-ray. Should look good!