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.
After the riches that was last week's bounty of Friday the 13th-related titles, this week offers a distinct lack of interesting releases. Don't get me wrong, there are movies to check out, it is the volume that is down. And yes, I do recognize how strange it is to go from last week's pick of the Friday the 13th restart to this week's significantly lighter content; just recognize I am a man of varied tastes, willing to give all sorts of movies a shot.
Confessions of a Shopaholic (also Blu-ray). As for this week's pick, Confessions of a Shopaholic is a delightful movie that works well on a couple of fronts. On one hand, the movie is a great showcase for Isla Fisher's comedic skills. She is as funny as she is adorable, and displays a good sense of timing and a willingness to go the distance for the joke. On the other hand, it touched me as a writer as the central character is a writer and there is a little examination of finding yourself as a writer and connecting with an audience.
At the center of our story is Rebecca Bloomwood (Isla Fisher with a suitably upscale and elitist fashionista name for the role), a woman with a love for all things fashionable and a hopeless addiction to the absolute joys of shopping. Rebecca is an up and coming journalist looking to land a job at a prestigious fashion magazine, while suffering through a writing gig with a gardening mag. All is going well until the latest round of bills arrives, coinciding with the loss of her job. From that setup, the film launches into its fish out of water style comedy.
Inkheart (also Blu-ray). Inkheart is a good story that speaks to the power of the written word and wants to encourage the discovery of the secrets contained with the covers of countless books. It also speaks to the strong pull and need for family. Sadly, somewhere in the adaptation process direction was lost and the path went away from character and towards the plot. If all you want is a story, this is the movie for you. It is serviceable, fantasy-spiced adventure with a good supporting cast performance and a positive message in favor of reading (ironic, no?). If only the script took the next step, this could have been really special. That said, it is worth a rental; perhaps you will find it has a stronger pull for you.
Pink Panther 2 (also Blu-ray). The first movie was absolutely atrocious. It was so bad I felt I could safely skip the sequel, which looked equally bad. As much as I like some of the performers in the movie, I could not bring myself to put down the money for this. If you can't guess, I have not seen this, but thought I should mention it as I am sure there are interested parties who will want to know it is available. Beyond knowing that Steve Martin, Jean Reno, and John Cleese are in the cast, I could really care less about this movie.
Waltz with Bashir (also Blu-ray). Here is another movie I have not seen. The difference is that I want to see this one. It is a documentary about the 1982 invasion of Lebanon. What makes this different is that this is told in animated fashion. Aside from that, I have not read much about the film and look forward to checking it out.
Tom & Jerry: The Chuck Jones Collection. Cartoons with this dynamic duo have never failed to entertain me. I remember watching them on Saturday mornings as I grew up, loving every moment. This collection centers on the Chuck Jones era of the 1940s and 1950s. Considering the legendary status of Jones, this collection should be well worth checking out.