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.
Demonic Toys 2. Thought I would have a little fun with this week's pick and go with something a little less mainstream. Instead of gong popular or Oscar-nominated I went with something a lot lower on the budget scale. I have a soft spot for Charles Band and Full Moon Pictures. They have made a stream of super-low budget movies for decades. Some of them are classics while others are instantly forgettable, still no one made better movies with killer puppets. Also, I have met Charles Band and he is a fun guy with a passion for what he does. This long awaited sequel sees the puppets up to no good in an old castle. The trailer shows some poor CGI, but I am willing to overlook. This could be the perfect holdover until Puppet Master: Axis of Evil arrives.
The Boondock Saints: All Saints Day (also Blu-ray). Yes, the movie is fun and Clifton Collins Jr. is great as the new sidekick to the Saints, but this movie is essentially the same thing as the first one with less story. Fans will like it, I am sure, but do not expect anything great. For that matter, the original does not hold up all that well. There, I said it.
Up in the Air (also Blu-ray). Jason Reitman is fast becoming a great new voice on the big screen. With just three films he has established himself as someone who tells interesting stories and has interesting characters. This is the latest outing for the young filmmaker.This film tells the story if a man whose life choices are challenged on two fronts. He is at a crossroads and things are about to change. It is wonderfully written and acted and deserves your time.
Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire (also Blu-ray). This is a movie that will be talked about for some time. From start to finish it is an incredible experience that plumbs the depths of abuse and the lives it destroys, but still manages to have that thread of hope. Even better is that the hope is born organically from the story and characters and not tacked on for mere emotional payoff. Great filmmaking and well deserving of the praise it has received.
Old Dogs (also Blu-ray). I passed this up on the big screen and will likely do so again on the small screen. Robin Williams and John Travolta team up for this comedy about a middle aged bachelor finding out he is the father of twins.
Planet 51 (also Blu-ray). From the opening moments of Planet 51, the audience is bombarded with references to classic science fiction films like The Day the Earth Stood Still, Earth vs. The Flying Saucers, and War of the Worlds. There is even a running gag referencing a more recent creation, Alien. These references are folded in and kneaded into a dough comprised of 1950s sensibilities. They are then filtered through more modern lens, crafting a film that is part homage and part spoof. If you like the classics and want to see something a little silly and fun for the family, you'll like this.
Scarecrow and Mrs. King: The Complete First Season. I remember loving this when I was younger. Bruce Boxleitner and Kate Jackson star as a spy and a housewife. I do not remember any specifics, but I am interested in seeing if it holds up after all these years.
Capitalism: A Love Story (also Blu-ray). Michael Moore, love him or hate him, the man makes interesting films. Taken with a grain of salt they make for good conversation. This is no exception and seems like his least controversial for awhile. Give it a shot.
Nine Dead. Melissa Joan Hart in a thriller? Sure, why not? This one has nine people in a warehouse being stalked by a killer in a mask with a gun. The set up does not exactly sound all that original, but it could still be fun. I hope so, because I would like to see it.
The Memory Thief. This is about an aimless young man working at a tollbooth who has a chance meeting with a Holocaust survivor. He identifies with the stories very strongly. I have been interested in the movie ever since I first saw the poster some time ago.