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.
Give ‘Em Hell, Malone (also Blu-ray). Russell Mulcahy has a spotty track record ever since he delivered the cult classic Highlander. I do not think this will be on that level, but I remember seeing an extended clip a while back and thought it looked like a lot of fun, plenty of violence and bullets. You can probably guess that I have not yet seen this, but I want to. Thomas Jane stars as the titular Malone, a private investigator protecting some big secret through hell. Sounds like fun! See for yourself:
Michael Jackson: This Is It (also Blu-ray). This film, put together from rehearsal footage, proved to be a pretty big hit when it arrived in theaters last fall. It is now poised to make a big splash on DVD. I chose not to see it on the big screen but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t curious. Perhaps I will get around to checking this release out.
Surrogates (also Blu-ray). This movie is mildly entertaining. It has some decent action sequences and some big ideas. The problem is that the action and the ideas are handled independently of each other; they never come together to make an interesting movie. Still, you could make a worse choice.
Whip It (also Blu-ray). Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut turned out to be quite a good experience. It is not the most original of stories, but it is given an energy, an boost that makes it feel fresh again. Ellen Page stars in this coming of age tale that sees her discover a passion for roller derby through rebellion against her parents. It is well written, acted, and really works.
Saw VI (also Blu-ray). Who would have thought this aging franchise could find new life in the sixth go around? Not me, that’s for sure. This entry brings in some current events to the series with talk of health care. We also get a good dose of blood and some backstabbing. No, not my favorite horror series but it certainly has its charms.
I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell. This movie does not look all that great, but I do like the title. It centers on a guy trying to patch things up with a soon to be married friend following a screw-up at the bachelor party.
The Toolbox Murders (Blu-ray). This is the 1978 original. The title pretty much says it all. A masked killer kills people with the contents of a toolbox. Wonder if the Blu-ray upgrade will help it at all?
St.Trinian’s. This movie is supposed to be some sort of slapstick comedy about a lawless girls school, but it is just a plotless mess that wants to be funny and wacky. I would rather give the original series from the 1960s a shot.
Highlander: Immortal Edition (Blu-ray). Russell Mulcahy’s best film arrives on Blu-ray. I bet the high definition could make the Scottish sequences look quite good. Then again, the movie is at the lower end of the budget scale. Remember: “There can be only one!”