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.
Hellbinders. I have not seen this movie, but the cover art screams B-movie. Combine that with the plot description and you have a movie I need to see! It is the story of a wisecracking mercenary hired to take out the Devil. He is joined by a deadly assassin and the last remaining Knight Templar. How crazy is that? On top of that, it stars Ray Park who is a skilled martial artist and stunt man, having worked on movies like X-Men, Sleepy Hollow, Star Wars Episode I, and GI Joe. I cannot imagine it being a good movie, but surely it will be fun, right?
Saving Private Ryan (Blu-ray). Steven Spielberg's Oscar-winning war film makes its high definition debut. I imagine this is going to look fantastic and be an incredible experience. I have not seen it in some time and this may be the right time to pay it a visit. Hopefully the gritty feel will be captured in high definition and the film grain has not been scrubbed out. Would love to hear from anyone who has seen it.
Nine (also Blu-ray). Much like a musical version of 8 1/2 this musical takes us into the mind of a director having trouble with his latest movie and with the women in his life. The design is lush, many of the musical numbers are very good, but overall I find the movie to be lacking substance. I cannot say that I cared much for any of the characters. Still, it is worth a look for the great design work and the one good performance from Marion Cotillard.
Leap Year (also Blu-ray). This is a rather run of the mill romantic comedy that hits all the expected notes. Still, I find myself having some affection for it, partially due to the Irish setting and partially due to the chemistry between Amy Adams and Matthew Goode. It's a sweet ride that is hard to dislike in spite of it being not terribly memorable. It is worth a rental for a date night.
Tooth Fairy (also Blu-ray). I chose to give this a pass on the big screen and I do believe I will give it a pass on home video as well. Dwayne Johnson stars as a cocky hockey player who makes the wrong enemies and now must serve as a tooth fairy. Comedy ensues.
Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy. A retrospective of one of horror's most enduring monsters. Hosted by star Heather Langenkamp, the documentary features interviews and footage covering the entire series. I am hoping this is a winner.
Escape from LA (Blu-ray). Aahhh, cheesy John Carpenter fun. I can only imagine how the bad effects will look in high definition. In some ways I relish the idea of seeing this in HD. Kurt Russell reprises his role of Snake Plissken and is sent into LA one a do-or-die mission. Want some goofy fun with a side of badass? This is it.