Welcome back! Well, to some of you, anyway. To the rest of you, glad you decided to stop by and I hope that 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. It is my opinion based upon what I know of the titles I pluck from the new release lists that I peruse. The opinions I give based on the new releases are my own, and my recommendations upon them 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.
Let the Right One In (also Blu-ray). I have not seen this movie, but I have heard so many good things about it that I am really excited to finally watch it. It is a Swedish vampire film that is unlike any vampire film that has hit the screen in some time. It is a coming of age story about a young bullied boy who finds friendship with the peculiar new girl next door. I am excited for this one.
Milk (also Blu-ray). This is a very good film about a fascinating person. It attempts to escape the usual traps of the biopic genre. It does not quite make it, but its failings are made up for by a phenomenal lead performance by Sean Penn. It is the story of Harvey Milk, the first gay (openly) person to be elected to public office. The film chronicles his relationships and troubles that he meets while seeking his goal.
Pinocchio: Platinum Edition (also Blu-ray). One of Disney's absolute classics gets the remaster treatment for its high definition debut. One of its many re-releases to theaters was my very first theatrical experience as a youngster. I may have to pick this up, Blu-ray of course.
Rachel Getting Married (also Blu-ray). I found this film to be a little indulgent in the way the events surrounding the marriage were documented, but there is no denying the realism that is displayed. The best reason to watch this is for Ann Hathaway's performance, it is something of a revelation about her range. Also, not to be ignored is the performance of Rosemarie Dewitt, who has to play it straight next to Hathaway's more scene stealing performance.
Transporter 3 (also Blu-ray). Not as ridiculous as the second outing, not nearly as action packed either. I actually enjoyed the movie. It is not great by any stretch, but it is a lot of fun. Jason Statham is perfect for this role and I hope that he gets to play it some more.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. A Holocaust film from the perspective of an innocent child. This movie could use a little more meat on its bones, but it is still very effective. Watching the boy react to each new element in the puzzle is fantastic, topped only by the developing relationship between the two central children.
Howard the Duck. The infamous George Lucas production arrives on DVD, for better or worse. This is a movie that you know whether or not you want without any words from me.
Role Models (also Blu-ray). David Wain is the man behind this surprisingly effective comedy. It is a movie that has so many opportunities to go flying off the rails, but somehow is able to retain the funny, inject some heart, an actually feel fresh. No, not a great film, but one that is well worth watching.
Happy-Go-Lucky. I know little about this film, but the trailer makes me want to see it. It is the tale of a London school teacher with an overly optimistic outlook on life. This also happens to be Mike Leigh's latest, and he is usually worth checking out.
The Batman Anthology: Blu-ray. I rewatched all of these films recently on DVD and I love the first two, while the other two, wow, words escape me. Still, I bet they all look pretty in high definition.
Cadillac Records. This film went largely ignored when it hit theaters. It is a pretty good film, despite the same old traps of biopic films. It does however shine a light on a fascinating era of music and has some great songs in it. It should also be said that Jeffrey Wright turns in a wonderful performance as Muddy Waters.
Synecdoche, NY (also Blu-ray). Charlie Kaufman's latest is one I missed on the big screen, but one I would still like to see. I have heard that it is a tough nut to crack, but I would like to see if I can crack it.