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.
Sick Girl. I have not seen this film, but I think I really want to. The cover alone wants to creep you out. It features a young girl holding a gun and covered in blood. Alongside the image is the tagline: "Say hello to Izzy, then say goodbye." It is about a a girl with issues. Her parents are dead and she is raising her brother by herself. Her way to deal with things? Find people to torture and kill. The problem escalates when she sees her brother picked on at school. It looks like it could turn into some twisted film in the vein of the current wave of extreme French horror. One can hope.
House: Season Five. Definitely one of the more entertaining shows on television, the latest season arrives to give you some time to catch up before the start of the new season. The years have seen our primary character go through a number of phases while retaining the characteristics that endeared him to us in the first place.
Smallville: The Complete Eighth Season (also Blu-ray). Color me surprised that this series is still going. A few years ago I was ready for it to end, and I was sure that they said it was going to end. However, plans changed when The WB went away and they wanted some recognizable names for the launch of CW. It seems to have reinvigorated the series as this past season was pretty good, and thankfully they toned down the boring Lana Lang stuff. It will be interesting to see where they go this season.
Scrubs: The Complete Eighth Season. Originally targeted to be the final season, it has ended up being just another season as the show will be returning for a ninth season and a different cast. In any case, this was another good season for the funny, original, and seemingly under-appreciated show. It all led up to a two-part episode that would have been a great series finale.
Life: Season Two. This show was canceled way too soon. It is a quirky cop show with an odd central character. He spent a long time in prison for a crime he did not commit. While incarcerated, he developed a zen-like attitude that he has brought back to the force with him, while also investigating those who had him put away.
Adventureland (also Blu-ray). This is a movie that is more effective as a drama/comedy crossover than I would have suspected. It is the sort of sweet, unsuspecting movie that is always a pleasure to come across at the theater. At the center of our tale is James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg), a college graduate with a demeanor that leans towards the intellectual. His search for a job leads him to an amusement park, which proves to be more than he expected. This is an entertaining film that tells a coming of age story in a way that does not bore and turns out much sweeter than I would have expected. This is definitely a film worth seeing.
Sunshine Cleaning (also Blu-ray). This is a delightful and entertaining movie that includes the cleanup of murders and other crime scenes as a plot point. It centers on a woman who works as a maid and is having trouble making ends meet. She hears that crime scene cleanup can be lucrative, and looks to get into that line of work, which leads her to enlist her sister. It is an endeavor that teaches them things about themselves and life. It is a good film that I think more people should have had the chance to see on the big screen. It doesn't hurt that the cast includes Amy Adams and Emily Blunt.
Lie to Me: Season One (also Blu-ray). Tim Roth comes to television in an interesting new crime series. He plays a man who studies facial expressions and is pretty much a living lie detector. He heads a foundation that furthers the studies and is employed to assist in the solving of crimes. Roth is a good choice to head the show with his acting skills and odd charisma.
Duplicity (also Blu-ray). A heist film that I never saw on the big screen, it just didn't seem all that interesting. It starred Clive Owen and Julia Roberts as former spies working together to scam a couple of companies. I have heard it was entertaining and it will go on my list to watch, but I make no promises as to when that may be.
Fighting (also Blu-ray). Here is a movie I did see in the theater and was bored to tears. Apparently, they forgot that if you call your movie Fighting you should have a lot of fighting in it. Channing Tatum stars as a guy selling bootlegs on the street only to be discovered by an underground fight promoter. He ends up in the fights and, well, who cares.
The Informers. This film centers on shallow and privileged '80s youth and is completely empty and vapid. The only thing worthwhile with this movie is the score, and you can get that without the movie.
Children of the Corn: 25th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray). It has been so long since I have seen this movie. I wonder how the high definition transfer looks? I may have to look into this one.