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.
It is not a terribly full week of releases, but it does feature a pair of films that I gave a full five stars to earlier this year. So, what it lacks in quantity it makes up for with quality.
District 9 (also Blu-ray). This is a movie that floored me. It exceeded all of my expectations and then some. It is written with an intelligence not often seen in summer films, and executed by a man of vision who knows what he wants to tell and what he wants to show. District 9 displays technical mastery alongside a great tale told with intelligence and emotion. This movie engages the viewer on every level. It shows us an alternate reality where an alien ship arrives over Johannesburg and what happens afterward. We pick up the story about 20 years after their arrival. The aliens are cordoned off, the government is trying to figure out their technology, and then there is Wikus (Sharlto Copely), the pencil pusher in charge of moving the aliens to another location. This is one of the best films of the year and deserves its due.
(500) Days of Summer (also Blu-ray). I am in love with this movie. It works so well in telling its story, of delivering the ideas it wants to impart to the viewer, the thought process behind the relationships, the chemistry of the couple — there is so much to like. I am not sure I could find a way to make this film better. Simply beautiful. Wow, I hope I don't build up your expectations too high for this one. It is a romantic film that is not really a romance. It takes us inside the lives of this couple during a 500-day span and is not told in linear fashion. We jump from point to point as one of our characters talks about it. It is a film that is easily relatable, creative, and brings life into the romance genre.