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.
This week's release list is notable in that it contains four films from my best of the year list (spanning 22 films), including one from the top five.
Moon (also Blu-ray). Moon is the sort of film that sneaks up on you, draws you in, makes you interested, and then is over. It is not an action film, it is not a fast-paced film, it is one that allows the story to slowly unfold over the course of its run time, seeping into your brain, all the while making you curious as to where it is going or what the meaning of it all is. It is the big screen debut of director Duncan Jones (son of David Bowie), based on his own story. It is an intelligent science fiction film crafted by a man with a vision. It does not hurt that the film contains a standout performance from Sam Rockwell (# 5 on my 2009 movie list).
The Hurt Locker (also Blu-ray). Helmed by Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker puts us down on the streets with the soldiers on the front line, with the soldiers risking their lives day in and day out. This is a movie that needs to be seen. It is a first rate movie that delivers on emotional and technical levels. It is thrilling to watch the bombs being defused, watching James (Jeremy Renner) search for answers, watching the difficulty with which the answers come, or don't come. Renner delivers an incredible performance, allowing the internal conflict play out on his face, subtle and very effective (# 11 on my 2009 movie list).