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.
WALL-E. It is the rare film that can elicit such childlike glee as this one did. I remember when I saw the first Wall*E trailer my jaw dropped. The first thing that hit me was the animation — it was absolutely gorgeous, the amount of detail that went into every corner of the frame was mind-boggling. Beyond the animation, the title character - striking a cross between ET and Johnny Five while still feeling new and fresh - just captured my imagination; the innocence and curiosity that he possessed made me want to see more of him and his world. I am happy to report that the film does not disappoint.
From frame one I was captivated. I was ensnared in the profound combination of childlike curiosity and wonder with an underlying sadness. The title character is more than just a cleaning robot, but a being that longs for companionship, has a thirst for knowledge and a curiosity that knows no limits. Wall*E is a character unspoiled by anything; he has hopes and dreams and it is impossible not to get caught up in them. This movie is near perfection.
Jeff Dunham: Very Special Christmas Special. This guy's popularity has just exploded over the past couple of years and here I was thinking ventriloquism-based comedy was dead. Well, not really, I haven't given it that much thought. I watched bits and pieces when this aired the other day on Comedy Central, and it was pretty darn funny. Dunham does a wonderful job of giving these puppets personality and giving them believable life. Yes, I realize that is ridiculous, but this is a funny guy, period.