The Dark Half and Monkey Shines – George A. Romero is one of my favorite filmmakers. Mostly because of his zombie films; but I like most of his other stuff too. These two films are on that “like list.” Check out what good ol’ Tim Salmons has to say about these two discs here and here.
If I Stay – That Chloë Grace Moretz is gonna break some hearts, huh? Here she plays a young musical prodigy who has an near death experience that allows her to make the choice of moving on in death or staying in the land of the living. Most the film plays out in flashbacks to give her dilemma some weight. Good performances but not a very great story. Rental at best.
Into the Storm – What this film shows is that Twister and its “finger of God” is dated. If you want to make a new tornado movie – it’s got to be extreme with like five twisters at one time! Oh, and it needs to be shot found footage style! And it has to feature terrible acting and dialogue (apparently). This film accomplishes those mandates with flying colors. Too bad, because the trailer was pretty cool.
Miyazaki on Blu-ray – three of Hayao Miyazaki’s most fun Studio Ghibli films make it to Blu-ray this week. The new The Wind Rises, the adorable Kiki’s Delivery Service and my personal favorite, Princess Mononoke can all be owned (and you should own them) NOW. Bill’s looking at Wind and Kiki – and I’m looking at Princess.
[Editor’s Note: You should read Todd’s Mononoke review before you buy that one. There’s a subtitle problem.]
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For – Frank Miller is a singular voice in comics. Rodriguez is a singular voice in film. Together, they really made something with the original Sin City. This sequel is a bit too late sadly. If it had come out a little sooner, it would have been a hit. Close to ten years later and it fizzled. It’s sad, but all the reasons are right there on the screen. Maybe if they redefined the medium again, this chapter would have wowed. Instead it’s just a “okay, yeah, more of these.” I’ll take some more, sure – I’d like all of the Sin City comics filmed. But maybe when they do Sin City: Hell and Back, they should step back and really make it something different. The story calls for it – and the fans are expecting more.
It Happened One Night – Criterion’s (what have seemingly become) weekly release is Frank Capra’s romantic screwball classic (and first film to win The Big Five; all of the major Oscars: Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor and Actress – followed by One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and The Silence of the Lambs). It’s a grand little film and I do hope more young people see it. It’s actually aged quite well.
And So It Goes – If you’re like me and said to yourself or someone you love, “Hey – when is Rob Reiner going to make a new movie? It’s been like 10 years since I’ve seen his name next to directed by. He was awesome in Wolf of Wall Street.” That answer to that is: he’s been making films. They haven’t been very good, but he’s been making them. This is his newest.
Ragnarok – Norway is a hot bed for some really exciting films, and this little action-adventure film looks like it’s a lot of fun. I’ll be checking it out this week.
Automata – Antonio Banderas, Melanie Griffith, Dylan McDermott and Robert Forster star in what really looks like a convoluted mess. One part Blade Runner, one part Asimov’s Foundation, one part Mad Max, one part District 9, one part Metropolis – I could keep going and I think that’s the problem. I’ll watch it because I suck that way.
Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Das Cabinet Des Dr. Caligari) – Kino does a 4K remastering that I’m looking quite forward to.
Moontrap: Anniversary Edition – Star Trek’s Walter Koenig and Awesomeness Personified Bruce Campbell star in this cheesy sci-fi romp from the late 80s. It’s everything you expect.
Metallica: Some Kind of Monster – A collection of millionaires try and make art and seek couples therapy to help get through the hard parts. Fascinating documentary in the end, even if it smacks of entitled bullshit.
Trancers: The Ultimate Edition – One of my favorite bad films. I haven’t seen this edition, but I hear it’s actually pretty not bad. I’ll be picking it up soon enough.
That brings the week before American Turkey Day to a close. I’ll be back next week with some summaries and a list. Until then, keep missing Jahnke. I mean, keep spinnin’ those discs.
– Todd Doogan