We’ve got a full slate of releases today, including a couple Blu-rays that I’m going to skim over. Obviously, the biggest title for most people this week is the Blu-ray release of the entire Indiana Jones set. While I’m a fan of Indie, I don’t consider him to be anywhere near my favorite action heroes, so even if I had the money to spend on this package, I probably wouldn’t. Also being released on Blu-ray is David Fincher’s The Game, which holds the dubious title of being one of only two films by Fincher that I haven’t watched, with the other being Alien 3. And from everything I’ve read, that wasn’t really Fincher’s film. Also available on Amazon Instant is Prometheus, a full three weeks ahead of its DVD release.
As for the new stuff…
The Cabin in the Woods
Without a doubt the best horror film in years. This film takes everything horror films have done wrong in the past decade or two, absolutely insults it, and then establishes itself as something new, fresh, and entertaining. Fans of Joss Whedon will not be surprised by this one bit, and after everything the man has done this year, I can’t wait to see what he brings to us next and the freedom that he will be given. It’s not just the writing or directing here, either. I thought Chris Hemsworth was fantastic and hilarious as the leader of the group, and another movie that he filmed before he began Thor, but is just now being released because of distribution conflicts.
There’s also Fran Kranz – who has worked with Whedon several times before – playing a character that isn’t too much different from the one he played in Dollhouse (not a bad thing in this scenario). And then there’s Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford, who play the best on-screen duo so far this year. Jenkins has been receiving some pretty meaty roles the past half decade, but as a West Wing nut, it pains me how little Whitford is used nowadays. If you want a decent horror film, this will definitely fit the bill. If you want a comedy, this will work wonders as well. I’m still trying to figure out what I think of the ending, but you will not be disappointed.
Verdict: Watch It
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Despite the talent involved, I was still pretty hesitant about this movie. Ensemble pieces like this are very easy to mess up. But under John Madden’s guidance, each of the talented actors are used exactly as they should have been. The story could’ve been touched a little, but at the end of the day, it the right balance of being touching and funny, a movie that will simply bring a smile to your face. And honestly, it’s hard to pick out one of the five older actors over another. Maggie Smith’s maybe be confined to a wheel-chair the entire movie, and is quite the racist, but brings out most of the laughs. Tom Wilkinson and Judi Dench both get deep roles to chew on, which will probably bring some to tears. And Bill Nighy is simply charming, even if his character does get shit on several times over. Wouldn’t be surprised to see a couple nominations out of this movie. Dench and Smith are probably the two most likely bets, with Nighy and Wilkinson following in that order. Another movie that I can fully recommend.
Verdict: Watch It
Katy Perry: Part of Me
No, we aren’t at the bottom of the list yet. And now that you’ve scrolled back up the page to verify that we aren’t, I will simply say that this movie was magnificent. Not a game-changer by any means, but the amount of depth and honesty put into this movie help elevate it from typical money grab that we are used to into a inspiring tale of a charming young lady giving it her all to chase her dreams.
I’ve never shied away from the fact that I’m a huge Lady Gaga fan, and while I not nearly as obsessed about Katy Perry, it’s hard to deny how much of an influence these two singers have on their fans, and the idea of being yourself, no matter how weird it may be to the rest of society. You see how she started out as a sheltered child, and then see her transition to the big time, never forgetting to forget the fans that made her who she was. Even after being emotionally and physically drained, she’s able to push through everything and it gives us such an uplifting movie that I couldn’t have imagined it being, despite the solid reviews.
Verdict: Watch It
Oslo, August 31st
This is a movie that I haven’t watched yet, but still holds a solid 7.5 rating on IMDB and several awards here and there. From what I’ve read, this is a darker drama that focuses on a man who is released from rehab as a way to find employment as part of his recovery, but the day doesn’t end up quite as he had imagined it. A dark drama about past demons and struggle always grabs my attention, and hopefully I will be able to tackle it sometime this week and then type up a review as well.
Verdict: Give It A Try
The first 20 minutes of this film had done such a wonderful job of grabbing my attention, and was right in line with what I had expected from the trailer. It was comical and started down a path of being a strong narrative. But as the movie turns to its second act, it gets stuck in gear and eventually becomes something generic and gives us storylines that we can see from a mile away, with the characters behaving the same way. I don’t know if I went into this one with expectations that were too high or if it was a movie that simply fluttered down the stretch, but it didn’t live up to its promise.
Verdict: Watch It If You Dare
Starring Paul Schneider and Olivia Munn, this movie is about a couple who are trying to have a baby, but Schneider’s character is incapable of conceiving. The movie has a couple great one-liners, but at the end of the day was pretty dull despite the help of a couple Broken Lizard alums. At first I thought about giving this a higher grade, but as more days pass, it’s obvious that I will completely forget about this movie after a month.
Verdict: Skip It
That’s it for this week’s releases. What are you planning to watch? What movies did you enjoy or hate?