New Releases (Across the Board):
22 Bullets – Jean Reno plays a retired mafia boss who is riddled with bullets and left for dead – swearing revenge, he goes after his attempted murders and makes things bloody. Luc Besson produces.
The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box – An oh-so-British fantasy franchise kicker-offer starring a veritable who’s who of top notch British character actors: Michael Sheen, Sam Neill, Lena Headey and Ioan Gruffudd.
All Is Lost – Robert Redford stars in an ocean bound Gravity. Claim to fame – virtually no dialogue outside of a brief narrated open.
The Armstrong Lie – Alex Gibney looks at Lance Armstrong’s 2009 comeback from his doping scandal.
The Artist and the Model – An award winning French film about a sculptor who finds his love for the craft reawakened when he meets a new muse with a tragic past.
Austenland – Half of the quirky Napoleon Dynamite team, Jerusha Hess, adapts Shannon Hale’s 2007 novel about a woman obsessed with Jane Austen’s work (specifically Colin Firth’s Mr. Darcy from the 1995 BBC series adaptation) and head to a British theme resort to cosplay and find a facsimile of the man of her dreams.
The Best Man Holiday – All these years later and we finally get a sequel to Malcolm D. Lee’s 1999 masterpiece. Taye Diggs, Terrence Howard, Harold Perrineau, Morris Chestnut, Monica Calhoun, Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long, Melissa De Sousa and Regina Hall all return in this Christmas themed film.
The Counselor – Ridley Scott’s been a bit touch and go these past few films – but what’s for sure is, his extended cuts always tend to be so much better than what we saw in theaters.
Diana – Naomi Watts stars as Princess Diana in Oliver Hirschbiegel’s exploration of her last days and the love she found before she left us so early in life.
Ender’s Game – Gavin Hood brings us this very vanilla Orci-Kurtzman adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s sci-fi masterpiece.
Grace Unplugged – This looks like a Christian Jazz Singer, where a girl raised with strong faith and family chooses to follow her Hollywood dream against her pastor father’s wishes.
Haunter – Splice director Vincenzo Natali brings us Abigail Breslin as the ghost of a murder victim trying to help a living girl not end up like her.
How I Live Now – Saoirse Ronan stars in this bleak as hell adaptation of the 2004 YA award winner on the same name. The story follows a young American woman on holiday in England visiting her extended family with a European Nuclear war is engaged.
Jewtopia – Based on the International media sensation, Jewtopia is about a guy who finds the woman on his dreams – she just happens to be a rabbi’s daughter - and he’s not Jewish in the least.
Khumba – Never heard of this animated film about a zebra. Comes to Blu-ray with a 3D disc. Let me know if it’s any good.
Life of a King – Cuba Gooding Jr. stars in this true star about the formation of the inner-city chess club Big Chair Chess club.
A Night in the Woods – Scoot “Monsters” McNairy and Anna “Descent 2” Skellern star in this found footage horror tale.
Wadjda – A young Saudi Arabian girl fights her mother, a bully neighbor and society itself to get a green bicycle.
Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon – Tsui Hark returns to the world he created with Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame, this type, as a prequel.
Blu-ray Library Reissues:
The Jungle Book – My favorite Disney film get the Diamond treatment. ‘nuff said.
Rocky: The Heavyweight Collection – This new set contains a beautiful new high grade transfer for the first film and three-hours of special features, including one entitled 8mm Home Movies of Rocky shot by our very own Uncle Lloyd Kaufman and narrated by Lloyd and director John G. Avildsen.
TV On DVD (& Blu-ray):
The Americans: The Complete First Season – FX’s new show is weird and good. Don’t know where it’s going, but Keri Russell’s never been sexier.
Anna Nicole – Agnes Bruckner stars in Mary Harron’s chesse-filled biopic. DVD Only
Farscape: The Complete Season Two – 15th Anniversary Edition – Same as the original version, only new packaging.
Killing Kennedy – Rob Lowe stars as JFK in this adaptation of Bill O’Reilly’s novel.
Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth – Spike Lee filmed one of Mike’s one-man show productions for HBO. This is a DVD only release, with digital copy.
Newhart: The Complete Second Season – Bob and the gang at the Stratford Inn return on DVD at last thanks to the folks at Shout! Factory.
Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer – Another HBO DVD only release, this doc looks as where those trouble making Russian punks started and exactly why they did what they did.
The Returned: The Complete First Season – Soon to be Americanized, see where the it began.
Sherlock: Season Three – What a wild season. Can’t wait for the fourth season.
That’s it for this week, but maaaaan what a week.
Keeping spinnin’ those discs,
– Todd Doogan