From this point until the end of our calendar year there are very few new releases, and no significant “classic” film releases coming to blu-ray and dvd. I am personally disappointed by this, but because everybody is so busy with the holidays, I suppose this is as to be expected. We do have a few newer films that are being released on Tuesday, as well as Friday, to avoid new releases on Christmas Eve.
- Total Recall (2012): This is a remake of the 1990 film that follows much of the original story, without having to go to Mars. It is directed by Len Wiseman (Underworld) and was praised as a good action film that has absolutely no heart. The overall reviews were fairly negative, especially concerning the acting which includes Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel and Bill Nighy.
- Sleepwalk With Me (2012): In this comedy film, an aspiring comedian, who is constantly living in denial, begins suffering from anxiety. In turn, he is prone to fits of sleepwalking that result in some hilarious (and dangerous) situations. In addition to starring in the film, comedian Mike Birbiglia writes and directs this “somewhat” true tale that has audience raving about Birbiglia and his comic abilities.
- Pitch Perfect (2012): This is a college age comedic musical that deals with an a-cappella group that is dealing with the frustration of college life, while trying to become a successful singing group. It’s the directorial debut for Jason Moore, and overall the response has been fairly positive. It has been compared to the cheerleading film Bring It On, only instead of surrounding cheerleading, this film revolves on a singing competition. This film stars Anna Kendrick, Skylar Astin, Brittany Snow and Rebel Wilson.
- Liberal Arts (2012): Josh Radnor (How I Meet Your Mother) directs, writes and stars in this comic story about an unlikely romance between a 35-year-old from New York and a 19-year-old college student (Elizabeth Olsen) in Ohio. The film also stars Richard Jenkins and Allison Janney, and has received mixed reviews overall, but the cast has been praised for their individual performances.
For Friday, December 21st we have:
- Trouble With The Curve (2012): Clint Eastwood stars as an aging baseball scout, who has to go on one last assignment. At the urging of a friend (John Goodman), he takes along his estranged daughter (Amy Adams), and together they learn more about each other than they had known in a long time. Also starring Justin Timerberlake, Trouble With The Curve has received fairly good reviews, and many people have enjoyed the Clint Eastwood-Amy Adams combination. The last time Clint Eastwood starred in a film that he didn’t direct was In The Line Of Fire (1993), and it may not happen again.
- Killer Joe (2011): Matthew McConaughey stars in this wickedly violent film about a police detective that moonlights as a contract killer. It has generated positive reviews, despite the extremely graphic violence. Director William Friedkin (The French Connection, The Exorcist) knows how to get an audience’s attention, and once again he doesn’t disappoint.
- Arbitrage (2012):With the Golden Globe nomination being announced last week, there were few real surprises, but in the Best Actor Drama category, Richard Gere made a somewhat surprising appearance for this film. He stars as a billionaire businessman who has doctored his books to hide his losses, and avoid being arrested. When he is involved in a car accident in which his mistress is killed, he chooses to flee the scene, and now the police are looking into ever aspect of his life. Richard Gere has been praised for his performance, and the reviews for the film overall are extremely positive. If you are looking for a good thriller this week, this could very well be your best bet.
- Premium Rush (2012): In this action film, Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as a bike messenger who is being chased by a corrupt policeman (Michael Shannon), in an attempt to retrieve one of the messenger’s envelopes before it is delivered. Directed by David Koepp, this film promises to be entertaining, as long as you aren’t expecting too much.
- Resident Evil: Retribution (2012): Yes, that’s right; if you haven’t had enough of the sci-fi action films based off of the ultra violent video games, then this is your lucky day. The fifth installment of the series promises to be filled with more violence, action, blood and insane creatures than I ever dreamed imaginable. Yet despite even worse reviews than the last four Resident Evil movies, people are already talking about part six. All five of these films that have come out since 2002, have starred Milla Jovovich in the lead role, and perhaps she will one day make a film that doesn’t involve her wielding automatic weapons.