Every year, Sundance outdoes its extravagant film banquet of the prior year’s feast, or else, as filmmaking becomes more accessible to emerging artists, it correspondingly grows more substantive and satisfying.
Catching up with the latest new releases this month, Oscar-nominated and Oscar-winning titles are the biggest arrivals for new release Tuesdays on both January 14 and 21. Topping the list of new releases is the Oscar-nominated Captain Phillips, and Oscar-winners In the Heat of the Night and Sunrise. Other new releases include Machete Kills, Carrie, and You're Next.
If I had to live any fiction from the movies, it's hard to beat the lives of big screen secret agents. Between the fine clothes, the fantastic lifestyles, and the ice cold attitudes, it looks like a pretty fantastic career, even if people are trying to constantly kill you and destroy civilization as we know it.
Happy New Year, and welcome to the first new Blu-ray column of 2014. This year's first edition is essentially dominated by the latest from television--most notably, two Canadian-made series that are well worth mentioning.
Eli Roth and Nicolás López's Aftershock is a dark, bloody, violent horror movie that lands on Blu-ray this week, and it offers a glimpse into what might happen if one of the worst earthquakes ever recorded happened to set off a chain reaction of human depravity.
As a lifelong admirer of Bruce Lee and his lasting legacy--both on film and as a writer of some of the best books on martial arts techniques and philosophies--I am always eager to see whatever is released about him. Even though Lee died at the ridiculously young age of 32 in 1974, there is still validity in new versions of his stuff, repackaged or reprinted, as the benefit of each is that it exposes a new generation of potential fans to his still relevant body of work.
Ender's Game director Gavin Hood has an uncommon connection with Ender Wiggin, the main character in his big screen adaptation of the award-winning science fiction novel by Orson Scott Card. At the age of 17, Hood was drafted into the army and served two years, which he said helped him relate to the story, and Ender's troubles within Battle School.
Peter M. Lenkov's Rest In Peace Department oozes with really fantastic ideas, and that's probably why Universal Pictures wanted to make it into a blockbuster franchise. The problem with the adaptation is that is misfires at almost every plot turn, and never seems to decide if it's going to be dark, funny, or just plain weird. That's also why it's very unlikely we'll see a sequel to R.I.P.D.