The cinema of the mid-twentieth century gave us a lot to love; too much to list in a review that isn’t expressly or specifically about some of the best films ever made. By that same token, there are plenty of tropes, attitudes, and practices that are best left forgotten about and uncelebrated. No one told that to Spanish filmmaker Fernando Trueba when he was making The Queen of Spain, a pointless, long gestating sequel to his 1998 backstage dramedy The Girl of Your Dreams. Unoriginal and old-timey in all the wrong ways, The Queen of Spain is the kind of film that only an octogenarian who hasn’t seen a movie in fifty years could love. If this were made in the 1940s or 50s and it weren’t a sequel, it would have slipped into the public domain by now with no one clamouring to claim ownership over it.
New releases on Blu-ray and DVD this week include: director Ivan Reitman’s romantic comedy, No Strings Attached, starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher; the intense drama, Blue Valentine, featuring Michelle Williams’ Oscar-nominated performance opposite Ryan Gosling; plus a look at Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, and the 25th anniversary release of Legend on Blu-ray.
The rainy days of spring are here, and since it’s a very quiet week for new releases, I thought it was a fine opportunity to count down ten of my favorite rainy day movies. Which may make you wonder–what makes a great rainy day movie? If you ask me, it all comes down to rewatchability, brilliant casting, great writing, and off-the-wall stories.
New this week on DVD and Blu-ray: Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman and Helen Mirren kick butt in the action-comedy, Red; Diane Lane stars in the horse-racing drama, Secretariat; plus a look at Saw: The Final Chapter, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest.
New this week at a theatre near you: Jim Sturgess, Colin Farrell and Ed Harris star in the survival drama, The Way Back; The Company Men has Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, and Kevin Costner as three men who face life after downsizing; and in No Strings Attached, two friends try to add some spice to their friendship, without any of the commitments.