2012’s biggest films of the early months are starting to hit DVD and Blu-ray, and we’ve got some of January and February’s surprise hits, and at least one of its failures. We’ve also got a great Criterion catalog title and a bunch of Disney films from the 1980’s and 90’s. Check out this week’s big releases below.
Albert Nobbs: Watch Glenn Close dressed as a man, baby! This Oscar hopeful wasn’t much of a film as it was a chance for Glenn Close to win awards. She lost to Meryl Streep, who also had a role tailor-made for an Oscar. This dreary film doesn’t offer much of interest, though it’s got a reasonably good cast.
Chronicle: One of the most pleasant surprises of 2012, this superhero film was done in the found-footage style. Though the found footage thing starts to make less sense the further the film goes along, director Max Trank does a great job building the characters, and found a new way to tell an origin story. Really impressive.
The Grey: Liam Neeson survives a plane crash and helps the survivors stay alive while fighting off wolves. Director Joe Carnahan does this sort of Jack London-y narrative fairly well, and Neeson is great as the wounded hero who is pushed to survive by his circumstances.
One for the Money : This may be the end of Katherine Heigl’s run as a leading lady in chick flicks, as the film bombed. What a generic title, and what a generic looking movie. I think the world has already forgotten this film exists.
Rampart: Woody Harrelson gives a fine performance in this film, which comes from the mind of James Ellroy. Unfortunately – as a cop film – the genre has been so exploded by great television like The Shield and The Wire so this can’t compare. It’s a little bit of a disappointment, but if you like Harrelson, he is really good in it.
Being John Malkovich: Spike Jonze’s first feature film is getting the Criterion treatment, and this was the film that launched him and writer Charlie Kaufman into art-house superstars. This also comes with some fun supplements, and it will be great to dig into this film now that it’s thirteen years old (or twelve and a half).
Born Yesterday, Bringing Down the House, D.O.A., Duets, Father of the Bride / Father of the Bride Part II, Gone Fishin’, Holy Man, Mr. Wrong, New York Stories, Terminal Velocity, White Squall: Disney and its studios Hollywood Pictures and Touchstone produced a lot of crap in the 1980’s and 90’s. For whatever reason, there are a bunch of their catalog titles hitting the market. For Ridley Scott completists there’s a certain appeal to getting White Squall, and J.J. Abrams fans may want to check out his earlier work with Gone Fishin’. But the real winner here is the release of New York Stories, which features a great short film by Martin Scorsese, and a really good one by Woody Allen.
Road Trip: This was Todd Phillips’ breakthrough film, and is from the time when people thought Tom Green and Breckin Meyer were going to be movie stars. This is a very enjoyable time-waster, and Phillips knows how to put films together. It may have been horribly derivative at the time, but it’s still funny enough.
What are you picking up this week?