This week isn’t great for new releases, unless you’re a Tim Burton apologist, but it does have a classic Disney film, one of the best films of the last twenty years, and some great and not so great ghoulish delights. It must be October…

New:

  • Dark Shadows: Oh boy. This Tim Burton film (starring Johnny Depp) was pretty lousy. There are some interesting things to look at (set design-wise), and Eva Green gives a fun performance, but the film never finds the right tone between camp and drama. Twenty years ago, Tim Burton might have nailed this. But not now.
  • The Hole: Joe Dante’s forgotten film just received a theatrical release, and is now hitting Blu-ray and DVD. The film was made in 2009, but with a small distributor, and the flood of other 3D movies, it got lost in the shuffle. I’m looking forward to seeing this, as Dante is a master.
  • People Like Us: Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman have amassed a great wealth and fame as go-to screenwriters on films like the Transformers films and Star Trek. This appears to be their “We’ve got clout” film, which is a personal story that they wrote and Kurtzman directed. It was released in the middle of the summer and died a quick death. Great cast (Chris Pine, Elizabeth Banks), modestly positive reviews, but…

Classics:

  • Annie: The sun will come out tomorrow. Something of a fiasco in 1982, do people (besides Jay-Z) still like this film?
  • Cinderella: Diamond Edition: Ah, classic Disney. I don’t think I’ve seen this one, though maybe it’s blended in my mind with Sleeping Beauty. This seems like a lesser Disney classic.
  • Cyborg, Death Warrant, Double Impact: Jean Claude Van Damme is awesome, and it’s good to see some of his “classic” films hit Blu-ray. These are mostly bad films, don’t get me wrong, but of the three the best is probably Double Impact, where Van Damme plays twins. There he goes up against his Bloodsport nemesis Bolo Yeung for a pretty good fight.
  • Dark Star: Thermostellar Edition: John Carpenter’s filmmaking debut was a student short expanded to (barely) feature length, and was done with Dan O’Bannon (one of screenwriters on Alien), who wrote and co-stars in the film. It’s clunky but intermittently great.
  • In the Mood for Love: According to the Sight and Sound poll, this is one of the best films of the last twenty years, and it may be the most gorgeous film of the 21st Century. Wong Kar-Wai directs Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung in this tale of two cuckolds who form a bond. Romantic longing never looked so beautiful.
  • Masters of the Universe: 25th Anniversary Edition: This film is terrible, but it does star Dolph Lundgren as He-Man and Frank Langella as Skeletor. So people who love those characters can bask in this garbage of a film.
  • Pet Semetery: A fairly terrible horror movie that I guess has a following. I remember seeing this in a theater when I was about twelve and because so little happens for the first hour and change, I was terrified anticipating something truly frightening. The most frightening thing about the movie is how boring it is.
  • The Princess Bride: 25th Anniversary Edition: “I am not a witch, I’m your wife.” It’s funny to think this film bombed at the time, as it’s become one of those perennial films, and the sort that every girl I’ve ever dated can quote backwards and forwards. A truly charming film, by now it’s become canonized.
  • Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection: Dracula, Frankenstein (and his bride), the Wolf Man, the Phantom of the Opera, the Invisible Man, the Creature from the Black Lagoon and the Mummy all make their appearances in this box set, and if you love classic horror, then this is one of the biggest and best releases of the year.

What are you picking up this week?