the last stand 6

This week offers a number of this year’s earlier films, most of which failed to make much of an impression at the box office. This was sad for Arnold Schwarzenegger, and for Warner Brothers, who thought they might have the next Twilight/Harry Potter on their hands. There’s also a ton of cool older titles hitting DVD and Blu-ray this week. Check them out…

New:

  • The ABC’s of Death: This omnibus horror films is like most omnibus horror films. Some sections are good, others are crap. Twenty six chapters of people dying are presented here in short films made my filmmakers and well selected amateurs. Eh.
  • Beautiful Creatures: Warner Brothers thought they might have a franchise with this one. They were wrong.
  • The Last Stand: Arnold Schwarzenegger’s return to the big screen was met with yawns. Word is that it’s actually a pretty good action movie, but now that it’s on home video it might find an audience.
  • Parker: This third attempt at bringing Donald E. Westlake’s character Parker to the big screen (after Payback and Point Blank) at least was derived from a different novel. This was mostly sold as another Jason Statham vehicle, and was dinging for being too plot heavy.
  • Side Effects: Is this Steven Soderbergh’s last theatrical feature film? Who’s to say, but just in time for his Liberace bio-pic, this film hits home video. Channing Tatum and Rooney Mara star in this mystery thriller that is Soderbergh’s take on a more Brian De Palma-esque movie.
  • Stand Up Guys: Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin star in this barely-released and barely-seen dramedy about a man who’s released from prison, and his old friend, who’s supposed to kill him the next day. Do you think they follow through on their orders?
  • True Blood: The Complete Fifth Season: Get your naked vampires on.

Classics:

  • The Burning, Captain America, The Town That Dreaded Sundown: The latest from Scream and Shout factory are two horror movies, and the terrible 1990 version of Captain America. The Burning is one of those films that has always been hyped as something, but actually isn’t that good.
  • Howl’s Moving Castle, My Neighbor Totoro: Two Hayao Miyazaki films are beign released on Blu-ray, and if you need to be sold on picking them up, I don’t think I can help you.
  • Medium Cool: Haskel Wexler’s semi-documentary put Robert Forester in the midst of the 1968 democratic national convention, which was interrupted by violence. It’s a fascinating curiosity, and definitely lives up to Criterion’s goal of releasing important movies.
  • National Lampoon’s Vacation, National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation, Sommersby, The Ultimate Gangsters Collection Classic (Little Caesar, The Petrified Forest, The Public Enemy, White Heat), The Ultimate Gangsters Collection Contemporary (Warner Brothers): The latest catalog dump from Warner Brothers includes some great classic noir/gangster movies. Of them, the best is easily White Heat. There’s are also the Vacation movies, if that’s your thing.

What are you picking up this week?