New DVD and Blu-Ray Releases to Crave: You're In Time to Drive The Thing to a Dream House
By Chris Kavan - 01/31/12 at 10:23 AM CT
My cup runneth over with the plethora of options to choose from this week. You have award-worthy recommendations, science fiction and horror plus a major dud that might see a second life on DVD.
1) Although it hasn't gotten near the attention it deserves, Drive is a film that should be on any list for people who like movies. With Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston and Albert Brooks all on hand, amongst a strong supporting cast, you have the perfect combination of thrills and crime when a stuntman/getaway driver gets in over his head both in his personal and professional life. It baffles me why something this intense would get passed over for the likes of War Horse or Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close... but maybe that's just personal preference. However, I know I'm not alone.
2) It didn't exactly burn up the box office, but at least the premise of In Time looks interesting. A future in which time is a currency - aging is a thing of the past as everyone is perpetually 25 (or younger) but like all systems it's the rich who live forever while the rest struggle to survive - literally. Hey, when coffee costs four minutes and you drink one every day, how long would you live? But what happens when the wrong person suddenly is granted near unlimited time - well, apparently all hell breaks loose. Gad-about-town Justin Timberlake takes on the lead while Amanda Seyfried goes brunette as the apparent eye candy. The idea is interesting enough that I want to see where it goes anyway.
3) While it looks like a typical haunted house flick, with somewhat of a twist based on the trailers I've seen, at least Dream House boasts a great cast. Daniel Craig, Naomi Watts and Rachel Weisz and pretty big names to appear in a generic horror film. That alone makes this, at least in my book, worth checking out. Even if the scares have all been done before, at least with this cast it will be fun to see how it plays out.
4) Although billed as a prequel rather than a remake, The Thing never managed to catch on with audiences. I, for one, don't see how it can top the 1982 film that mixed the right amount of paranoia with a feeling of claustrophobia thrown in for good measure. It kept things tense and when the big reveal came, it was great. This so-called preview seems to give away way too much, kind of ruining the whole tension and guessing game. That's not to say it might not be worth watching, just that my excitement level is pretty low.
5) Finally, a film that's for the birds... or maybe just bird watchers. The Big Year turned out to be a big disappointment. Despite starring Owen Wilson, Steve Martin and Jack Black, comedy fans just couldn't relate to a trio of ultra-competitive bird watchers. Probably because I don't know anyone who can relate to ultra-competitive bird watchers. The fault lies in the premise, not the actors, on this one. Whoever green lit this is hopefully getting coffee for everyone else right now.
On the Blu-Ray front, there's another tidal wave of films coming at you this week. Things are led by Gregory Peck and his masterful turn as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird. Probably one of the best adaptations of literary material I can think of, this is truly a film everyone should watch. Also available in a Collector's Edition that comes with a booklet detailing plenty of behind-the-scenes material. Hopefully you like drama, because you're getting plenty to choose from: although I believe it was wrongfully awarded best picture, Shakespeare in Love leads this charge. Period dramas never impress me much and how the hell this ever beat out Saving Private Ryan... never mind - on to another period drama, The English Patient. Sure it has some big names associated with it, but even just mentioning this film causes me to yawn in boredom. Someone with a stronger will than I is welcome to sit though this. Now, Cold Mountain on the other hand has drama and war - too bad it also has Nicole Kidman, an actress that personally rubs me the wrong way. At least the music sounds good. Not to be outdone, The Piano features a daring love story led by... Harvey Keitel? That wouldn't be my first choice, but hey, if it works, go for it Harvey!
You can find the full list of new releases on the FilmCrave New DVD Releases and FilmCrave New Blu-Ray Releases pages, so feel free to browse away.