By Chris Kavan - 08/02/11 at 09:37 AM CT
Gather the family 'round this week as the two best films being released look like they will be great for all ages.
1) While there have been plenty of animated films this year, Rio looks to be one of the best of the bunch. While I still think Rango is the only one that looks particularly good to me, Rio is a good choice for runner-up in that category. If nothing else, it will entertain the kids long enough to get something done or provide a decent night's entertainment.
2) In the category of "inspirational" films, you have the based-on-a-true story Soul Surfer. I'm usually not a fan of these type of films because they come off as either way too saccharine-sweet or overly preachy in their message. But at least this has AnnaSophia Robb, who I consider one of the better young actresses of our age. If I want to deal with a movie about someone losing their arm, I'll just watch 127 Hours again.
3-4) These last two films are definitely NOT family friendly - and I include them only because they both pique my interest. The first is Stake Land - another vampire films that keeps this far out of the Twilight range. Kind of a cross between The Road and From Dusk Til Dawn - looks bloody and might actually have a decent story. The other is Yellow Brick Road, which looks to be a much more formulaic horror film, but since it has been so long since I've seen a decent horror film, it might do the trick.
On the Blu-Ray front, for those looking to relive the glorious memories when Arnold was a warrior and not a politician or scandal-plagued ex-governor, you can enjoy the one-two punch of Conan the Barbarian and Conan the Destroyer. The release of these two find examples of 80s grunting and manly sword-chopping have nothing to do with the impending releases of a new Conan movie of course (insert sarcasm here). Speaking of the 80s, another classic comedy is coming out. While Better Off Dead may not be as well known as say Breakfast Club or Caddyshack, it's still a quintessential film of the time period and John Cusack is just as good here as in Say Anything. Finally, fans of drama and excellent ensemble casts can enjoy Sleepers. Well, maybe "enjoy" is too strong of word, as the film is pretty depressing. Still, it has a great cast (Brad Pitt, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Bacon, Billy Crudup - amongst others) so it has that going for it.
This is mere sampling of what you can find this week. For the full list, make sure to visit the FilmCrave New DVD Releases and FilmCrave New Blu-Ray Releases pages.