By Chris Kavan - 10/19/11 at 01:40 AM CT
If you subscribe to the belief it's all about the journey, not the destination, this week's releases should help raise your spirits.
1) For Captain Jack Sparrow and crew, the journey often proves as just, if not more exciting, then the final destination. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is no different. In fact, I daresay the best scene in the movie happens right smack dab in the middle, when we learn that mermaids are beautiful and extremely deadly. And isn't it always the pretty ones you have to be most careful of? Anyway, I found this journey to be a bit on the pedestrian side - the spirit is still willing, but I felt this was the weakest entry in this series (but I bet you there's going to be more). This technically should be the in the Blu-Ray releases, as those wanting the DVD only will have to wait until November.
2) Sometimes the journey is just marching to the beat of your own drum and telling the rest of the word to take a flying leap. Cameron Diaz doesn't have any problem with being a Bad Teacher and she doesn't care what anyone else things. This year was pretty good for R-rated comedies. While I don't think Bad Teacher can match, say, Bridesmaids, I think makes a strong enough case for itself that I'm willing to give it a shot should it become available to me.
3) The younger you are, the more likely your journey is one of self-discovery or at least something that results in a valuable lesson learned. On the surface, Monte Carlo may looks like a typical female-centric tween fare but underneath that veneer lies a deep and rich experience... okay, I have to stop. Unless you're under 12 and female, you probably won't get anything out of this movie aimed squarely at the Disney crowd. Maybe this will show up at slumber parties (if they have those anymore) or whatnot, but I can't see this getting heavy rotation anywhere else.
4) Sometimes one journey turns into an entirely different kind of trip. Like going on the Internet and finding a hook up and instead winding up on the wrong end of radical religious fanatics. Such it is with Kevin Smith's Red State. I've been a huge fan of Smith ever since Clerks, and if this has his trademark humor, I'm all for it. Especially since Smith himself has said he's done with directing. If this is how he goes out, I'm hoping for a bang and not a whimper.
5) Finally, sometimes the journey is about what a long, strange trip it's been. Two documentaries explore this theme: Pearl Jam Twenty has Cameron Crowe take an insightful look into one of the most influential 90s group that continues to influence the world today. While never a massive fan, I do appreciate Crowe's work, and when he's passionate about something, it truly shines through. On an entirely different approach, William Shatner takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to the phenomenon that is Star Trek in The Captains. Essentially the movie is Shatner interviewing all the other actors who have portrayed the captain of the Enterprise (on TV and film). While there is comedy aplenty, I have a feeling there will also be some insight.
Finally, our journey is at an end, but don't worry, sometimes you can take the trip again (in this case, in high definition). Our Blu-Ray contenders this week include Brandon Lee's final film, The Crow. I know a lot of people get behind this film, but I never understood the appeal myself. A little too dark (literally). I find the story behind the film to be much more interesting than the film itself. Robert De Niro is at his creepiest in the remake of Cape Fear. In terms of villains, Max Cady is right up there with the worst of them. Finally, for those who prefer something a bit sweeter, you can indulge in the 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. This is right up there with Alice in Wonderland as being the trippiest kids movie ever. I vastly prefer this version to Tim Burton's remake as it's just so... strange and wonderful. Plus, these Oompa Loompas rock (and no other character in movie history makes such a great Halloween costume... I have proof!).
There are plenty of other journeys to enjoy, just check out the FilmCrave New DVD Releases and FilmCrave New Blu-Ray Releases pages today.