New releases on DVD today:
The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug
As an avid fan of the book and (like everyone ever) of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings’ film adaptation, I must confess…. I haven’t seen this film. Couldn’t do it. The first was so boring, long, and unnecessary. While reviews coming out of nerdland promise me the second in the “Why Is This a Trilogy” series, features much less walking and dwarf singing, and much more dragons. Also, a great deal of Legolas. Confusing… Don’t remember encountering him in the novel as a child, but I digress.
This is a film that if you don’t have a Blu-ray player, do not purchase it until you do! Watching the extended edition LOTR movies in regular D as opposed to HD is such a letdown.
Even better, watch the 3D Blu-ray, which, yes, is excessive, but awesome right? 3D Smaug!!
August: Osage County
Benedict Cumberbatch is all over these DVD releases. You go Benedict.
This Oklahoma family drama, based on the play by Tracy Letts (author of Killer Joe), was one of those “is it underrated or is it overrated” films of 2013, along the vein of Inside Llewyn Davis. I genuinely enjoyed each film and was disappointed to see both rather neglected throughout awards season.
With an obscene ensemble cast that would make even David O. Russell blush, August: Osage County should have been a smashing success, but was more of a mehhhhh, Nebraska with more people and more Oklahoma; both are great family dramas, though Nebraska is a special kind of great. What stands out at the end of August: Osage County isn’t too much of a surprise–the performances of Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep. The story and characters themselves–dramatic, but still… somewhat lacking.
The best part of the movie for me? Meryl Streep runs through a field. She does not look as graceful as imagined.
This is a film worth seeing, worth renting, and worth feeling depressed over while drinking too much wine alone on the couch.
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones
The Marked Ones performed rather poorly at the box office in comparison to its obscenely successful predecessors in the low-budget, high-gross, low-thrill horror world. The original Paranormal Activity grossed $107 million domestically, while PA 3 brought in $104 million, followed by PA 2 at $84 million, PA 4 at $53 million, and finally, The Marked Ones brought in only $32 million at the box office.
Embarrassingly enough, I saw this in theaters; there aren’t a lot of options at the cinema in January, and I was desperate.
Honestly though… it wasn’t terrible and was one of the scarier, more surprising of the franchise considering how incredibly overplayed this theme has become.
Also worth noting, is the first of the Paranormal Activity films to stray from an upper-middle class white character focus, and I thought it brought a different dimension to an otherwise stale franchise as well. I’ve oft wondered how Katie and Micah could afford an enormous 3 bedroom home in San Diego on an “I’m an English major’s” salary…. They had a pool too. Seriously though.
Basically. Kevin Hart, Robert De Niro, Sylvester Stallone, Alan Arkin. Boxing, old dudes. Etc.
Justin Bieber’s Believe
Just gonna leave this here….
New to Redbox:
Grudge Match will be rentable at Redbox April 15, while The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug won’t be available until May 6.
August: Osage County and Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones are out today but, what else is new to Redbox for your at home viewing pleasure this evening?
Out of the Furnace
What should have been a sure thing, but surely wasn’t–Out of the Furnace. Starring Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrellson, Forest Whitaker, Willem Defoe, and Zoe Saldana, this violent Appalachian movie about a feud over gambling debts didn’t do so hot critically or financially, but it’s worth a trip to Redbox.
Woody Harrellson’s performance will scar you for life, and Christian Bale does his Bale thing well–transforming himself physically and all of the other “lly” for a role. This was an underrated, harshly criticized film, and no The Counselor level flop.
The Book Thief
Nazis, books, thieves; want your kids good n’ scared of Gestapo going bump in the night? Rent this film!
Also, Sophie Nélisse is very precious.
Jason Statham, Winona Ryder, James Franco (creepy….), and Kate Bosworth star in a film that no one saw for some reason! Be the first!