It’s another week of movies to bring home to your well-stocked cinema library, and this batch of new releases has a little something for everyone – from apocalyptic doom-glooming to trashy exploitation ass-kicking. Under the jump, my quick thoughts on the new releases to DVD and Blu-ray.
2012 - Roland Emmerich returns to his favorite topic once again with this end-of-the-world fantasia that posits that the Mayans were right with their Long Count Calendar and the sheezy’s all hitting the breezy in two years. Earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes and all of your favorite natural disasters conspire to murder millions of extras, but can John Cusack lead the human race to survival? Not by standing outside its window and playing Peter Gabriel on a boombox he can’t.
Bitch Slap – This puppy got a bad rap, but America is a nation of humorless prudes anyways, so whatever. I enjoyed this hyperkinetic homage to the bizarrely cheesy “girls kicking ass” movies you’d see heavily censored on USA Up All Night in the late 80s, with its army of goofy characters and excessive violence. If you like girls and blood, you might feel the same way.
Where The Wild Things Are - This adaptation of the kids book classic kind of faded away at the box office, which was unfortunate. It really demonstrates Spike Jonze‘s strengths and weaknesses as a director – he builds this incredible visual world that brings Maurice Sendak’s Wild Things to life, and then he clutters it up with neuroses and talking to fill out the movie’s running time. It’s a curiously dark and off-putting movie, but it’s most certainly worth seeing if you didn’t catch it on the big screen.
Gentlemen Broncos - Jared Hess tries to recapture his Napoleon Dynamite success with this uneven, but quite funny, flick about a teenage fantasist who finds his stories stolen by his idol (a perfectly cast Jemaine Clement from Flight Of The Conchords). As weird as Napoleon’s small-town surreality was, Gentlemen Broncos ups the ante in just about every way, with an army of weirdos and winkers trying their best to keep aloft the paper-thin plot.
We Live In Public - I remember when Josh Harris was first starting out on his bizarre privacy-negating experiment to document and stream every single waking moment of his life to the Internet through a house wired with dozens of cameras. I thought he was crazy then, but now in the era of Facebook and chatroulette and Twitter and Skype, he’s starting to look a little more prescient. This documentary, filmed over nearly fifteen years, is a must-see.
Cold Souls - Paul Giamatti can sell a movie for me, so this bizarre dramedy where he plays an actor named Paul Giamatti who gets his soul removed is right up my alley. After he finds that his metaphysical me-ness has been sold to Russia, he embarks upon a surreal quest to get it back. Now that’s not a story you hear every day.