Much Ado About Nothing (October 8)

Given that the movie never really gained a true “wide” release in theaters (wide is only wide if it reaches the dinkiest of towns, re: Mankato), home video is where most viewers will enjoy Much Ado About Nothing. Honestly and truly, this is the best way to view it.

Being a micro-budget adaption of a stage show that looks like it was shot by a film student and his troupe over a weekend, Much Ado About Nothing doesn’t do much to justify a visit to the theater but should play wonderfully at home. Even if Shakespeare isn’t your cup of tea, Joss Whedon’s direction (simple to a fault production withstanding) and the actor’s performances should win over most viewers and garner more appreciation in the right environment.

Definitely Rent It!

The Purge (October 8 — Rental, November 5)

The Purge is a pretty interesting sci-fi concept that’s squandered on a not-that-interesting home invasion thriller. Having a world where all crime is legal one night a year doesn’t receive any exploration beyond being an excuse for the police to not show up when some inexplicably masked goons show up to stalk and murder. Even the power-duo of Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey, along with that creepy Reese Wakefield guy, can’t pick up the slack after the initial interest of this dystopian future is dropped for the cheap, routine thrills the producers knew they could cash in on.

For the sake of being ironic, it would be appropriate to say that The Purge will purge itself from your memory within a few hours of viewing. The saving grace is that it’s a shockingly short movie, given today’s average runtime. Good for a rental, not much more.

Rent it someday

Man of Steel (November 12 — Rental, December 10)

Man of Steel is not a perfect movie. I get that (and I’ve gotten that over and over in the past two months — enough, thank you).

But I’m gonna say what I said last year when The Amazing Spider-Man hit to a fair amount of praise and a lot of concentrated bullshit from the other side of the aisle– issues included, if you put your clingy, fanboy entitlement aside for a minute, you’ll be able to see that the movie is a pretty damn entertaining blockbuster and a far more realized and relatable portrayal of a classic hero.

Man of Steel does a lot more right by Superman than it does wrong. The cast is phenomenal, the score moving, and the first half of the film paints a harrowing new picture of the world’s greatest superhero as it sets up this brand new take. This all leads to a much more action-oriented second half but what it lacks in thoughtfulness it makes up for in thrills as we get the top notch action not seen before in a Superman flick.

Even as it enters its much maligned climax, the movie remains exciting throughout, enough so to be remain in the better half of this summer’s offerings. Man of Steel‘s strengths should carry over nicely to video but a small clause should be attached: while the picture and sound will no doubt kick ass, Warner Bros. hasn’t been the greatest about special features (this edition including a decent four hours worth), nor have they been very satisfying when it comes to their “Ultraviolet only” stance on digital copies. The film is currently going for the pre-order price of $24.99, but seeing how The Dark Knight Rises did the same last year, then ended up around $17.99 in its release week, I’ll go ahead and say…

Buy It (When the Price Drops)!

It’s surprising to think back now on how far World War Z flew under my radar beforehand and how high over my expectations it delivered after.
Nothing should have worked here — an ever-ballooning budget to a trouble-some production, wild deviations to the source material, the director of Quantum of Solace at the helm, Brad Pitt in general, Damon Lindelof contaminating the script’s ending– it all should have combusted into fiery movie-death.
Guess what? It didn’t and thank whatever deity for that because the movie rocks.

World War Z is a lean, mean ride that keeps the tension up all the way through. There’s a perfect amount of grand-scale zombie spectacle and old-school survival horror at play throughout. Only the wrap-up falters but thankfully doesn’t detract from the efficient and exciting movie that came before.

There were some that bemoaned the lack of zombie gore we’re accustomed to these days in order for the movie to secure a PG-13 rating. These people should be pleasantly surprised to learn that the Blu-Ray release will contain an unrated cut to satisfy one’s need for dismembering and disemboweling.

In addition to the new cut, expect the bevy of bonus features and pristine picture and sound of a Paramount release, as well as that oh-so-realistic price of $19.99.

Must Own!

White House Down (November 5)

[UPDATE — 8/22: Seems new info has arrived suggesting WHD has moved back a week to November 5. Appropriate, really, since it’s election Tuesday. Expect official word in the next week or so.]

No word yet on the home video release of Roland Emmerich’s latest action-fest but October 29 is the date that’s been pegged to it since release and if word says differently in the next few weeks, I’ll let you know.

In the meantime, I’ll also add that the movie is a lot of big, dumb, cliched action fun that will benefit heavily from the addition of a fast-forward button.

Imagine it: you’re the editor this movie needed and your job is to trim the massive bloating! What will go first, the overlong character introductions or entire subplots that should have been left out for the sake of pace? What will it be?

Rent It

The Rest:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s