After a week of TPS reports, rude customers, and annoying bosses, all you want to do on the weekend is kick back with a few aliens, superheroes, and machete-wielding maniacs. So here’s a We Love Cult recap of this week’s new releases in genre entertainment, covering everything from DVD/Blu-ray and online streaming to the movies coming out at your local theater.
Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol
From the sound of it, this might be the best M:I film since the last one, which was better than any of the other ones. So, hey, awesome! It also gives us a good look at Brad Bird’s first live-action film. Can he handle actors that aren’t made out of ink? There’s only one way to find out!
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
If you liked the first one… it sounds like you might be disappointed with the sequel. Iron Man and that gigolo from A.I. are back once again in jolly ol’ England where they’re ready to take on Professor Moriarty. The critics are saying it’s not that great, but your mileage may vary.
Alvin and Chipmunks: Chipwrecked
Don’t. Just… don’t. Why Brodie, why?!
With a knock-out cast — Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, John C. Reilly, and Christoph Waltz — and an always-intriguing director (Roman Polaski), Carnage has to at least be worth a watch. It may not be tearing up the critics’ Top 10 Lists, but you’ll get something out of it.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Arguably one of the best movies of the summer, this one surprised almost everyone. The Blu-ray has a lot of great extras, most notably a look at the incredible Andy Serkis doing his motion-capture thing.
Tokyo Drifter (Criterion)
If you’re a fan of the John Woo/Chow Yun-Fat era of Hong Kong action films, you owe it to yourself to see Seijun Suzuki’s Tokyo Drifter. You won’t find the same bullet ballet as Woo’s classics, but the themes and roots of those films is definitely on display. Plus, it’s Criterion Collection, so you know it’s worth watching.
The Rocketeer: 20th Anniversary Edition
Why won’t Disney do this film justice? Do they not know how many fans there are out there? For a 20th Anniversary edition, they didn’t add anything of interest to the Blu-ray. There’s just a trailer…and it’s in SD. WTF? Avoid this one until it’s in the bargain bin.
I was pleasantly surprised by this remake of the 1985 horror/comedy classic. Colin Farrell made a good vampire, that kid that played Chekov really impressed me, The Doctor said “Fuck”, and it was a nice enough departure from the original, but still showed it roots. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s definitely worth the buck and change to rent it. Want to know more? Check out our original review from back in August.
Detective Dee: Mystery of the Phantom Flame
Take one part Crouching Tiger, mix in a little Sherlock, toss on some Sammo Hung, and you’ve got Tsui Hark’s latest thriller, Detective Dee. The movie’s been getting a lot of good reviews, so it seems like it could be a good sleeper hit.
This virtual reality vs. real reality film from Mamoru Oshii, director of Patlabor 2 and Ghost in the Shell, not only has some intriguing concepts and quandaries, but also some really cool special effects that still look good even 11 years later. If you’re like me and first caught this on bootleg DVD, now’s your chance to finally see it in HD.
Borrowing heavily from Jaws — and with tongue planted firmly in cheek — this cult classic monster movie plays off the urban legend of alligators in the sewer. And, considering it’s over 30 years old at this point, it holds up pretty well.
Death Race 2
If you thought Jason Statham was the weak link in 2008′s Death Race, then you’re in luck. JaSta decided not to come back for this direct-to-DVD sequel. But don’t worry — there’s still plenty of Ving Rhames and Danny Trejo to satisfy your B-grade hunger.
The Wave (Die Welle)
There’s something a little creepy about a German film that intends to show how easily a high school teacher can manipulate his students to behave in ways they normally never would. However, maybe it’s because of Germany’s previous history with this sort of thing that makes 2008′s The Wave (Die Welle) so effective.
Apocalypse Now Redux
It’s generally agreed that Redux isn’t as good as the original, but it’s Apocalypse Now, so it still smells like napalm in the morning.
“Groundbreaking” barely starts to describe this incredible TV series from the layman’s astrophysicist, Carl Sagan, who introduced the world to billions and billions of concepts that they’d never considered before. If you’ve never seen it, prepare to be amazed.
He-Man & She-Ra Christmas Special
I can’t actually say if this is any good, but it’s kind of blowing my mind to think that they celebrate Christmas on Eternia. That, and the ironic nostalgia factor, make this worth checking out. Did I mention that He-Man dresses up in a Santa Claus outfit?
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Written by Rob Lammle (@spacemonkeyx)
Rob became a geek at a very young age. Growing up on a farm, with the nearest kid his age living five miles away, Rob had a lot of time to watch movies, read comic books, and play with his Star Wars action figures. He now finds time to write for a few… More »
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