Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What's New in Blu? (Week of Jan. 12)

As movie studios are seeing an increase in consumers of Blu-ray, the available titles on the format should continue to grow considerably in 2010. But as for reasonable prices on said available titles ... well, that’s a discussion for another time. At any rate, here’s a look at some of the releases that have rolled out the week of Jan. 12.

"Moon" (R)
Starring Sam Rockwell, Dominique McElligott, Rosie Shaw, Benedict Wong and Kevin Spacey
Directed by Duncan Jones

This sci-fi film has drawn comparisons to Stanley Kubrick’s classic “2001.” But while “Moon” doesn’t reach those heights, it is a quite effective psychological drama on the effects of isolation in outer space. Sam Bell (played by Sam Rockwell in a great, versatile performance) works for a large corporation, mining an energy source on the surface of the moon. Working with just a computer named Gerty (voiced by Kevin Spacey) to keep him company, Sam’s becoming a little stir crazy as his three-year contract is coming to an end. Then, after crashing his lunar rover, things get strange for Sam. To say more would spoil some of the interesting plot developments of this impressive debut from co-writer and director Duncan Jones (son of rock star David Bowie). This is one of those small budget films worth seeking out.
Grade: B+

“Cliffhanger” (R)
Starring Sylvester Stallone, John Lithgow, Michael Rooker, Janine Turner, Rex Linn, Caroline Goodall
Directed by Renny Harlin

A pair of mountain climbers (Stallone and Rooker) are forced at gunpoint by thieves to use their skills to find suitcases filled with $100 million lost in the Colorado Rockies. Director Renny Harlin has experience with this kind of film (“Die Hard 2: Die Harder”), so the action sequences are well-executed and exciting to watch. And the actors, particularly Stallone, were put through their paces in filming the action. But the script is certainly intellectually lacking for stretches, with little suspense in the eventual outcome. Still, as far as Stallone action films, you could certainly do worse.
Grade: B

Other releases:
“8 1/2” (NR)
Starring Marcello Mastrioanni, Claudia Cardinale, Anouk Aimée
Directed by Federico Fellini

“The Burning Plain” (R)
Starring Charlize Theron, Kim Basinger, Jennifer Lawrence, Joaquim de Almeida, John Corbett
Directed by Guillermo Arriaga

“Fame” (PG)
Starring Thomas Dekker, Kay Panabaker, Kristy Flores, Paul Iacono, Debbie Allen, Charles S. Dutton, Kelsey Grammer, Bebe Neuwirth, Megan Mullally
Directed by Kevin Tancharoen

“Halloween II” (R)
Starring Tyler Mane, Sheri Moon Zombie, Chase Vanek, Scout Taylor-Compton, Brad Dourif, Malcolm McDowell
Directed by Rob Zombie

“The Hurt Locker” (R)
Starring Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Ralph Fiennes, Guy Pearce, Brian Geraghty, David Morse, Christian Camargo, Evangeline Lilly
Directed by Kathryn Bigelow

“I Can Do Bad All By Myself” (R)
Starring Taraji P. Henson, Adam Rodriguez, Brian White, Mary J. Blige, Gladys Knight, Pastor Marvin Winans and Tyler Perry
Directed by Tyler Perry

“In the Loop” (NR)
Starring Peter Capaldi, Tom Hollander, Gina McKee, James Gandolfini
Directed by Armando Iannucci

“Last Action Hero” (PG-13)
Starring Arnold Schwartzenegger, F. Murray Abraham, Charles Dance, Tom Noonan, Austin O'Brien, Art Carney
Directed by John McTiernan

“Post Grad” (PG-13)
Starring Alexis Bledel, Zach Gilford, Michael Keaton, Jane Lynch, Carol Burnett, Rodrigo Santoro
Directed by Vicky Jenson

1 comment:

Jack said...

Rented MOON based on your recommendations. Sounds really good. My comic book guy also suggested it.