Thursday, December 6, 2012

Shelved: 28th November/5th December

So I'm starting out a new feature that will happen on Wednesday every other week - this week I stressed myself out by writing my reflection on my 'Dipping My Toes' series even though I had so little time to do it. However, this is a totally non-stressful feature that is not unlike the 'What's Happening Where I Am' feature I did last year, but it only focuses on DVD releases. I'll be highlighting the DVD releases in New Zealand for the week (two weeks, in this case, because I meant to start this feature last week but for once I have too much to post). Kind of because I never want to give all of them a full review - and I will highlight the ones I haven't seen also, and kind of as an unpaid advertisement for my work. And maybe it'll promote some discussion amongst everyone who has seen the films. Yay.

28th November DVD releases

Bel Ami (2012) / UK / Directed by Declan Donnellan, Nick Ormerod / Starring Robert Pattinson, Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Christina Ricci / M: Contains sex scenes and offensive language.
Robert Pattinson is undoubtedly a talented actor, but sometimes it seems as if Twilight sucked the life out of him. Bel Ami possibly wasn't the
best post-Twilight choice for him, as it doesn't really offer him fantastic material to really sink his teeth into (no pun intended). All it really is is him swanning around, courting lady after lady to keep himself occupied and monetised. There's no real plot here, and that's the problem. Boring and self-indulgent stuff, and it isn't like R-Pattz is really trying.
If you liked this, then you might like Bel Ami: It is a lower rate Shakespeare in Love wannabe.

The Dark Knight Rises (2012) / US / Directed by Christopher Nolan / Starring Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Morgan Freeman / M: Contains violence / Full review
This is still by far and beyond my favourite film of the year. Pretty much everyone has called it 'disappointing' and such, but I thought it was a great way to end a great trilogy. I like it most because it is a no-holds-barred social commentary, and because the final 20 minutes is one of the saddest/happiest moments I've had in my life. Anne Hathaway is surprisingly amazing as Selina Kyle, too. Christopher Nolan created something that was epitome of epic in every way. Oh and yeah, it isn't as good as The Dark Knight, but then, what is?
If you liked this, then you might like The Dark Knight Rises: Batman Begins is a lot closer to this film than The Dark Knight is. Also, don't try and go into this movie without seeing the rest of the trilogy.

Magic Mike (2012) / US / Directed by Steven Soderbergh / Starring Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, Alex Pettyfer, Cody Horn, Olivia Munn, Joe Maganiello, Matt Bomer / R16: Contains offensive language, drug use and sexual themes / Full review
Gets it wrong by being way more serious than it needs to be. However, there was far more male stripping than I initially expected. And Channing Tatum actually turned in a really good performance. But Matthew McConaughey, yet again, stole the show in a role that was just perfect for him. Don't go into this movie with huge expectations if you're unaware of who Steven Soderbergh is. It is his brand of independent film, not a big budget, flashy movie.
If you liked this, then you might like Magic Mike: Think of a more independent, less exciting version of Step Up.

Also on shelves last week was:
Ice Age 4: Continental Drift (2012) - I keep forgetting about these sequels to animated films that I didn't care for in the first place. I keep getting this and Madagascar 3 mixed up (but then I remember that one has Jessica Chastain in it...) I don't think I'll catch up on this one, even for the sake of being a completist.
In Darkness (2011) - An Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Feature earlier this year. I would really like to see this, but with it being in a different language and all I'll have to wait until it becomes available on Fatso.

5th December DVD releases

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012) / US / Directed by Timur Bekmambetov / Starring Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rufus Sewell, Anthony Mackie / R16: Contains horror scenes and violence
In an interesting rewrite of history, the plot is actually remarkably similar to the real story of Abraham Lincoln, just with more vampire hunting. The movie is filled with some great slow motion scenes best experienced in 3D, but unfortunately, that's about all it has going for it. The decision is whether to take the film as seriously as it takes itself, or whether to take it as seriously as the lurid idea it is based on suggests. A difficult choice, but either way, it is moderately entertaining.
If you liked this, then you might like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter: Sucker Punch. Takes itself far too seriously but does have some average 3D slow motion scenes.

The Grey (2011) / US / Directed by Joe Carnahan / Starring Liam Neeson, Dermot Mulroney, James Badge Dale, Frank Grillo / R16: Contains offensive language and content that may disturb
Liam Neeson's first truly great performance in years. In a true movie that reflects the whole Man vs. Wild phenomenon, Neeson goes head to head with a pack of wolves, showing just how badass the guy is. It is a largely philosophical film, mostly about the human condition when faced with an existential crisis. There are a few long-winded conversations that mess with the pacing of it all, but at the end of the day, it is a wonderful little film.
If you liked this, then you might like The Grey: Mostly if you're a fan of Man vs. Wild, but I kept getting vibes of The Blair Witch Project, minus the found footage stuff.

Total Recall (2012) / US / Directed by Len Wiseman / Starring Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston, Bill Nighy / M: Contains violence, offensive language and nudity
I haven't seen the original 1990 flick starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, but I've heard that this movie more or less makes a shot-for-shot remake. I just felt it was a little too repetitive to be an effective and exciting action film. I was kind of numbed by how bland it was.
If you liked this, then you might like Total Recall: Any other blockbuster that has below 50% on Rotten Tomatoes in recent history.

Also out on shelves this week:
Cheerful Weather for the Wedding - It hasn't arrived at our shop yet but I think it is coming. I'm only seeing this for my darling Felicity Jones.
Marley - I will likely check this documentary about Bob Marley out soon. I've heard good things, despite the fact that it didn't make the shortlist for the Best Documentary category at this year's Oscars.
Step Up 4: Miami Heat - I will likely check this one out too, as I've seen all the rest and it will be pretty popular.

I will likely be absent from the blogging world for the next couple of days (although there is a chance that I could be back on Saturday if I'm not too tired/busy). Tomorrow night is the ball (or prom or whatever), so I'll be pretty busy. In the meantime, remember to take part in my blogathon! And what do you think of these movies?


  1. I really disliked The Grey, I was so bored during this. I may give new Total Recall a shot, I heard Beckinsale is pretty bad ass in this one.

    1. I thought The Grey was really good, but I can see why you'd be bored. Kate Beckinsale was pretty bad ass in Total Recall, but it wasn't all that fantastic.

  2. Love this idea. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Bel Ami are two I might check out at some point. I saw Cheerful Weather for the Wedding for Jones, but I can't really recommend it (2.5/5).

    1. I didn't love Cheerful Weather for the Wedding, but I have it a 3/5. I thought it was trying a little too hard to be like Downton Abbey.

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