Featuring five shows worth the purchase ... and two that aren't.
Television series Rod Lott
I don’t watch a ton of TV shows while they’re airing. With a few
exceptions, I wait for the DVD and/or Blu-ray sets so I can go on
marathons — the only kind of marathons in which I’ll ever participate.
Here are capsule reviews of seven such recent tubular trips.
If there’s a better action film this year, ‘The Raid’ will kick its ass into nonexistence.
Action Rod Lott
Fans of pure action cinema are apt to grow delirious with glee over The Raid: Redemption,
an Indonesian crime thriller that relies so much upon the universal
language of violence, one could enjoy it without subtitles.
Documentary Rod Lott
I'd say Peter Gabriel has aged wonderfully, judging from the concert film Secret World,
but the performance is nearly two decades old, from 1993. Although far
removed from his heyday as an MTV idol — the venue looks as if its
audience were lifted from a BMW dealership super-sale — he still sounded
Action Rod Lott
MGM's marketing campaign for 1972's Cool Breeze played up — if not centered around — a connection to Shaft.
That connection? Both were blaxploitation films released by MGM. I
guess audiences thought that wasn't enough of a lure, because Breeze is an obscure entry in the genre, just now seeing the light of DVD, courtesy of the Warner Archive archivists.
Thriller Rod Lott Kill List
is not your ordinary, average hit-man thriller — it’s an excellent one.
The UK film skirts into areas of horror before plunging in at the end,
but maintaining an uncompromising level of excellence throughout. It's a
strong candidate for that year-end best list. That said, its subject
matter will prove to be too much for most to take.
Six bona fide movie classics are headed back to Cinemark Tinseltown.
One of my 10 favorite movies of all time, space and dimension, Jaws, is not only debuting on Blu-ray on Tuesday, but soon will re-surface on the big screen at Cinemark Tinseltown, 6001 Martin Luther King.
The supreme shark flick to end all shark flicks kicks off the Cinemark Fall Classic Series, which features digitally restored prints of half a dozen classic films, Oscar winners all. Each will play for one Thursday only, with showings at 2 and 7 p.m. Here’s the schedule:
• Jaws (1975), Aug. 23 • High Noon (1952), Aug. 30 • Doctor Zhivago (1965), Sept. 6 • Chinatown (1974), Sept. 13 • The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), Sept. 20 • The African Queen (1951), Sept. 27
Tickets are just $4-$6, and on sale now at cinemark.com. —Rod Lott
Sci-Fi Rod Lott
My opinion means absolutely squat on The Hunger Games,
a massive hit on a global scale. Even those who didn't see it in
theaters will want to out of curiosity's sake, like I did, just to see what
all the fuss is about. I completely understand.
If you haven’t seen 2009’s Coraline, you might be more inclined to surrender yourself to the macabre charm of ParaNorman. Both
films, works of stop-motion animation by the Oregon-based Laika company,
share much in common: an outcast protagonist, ineffectual grown-ups,
visually stunning riffs on the supernatural.
In this appealing indie rom-com, a novelist’s girl of his dreams springs from the page to a real person.
Comedy Rod Lott
In Ruby Sparks, wunderkind author Calvin Weir-Fields (Paul Dano, There Will Be Blood)
has a few problems — one being that he is dateless, another that his
male dog pees like a girl. More pressing is that he lacks the
inspiration to follow up the Great American Novel that landed the
high-school dropout on The New York Times best-seller list when he was all of 19.