Hitting movie theaters this weekend:
Another Year (limited release) - Jim Broadbent, Ruth Sheen, Lesley Manville Blue Valentine (limited release) - Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams
Movie of the Week
The Stars: Jim Broadbent, Ruth Sheen, Lesley Manville The Plot: A happily married couple is visited by some troubled friends. The Buzz: Ever since Moulin Rouge, I've been a huge fan of Jim Broadbent, and have followed his career somewhat voraciously. Another Year marks a nice continuation in Broadbent's ongoing partnership with director Mike Leigh (Topsy-Turvy, Vera Drake), and looks to be an excellent heartfelt drama dealing with the trials of aging.
I can't say that I'm too familiar with the rest of the cast, but Broadbent and Leigh are both very well respected names, and it stands to reason that this pairing will likely lead to another winner -- they've done it before, and they'll do it again.
Another Year is a limited release, which is kind of shame, but with the box office competition it would be up against presently, I suppose it makes sense.
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New Blu-ray and DVDs released this week:
The American (BD/DVD) - George Clooney, Paolo Bonacelli, Violante Placido And Soon the Darkness (BD/DVD) - Amber Heard, Odette Yustman, Karl Urban Derailed (BD) - Clive Owen, Jennifer Aniston, Vincent Cassel Legendary (DVD) - John Cena, Patricia Clarkson, Danny Glover Resident Evil: Afterlife (BD/DVD) - Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Wentworth Miller Twelve (BD/DVD) - Chace Crawford, Emma Roberts, Rory Culkin
Blu-ray/DVD of the Week
Resident Evil: Afterlife
The Stars: Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Wentworth Miller The Plot: In a world ravaged by a zombie-inducing viral epidemic, Alice (Jovovich) continues on her journey to find survivors and lead them to safety. The Buzz: The feminine wiles of the charming Milla Jovovich, the killer score by Tomandandy, and the dissonant beauty present in the set design, shooting locations and cinematography, all conspired against me here, and surprisingly, I enjoyed this film far more than any of the previous installments.
In other words, I'm a huge nerd with a mammoth crush that vibes on ambient/industrial sonic extravagance and shlocky over-the-top action sequences.
The story here is fairly basic, and ultimately it's all built to bolster the film's pervasive action sequences, but director Paul W.S.Anderson still managed to craft a solid piece of escapist sci-fi around it all, and in the end, the film entirely held my interest.
The soundtrack was what really drew me in. I thought the film was expertly scored, with enough melancholy ambience to beautifully complement Alice's few quiet moments, and hard hitting techno appropriately applied during the many amped-up action sequences. As far as the film's score and sound design are concerned, it's all very well done.
Entirely as it should be, Resident Evil: Afterlife is nothing more than a glorified video game, and taking such into consideration, it was perfectly executed. I find no reason to be overly critical of this film, as it doesn't pretend to be anything it's not. It's not guilty, in the least, of taking itself too seriously, and I find that refreshing in today's poker-faced climes.
I'm looking forward to the fifth installment, as for me, the franchise has improved with each film. I enjoyed the Sienna Guillory cameo that interrupted the closing credits -- I love the unapologetic cheesiness the franchise consistently dishes up, perfectly exemplified in Guillory's parting words, "so people, whatever's waiting for you out there, just know one thing, you are gonna be in for the fight of your lives."
Carry on, Paul W.S. Anderson.
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