This is Jeff Bayer, and I don't update this site very often. If you'd like to listen to my current movie podcast you can find it at MovieBS.com.

New this Week: 'The Debt,' 'Shark Night 3D' and 'The Nightmare Before Christmas (BD)'

Hitting movie theaters this weekend:

Apollo 18 - stars undisclosed The Debt - Helen Mirren, Tom Wikinson, Jessica Chastain, Sam Worthington Shark Night 3D - Sara Paxton, Dustin Milligan, Chris Carmack

Movie of the Week

The Debt

The Stars: Helen Mirren, Tom Wilkinson, Jessica Chastain, Sam Worthington The Plot: In 1997, scandalous news reaches retired Mossad secret agents Rachel (Mirren) and Stephan (Wilkinson) about their former colleague David (Ciaran Hinds). The three had been venerated for decades by their country due to their part in a 1966 mission, when the trio tracked down Nazi war criminal Vogel in East Berlin, but the information come to light in the present scandal casts a long shadow of doubt about the relative success of their historical mission. The Buzz: The first two things that popped into my head after seeing the trailer for The Debt were: great cast and great music. I have learned to be wary of the music in trailers, as many times that great sound later turns out to have been lifted from some other film, or made specifically for the trailer alone, but in this case, I think it’s a safe bet that this is music original to The Debt. With a solid cast of well-knowns (Helen Mirren, Sam Worthington and Tom Wilkinson), assuming the story is as riveting as the film's trailer suggests, I’m betting this will all make for a very entertaining cinematic experience.

Sam Worthington (Avatar, Clash of the Titans) makes for such a likable fellow — he’s been hard to miss lately, and his natural charisma speaks as to why. I really dug the brief shot of him, just after his name was flashed on screen. He’s got a certain subtlety to his acting, and it plays well, even when taken in snippets. I also like what I’m seeing in the winsome newcomer Jessica Chastain (she was totally awesome in The Tree of Life) — I imagine she and Worthington will entertain some good chemistry, possibly mixing up a little romantic tension amidst the throes of their dangerous mission. I believe the film's trailer implies such -- that’s what I’m hoping for anyway.

The general energy of the film's trailer, along with the mention of Mossad (the national intelligence agency of Israel), conjured up memories of Spielberg’s Munich. Ultimately, I’m not sure how similarly the two might play, but “I’ve seen something like this before” did cross my mind. But whether I’ve seen it all before or not, the film's trailer did get me amped, and again, the cast is a big draw. I’m pretty darn excited to see this one, if I’m honest.

Directed by John Madden of Shakespeare in Love fame.

Every Friday we'll have new reviews of the latest films. TSR's complete Film Review Database

New Blu-ray and DVDs released this week:

The Nightmare Before Christmas - Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara

Blu-ray/DVD of the Week

The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Stars: Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara The Plot: Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but doesn't quite understand the concept. The Buzz: I am once again in the uncomfortable position of choosing the Blu-ray of the Week from a long list of ONE. I say uncomfortable, because I've never seen this film. I'm red in the face about this, for sure, as I do appreciate Tim Burton's writing talents, and I KNOW this is a film I should have seen by now. It's certainly a film I've been meaning to get around to, but I just never have. I've loads of friends who worship this film, and I understand it has a remarkably large cult following. This Blu-ray release should prompt my initial viewing of it...at...long...last.

The Debt

'Puncture' starring Chris Evans - trailer review