It’s New Release Tuesday and here are your best bets:
Cop Out: It’s kind of sad that Kevin Smith’s (Mallrats) highest grossing film was his most poorly received critically. Cop Out isn’t the worst film Smith has made (that would be Clerks 2) but it is certainly the farthest away for his personal aesthetic. This isn’t wacky romp about clever but immature twenty something slouching toward adult; it’s a bland studio comedy that has no greater ambition than being a mildly diverting buddy cop movie à la 48 Hours. It’s almost worse for a filmmaker to go outside of his comfort zone and fail than to produce something totally innocuous. Starring Bruce Willis, Tracy Morgan, and Sean Williams Scott.
Fun Fact: Via IMDB: “The first film by Kevin Smith that isn’t produced by Scott Mosier. Mosier opted out of producing to develop his own project to direct.” Well, the film certainly could have been worse.
Special Features: Deleted scenes.
The Losers: Despite being based a very cool comic book by Andy Diggle and Jock, The Losers isn’t much fun. For one thing it had to compete against the vastly superior A-Team which it shares a soldier’s-setup-by-the-CIA plot and character archetypes but it also suffered from a budget that did not match the scoop of its script. Some directors can take such limitations and turn them into strengths (for example, screenwriter Peter Berg) but Sylvain White just wasn’t up the challenge. Skip this and go seeThe A-Team in theaters. You’ll get everything this film promises and more. Starring Jeffery Dean Morgan, Chris Evans, and Zoe Saldana.
Fun Fact: Morgan was so dedicated to the film and his role in it, (he played the Hannibal Smith proxy) he was on set every day of shooting, even when wasn’t in a scene, just to help out his fellow actors. Even with that inspiring story in mind, this isn’t a movie worth supporting.
Special Features: Deleted scenes, three featurettes and a first look at the animated film Batman: Under the Hood.
The Runaways: As a rule bio-pics are pretty terrible. By necessity, they reduce extraordinary lives to clichés because they strive to make the personal general. This one, a Behind the Music-style chronicle of the rise and fall of the eponymous 70’s punk rock outfit, doesn’t break the mold. There’s nothing in this film that wasn’t already covered in The Doors or Walk the Line. Its only positives are its exquisite cinematography by Benoit Debie (Irreversible) and a few exciting musical sequences. For what it’s worth, it’s the best new release of the week. Starring Dakota Fanning, Kristen Stewart, and Michael Shannon.
Fun Fact: Before making the jump to features with The Runaways, Floria Sigismodi directed hugely popular music videos for Marilyn Manson (“The Beautiful People”), Interpol (“Obstacle 1”), and The White Stripes (“Blue Orchid”).
Special Features: Making of and director’s commentary.
All of the releases mentioned here have links to their respective Amazon pages but you can also visit Cleveland area Blockbusters, Family Videos, and redboxes for these and other new releases.
Mario blogs regularly at A Polemic Killer Room