Having missed it during its highly successful theatrical run, I made an early trip to the video store (remember those?) this past Tuesday to pick up The Purge on Blu-ray. Like many, I was intrigued by the premise of a dystopian future America in which an annual night of crime-free killing known as “The Purge” is the key to the new U.S. of A.’s unprecedented prosperity. For an elevator pitch, my last sentence is intriguing stuff that leaves you wanting to know more about the world created by writer/director James DeMonaco. Unfortunately, I found the stellar logline to be the best thing going for The Purge as a majority of the film’s execution felt flat. I cared little to nothing about the Sandin family, was taken out of the movie during long stretches of characters searching aimlessly around the house with a flashlight, and felt the pic exchanged discernible commentary on societal violence for an all-out bloodbath that was not as much scary as it was a welcomed break from said extensive flashlight searching. Final verdict? Watch The Purge for the interesting premise, but don’t expect much in the way of scares or social commentary.
All new to home video discussion aside, this week’s Top 5 is filled to the brim with Captain Phillips interviews with Tom Hanks and more, a new trailer for Ben Stiller‘s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty including Matt and Steve’s impressions of the film, 106 lost episodes of Doctor Who potentially popping up in Ethiopia, a new trailer for David O. Russell‘s American Hustle, and Quentin Tarantino‘s top 10 films of 2013 to date. As you may be expecting, a brief recap and link to each of the above awaits after the jump.
1. CAPTAIN PHILLIPS Interviews with Tom Hanks and More
I’ll admit that I was less than enthused for Captain Phillips when I first saw the trailer in theaters. In spite of the fact that I love Tom Hanks in almost everything, the film’s nautical setting and purported “cat-and-mouse on a giant ship” approach didn’t look to play to my sensibilities. At this point, though, I’ve heard too many good things for me to miss it so consider my box office ticket already purchased. Whether you’re like me and coming around now that positive reaction is aplenty or you were sold on the pic from day one, you’ll do well to check out Matt’s review, Christina’s video interview with director Paul Greengrass and star Barkhad Abdi, and Tom Hanks discussing the film during its press day.
2. THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY Review and New Trailer
In a 180 to my initial Captain Phillips reaction, the first time I saw the trailer for Ben Stiller’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty in theaters, I nearly applauded. Does it look a little on the nose? Sure. How about overtly melodramatic? Yep. And yet, despite Matt’s lukewarm review from NYFF 2013, I’m thoroughly excited to check out Mitty for myself. For those still with me, I think you’ll enjoy the latest trailer for the film and this enthusiastic, spoiler-free, video blog recorded by Steve shortly after seeing the movie.
3. 106 Lost Episodes of DOCTOR WHO Found in Ethiopia?
Here’s a story I can appreciate in spite of the fact that I’ve never watched an episode of Doctor Who in my life. Apparently 106 of 253 episodes from the iconic series’ first six years have been missing for decades as a result of the BBC either losing or erasing the original tapes for the sake of saving space. This past week, the tabloid Mirror Online reported that copies of the missing episodes have been found at the Ethiopian Radio and Television Agency and the BBC is now in negotiations to acquire the tapes. While I can look at this story and find it interesting, I’m sure fans of the series see it in an entirely different, more anticipatory perspective.
4. New Trailer for AMERICAN HUSTLE
I can’t wait to see American Hustle. The cast, the setting, the tone, everything I’ve seen from the film thus far makes me believe it has a great chance of being included in my end of the year best picture list. This latest trailer, while maybe a half-step or so behind the incredible first trailer, only reenforces everything I already believed before this week. Just try and not crack a smile following Christian Bale’s opening exchange with Jeremy Renner here. I dare you.
5. Quentin Tarantino’s Top 10 Films of 2013 So Far
The fact that Quentin Tarantino’s cinematic tastes are varied, and perhaps unique, should surprise only those who have never heard of Quentin Tarantino. And yet, when he releases his top 10 films of 2013 so far and Disney’s colossal bust The Lone Ranger is included in the mix, I can’t help but be, for the lack of a better term, surprised. Moreover, as if he didn’t give us enough to talk about by releasing his list of favorites, Tarantino later issued some elaboration on why The Lone Ranger made his list with a concise explanation of his choice and a great recommendation for 1980’s Batman casting.