In my last Disc of the Week post on Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire, I mentioned how his film rose above the usual expectations for January movies. Normally a month reserved for films that even Hollywood thinks are trash, this year provided a few selections that were actually quite worthwhile. Not only did we get Haywire, but we also got the solid Mark Wahlberg thriller Contraband along with a couple selections that are coming out on DVD and Blu-ray this week: The Grey and Chronicle. Both are very good movies, but the latter is one of my favorite movies so far this year. While I could do without the found footage format, it takes the familiar tale of the superhero origin story and presents it in a far more pessimistic manner. Just because you give a teenager super powers doesn’t mean they’re going to use them for good.
In fact, this more pessimistic (or perhaps realistic) worldview is the one thing that allows Chronicle and The Grey to transcend their otherwise routine premises. Both these films go to incredibly dark places, and so long as you’re willing to follow them into these depths you are bound to be rewarded. I don’t want to say much more about Chronicle, because part of what makes it work is the unpredictable journey it takes you on, and if the star of this film (Dane DeHaan) isn’t huge within five years then the industry should be ashamed of itself.
Well, that’s about all I have to recommend. Other releases this week include Albert Nobbs, in which Glenn Close plays a woman pretending to be a man, the reviled The Devil Inside, which I may wind up hate-watching some day, the well-received Woody Harrelson drama Rampart, and the Katherine Heigl comedy One for the Money, which everyone has already forgotten.
Oh, and how dare I forget to mention the complete second season of Nickelodeon’s Victorious? Shame on me…