We all need a gentle reminder from time to time. This Week In New Releases from New Rising Media aims to do just that – remind you of the biggest, best and hottest new media releases to look out for this week. From the latest big screen blockbusters, to this week's most anticipated Blu-Ray discs, via details of the next big triple-A videogame to reach consoles. This isn't a total run-down of everything new this week, though, these are carefully hand-picked for your viewing/playing pleasure entirely by us, enjoy.
Pick Of The Week: Tyrannosaur (18), Dir: Paddy Considine
Out Now (DVD, Blu Ray)
The debut feature behind-camera for the ever-brilliant Paddy Considine is as stark, bleak and gritty as they come. Also penned by Considine as a follow-up to his 2007 short Dog Altogether; the film is set in a colourless, harsh, working class area of Leeds and stars Peter Cullen as a dejected, depressed and unforgivingly violent drunk – brought to light in disturbing fashion through an early scene in which he bludgeons a dog to death - who is given a second chance to turn his miserable life around by Christian charity shop volunteer Hannah (Olivia Colman).
Like the films of both his personal acquaintance and film-making friend Shane Meadows (This Is England, Dead Man’s Shoes), by rights, Tyrannosaur won’t be to everyone’s taste – Considine paints a vivid, depressingly authentic image of domestic abuse, alcoholism and blood-soaked violence. And yet underneath its skin, Considine’s debut is so much more than that. It’s about the unlikeliest of friendships, the strength of character we all possess to turn our life around, and the ability to see good in the most unlikely of people. A difficult watch then, but a quite remarkable film well worth seeing.
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace 3D (U), Dir: George Lucas
In Cinemas Friday
You have to admire George Lucas. Far from the commercial miss-firings of his less well-known output (Howard The Duck anyone?), Lucas has throughout his career in film shown an uncanny knack for wringing cinema punters’ wallets dry with aplomb. The latest in a long line of re-duxes/re-masterings/re-releases set to ‘re-imagine’ the Star Wars saga, hopefully for the better (but who are we really kidding?), is the theatrical release of the all three prequels in 3D. Get ready to cough up the cash once again.
Out Friday, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace kicks off proceedings in what will stand as a gauge for audience tolerance levels for Lucas’s prequels the second time around. For fans of the series, you already know what to expect from the fan-loathed prequel opener – a fair amount of a slap-stick comedy of errors from Jar Jar Binks, a young Jake Lloyd as fiery whippersnapper Anakin, one hell of a pod race (sure to look absolutely terrific in three dimensions, it’s fair to say) and arguably the best lightsaber duel in the entire series.
The Muppets (U), Dir: James Bobin
In Cinemas Friday
Seeing a release stateside over Thanksgiving weekend, The Muppets will finally make their long-awaited return to the big screen in the UK this week following some heavy marketing by one of the very best trailer runs in recent times (the parody of Fincher’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was genius). Written by star Jason Segal (currently enjoying a run of good-luck at the box-office), The Muppets shares an uncanny resemblance to The Muppets’ current public standing; with Kermit, Gonzo, Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy et al. only having the memories of the long-running, prodigious Muppet Show to relive past successes.
Down on their luck, suffering from a lack of public interest in favour of more up-to-date children’s shows and unknowing of how to turn things around, the plot of The Muppets’ 2012 return is both familiar and strangely appropriate – it’s been a whole 12 years since Jim Henson’s loveable creations last made a theatrical appearance. The film follows three childhood fans of the TV show (Jason Segal, Amy Adams, Peter Linz) looking to rekindle the love for the out-of-sorts puppets and save their theatre from greedy oil tycoon Chris Cooper.
I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.