NHL 12, autobiographies from Michael Moore and Roger Ebert, and more in our new-release picks for September 13, 2011
New-release week is starting to hit its stride again now that summer is basically over. We haven't yet hit the action-packed holiday onslaught, though, and this week, we've got a lot of fantastic and slightly off-the-beaten-path stuff to choose from, including autobiographies from Roger Ebert and Michael Moore, as well as this year's hockey game, a couple fantastic films and plenty more. Before we get into the blockbuster territory in the coming months, this is one of your last chances to pick up stuff without too many explosions in it.
Despite what you're probably thinking, Thor was, for the most part, an enjoyable, dumb movie. It was safe and didn't venture far from the story-explosion-explosion-punch-story atmosphere of most comic-book movies, but it did its job at conveying its narrative well. Plus, it has a hunky dude smashing shit with a hammer and smooching on Natalie Portman, so really, everyone should be able to get something out of it.
Apparently Natalie Portman was in every single movie this summer, because here she is again. This time around, it's a hell of a lot different than Thor, though. Hesher is Joseph Gordon-Levitt running around being, well, a hesher, and popping into the life of a messed-up family only to take up residence in their garage. It's not a heartwarming tale, nor is it one that feeds you lines; it's subdued, odd, and will often make you slightly uncomfortable. It's weird, but remarkably satisfying in the end.
Michael Moore is a love-him-or-hate-him character, but despite how you feel about his politics and his films, it's always good to get the history and story of the people you love/hate. You should be able to do that with Here Comes Trouble, a collection of essays about his life, from childhood all the way up to his films. It looks to be a solid collection of both humorous and heartening stories, and mostly devoid of Moore's usual political slant.
Life Itself by Roger Ebert
You wouldn't usually want to read an autobiography of a film critic, but Roger Ebert is a little different. Not only has he been an insanely prolific writer and connoisseur of film, he also has survived and recovered from not just alcoholism, but also complications with thyroid cancer. In recent years, he has moved his views of films to critiques of the world at large, and it should be interesting to see how he views not only the world around him, but himself.