New This Week
The Covid-19 coronavirus has made this such a terrible year in so many ways. Beyond the sickness and death, there has been economic suffering and mental anguish for many. Everyday things like going to school or work and shopping for essentials have been affected for everyone. Complaining about the state of movies seems almost petty in the wake of what is going on in the real world, yet here I am doing just that.
I have fond memories of going out to the movies and holding VHS, DVD, and Blu-ray copies of films in my hands along with getting ready to surrender to the excitement of seeing a good movie. Although I have enjoyed films I have only seen on television or my computer, they are not the same thing. I can still recall when and where I saw films in theatres as a child, or the first time I saw them on a video I owned, but I don’t have the same warm memory of something I watched streaming across my TV or computer screen. Is it that today’s films just aren’t that good, or is it the less exciting experience that dims my appreciation? It’s probably a little of both.
The virus has also affected home video production and distribution. Warner Archive, for example, has been experiencing a delay in getting out their highly anticipated December Blu-rays. I wrote last week’s review of Mister Roberts based on the old DVD and my anticipation of the ecstatically reviewed new Blu-ray which I still don’t have. I do not wish to compound the problem by trying to review any more of Warner Archive’s new releases until I have them in hand.
I had intended to write something this week about three of those releases, The Shop Around the Corner, It Happened on 5th Avenue, and Holiday Affair in an article about ten Christmas films that don’t usually make people’s lists of the ten best Christmas films. I’ll save those reviews for a later time. Meanwhile, here are the other seven worth considering after you’ve gotten through It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, and A Christmas Carol again this holiday season: