Pina Ė Criterion Collection
From my theatrical review (read it here): ďWithout extensive backstory, without a lot of talking heads spending countless minutes expounding on Pinaís genius, [director Wim] Wenders lets her work and the talents of the dancers she spent so much of her time with speak for itself. This is a movie that thrives on the ability of the human form and psyche to gloriously break through perceived boundaries and burst past what is conventionally expected, and even if it all isnít immediately relatable the flair it took to bring it to life is undeniable.Ē This is Criterionís first foray into the 3D Blu-ray market, and let me say results are close to extraordinary. This is one of the most immersive home 3D experiences I have quite frankly ever had, and fans of the film owe it to themselves to pick this release up right this very second.
The Quiet Man
Two John Ford classics hitting Blu-ray in successive weeks (How Green Was My Valley hit shelves last Tuesday)? Could life get any better? While that statement is a little excessive on my part, calling The Quiet Man a remarkable work from a director whose filmography is littered with great motion pictures isnít anything close to an understatement. Using frequent stars John Wayne and Maureen OíHara brilliantly, this Technicolor, heartfelt dramatic comedy is an ebullient change of pace for all involved thatís almost impossible not to adore. Watch it immediately.
Ivanís Childhood Ė Criterion Collection
Ivanís Childhood was the debut film from acclaimed Russian auteur Andrei Tarkovsky. A haunting tale of a boy coming of age during the horrors of World War I, the movie is an exhilarating visual and emotional rush hinting at the greatness Tarkovsky would soon unleash upon the cinematic world with subsequent motion pictures. For cineastes, taking a look at Ivanís Childhood isnít just a good idea, it is borderline essential.
For a Good Time, CallÖ
From my theatrical review (read it here): ďFor a Good Time, CallÖ, written by [actress Lauren] Miller and Katie Anne Naylon and helmed by award-winning short film director Jamie Travis, isnít without its charms. Loosely influenced by events the writers themselves went through as college roommates, there is a refreshing sweetness to the film, an inspired look at female friendship and empowerment that had me smiling ear to earÖYet even with all that being so, even though there were plenty of a little segments here and there that had me chuckling loudly, overall this movie sadly doesnít work. The dialogue tends to be stilted, oftentimes forced, everyone speaking to one another in Whit Stillman-like cadences that kept me at armís length.Ē For more on this release, check out my Interview with director Jamie Travis and co-writer Katie Ann Naylon.
Searching for Sugar Man
The presumptive favorite to win this yearís Academy Award for Best Documentary. Thatís all I have to say on the matter other than to let you know, while it wasnít my pick for 2012ís best doc, itís still pretty darn awesome and has a kick-ass soundtrack so my recommending you give it a look is close to a no-brainer.
Tai Chi Zero
From my theatrical review (read it here): ďI do not get all the fuss in regards to Tai Chi Zero. Billed as a Ďsteampunk kung fu throw down,í the movie is like a feverish video game martial arts hybrid fueled by copious amounts of adrenaline and acid, the whole thing a phantasmagoric surrealistic hyperactive daydream that doesnít know when to stop. Itís so over the top, so frenzied, so out of control the whole thing ends up being nothing more than unintelligible nonsense, and if director Stephen Fung and his team of writers had some sort of cohesive idea as to what this is all supposed to be about I certainly havenít the first clue what that might be.Ē
The Seven-Per-Cent Solution
Featuring an Academy Award-nominated script by Nicolas Meyer (Time After Time, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan) and direction by Herbert Ross (Footloose, Steel Magnolias), Iíve always found the oddly eccentric The Seven-Per-Cent Solution to be as enjoyable a Sherlock Holmes frolic as any that has ever seen the light of day. The movie revolves around the teaming up of Sir Conan Doyleís iconic detective with the one and only Sigmund Freud, the two joining forces after the former comes to the latter for help overcoming his cocaine addiction in an attempt to stop the dastardly Prof. Moriarty from unleashing a particularly horrible bit of carnage. Original, unusual, never quite going in the expected direction, this movie is a fluffy bit of fun that sticks with you long after itís over, making its debut on Blu-ray as elementary a celebration as any I could possibly think of.
Ticks isnít a great movie. Heck, it probably isnít even a good one. That said, this early Ď90s monster melee has a way of burrowing under the skin much like the titular, very carnivorous insects at the core of all the carnage, the inventive use of blood and gore something B-horror aficionados like myself canít help but hold some affinity for. Throw in an incredibly young Seth Green and a hysterically whack-a-do Clint Howard and this is an underground cult sensation worthy of some, if not a lot, attention, and if the price ever drops to a suitable place goodness knows Iíll be adding it to my own collection something quick.
OTHER NOTABLE BLU-RAY RELEASES
(Support this site! Click title to buy from Amazon!)
∑ Deadly Blessing
∑ Death Race 3: Inferno
∑ Gamera the Brave
∑ Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai
∑ Keep the Lights On
∑ The Men Who Built America
∑ Nature Calls
∑ Nobody Walks
∑ Officer Down
∑ The Sex Thief
∑ Trust (1990)
∑ Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning
NOTABLE DVD RELEASES
(Support this site! Click title to buy from Amazon!)
Fantastic documentary chronicling one of the strangest disappearances-reappearances ever to see the light of day, Imposter has it all. Truth, lies, fact, fiction, secrets, family, faith, all of that and more is chronicled within, everything leading up to a mysteriously ambiguous climax making one believe the answers might still be out there and the explanations might never be known. Wonderful.
The acclaimed directorial debut from veteran Austrian actor Karl Markovics (star of the Academy Award-winning The Counterfeiters) is an eloquent, affecting portrait of an incarcerated teenager (newcomer Thomas Schubert) attempting to win parole by working at a local morgue. Raised from birth in institutions, he is initially impassive and self-sabotaging in his behavior; soon, though, he begins to respect the solemn work of handling the dead, and starts to come to terms with his own youthful crime. (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)
Five young friends hit the road towards a vacation cottage for a weekend of partying, documenting their trip with a video camera. What starts off as a good time quickly turns frightening with the discovery of an eerie, isolated small town and a menacing RV. Following a hit and run, the group pursues the RV only to uncover the true horror that awaits them: a community of sadistic cannibals, completely removed from civilization and not pleased at having visitors. The recovered video of their terrifying ordeal with the crazed locals comprises Crowsnest, a horrifying chronicle of an encounter with pure evil. (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)
Fat Kids Rule the World
Marking Matthew Lillardís (Scooby Doo, Scream, SLC Punk!) directorial debut, and based on the bestselling novel by the same title (by American author KL Going in 2003), Fat Kids Rule the World is a story for everybody who has ever needed to find their inner rock star. Set against the backdrop of the Seattle music scene, Fat Kids Rule the World is a coming-of-age story about two dysfunctional teenagers searching for something more out of their completely hopeless existence. Troy Billings is fat. His life sucks. Heís about to end it all by jumping in front of a bus, when Marcus MacRae, a charismatic punk rock superstar, tackles him to the ground and changes his life forever. (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)
NOTABLE NEW BLU-RAY ANNOUNCEMENTS
∑ Lay the Favorite (March 5, 2013)
∑ Ironweed (March 26, 2013)
∑ McLintock! (March 26, 2013)
∑ Gate of Hell Ė Criterion Collection (April 9, 2013)
∑ Naked Lunch Ė Criterion Collection (April 9, 2013)
∑ Richard III (1955) Ė Criterion Collection (April 9, 2013)
∑ Repo Man - Criterion Collection (April 16, 2013)
∑ Pierre Etaix Ė Criterion Collection (April 23, 2013)