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FEATURE ARTICLE

New Blu's On the Block - 5/10/2011

 

Rating: Various

Distributor: Various

Released: May 10, 2011

 

Written by Sara Michelle Fetters

 

Editor-in-Chief

www.moviefreak.com

 

New Blu's On the Block
Blu-ray and DVD Releases for May 10, 2011

 

There are a LOT of catalog titles hitting Blu-ray today, some of which are coming to high definition for a second time (like digibook editions of The Terminator, Patton, The Usual Suspects, Rocky and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World). While almost everything is notable, the ones I’ve listed below are the few I think are the day’s most notable releases, all of which hitting Blu-ray for the first time and thusly deserve the majority of the attention.

 

As a side note, there are a number of Hollywood Pictures and Touchstone catalog titles hitting Blu-ray for the first time. There are far too many to list, but the most intriguing and worthwhile I have included in the ‘Other Notable Releases’ section.

         

 

 

The Misfits (Support this site! Click title to buy from Amazon.)

Some Like It Hot (Support this site! Click title to buy from Amazon.)

Two with Marilyn Monroe, both outstanding and worthy of being added to anyone’s personal hi-def collections, Billy Wilder’s Some Like It Hot being the obvious standout. In most circles, that gender-bending Valentine’s Day Massacre sensation featuring Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon as two out of work musicians who go on the lame hiding in an all-girl band is considered the greatest screen comedy ever made. It’s certainly mighty high on my own personal list, Pat O'Brien’s final line of dialogue maybe the most iconic and memorable in all of movie history. Filled with outstanding performance, witty dialogue and memorable moments, this film is truly one of the all-time greats and I for one can’t wait to get a look at it on Blu-ray.

 

The Misfits is notable for a number reasons, not the least of which being the fact it was the final film Monroe, Clark Gable and Montgomery Clift ever appeared in. Working from an outstanding script by playwright Arthur Miller, director John Huston fashioned an iconic and heartbreaking look at a changing West and the effects it has upon its disparate characters, three lost souls who come together just outside of Reno, Nevada each finding solace within the other for varying reasons. Tragic for a number of reasons (not just because each principal dies shortly after filming), this poignant drama is one that sticks with the viewer long after it has come to an end.

 

 

Something Wild (Support this site! Click title to buy from Amazon.)

Jonathan Demme’s outlandish and inspired 1986 classic Something Wild gets the Criterion treatment, and while there aren’t a lot in the way of extras picture and sound quality are so outstanding that fact ends up meaning close to nothing. Starring Melanie Griffith, Jeff Daniels and a wildly out of control Ray Liotta (in his big screen debut), this rambunctious and uncontrollable comedy veers from genre to genre and from style to style at the drop of the hat, a pre-Tarantino exercise in genre-hopping pulp fiction that simply must be seen to be believed. This is a disc anyone even partially interested in should buy immediately, and you can read all about it in my just posted Blu-ray review.

 

 

No Strings Attached (Support this site! Click title to buy from Amazon.)

From my January theatrical review (read it here): “I quite enjoyed No String Attached. Director Ivan Reitman may not be back at the top of his game but he certainly knows what he’s doing, the picture handsomely made and efficiently put together with a touch that’s confident and self-assured. As January surprises go this is probably the biggest one I’ve encountered in years, and I imagine when the film makes its way to Blu-ray later this summer I’ll happily watch it again without any reservations whatsoever.” That statement comes true and then some, just check out my just posted Blu-ray review of the title and you’ll see what I mean.

 

 

Blue Valentine (Support this site! Click title to buy from Amazon.)

From my December 2010 theatrical review (read it here): “But the things going on inside of Blue Valentine had no weight as far as I was concerned, and while the characters themselves were certainly realistically depicted I couldn’t help but want for more. Everything about this one just ended up feeling so matter of fact, so uninspired, so forgone and unsurprising, that the decisions Cindy and Dean ultimately made weren’t ones that mattered to me. I was left totally cold by what was taking place, their saga of love and despair making me feel close to nothing. [Co-writer and director Derek] Cianfrance has crafted an intriguing, superbly acted enigma, the final product a relationship tragedy devoid of tears, devoid of emotion and, ultimately, sadly devoid of giving me any reason to care.”

 

I should note that both Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams are incredible, the latter just deserving of her Academy Award nomination while the former probably deserving of one as well. Mitchell has just posted his Blu-ray review, and Roy’s take of the DVD will be up shortly.

 

 

The Illusionist (2010) 

(Support this site! Click title to buy from Amazon.)

From my January theatrical review (read it here): “Based on an unproduced screenplay by the great French auteur Jacques Tati (Mon Oncle, Playtime, Mr. Hulot’s Holiday) and adapted and directed by The Triplets of Bellville maestro Sylvain Chomet, The Illusionist is a bittersweet fairy tale of youth and aging that’s as lovely as it is heartbreaking. It is a beguiling saga of a man dealing with a world that is quickly passing him by and a girl on the verge of womanhood but still able to see the magic in the smallest of everyday things that surround her. It is a love affair of a parent who never expected to be a dad and child who has never known what it is to be cared for and protected, everything building to a coda of resilience, resurgence and rebirth that managed to bring a quiet tear to my eye and caused my heart to skip a tiny little beat.”

 

 

Black Death (Support this site! Click title to buy from Amazon.)

From my March theatrical review (read it here): “Black Death is a major step up for Severance and Triangle director Christopher Smith. Working from a complex, unexpectedly intelligent and frighteningly brutal script by Dario Poloni (Wilderness), the movie is a nasty character study about faith, religion and the power and the price of belief that caught me a little by surprise. It is the complete antithesis of the year’s other picture about the Black Plague, the Nicolas Cage disaster Season of the Witch, this one actually having something the say and offering up much in the way of food for thought as it does its best to thrill, startle and entertain.” I’ll have a full review of the Blu-ray up for everyone to take a look at shortly.

 

 

I Saw the Devil (Support this site! Click title to buy from Amazon.)

Kim Jee-Woom’s (The Good, the Bad, the Weird) highly disturbing thriller is as raw and as uncompromising as anything I’ve seen in ages. The story of a serial killer (Old Boy star Choi Min-sik) facing off against an elite special agent (Lee Byung-hun) whose pregnant wife he has just slain, this movie goes in directions I never saw coming, delivering as tragic and as unsympathetic treatise on revenge as any I could have imagined. I’ll have a full review of this Blu-ray posted soon.

 

 

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never 

(Support this site! Click title to buy from Amazon.)

Do I really have to describe this one? Didn’t think so. Bottom line, if you’re a fan, you’ve already seen this concert documentary in theatres and have probably already pre-ordered the Blu-ray from Amazon. If you’re not, then dear God why are you spending your precious time reading this blurb? (Item releases on Friday, May 13)

 

 

The Horse Soldiers (Support this site! Click title to buy from Amazon.)

John Ford classic teams him once again with his favorite star John Wayne, the pair conspiring to manufacture a rousing tale of a Union Calvary unit sent behind Confederate lines to destroy their railways and their supply depots. Some great action scenes, but the best moments all involve Wayne and costar William Holden sparing over the ethical and moral implications of what it is they are doing. Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss bombshell Constance Towers costars as a Confederate widow who finds herself inadvertently stuck as part of this ragtag group.

 

 

Cougars, Inc (Support this site! Click title to buy from Amazon.)

Barely released comedic drama about a boarding school student, Sam (Kyle Gallner), who starts an escort service with some of his friends when he learns his mother can no longer afford his tuition. Denise Richards, Kathryn Morris and James Belushi costar.

 

 

OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES

 

   

     

     

 

  • Alien (Read Mitchell's Blu-ray Review of the Alien Anthology)
  • Aliens
  • Alien 3
  • Alien: Resurrection
  • Another Stakeout
  • Betsy’s Wedding
  • Big Business
  • Equilibrium (Read Sara's Theatrical Review; Read Mitchell's Blu-ray Review)
  • Gross Anatomy
  • The Hit List
  • Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (Digibook Edition) (Read Sara's Theatrical Review)
  • Money for Nothing
  • Patton (Digibook Edition)
  • Rocky (Digibook Edition)
  • Supercop: Police Story III
  • The Terminator (Digibook Edition)
  • The Usual Suspects (Digibook Edition)
  • The Violent Kind

NOTABLE DVD RELEASES

 

 

Bhutto

Riveting documentary from filmmakers Duane Baughman and Johnny O'Hara chronicling the life and times of assassinated India leader Benazir Bhutto and the effect her death had – and is still having – on the Muslim world.

 

 

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do is the touching story of what happens when two people feel they have nothing more to give to a relationship. This humorously intimate tale takes us on the journey of Vince (Kendrick Cross, For Colored Girls) and Shonda (Demetria McKinney, Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns), who are trying to decide if their relationship is worth saving. Seeking closure, the couple goes to therapy to examine not how they fell in love, but how to stay there. (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)

 

 

Cropsey

Creepy, highly unsettling documentary involving filmmakers Barbara Brancaccio and Joshua Zeman as they investigate an urban legend from their youth quickly discovering truth is far more stranger, and in this case even more frightening, than truth. Involving and original, this is a strong effort true-crime aficionados will not want to miss.

 

 

Home Improvement: 20th Anniversary Complete Collection

Am I the only one who can’t believe this series is 20 years old? How did that happen? Could I really have been just staring High School when Tim the Tool Guy first made his appearance? How crazy is that? Wow. I feel old.

 

 

How I Ended This Summer

Acclaimed Russian import about a seasoned meteorologist stationed at a polar station on a desolate island in the Arctic Ocean. I’ve heard great things about this one and a review copy is supposedly on the way. As soon as it gets here I’ll post a full review.

 

 

Now & Later

Sex, politics and American culture are mixed into a combustible combination in Now & Later. Angela (Shari Solanis) is an illegal Latina immigrant living in Los Angeles who stumbles across Bill (James Wortham), a disgraced banker on the run. She takes him in. Through passionate sex, soul searching conversations ranging from politics to philosophy, and other worldly pleasures, Angela introduces Bill to another worldview. As their affair heats up, the course of Bill's life begins to take an abrupt and unexpected turn. The film was conceived by the director in reaction to American s penchant for violence in our culture and our puritanical censoring of anything involving sex. Familiar with philosopher Wilhelm Reich s notion that a sexually repressed society turns into a violent one, Diaz makes an unabashedly sexual yet cerebral film that challenges the perception that sex in media is harmful. (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)

 

OTHER NOTABLE DVD RELEASES

 

  • The Fortunes & Misfortunes of Moll Flanders
  • McMillan & Wife: Season 3

 

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Article posted on May 10, 2011 | Share this article | Top of Page

 

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