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FEATURE ARTICLE

New Blu's On the Block - May 22, 2012

 

Rating: Various

Distributor: Various

Released: May 22, 2012

 

Written by Sara Michelle Fetters

 

Editor-in-Chief
www.moviefreak.com

New Blu's On the Block
Blu-ray and DVD Releases for May 22, 2012

Studio Ghibli and Abbas Kiarostami lead the way this week and everything else, including a full Blu-ray collection of Riggs and Murtaugh’s four adventures and another three-episodes season of the modern day adventures of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic detective, can’t help but pale in comparison.

 

 

Certified Copy – Criterion Collection

Missed this last year when it played theatrically, and a part of me is extremely sad I did because writer/director Abbas Kiarostami’s latest is in many ways a total knockout. But it isn’t for everyone, the ragged nature of the narrative so obtuse at times figuring out all of its intricacies can take a bit more work than some viewers might be comfortable with. But Juliette Binoche is flat-out stunning, while famed opera singer William Shimell certainly holds his own against her, Kiarostami orchestrating the dramatic action with a confident flourish I found continually astonishing.

 

 

The Secret World of Arrietty

The best animated film I have seen so far in 2012 and no more needs to be said on the matter. Need more? Than check out my Theatrical Review from last February and my recently posted Blu-ray Review of this stunning achievement, that should keep you satiated until you add this sensational little gem to your family’s cinematic library.

 

 

 

Castle in the Sky

Whisper of the Heart

Two more from Studio Ghibli and the folks at Disney, neither of which as of now I’ve had the opportunity to take a look at. I have exceedingly high hopes, however, as the handling of these titles by the folks at the Mouse House as, of now at least, has been exceptional as far as upgrading them for Blu-ray has been concerned.

 

 

Lethal Weapon Collection

Los Angeles Detectives Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh have certainly gotten on in years, but it’s highly doubtful anyone who became a fan of the pair back in 1987 and have followed them through all four of the violently explosive exploits have even remotely grown too old for their, well, um, let’s just say poop, shall we, and then call it a day.

 

 

Sherlock – Season Two

It’s elementary to say, but good golly miss molly is this BBC show ever good! Seriously, the first season was downright incredible, ending with the type of cliffhanger that had me screaming at my television and sitting on pins and needles waiting for the second season debut to see what was going to happen. What did happen? Well, to be perfectly frank, the show got even better if you can believe it, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman arguably the best Holmes and Watson ever (my apologies to Basil Rathbone and Jeremy Brett on the Holmes side of things, and Nigel Bruce, Edward Hardwicke and Jude Law in regards to Watson).

 

 

The Woman in Black

From my theatrical review (read it here): “The Woman in Black is a nastily creepy ghost story that for the majority of its running time [and] offers up palpable amounts of suspense that are certifiably spine-tingling. Working from a script by Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass, The Debt), director James Watkins (Eden Lake) does a fine job building tension crafting a bit of Victorian era gothic goodness that had me giddily dangling by a thread. Having never read the book, having never seen any of the prior adaptations, I was more than happily spellbound by what was transpiring, eager to see how it would all wrap itself up and whether or not Arthur could key upon answers that wouldn’t put his son Joseph’s life in jeopardy.”

 

 

Red Tails

From my theatrical review (read it here): “Good intentions only get you so far, and while producer George Lucas’ heart is definitely in the right place that doesn’t make his WWII aerial extravaganza Red Tails any less of a middling disappointment. Not a failure, mind you, there are moments too powerful and kinetically exciting for that to be the case, but a disappointment nonetheless.”

 

 

This Means War

From my theatrical review (read it here): “Will there be a worse movie made in 2012 than This Mean War? Yes, almost certainly there will be. Will there be one as clumsy on so many levels, so poorly plotted, so clueless, awkwardly developed and carelessly thought out? Who knows, but I find it doubtful, director McG’s (Charlie’s Angels, Terminator Salvation) latest as shockingly inept as anything I could have possibly anticipated.”

 

 

Perfect Sense

From my theatrical review (read it here): “I’m not entirely sure what to make of David Mackenzie’s (Young Adam, Spread) odd, weirdly antiseptic romantic doomsday epic Perfect Sense. Kim Fupz Aakeson’s (A Somewhat Gentle Man) script is a strange animal to say the least, its weirdly anachronistic scenario of two broken souls finding clarity in one another’s arms as the world shatters around them both touching and dissociating at the same time. It’s hard to grab hold of this piece, difficult to grasp on what it is exactly the director and the writer are trying to say, and while plenty of individual moments border on sensational on the whole this one left me scratching my head.”

 

OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES

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

 

     

 

·         Bettie Page: Dark Angel

·         Beyond

·         A Bullet for the General

·         Mutant Girls Squad

·         Planzet

·         Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Alpha

 

 

NOTABLE DVD RELEASES

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

 

 

Eclipse Series 33: Up All Night with Robert Downey Sr. (Babo 73, Chafed Elbows, No More Excuses, Putney Swope, Two Tons of Turquoise to Taos Tonight) (Criterion Collection)

Rarely do landmark works of cinema seem so… wrong. Robert Downey Sr. emerged as one of the most irreverent filmmakers of the new American underground of the early sixties, taking no prisoners in his rough-and-tumble treatises on politics, race, and consumer culture. In his most famous, the midnight-movie mainstay Putney Swope, an advertising agency is turned on its head when a militant African American man takes charge. Like Swope, Downey held nothing sacred. This selection of five of his most raucous and outlandish films, dating from 1964 to 1975, offers a unique mix of the hilariously abrasive and the intensely experimental. (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)

 

 

The River – The Complete First Season

I’m not sure this show really ever had a chance from the start. From then mind of Paranormal Activity auteur Oren Peli and producer Steven Spielberg, these are eight found-footage style episodes chronicling the attempts of the family of a famed TV personality and professional adventurer (Bruce Greenwood) who disappeared somewhere in an uncharted section of the Amazon. Well made and acted (the cast is stellar across the board), this is nonetheless a highly uneven program that need a ton of padding to fill out all 344 minutes. There are some scares, and there is potential, but while the final episodes is an admitted knockout (and did leave me a tad interested to see where the show potentially could have gone next) it’s not exactly surprising a second season wasn’t a part of ABC’s 2012/2013 plans.

 

 

Rizzoli & Isles – The Complete Second Season

Inspired by the works of author Tess Gerritsen, the second season of Rizzoli & Isles is a surprisingly consistent and strong one. While no single episodes rise to the same heights as the first season’s slam-bang finale, the level of consistency over this 15 different mysteries is highly commendable. The show continues to be a complete and total blast, Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander proving to be a winning pair of best friends and crime solvers worth continuing to pay attention to.

 

 

95 Miles to Go

Ray Romano's eight-day drive through the south on a stand-up comedy tour becomes more than he bargains for when longtime friend and opening act, Tom Caltabiano, brings a film student along to document their thousand-mile journey. Together, all three struggle with Ray's obsessions, phobias, and insecurities in this unscripted exploration of newfound fame. (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)

 

 

Carol Channing: Larger than Life

Carol Channing's life story is as colorful as the lipstick on her big, bright smile. This inspirational film captures the 90-year-old icon's magic and vivacity both onstage and off, past and present. Illuminated by behind-the-curtain stories from Lily Tomlin, Chita Rivera, Barbara Walters, Tyne Daly, Tippi Hedren, Loni Anderson and Debbie Reynolds, Phyllis Diller, Tommy Tune, Bob Mackie and Bruce Vilanch. (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)

 

 

Newlyweds

Buzzy (Edward Burns, Purple Violets, The Brothers McMullen) and Katie (Caitlin Fitzgerald, It’s Complicated) are a newly married couple living a seemingly conflict-free life. But when Buzzy s damaged and impulsive half-sister Linda (Kerry Bishe, Nice Guy Johnny) arrives at their doorstep expecting to stay for an indefinite period in their Tribeca loft, her antics threaten to disrupt the couple s commitment to an easy marriage. Meanwhile, with Katie s sister Marsha (Marsha Dietlein Bennett, Little Children) projecting suspicions of her own husband s infidelity onto Buzzy, will the couple s formerly trusting and insulated life be able to withstand the dysfunctions of their respective siblings? (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)

 

 

United

Based on the true story of how Manchester United, the youngest championship team in English soccer history, rose from the ashes of a tragic plane crash that devastated the team. Powerfully acted, United is tale of overcoming-the-odds; a triumphant film not to be missed by sports fans. (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)

 

OTHER NOTABLE DVD RELEASES

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

 

·         Ghost Hunters International Season 2: Part 2

·         My Babysitter's a Vampire: The First Season

·         Worried About the Boy

·         Teen Wolf – The Complete Season One

 

 

NOTABLE NEW BLU-RAY ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

   

     

 

·         Mirror Mirror (June 26, 2012)

·         Wrath of the Titans (June 26, 2012)

·         Being Flynn (July 10, 2012)

·         Margaret (July 10, 2012)

·         The Three Stooges (July 10, 2012)

·         Silent House (July 24, 2012)

·         4.3.2.1. (July 31, 2012)

·         Clue (Aug 7, 2012)

·         Johnny Guitar (Aug 7, 2012)

·         Rio Grande (Aug 7, 2012)

·         La Promesse (Aug 14, 2012)

·         Rosetta (Aug 14, 2012)

·         The Royal Tenenbaums (Aug 14, 2012)

·         Weekend (Aug 21, 2012)

·         Quadrophenia (Aug 28, 2012)

·         Ghosts of the Abyss 3D (Sept 11, 2012)

 

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