New Blu's On the Block - May 29, 2012


Rating: Various

Distributor: Various

Released: May 29, 2012


Written by Sara Michelle Fetters



New Blu's On the Block
Blu-ray and DVD Releases for May 29, 2012

Just got back into town after a quick holiday weekend vacation (yes, even I am allowed a bit of time off), and after 15 hours in a car I’m not exactly enthused enough to put a ton of effort into today’s column. I apologize. Even so, there are some titles here that can’t help but jump out at a person. Take a look at the list and you’ll see what I mean. 


True Blood – The Complete Fourth Season

For fanatics, this is easily the most hotly anticipated release of the week. For newcomers like myself, let’s just say starting with the fourth season to begin one’s immersion into this Louisiana backwoods worlds isn’t the best decisions in the world. Creator Alan Ball has piled a LOT of stuff on this series’ plate, and putting all the pieces and picking the choicest bits clean of all their tasty marrow takes far more doing than it probably should. All that said, this is one of the most stunningly shot, scored, edited and designed shows in all of television, I must admit, Warner’s Blu-ray release as phenomenal as any I’ve ever had the pleasure to come across. After I finish the last couple of episodes, expect a full review to be posted posthaste.




Summer Interlude – Criterion Collection

Summer with Monika – Criterion Collection

Two from director Ingmar Bergman courtesy of the Criterion Collection, this pair of summertime themed films are a joyous journey into the mind of one of cinema’s most gifted craftsman. The latter, Summer with Monika, is particularly important as it is the film that Bergman credits for changing the course of his career and leading him to craft The Seventh Seal just two short years later. But both are borderline incredible, and I don’t think any critic worth their salt wouldn’t be howling to the nearest moon for potential viewers to take a look at them at their earliest convenience.



We Need to Talk About Kevin

This isn’t an easy movie. Uncompromising, fearless, unafraid to go to corners that make the viewer as uncomfortable as humanly possible, We Need to Talk About Kevin is a masterstroke drama that unleashes pungent, nastily disturbing surprise one right after the other. It also features a performance from the great Tilda Swinton ranking as one the best, if not the absolute best, of her entire career, the fact she didn’t get an Academy Award nomination for her work bordering on criminal. A hard movie to say I enjoyed, but at the same time an extremely easy one to recommend, We Need to Talk About Kevin is arguably the week’s boldest, bravest achievement hitting store shelves.




Ralph Fiennes’ adaptation of the Shakespeare play is perfectly acceptable. The modern day setting makes it immediate for today’s times, the acting by everyone involved (especially Vanessa Redgrave; she took my breath away more than a couple of times) and the final 20 minutes or so are suitably devastating and have the tragic impact Fiennes was obviously hoping for. So what’s the issue? Well, it’s kind of boring most of the way through. Worse, it’s immediately forgettable, and the fact I failed to write a theatrical review is rather telling. Works better at home than it did in the theatre, and with a cast featuring Fiennes, Redgrave, Gerard Butler, Brian Cox and Jessica Chastain it’s not exactly difficult on the eyes or the ears, but as directorial debuts go I was sadly expecting more, and to say the finished product left me more than a wee bit cold is a decided understatement.



Man on a Ledge

From my theatrical review (read it here): “There’s a lot going on in Man on a Ledge…Pablo F. Fenjves’ script filled with more twists and turns than you can shake a stick at. But for all its puzzles, for all its red herrings, for as hard as it tries to keep the audience at a loss, the movie itself is really nothing more than a rather pedestrian B-movie affair, and figuring out where it is all going and what the outcome is going to be isn’t particularly difficult to do.”




Didn’t screen for press, haven’t heard a darn thing good about it, and yet, curiously, I’m still slightly intrigued by this Amanda Seyfried thriller. I need help.




Here’s something of a surprise: Goon, starring the almost always annoying Seann William Scott of American Pie fame, is good. Not great. Not outstanding. Not even very good. Just good. A solid, hearty, kept me watching for every single one of its bloodied, bruised and battered 91 minutes good. It made me laugh. Out loud. By myself as I was watching it at home. All of these things I find shocking, not the least reason for that being that I’m not even a hockey fan and don’t consider Slap Shot to be some sort of timeless cinematic classic. But, like that movie, this movie refuses to pull punches, goes where other comedies fear to tread and, positively and absolutely, takes no prisoners. I liked it, maybe more than I right now think I do, and with that in mind maybe I should slip it into the Blu-ray player and give it another look this very second.



Murdoch Mysteries – Season 4

Fans of this show need to pick this latest season up right away, Acorn Media arguably delivering their finest Blu-ray collection (seasons one and three are available now, with seasons two and five forthcoming sometime in the future) of the show to date. Everyone else? Definitely worthy of a rental, even if you’ve never watched a preceding episode, and while the characters have gone through changes during the past years (Detective William Murdoch and Dr. Julia Ogden in particular) it’s not especially difficult to figure out what all the hullabaloo has been about. A ton of fun, this Toronto-set, Sherlockian meets C.S.I. program a true gem that only seems to get better as it goes along.



The Aggression Scale

Let’s just say this, The Aggression Scale would make a wickedly cynical double-bill pairing with this week’s other malicious teenage child drama We Need to Talk About Kevin; that is something I feel certain about. Anything else? Taken on its own, this chilling B-movie thriller is the sadistic second cousin to Home Alone, and while I can’t say it’s exactly redeemable as far as story or theme are concerned in regards to filmmaking bravado I have to give editor/director Steven C. Miller quite a bit of credit. I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen, and while there aren’t a ton of surprises to be found that doesn’t make the sick nastiness of this morality play any less tasty for those with an appetite and a palate for such delicacies.



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·         The Demoniacs

·         Denver & Rio Grande

·         Love Never Dies

·         Memorial Day

·         The Rape of the Vampire

·         Requiem for a Vampire

·         Rookie Blue – The Complete Second Season

·         Run for Cover

·         Silver City

·         The Strange Love of Martha Ivers

·         Too Late Blues




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Miles from Home

Miles Conway (Ty Hodges) is barely 18 and finds himself homeless on the streets of Los Angeles in a world where life is raw and exposed, and the idea of hope and security is fictional. In searching for refuge he's engulfed by drugs, violence and prostitution under the protection of a new adopted mother figure, Keisha (Tasha Smith) a woman who appears to fill the void of the mother he is so desperately searching for. When hope comes in the form of Natasha Freeman (Meagan Good), a young woman of faith and innocence, Miles must confront his inner demon and decide where his value lies. To what will he be true? (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)



Monroe: Series One

Dr. Gabriel Monroe (James Nesbitt, Murphy’s Law) is a neurosurgical genius with a quick wit and a heart to match his titanic ego. Following no rules but his own, Monroe infuriates colleagues and terrifies interns with his glib repartee and arrogant self-regard. Pitting his formidable skills against high-risk medical emergencies is only one of Monroe’s challenges. He and his team must also navigate the toll that medicine takes on patients and doctors—especially when dealing with their personal lives. As slick as he is with a scalpel, Monroe struggles at home as a husband and father, and at work he clashes with brusque heart surgeon Dr. Jenny Bremner (Sarah Parish, The Pillars of the Earth). With a dose of House’s dark humor and an infusion of humanity and warmth, Monroe is gripping medical drama at its best. (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)



Take Me Home

Little does NYC cab driver Thom Colvin know that when an attractive lady hops into his cab and says take me to California, that their journey winding across America will become the adventure, and mis-adventure, of their lifetimes. (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)



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


·         Drop Dead Diva: The Complete Third Season

·         Maverick: The Complete First Season

·         Royal Pains: Season Three – Volume Two







·         The Hedgehog (June 12, 2012)

·         Thin Ice (June 12, 2012)

·         Casa de mi Padre (July 17, 2012)

·         Footnote (July 24, 2012)

·         LOL (July 31, 2012)

·         Grimm: Season One (Aug 7, 2012)

·         New Jack City (Aug 14, 2012)

·         Shaft (1971) (Aug 14, 2012)

·         The Hunger Games (Aug 18, 2012)

·         Lonesome – Criterion Collection (Aug 28, 2012)

·         The Avengers (2012) (Sept 25, 3012)

·         Bond 50 (Sept 25, 2012)

·         The Walking Dead – The Complete Second Season (Aug 28, 2012)



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