New Blu's On the Block - 5/31/2011
Released: May 31, 2011
Sara Michelle Fetters
New Blu's On the Block
Blu-ray and DVD Releases for May 31, 2011
Like last week, I’m keeping this edition of “New Blu’s On the Block” relatively short. There are some great titles for you to take a look at, though. Seriously great. Your pocket book is going to hate you in the morning great. Something to keep in mind.
Stanley Kubrick Limited Edition Collection
A Clockwork Orange: 40th Anniversary Edition DigiBook
Barry Lyndon, Lolita (Individual Release Amazon Exclusives)
The Stanley Kubrick Limited Edition contains nine of the master’s best known films, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Eyes Wide Shut, Full Metal Jacket, Spartacus, The Shining, a brand new 40th anniversary edition of A Clockwork Orange and, for the first time on Blu-ray, Barry Lyndon and Lolita (both of which are also available separately exclusively through Amazon.com). This ten-disc set comes in spiffy, hardcover packaging reminiscent of Alien Anthology and includes both a 40-page hardcover booklet and an 11-page DigiBook. It also comes with all the special features from each films previous Blu-ray release and includes all of the new extras included with the A Clockwork Orange: 40th Anniversary Edition DigiBook.
Speaking of that set, it is pretty darn spectacular, and you can now read my A Clockwork Orange: 40th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray review. Additionally, Mitchell will have reviews of both Barry Lyndon and Lolita coming your way soon. For Kubrick enthusiasts, this collection, along with the announcement that The Killing and Killer’s Kiss will be coming from Criterion in August joining Paths of Glory in their hi-def stable, means everything the master ever touched save his first film, Fear of Desire, will all be available on Blu-ray. Forgive me, I think I had a tiny orgasm just thinking about it.
Once Upon a Time in the West
Sergio Leone’s 1969 masterpiece Once Upon a Time in the West makes its Blu-ray debut and results couldn’t be anymore spectacular. Paramount’s handling of the title simply blew me away, audio and picture quality so staggering it was like I was watching the film for the very first time. I’ll have a full review up soon, but until then just know I think anyone even slightly partial to this one should buy it immediately.
Remember when George Lucas was considered a rising director of merit? Anyone who has ever seen American Graffiti does, this wonderful peon to youthful enthusiasm and indulgences as vibrant and as alive now as it must have been back in 1973. Filled with memorable performances, most notably by Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Cindy Williams and pre-Han Solo Harrison Ford, the movie is a fast, fun-filled frolic that refuses to get old.
True Blood: The Complete Third Season
I might be one of seven people on the planet who has never seen a single episode of HBO’s hit series “True Blood.” Truth is, that fact doesn’t bother me all that much. Nonetheless, season three of the show makes its way to Blu-ray today and results are more than likely as wonderful as they were for previous seasons. The simple truth is that, if you’re fan, it doesn’t matter if I’ve never seen an episode or have no opinion of the show as you’re going to buy this darn collection no matter what I – or anyone else, for that matter – thinks of the darn thing anyway.
From my original theatrical review (read it here): “[Biutiful] is a tragedy and that I am perfectly fine with. It isn’t meant to leave the viewer in a state of uplift, something I’m good with as well. My issue is how cold it left me, how the final images had me more perplexed than they did anything else. I wasn’t devastated; I wasn’t emotionally frayed or frazzled. Instead I was just kind left in a state of uniform nothingness, scratching my head trying to figure out why everything presented was so important for me to take in and mull over.” Mitchell’s take on the film is even more critical than mine. You can read his Biutiful Blu-ray review.
Drive Angry 3D
From Mitchell’s recently posted Drive Angry Blu-ray review: “Gratuitous violence. Gratuitous female nudity. A shootout or car chase every six minutes. Naughty language. A smoking hot female lead. A black ’69 Dodge Charger… You’d think all of that would add up to one hell of a fun movie. Under the right circumstances it probably would, but ‘the right circumstances’ isn’t a phrase that applies to Drive Angry.”
Astonish hi-def presentation of director John Frankenheimer’s 1966 stirring racing epic staring James Garner, Yves Montand, Eva Marie Saint, Toshirô Mifune, Brian Bedford, Jessica Walter and Antonio Sabato. The script may be as pulpy and as overly melodramatic as ever, but as filmed by Frankheimer those racing scenes haven’t lost an ounce of their punch. One of the most remarkable widescreen high octane epics of the 1960’s, this Blu-ray presentation of the film is downright extraordinary. I’ll have a full review of the disc up soon.
I admit it, I love Ridley Scott’s 1985 fantasy fable Legend. The domestic cut with a score by Tangerine Dream. The director’s cut running almost two hours and featuring a score by the great Jerry Goldmsith. Either one works just great as far as I’m concerned. As nonsensical as it all is (Tom Cruise’s ‘lost boy’ must save the world after his princess girlfriend, Mia Sara, unintentionally allows the Lord of Darkness, a brilliant Tim Curry, to potentially rule the world after she touches a unicorn), this movie is filled with wondrous and haunting images that have stayed with me for decades. A personal guilty pleasure, this is a movie I could watch a 100 times and probably never grow tired of.
Two starring John Wayne, both making their way to Blu-ray for the very first time from the folks at Paramount. In Big Jake directed by George Sherman, The Duke is a former rancher who returns home to discover his grandson has been kidnapped for a $1-million ransom. In 1970’s Rio Lobo, Wayne reunites with director Howard Hawks about a Civil War officer who at the completion of the conflict goes on a desperate search for the man responsible for the death of his close friend and of the majority of his unit. You can guess what happens in each.
Peru’s entry for the 2010 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film is a stunning examination of relationships and life about a fisherman dealing with a most unusual ghost. Mesmerizing, emotional and wittily beguiling, the movie moves and breathes to a rhythm uniquely its own. A sensational effort ranking as one of the finest films of last year, this Blu-ray release is a winner worth going out of your way to find. I’ll have a full review of this Blu-ray up for everyone to read soon. (Releases on June 1)
Beyond terrible, this astonishingly inept film starring Mickey Rourke, Megan Fox, Bill Murray, Kelly Lynch and Rhys Ifans is almost worth seeing to see just how freakishly awful it actually is. But only almost, because as stupefying and horrid as it is the film sadly never ventures into the territory of being ‘o bad it’s good.’ It’s just bad. Amazingly bad, and even with stunning cinematography by the great Christopher Doyle (Chunking Express) there’s little here worth pondering or speaking about again. George has a DVD review of the title up for those interested.
OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES
NOTABLE DVD RELEASES
The latest from cult favorite Gregg Araki (The Doom Generation, The Living End), and if you’re a fan than nothing I write here is going to dissuade from giving this odd, disjointed and unbelievable messy little frolic of a film a look.
Malcolm McDowell on director Lindsay Anderson (If…), a celebration of a singular British talent as lauded by one as almost as equally idiosyncratic, this engaging, inventive and thoroughly enjoyable documentary is one film fans of both me won’t want to miss. A total hoot, it’s 111 minute running time over almost as soon as it begins.
Taking what sounds like the premise to a Syfy Channel schlock monster movie, this French import about an industrialist family heading out into a piece of the corporate holdings to hunt a massive boar (the similarities to Korea’s Chawz end there) is a surprisingly suspenseful and fun piece of B-grade entertainment. While figuring out who is going to die when isn’t particularly difficult, the shocks are solid, the scares genuine and the final 15 minutes are, in a very good way, grisly and downbeat. For genre fans, this IFC Midnight release is definitely worth a look.
When beautiful, young women start disappearing from the streets of L.A., it’s time for good-guy Callan (a.k.a. Cross) and his crew of weapons experts to kick into high gear and take out the trash. Granted incredible power by his ancient Celtic cross, Callan must fight to stop an immortal Viking from destroying mankind with his doomsday device. Starring: Brian Austin Green, Tom Sizemore, Jake Busey and Lori Heuring. (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)
Fabulous Beekman Boys
Fabulous Beekman Boys documents the adventure of a lifetime, as Brent and Josh try to make their entrepreneurial venture a success without sacrificing their personal relationship. The farm is home to a menagerie that helps produce everything from egg white soap to cheese, but with Josh still living in the city to earn a paycheck and Brent living full time at the farm dealing with the day to day tasks, the couple have created a recipe for conflict. They try to make the most of their weekends together on the farm now that their getaway has become their latest project, but there s always more work: be it a harvest weekend, book signing or launching a new flavor of cheese. There s a lot on the line but the "boys" are driven to fulfill their dreams. (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)
In 1975, refugee camps were set up across the deserts of the United States to house an exodus of over 100,000 Vietnamese immigrants before and immediately after the fall of Saigon. When Tai (Don Duong) arrives at Camp Pendleton, he is confronted by a camp filled with despair. Jim Lance (Patrick Swayze) is the Marine in charge of housing the refugees until sponsors can be found to help them assimilate into American life. Lance quickly commissions Tai, who speaks English, to translate for him. Prepare to embark on a remarkable journey as an unlikely bond of friendship is formed between two men from opposite sides of one of the world's most infamous and bloodiest wars. (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)
Psych: The Complete Fifth Season
With his uptight father (Corbin Bernsen) in charge of the Santa Barbara Police Department's consultants, incredibly charming and talented phony psychic Shawn (James Roday) must now work extra hard to land new investigation gigs for him and his trusty partner Gus (Dulé Hill). Season 5 of this quirky crime show finds the private detectives searching for a kidnap victim, probing an alien abduction and infiltrating a street-racing gang. (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)
After married couple Ben (Joel Edgerton) and Fiona (Radha Mitchell) journey to Calcutta to pick up their adopted baby, the intoxicating power of the chaotic city pulls them apart. But the couple soon learns that in order to find true happiness together they must as they work through their doubts and rediscover their love for one another. (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)
OTHER NOTABLE DVD RELEASES