New Blu's On the Block - June 19, 2012


Rating: Various

Distributor: Various

Released: June 19, 2012


Written by Sara Michelle Fetters



New Blu's On the Block
Blu-ray and DVD Releases for June 19, 2012

Not a lot to get excited about today if I’m being perfectly honest, and even though I’m fond of both Criterion titles even those aren’t exactly knocking my socks off. The only film to even coming close to getting my pulse racing is the latest from brother Jay and Mark Duplass, their film holding up remarkably well on Blu-ray and arguably a bit better than I made it out to be in my original theatrical review.



Jeff, Who Lives at Home

Just gets better the more I think about it and the more I watch it, here’s what I wrote about this release back in March (read full review here): “Truth be told, Jay and Mark Duplass’ (Cyrus, The Puffy Chair) latest Jeff, Who Lives at Home is easily their roughest and most bizarre effort to date, and that’s saying something when you consider the pair also have the mumblecore suspense-thriller Baghead on their resume. This movie is an independent, dialogue-driven, comedic riff on M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs, the final product ultimately a tale of brotherly love and familial devotion that’s far more touching and poignant than the first half hour or so ever would have led me to believe.” Seriously, this film is hard to get over and difficult to forget, and a part of me is starting to believe this might just be the Duplass brothers’ best effort yet.




And Everything Is Going Fine – Criterion Collection

Gray’s Anatomy – Criterion Collection

Two from director Stephen Soderbergh concerning satirist, actor, humorist and author Spalding Gray, the latter of which is a dynamically filmed account of his famous monologue concerning a serious medical ailment involving his eye, the former a delicately balanced celebration-slash-eulogy that uses a collection of interviews, performances and home movies to honor the late icon (he took his own life in 2004). Both are great, in fact I called And Everything Is Going Fine ‘a fitting and beguiling coda to a man who never shied from laying all his cards on the table in order to reveal all’ in my theatrical review (read it here) back December of 2010. Does that mean I think Criterion Collection Blu-rays of both are essential for the home collection? No, not really, but they should be watched, if only so the layperson can learn what all the fuss was about as it concerned the late, still great Spalding Gray.




Evita – 15th Anniversary Edition

Newsies – 2oth Anniversary Edition

Sister Act / Sister Act 2

A trio of Disney musicals, none of which we sadly received for review because, even with the uneven nature of all, each is one I’d easily have watched again in a heartbeat. Okay, maybe not the deplorable Sister Act 2, but otherwise, yes, each is an exceedingly watchable frolic difficult to completely dislike. Sure both Evita and (especially) Newsies have their flaws, and sure the original Sister Act is a glossy threadbare spectacle made endurable mostly do the effervescent energy of star Whoopi Goldberg and the dynamically staged musical numbers, but all three offer enough pizazz to more than make up for their shortcomings. Heck, considering the low price-point I’m almost tempted to purchase all three discs because, as far as musical guilty pleasures are concerned, one could sure do a whole lot worse than any of these.



Project X (2012)

From my March theatrical review (read it here): “Rebellion is part of youth; always has been, always will be. Movies chronicling this rebellion will be around as long as the cinematic medium exists, and I seriously doubt this will be the last film involving teenagers, sex, drugs and partying to ever see the light of day. But Project X is like social media, is like the internet, in that it is all pretense without the payoff, all editorial commentary without the research to make it matter. It is a failed attempt to analyze what it means to rebel in the twenty-first century, and as such ends up being a party, not for the ages or the record books, but instead for the dustbin of rancid ideas and concepts better left forgotten.”



Big Miracle

From my February theatrical review (read it here): “I’ve got to say, Big Miracle is a heck of a lot more entertaining and enjoyable than I remotely figured it was going to be before I stepped into the theatre. Inspired by the true story of three Gray Whales trapped in the Alaskan ice in October of 1988, the movie is actually a pretty straightforward and simplistic affair that never pushes the emotion or the inherently melodramatic nature of its narrative as much as it potentially could have.”




From my February theatrical review (read it here): “Wanderlust works just fine as a diversion, perfect fodder for a midafternoon couch-surfing jaunt when it airs on Cable television a good zillion times. But as a comedy worth spending hard-earned dollars at the multiplex on? I’m not sure I can go that far, as even matinee prices might be too high to warrant paying good money to see a film as all over the place and as disconnected as this.”



Seeking Justice

From my March theatrical review (read it here): “Robert Tannen’s screenplay, working from a story he’d crafted with noted cinematographer Todd Hickey (After Sex), isn’t exactly original. It’s pretty easy to figure out what is going on and where it is all headed, even the red herrings designed to put the viewer off the scent pretty rudimentary and overly familiar when all is said and done. There aren’t any surprises, none at all, making the outcome too much of a forgone conclusion no matter how respectfully handled and solidly acted the majority of [Seeking Justice] turns out to be.” For more, check out Mitchell's Blu-ray Review.



The FP

I’m trying to come up with something to say about this release, anything substantive at all. Problem is, just thinking about this odd, disjointed, “Beat-Beat Revolution” The Warriors meets Rocky post-apocalyptic monstrosity is making me kind of furious, so much of it rubbing me the wrong way my disgust knows almost no end. Mitchell actually was able to write about the film, check out his just-posted Blu-ray Review to see what I mean. 



The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea

The semi-classic drama with Kris Kristofferson and Sarah Miles gets a Blu-ray release from the folks at Shout! Factory. Mitchell will have a full review up shortly, while part of me is curious enough about the flick I’m tempted to purchase a copy for myself sight unseen.



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·         All Screwed Up

·         A Bag of Hammers

·         Cat Run

·         The Colossus of New York

·         The Hidden Blade

·         The Invisible Man: The Complete Series (1975-1976)

·         Love & Anarchy

·         Keyhole

·         Louie: The Complete Second Season (Read Mitchell's Blu-ray Review)

·         My Afternoons with Margueritte

·         Project X (1968)

·         The Seduction of Mimi

·         The Space Children

·         Wilfred: The Complete First Season



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Holy Rollers (2011)

Wonderfully entertaining documentary I had the good fortune to see at the 2011 Seattle International Film Festive, Holy Rollers follows the exploits of a well-funded group of card-counting blackjack players made up entirely of fundamentalist Christians. The whole movie becomes a treatise on intelligence, luck, fortune and faith that’s surprisingly well-rounded and balanced. It’s also a heck of a lot of fun to watch, which might be the most shocking aspect of the film out of them all. Definitely worthy of a look; considering I’ve seen it twice probably more than one.



Exit Humanity

A decade after the American Civil War, Edward Young returns home from a hunting trip to find a horrific reanimation of his wife and that their son Adam has disappeared. He must battle his way through an unexplainable outbreak of the walking dead. (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)



Four Lovers

In this sexy, French romantic drama, two couples decide to explore the boundaries of their relationships by swapping partners. What starts as a fun, free-spirited ménage-a-4 experimentation full of sleepovers, shared vacations and dinner parties soon turns into a hotbed of desire, anger and confusion. As their arrangement leads them down an increasingly surprising and provocative path, the lovers begin to question their personal choices and lifestyles, leading to consequences none of them could foresee. (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)



A Matter of Taste: Serving Up Paul Liebrandt

A Matter of Taste takes an intimate look inside the world of an immensely talented and driven young chef, Paul Liebrandt. At 24, he was awarded three stars by the New York Times for unforgettable and hyper modern dishes such as "eel, violets and chocolate," "espuma of calf brains and foie gras," and "beer and truffle soup." Critic William Grimes likened Paul to "a pianist who seems to have found a couple of dozen extra keys." Conversely, Gourmet critic Jonathan Gold called Paul's food "the result of a failed science experiment." He soon became a chef critics loved or loved to hate. The film follows Paul over a decade and reveals his creative process in the kitchen, as well as the extreme hard work, long hours, and dedication it takes to be a culinary artist and have success in the cutthroat world of haute cuisine in New York City. Exploring the complicated relationships between food critics, chefs and restaurant owners, the film delves into the life of an uncompromising, thought provoking, young chef ahead of his time. (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)



Radio Rebel

Tara Adams (Debby Ryan: Jessie, The Suite Life on Deck) is just an ordinary high school junior... except for one little thing. Tara’s got a secret—a secret identity, in fact; she’s Radio Rebel, the most popular radio DJ in Seattle. In person, Tara is as shy as they come, but on the air, Radio Rebel is the smoothest talker around—a skill she needs more than ever right now, since her school is in the midst of a clique-crisis. Radio Rebel gives voice to all kids, popular and unpopular alike, and questions the status quo, to the chagrin of her school's administration. Now, with the principal hot on the trail of Radio Rebel’s true identity, and mean girl Stacy coming between her and cute boy Gavin, Tara must decide between keeping her identity a secret, or being true to herself… and risk losing everything. (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)



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·         Franklin & Bash: The Complete First Season

·         Trial & Retribution – Set 5




·         Jiro Dreams of Sushi (July 14, 2012)

·         The Raven (Aug 14, 2012)

·         The Aristocats (Aug 21, 2012)

·         Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp’s Adventure (Aug 21, 2012)

·         Pocahontas / Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World (Aug 21, 2012)

·         The Rescuers / The Rescuers Down Under (Aug 21, 2012)

·         Think Like a Man (Aug 21, 2012)

·         The Tigger Movie (Aug 21, 2012)

·         Bored to Death: The Complete Third Season (Sept 4, 2012)

·         How to Make It in America: The Complete Second Season (Sept 4, 2012)

·         Hung: The Complete Third Season (Sept 4, 2012)

·         Person of Interest: The Complete First Season (Sept 4, 2012)

·         Umberto D – Criterion Collection (Sept 4, 2012)

·         The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Fifth Season (Sept 11, 2012)

·         The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Third Season (Sept 11, 2012)

·         Children of Paradise – Criterion Collection (Sept 18, 2012)

·         The Devil’s Advocate – Unrated Director’s Cut (Sept 18, 2012)

·         The Great Mouse Detective (Sept 18, 2012)

·         Les visiteurs du soir – Criterion Collection (Sept 18, 2012)

·         Supernatural: The Complete Seventh Season (Sept 18, 2012)

·         The American President (Sept 15, 2012)

·         Dave (Sept 25, 2012)

·         Eating Raul – Criterion Collection (Sept 15, 2012)

·         The Game – Criterion Collection (Sept 25, 2012)



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