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FEATURE ARTICLE

New Blu's On the Block - August 14, 2012

 

Rating: Various

Distributor: Various

Released: August 14, 2012

 

Written by Sara Michelle Fetters

 

Editor-in-Chief
www.moviefreak.com

New Blu's On the Block
Blu-ray and DVD Releases for August 14, 2012

As week’s go, this one is pretty big, a bevy of classic catalog titles and quality newer works worth crowing about hitting Blu-ray. Seriously, this is a fantastic week. A movie I consider to be one of the greatest of all-time. Another that made my list of the Top 50 Films 2000 – 2009. Two more likely, or at least with a solid chance, of making my 2012 top ten. Another pair of French favorites that only seem to grow in both acclaim and stature each passing year. Then there is Shaft, the original bad motha… well, you get where I’m going with that. I'll just shut my mouth while I'm ahead.

 

 

Jaws – Universal 100th Anniversary

What needs to be said? This is one title that more than speaks for itself, and it’s been doing it for almost four decades. In my opinion, this is still the best movie Steven Spielberg has ever made. Better than Raiders of the Lost Ark. Better than Schindler’s List. Better than any other Spielberg classic you can think of. This movie makes it scary to step into the bathtub let alone the ocean, and personally I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t get more than a little bit jumpy each and every time they give it a look. Cue the theme music…

 

 

The Hunger Games

From my Theatrical Review (read it here): “The Hunger Games, while not perfect, is probably as magnificent I ever my wildest dreams could have hoped for it to be. No matter what some will say, no matter how hard they try to make an argument that a PG-13 rating dilutes the material and that he should have been more aggressive with the film’s more violent and nasty turns, the truth of the matter is that the sheer emotional weight of the scenario has been gloriously retained. There is no softening blow, no lessening punch, the sight of children being forced to kill children for the entertainment of the privileged few and the continued subjugation of the downtrodden masses every bit as sickening and as destructive as it deserves to be.” Still in love with this movie, can’t wait to get a look at it again on Blu-ray. (Releases on Aug 18, 2012)

 

 

The Royal Tenenbaums – Criterion Collection

Here what I wrote about this movie in my feature on the Top 50 Films 2000 – 2009: “The works of Wes Anderson are an acquired taste, that almost goes without saying. But for those of us who adore his sarcastic, playful and sometimes narcissistic views, his comedic epics of friendship and family are easily some of the very best of their kind. In the case of The Royal Tenenbaums, the iconoclastic filmmaker is working on such a broad canvas one viewing isn’t near enough to peal away all of its many layers. As time passes I find more and more to adore about Anderson’s third film, its mean-spirited antics slowly dissolving to reveal an intimate poignancy that reduces me to tears each time I watch it.”

 

 

 

La Promesse – Criterion Collection

Rosetta – Criterion Collection

About a week or so ago Sight & Sound released their once a decade poll of the 50 greatest motion pictures of all time. Only two, David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive and Wong Kar Wai’s In the Mood for Love, were made during the 2000’s.  Again, only two, Jean-Luc Godard’s Histoire(s) du cinéma and Béla Tarr’s Sátántangó, made the list from the 1990’s. I firmly believe at some point of these two films, La Premesse or Rosetta, from directors Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne will at some point end up on the list as well. Which one? Well, I prefer Rosetta, but only barely, and in all honesty I’ll have no problem whichever one actually ends up on the Sight & Sound list. What’s all this mean? It means, that to me at least, these two films are as close to indelible cinematic masterworks as anything composed for celluloid in the past two decades, and as such should be seen by as many people as humanly possible.

 

 

Kill List

From my Theatrical Review (read it here): “Kill List isn’t an easy film to categorize, to put into a mass market boss general audiences can easily recognize. At the same time, it gets the job done and then some, and as an excursion into debilitating emotional-based familial terror I doubt we’ll see its like throughout the rest of 2012.” Flat-out, this is one of the best films of the year, and nearing the end of August my opinion on that front hasn’t changed an ounce since I first watched it back in the waning days of January.

 

 

The Raid: Redemption

From my Theatrical Review (read it here): “[While] visually I’m beyond impressed, emotionally I’m finding it difficult to care, The Raid: Redemption never quite connecting on anything more than a purely visceral level and in the end leaving me frustratingly cold.” Nothing’s really changed, opinion-wise, as far as I’m concerned. Great actions scenes, superb individual moments, but as a whole there’s not a lot to hold on to. There’s no script, making the proposition of watching this one more than one a kick to the head I’d rather not endure.

 

 

 

New Jack City, Shaft (1971)

Made two decades apart, New Jack City and Shaft in many ways make quite the dynamic pair. Both were extremely crucial in the evolution of ‘New Black Cinema,’ both were also minor box office hits that played extremely well with audiences of all colors and creeds. They’ve also held up remarkably well, and while only one spawned an Oscar-winning song both have soundtracks that have entered the pantheon of some of the greatest of all-time.

 

 

OTHER NOTABLE BLU-RAY RELEASES

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·         Breathless (2012)

·         Cradle 2 the Grave (Read Sara’s Theatrical Review)

·         Death Wish 2

·         Death Wish 3

·         Death Wish 4

·         Dexter: The Sixth Season

·         Fallen

·         Father’s Day (2011)

·         Glee: The Complete Third Season

·         Korczak

·         Les Vampires

·         Life and Death of a Porno Gang

·         A Man Apart

·         Romeo Must Die

·         Stallone Three-Film Collector’s Set (First Blood, Cop Land, Lockup)

 

 

NOTABLE DVD RELEASES

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Tonight You’re Mine

From my Theatrical Review (read it here): “Tonight You’re Mine isn’t anything new, doesn’t break any ground or go any place that isn’t readily expected and that’s just fine. This movie is a song I didn’t want to end, its boisterous chorus one I could happily sing along to any day of the week.” For more on the film, check out my recently posted DVD Review.

 

 

August

On the verge of his 30th birthday, Jonathan (Daniel Dugan) is torn between the domestic comfort of his life with Raul (Adrian Gonzalez) and the torrid pleasures of an affair with his super sexy ex-boyfriend Troy (uber hot Murray Bartlett). One of the steamiest gay movies of the year, August sensitively unfolds this triangle of desire and emotion in the midst of a classic Hollywood heat wave. An irresistible gay romantic drama! (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)

 

 

Hick

Small town teenager Luli (Chloë Grace Moretz) escapes to Las Vegas, leaving behind her alcoholic and abusive parents. Armed with her smarts, a pistol and pocket money, she hitchhikes her way west. Along the way, Luli crosses paths with Eddie (Eddie Redmayne), an unstable rebel with questionable motives and Glenda (Blake Lively), a cocaine-snorting drifter on the run. Adapted from the critically acclaimed novel by Andrea Portes, this powerful story pulls you into a provocative world of drugs, seduction and murder. (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)

 

 

Juan of the Dead

When Havana begins to fill up with zombies, Juan, a 40-year-old slacker, is forced to become a hero, defend his country and protect his own on an island that has turned into a real bloodbath. (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)

 

 

Lake Effects

Sara (Scottie Thomson) and Lily (Madeline Zima) are two sisters from a small, lakeside town that lead two different lives: Sara, a successful, Los Angeles attorney and Lily, a local art teacher who never left home. But when the father of the two sisters unexpectedly dies, Sara returns to Virginia to help settle his estate. Through the guidance of their father's spirit, the two women and their mother, Vivian (Jane Seymour), will finally discover what being a family truly means. Ben Savage (''Boy Meets World''), Casper Van Dien (Starship Troopers), Richard Riehle (Office Space) and Sean Patrick Flanery (The Boondock Saints) co-star in this heartwarming story about trust, forgiveness and confronting the past to embrace your future. (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)

 

 

Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory

Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, the conclusion of Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky’s award-winning trilogy that spawned a worldwide movement to free three convicted men, tells the complete story of one of the most notorious child murder cases in U.S. history. Beginning with the 1993 murders, the film chronicles the 18-year fight to prove the innocence of the West Memphis Three; Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, incarcerated for an alleged Satanic ritual killing the convicted men, and their supporters worldwide, maintain they did not commit. With Echols on death row and Baldwin and Misskelley serving life sentences, Paradise Lost 3 examines a horrifying crime with fresh insights that only the passage of time can provide. Facts are reexamined, new evidence is revealed, and new suspects are scrutinized. With an extraordinary perspective of three films spanning nearly two decades, Paradise Lost 3 is a provocative examination of American justice and a celebration of the power of cinema to effect social change. (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)

 

 

The Snowtown Murders

Based on horrifying crimes discovered in Snowtown, Australia in 1999, The Snowtown Murders is a stark journey into a brutal subculture of suspicion, addiction and violence. Hoping for much-needed stability and security in their lives, embattled mother Elizabeth (Louise Harris) and her three sons take up with John, the self-appointed moral compass of a vigilante neighborhood watch group. John's charismatic nature causes 16-year-old Jamie (Lucas Pittaway) to view the older man as a role model, and the two quickly strike up a bond. But when John introduces Jamie to his disturbing ideas of administering justice, the impressionable youth is confronted with a father figure who may be the most vicious predator he's encountered yet. Winner of the Special Jury Prize at Cannes' Critics Week, Justin Kurzel's directorial debut is an uncompromising look at the alarming circumstances that led to the notorious crimes. (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)

 

OTHER NOTABLE DVD RELEASES

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

 

 

·         Community: The Complete Third Season (Read Mitchell’s DVD Review)

·         Dalziel & Pascoe: Season Six

·         Happy Endings: Seasons 1 & 2

·         Judge John Deed: Season Six

 

 

NOTABLE NEW BLU-RAY ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

 

    

 

·         Klown (Sept 25, 2012)

·         Chained (Oct 2, 2012)

·         Peace, Love and Misunderstanding (Oct 2, 2012)

·         Chernobyl Diaries (Oct 16, 2012)

·         Ella Enchanted (Oct 16, 2012)

·         A League of Their Own (Oct 16, 2012)

·         Mad Men: Season Five (Oct. 16, 2012)

 

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