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FEATURE ARTICLE

New Blu's On the Block - October 16, 2012

 

Rating: Various

Distributor: Various

Released: October 16, 2012

 

Written by Sara Michelle Fetters

 

Editor-in-Chief
www.moviefreak.com

New Blu's On the Block
Blu-ray and DVD Releases for October 16, 2012

You know what the bestselling Blu-ray for this weekís releases is on Amazon? The 3D version of Avatar. Can someone explain that to me, please, because, seriously, I donít get it. What else is coming out today? How about a film guaranteed a slot on my 2012 top ten? Or a animation-live action hybrid from Disney celebrating its 35th anniversary? Or a movie that made ďthereís no crying in baseballĒ a popular catch phrase? Or the highly lauded fifth season of a Emmy-winning dynamo some think is one of the greatest television programs in the history of the medium? And that, my friends, is just the tip of the iceberg. Read on to know more.

 

 

Moonrise Kingdom

From my theatrical review (read it here): ďMoonrise Kingdom has the potential to be a movie Iíll be pondering, mulling over and thinking about for the remainder of 2012. Heck, when all is said and done it might even enter into the upper echelon of the Wes Anderson canon, which is truly saying something when you consider three of his previous efforts, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums and Fantastic Mr. Fox, are ones I already consider to be modern classics of the medium. This movie is a haunting peon to who we were as youngsters, who we wanted to be as adolescents and who we imagine we might still become as adults, and on that front alone Iím ready to declare it a masterwork right here and now.Ē

 

 

Madagascar 3: Europeís Most Wanted 3D

From my theatrical review (read it here): ďBy and large, itís probably a good thing that [Eric] Darnell and [Tom] McGrath donít take advice from me, because in many ways they, along with new to the series co-director Conrad Vernon (Monsters vs. Aliens) and co-writer Noah Baumbach (Fantastic Mr. Fox, Greenberg), have in Madagascar 3: Europeís Most Wanted created the best film in the series so-far. For the majority of the picture this is a funny, smart and inspired adventure featuring all the old favorites as well as some niftily inspired newcomers, and Iíd be remiss if I didnít admit to smiling ear-to-ear for most of this sequelís running time.Ē

 

 

Peteís Dragon Ė 35th Anniversary Edition

I used to love this movie as a kid, and Iím semi-happy (and also semi-embarrassed) to say I still know all the lyrics to the Oscar-nominated ďCandle On the WaterĒ all these years later. Is it the greatest animation-live action hybrid that ever came out of Disney? No, not by a long shot, but that doesnít make it any less wonderful, and hereís hoping now that itís out on Blu-ray a new generation of youngsters will fall just as much in love with orphan Pete and his invisible dragon Elliott as I did once upon a time three short decades ago.

 

 

The Forgiveness of Blood Ė Criterion Collection

I canít say Joshua Marstonís The Forgiveness of Blood rises to the same level as his 2004 effort Maria Full of Grace, but that still makes it an intriguing, oftentimes devastating drama of familial carnage well worth watching. Criterion Collection worthy, however? Well, that Iím not so sure about, but even so it goes without saying the label will do bang-up job with it all the same, and even though a review copy wasnít forthcoming Iím still quite eager to give it a second look as soon as possible.

 

 

A League of Their Own

ďAre you crying? Are you crying? ARE YOU CRYING? There's no crying! THERE'S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL!Ē

 

 

Thatís My Boy

I admit it, I skipped Adam Sandlerís latest when it screened for press earlier this summer. After Jack and Jill, I just couldnít take another sophomoric mean-spirited gross-out comedy from the actor, this one looking to have all the hallmarks of traits I typically canít stand found in the majority of the actorís oeuvre. I have watched the Blu-ray. I did laugh, twice. That said, the movie was nearly as bad as I feared it would be, and I imagine only diehard fans of the comedian will be eager to give his latest a look.

 

 

Chernobyl Diaries

Missed this, too, when it screened for press this summer, but not because I didnít want to but because I took a brief vacation to go play in a softball tournament. According to the reviews I didnít miss anything. All the same, Iím going to check this little horror thriller out, because goodness knows I have a soft spot for B-grade terror thatís far more forgiving than it probably has any right to be.

 

 

 

The Funhouse

Terror Train

Speaking of B-grade horror movies, hereís another pair of Ďclassicsí from the new Shout! Factory genre label Scream Factory, and for fans I couldnít urge one to check both of these titles out more enthusiastically. Are they great? No, but theyíre still wickedly entertaining in most of the ways that count, Tobe Hooperís The Funhouse in particular. Seriously, these are grotesquely entertaining (for those that like that sort of thing), and considering the labelís history of doing a bang-up job on just these types of releases Iíd urge anyone thatís interested to pick both of these Blu-rays up sight unseen.

 

 

Excision

Want some more ghoulish delights perfect for the upcoming Halloween holiday? Check out Excision, an independent shocker that pushes the boundaries of the genre into devilish directions that are as unsettling as they are unpredictable. This movie is a gruesome, delectably evil treat, and one Iím sure fans of this sort of thing will want to savor more than once.

 

 

Neil Young Journeys

Concert film directed by the great Jonathan Demme (Something Wild, Silence of the Lambs), he and the legendary singer/songwriter taking a road trip from Youngís hometown of Omemee, Ontario to downtown Toronto's Massey Hall. Traveling in a 1956 Crown Victoria, the pairís conversations are intermixed with concert footage spotlighting songs old, new, familiar and previously unheard, the movie an intoxicating delight for fans they are sure to want to take a gander at right away.

 

 

Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Volume Two

An awesome collection of classic cartoons, thereís just no other way to describe this three-disc set. The one thing I donít get? The descriptor proclaiming this collection is ďIntended for the Adult Collector and May Not Be Suitable for Children.Ē So, wait. Does that mean I shouldnít have watched the majority of these on Saturday mornings when they used to air all of the time? Am I messed up for life? Suffering succotash!

 

OTHER NOTABLE BLU-RAY RELEASES

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         Alcatraz: The Complete Series

         Avatar 3D (Read Saraís Theatrical Review)

         Ella Enchanted

         Everybodyís Fine (2009) (Read Saraís Theatrical Review)

         Exorcism

         Female Vampire

         Gone in 60 Seconds (1974)

         Greystone Park

         Letter from an Unknown Woman

         Mad Men: Season Five

         Rites of Passage

         The Santa Clause Trilogy

         Slender Thread

         Sterile Cuckoo

         That Ď70s Show: Season Two

         Three Secrets

         Uptight

 

 

NOTABLE DVD RELEASES

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2016 Obamaís America

Somehow this became a hit earlier this year, proving once again that people will believe just about anything when their hatred clouds their judgment. In fairness, the documentary isnít as grotesque or as semi-racist as I assumed it would be before watching it, director Dinesh D'Souza at least making a veiled attempt to stick to the facts (as he sees them). But the movie does have an agenda, and itís an obvious one, and the fact that it trades in numerous half-truths and borderline falsehoods is something of a forgone conclusion. Itís a hit piece, nothing more, and the only people who are going to believe a single second of it are the ones who already hate the President and refuse to engage in anything close to an even-minded debate about either him or his policies.

 

 

Last Ride

Last Ride is a riveting and morally complex portrayal of a brutal yet loving petty criminal struggling with parenthood. As father and son journey into the outback and an unknown future, they pit themselves against the elements and each other. In order to survive, Chook will have to make a choice between what he knows to be right and the love of his father, a decision which will have devastating consequences on both of their lives. (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)

 

 

The Tortured

Craig (Jesse Metcalfe, Desperate Housewives) and Elise (Erika Christensen) had all the ingredients for an ideal life: a great marriage, a wonderful five-year-old son named Ben, a charming home and a bright future. But all that is destroyed when Ben is suddenly abducted and later found dead. Their feelings of guilt tear the couple apart until months later the abductor is apprehended but released on a plea bargain. Outraged, Craig and Elise reunite in their anger and decide to enact their own justice on the murderer of their child. A horrifying decent into the depths of hatred, The Tortured shows how even the seemingly gentlest of people can turn violent when pushed too far. (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)

 

 

Turn Me On, Dammit!

Turn Me On, Dammit! is a whimsical and refreshingly honest coming of age story about the blossoming sexuality of a teenage girl. The feature debut of Jannicke Systad Jacobsen, the film was awarded Best Screenplay at the Tribeca Film Festival as well as Best Debut Film at the Rome Film Festival. 15-year-old Alma (Helene Bergsholm) is consumed by her out-of-control hormones and fantasies that range from sweetly romantic images of Artur, the boyfriend she yearns for, to down-and-dirty daydreams about practically everybody she lays eyes on. Alma and her best friend Sara live in an insufferably boring little town in the hinterlands of Norway called Skoddeheimen, a place they loathe so much that every time their school bus passes the sign that names it, they routinely flip it off. After Alma has a stimulating yet awkward encounter with Artur, she makes the mistake of telling her incredulous friends, who ostracize her at school, until Sara can't even be seen with her. At home, Alma's single mother is overwhelmed and embarrassed by her daughter's extravagant phone sex bills and wears earplugs to muffle Alma's round-the-clock acts of self-gratification. Laced with warmth and quirky humor, Turn Me On, Dammit! is a light-hearted take on a story that is told so often about boys and so rarely about teenage girls. (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)

 

OTHER NOTABLE DVD RELEASES

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

 

         The Firm: The Complete Series

         Psych: The Complete Sixth Season

         Touch: The Complete First Season

 

 

NOTABLE NEW BLU-RAY ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

   

    

 

         Empire of the Sun (Nov 13, 2012)

         Beasts of the Southern Wild (Dec 4, 2012)

         The Odd Life of Timothy Green (Dec 4, 2012)

         V/H/S (Dec 4, 2012)

         The Bourne Legacy (Dec 11, 2012)

         Ted (Dec 11, 2012)

         Driving Miss Daisy (Jan 8, 2012)

         Grand Hotel (1932) (Jan 8, 2012)

         The Jazz Singer (1927) (Jan 8, 2012)

         Mrs. Miniver (Jan 8, 2012)

 

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