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FEATURE ARTICLE

New Blu's On the Block - December 18, 2012

 

Rating: Various

Distributor: Various

Released: December 18, 2012

 

Written by Sara Michelle Fetters

 

Editor-in-Chief
www.moviefreak.com

New Blu's On the Block
Blu-ray and DVD Releases for December 18, 2012

It’s the end of the year, so the release schedule for new Blu-rays and DVDs is rather schizophrenic. This week sees titles hitting store shelves both on Tuesday and on Friday, and the variety of the group is rather extraordinary if you think about it. Read on to see what I mean.

 

 

Killer Joe

It’s been Matthew McConaughey’s year, and while the majority of the films he has appeared in haven’t proven to be gigantic box office sensations (Magic Mike being the obvious exception) all of his performances have still garnered him major praise. Director William Friedkin’s seriously dark semi-comedic thriller is no exception, McConaughey garnering an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Actor for his dexterous turn here, and watching him navigate the twists and turns going on inside this insidious, if not entirely successful, modern noir is a true joy. Check it out for yourself and you’ll see what I mean. (Title releases on Friday, Dec 21, 2012)

 

 

Pitch Perfect

While Killer Joe is arguably the ‘best’ movie being released to Blu-ray this week, without a doubt Pitch Perfect is my favorite title hitting store shelves. As I wrote in my theatrical review (read it here): “The surprise…is that Pitch Perfect, much like Bring It On, is shockingly entertaining, filling itself with enough winning moments, nicely drawn characters, energetic performances and solid laughs to make the inherent predictability of the script barely an issue. The movie is fun, nothing more, and certainly nothing less, and to say I was pleasantly entertained the majority of the way through is as big a surprise to me as it probably is the majority of people reading this review.”

 

 

Trouble with the Curve

Even though it contains a superbly charming performance from Amy Adams, this is easily one of the single most disappointing movies I saw in all of 2012. As I wrote in my theatrical review (read it here): “If you thought Disney’s 1994 remake of Angels in the Outfield was syrupy, wait until you get a load of the baloney doled out by [screenwriter Randy] Brown and company during the final 15 or 20 minutes of [Trouble with the Curve]. It’s one head-slapper after another, all of it indelicately foreshadowed early on making its eventual appearance all the more painful because of it. Things become so hackneyed, so herky-jerky, so agonizingly self-important and maudlin, I was borderline flabbergasted, and with each swing and a miss I found myself wanting to steal remaining kernels of popcorn from the guy in the seat next to me so I’d have something to throw at the screen.”

 

 

Premium Rush

From my theatrical review (read it here): “Premium Rush…doesn’t take itself too seriously, realizes just how silly its premise and, by and large, its characters and their situations are. [Writer/director David] Koepp plays things straight but also with tongue firmly in cheek, allowing his actors, especially [Michael] Shannon, leeway in order to make their performances feel much more energetic, alive and, most surprisingly of all, genuine than they would have been otherwise.” Michael Shannon deserves to be part of the Best Supporting Actor conversation. There. I said it. Won’t happen, of course, but I’ve still said it all the same. (Title releases on Friday, Dec 21, 2012)

 

 

Arbitrage

From my theatrical review (read it here): “Richard Gere dominates [Arbitrage] in a way that makes it feel immediate and genuine. His performance is multifaceted in the extreme, mining depths and going into dank, dark territories a lesser actor would do their best to avoid. He doesn’t worry about making Robert redeemable, doesn’t dwell on trying to make the audience sympathize with his plight, instead doing all he can to make him as three-dimensional as possible as the financial titan uses one hand to dig his way out of a ditch while the other caresses the shovel that so inelegantly helped create it.” (Title releases on Friday, Dec 21, 2012)

 

 

 

Resident Evil: Retribution 3D

Resident Evil: Retribution

I missed the latest Resident Evil sequel when it played in theatres, and even though I made the trek for all four of the previous films, and even though this one supported the return of numerous characters from all of those adventures, I just didn’t feel the need to spend the dollars required to give this one a look. Now that the 3D Blu-ray has arrived (just today) I guess I cannot put off the watching of this fifth chapter of the series any longer, and as soon as I’m finished viewing it I’ll make sure and have a full review up as quickly as possible. (Title releases on Friday, Dec 21, 2012)

 

 

Total Recall (2012)

From my theatrical review (read it here): “Len Wiseman’s adrenaline-fueled remake of the Paul Verhoeven/Arnold Schwarzenegger favorite Total Recall plays more like a souped-up futuristic version of The Bourne Identity or The Long Kiss Goodnight mixed with a dash of Minority Report more than it does anything else. Only the barest bones of Philip K. Dick’s original story We Can Remember It For You Wholesale remain, and while there are plenty of gentle nods in the direction of 1990 flick the only allusions to Mars here are ones made in sarcastic jest. No, the man behind the Underworld adventures and Live Free or Die Hard isn’t particularly interested in breaking rules, treading new ground or delivering anything we haven’t seen before.”

 

 

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

I hated Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I equally despised the sequel, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules. As I did not need to see this third film, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, and considering my feelings for the previous two films in the series, I did not go to the press screening, and safe to say I don’t feel bad about that one single solitary little bit.

 

 

Liberal Arts

From my theatrical review (read it here): “[Unlike writer/director/star Josh Radnor’s] rather noxious and annoyingly unappealing debut Happythankyoumoreplease, [Liberal Arts] has an air of refined freshness permeating throughout that’s intoxicating. Sure these characters don’t do anything unexpected, their final destination as anticipated as it is routine, but that doesn’t make the journey any less enjoyable, and I have to admit Radnor’s latest kept me happily entertained pretty start to finish.”

 

 

Sleepwalk with Me

From my theatrical review (read it here): “Based on [Mike] Birbiglia’s off-Broadway show and his best-selling book of the same name, Sleepwalk with Me is an engaging comedic curiosity that’s one part Woody Allen, one part Spalding Gray and one part its own unique little animal. Oftentimes breaking the fourth wall and talking directly to the audience, presented more as a series of skits and sketches than as a uniform narrative, the movie is a whimsical look at one’s man unique journey of self-discovery, and while I’m not exactly sure what the final point of it all is getting to the conclusion is so much quirky, unconventional fun the lack of any sort of concrete resolution isn’t close to a problem.”

 

 

Red Hook Summer

Writer/director Spike Lee returns to Brooklyn, Red Hook Summer as close to a sequel to Do the Right Thing as we are likely ever to get. For fans of the director, watching this one is an absolute must. For those that tend to find him overbearing didactic, you’re going to find little here to change your mind on that front. Worth seeing either way, while this film doesn’t showcase Lee at his best there are enough winning moments and scenes of pure visceral emotion to make it a flick I can’t help but happily recommend. (Title releases on Friday, Dec 21, 2012)

 

OTHER NOTABLE BLU-RAY RELEASES

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·         10 Years

·         Death Ship (1980)

·         Forced to Fight

·         The Good Doctor

·         Hans Christian Anderson

·         Shameless: The Complete Second Season

·         Sometimes a Great Notion

·         Tosh.0 – Deep V’s

 

 

NOTABLE DVD RELEASES

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Hermano

Raised as brothers, intense teammates and competitors on the soccer field - the gregarious, swaggering Julio and the wiry, focused Daniel 'Gato' have remained virtually inseparable ever since the newborn Daniel was found abandoned in a trash heap in their La Ceniza slum. The opportunity of their lives arrives when a football scout invites them to try out for the city's top professional team, just as a tragic act of violence threatens to tear them apart and prevent them from achieving their dreams. (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)

 

OTHER NOTABLE DVD RELEASES

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

 

·         Californication: The Fifth Season

·         House of Lies: The First Season

 

 

NOTABLE NEW BLU-RAY ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

    

 

·         The Sessions (Feb 12, 2013)

·         Skyfall (Feb 12, 2013)

·         The Insider (Feb 19, 2013)

·         Life of Pi (March 5, 2013)

·         Willow (March 12, 2013)

 

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