Wednesday, July 22, 2009

DVD Picks of the Week: July 21st, 2009

Amidst the terrific Deep Discount 25% off sale and the Barnes and Noble 50% off Criterion sale comes a slate of new titles on shelves everywhere, including one of the major releases of the summer.

Watchmen [DVD - Director's Cut][Blu-ray - Director's Cut]

One of the most impressive films of the still young 2009, without a doubt, is Watchmen. The film adaptation from the acclaimed visionary Zach Snyder was a faithful adaptation of the classic graphic novel by Alan Moore that wowed me silly. The theatrical cut alone was lengthy, comprehensive and all-around impressive. I haven't witnessed it myself yet, but I've heard nothing but better things for the brand new director's cut. Hardcore fans should be aware that in December a 5 disc set will be released that will include the previously released Tales of the Black Freighter intertwined into the film and the Watchmen motion comics, among other things. That said, this 2-disc director's cut should please most of the crowd.

Coraline [2-Disc DVD][2-Disc Blu-ray]

Never saw this in theaters, although it looked sort of cool. I still haven't bought into the whole 3D thing. Maybe the upcoming James Cameron film Avatar will change that. Still, both versions here come with your own 3D glasses to get the effect at home. Might be worth a look.

300: The Complete Experience [Blu-ray]

300 is a good film. Not a masterpiece, not even excellent, just damn entertaining. A strategically placed release, as director Zach Snyder's film Watchmen comes out as well, this new double dip Blu-ray features something like two hours of new extra features or something. If you don't own this, you might want to grab this new copy. Otherwise, do some research before deciding on whether you want to double dip on this bloody stylish action flick.

The Great Buck Howard [DVD][Blu-ray]

Being a big fan of John Malkovich I decided to give The Great Buck Howard a watch. Malkovich, as always, was the usual impressive self. The film wasn't perfect or the greatest, but it was a neat little showbiz film, something you don't see that often these days. It captured the spirit in revealing fashion. This is most definitely worth a watch.

Jean-Luc Godard Criterions
[2 or 3 Things I Know About Her]
[Made in U.S.A.]

A pioneer of the French Nouvelle Vague (new wave) style of filmmaking, Godard is a director I have found myself appreciating time and time again. Breathless and Alphaville both left strong impact upon me and Band of Outsiders didn't fail to impress me either. Criterion is back on the saddle again with two more Godard films to add to their already deep collection of Godard films in their catalog. I don't know too much about either of these titles, but Godard is Godard and usually always worth checking out. Anna Karina, who is in Made in U.S.A., is one of the true beauties in film history, and alone makes me want to check out the film. Trust me on this one.

What else comes out this week: Prison Break: The Final Break, Pushing Daisies: The Complete Second Season, Psych: The Complete Third Season, Monk: Season Seven, The Lucy Show: The Official First Season, Midnight Express [Blu-ray], Ballerina, This American Life: Season Two.

What to stay away from: Easy pick. PBS presents Frontline: The Madoff Affair. Honestly, why would anyone want to own the details of what this scumbag did?

So long.

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