Friday, November 20, 2009

DVD Picks of the Week: Nov. 10 + Nov. 17

Sorry folks. November is the time when college classes practically control your energy. But some great titles have come out in the past two weeks and I wanted to make sure I got the chance to speak briefly about them. Let's go!

November 10th

Watchmen: The Ultimate Cut [DVD][Blu-ray]

This is the current grand daddy of Watchmen releases right now. I can't imagine something more comprehensive being released anytime soon. For those who waited, your patience has been reward. But even still, this might be too much Watchmen for most to handle. This contains the longer but much superior extended cut of the film interlaced with the extra content that was released on standalone DVD months back. This is for the serious fan.

Heat [Blu-ray]

Who wouldn't want to see Michael Mann's classic in high-def? Especially that killer shootout. This crime classic is a must for Blu-ray owners.

Up [DVD][Blu-ray]

The acclaimed Pixar film saw its released by way of a 4-disc Blu-ray set and the standard DVD release. I haven't seen this film yet, but I have it queued up and ready to go as far as my must watch list is concerned. Expect some comments on this and whether I think it's Oscar worthy shortly. As a precursor I'll let you know I wasn't exactly blown away by Wall-E last year.

The General [Blu-ray]

The General is one of those films I should have seen already. Hell, Buster Keaton is an artist I need to watch more of. Anyways, I picked this because anytime a film from 1926 is remastered and released on Blu-ray it's worth mentioning, especially one as well-regarded as this one. I just hope I get to make a post about Metropolis and its Blu-ray release sometime soon.

What else came out this week : Monsters, Inc. (4-Disc Edition) [Blu-ray], The Ugly Truth, The Three Stooges Collection, Vol. 7: 1952-1954, Godzilla [Blu-ray], Near Dark [Blu-ray].

What to stay away from: Make the Yuletide Gay. Just taking a wild guess on this one!

November 17th

Star Trek [DVD][Blu-ray]

One of the best science fiction films of 2009 hit shelves earlier this week. I saw this beauty twice in theaters and would love to see it again. It's a visually astonishing movie and easy to swallow space opera all in one clean and fun package. A lot was accomplished with this flick.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Its A Very Sunny Christmas [DVD][Blu-ray]

Gaining access to the Fox Press website has its perks. I was able to watch this special episode of Always Sunny more than a month ago. It's a funny episode, much more crude than the beyond funny television episodes that we've all come to love over the years. You can do more with the free reign of a DVD release than you can with cable TV, and it shows. Recommended as a must for any fan of the show.

Fight Club [Blu-ray]

A week after one significant 1990's film (Heat) saw release on Blu-ray comes another. This time it's the wildly beloved Fight Club. I was this film for the first time about a year ago. Yes, much later than the rest of you cool folks out there, but whatever. I still enjoyed it.

Bruno [DVD][Blu-ray]

The gayest film of the year! All joking aside, Bruno is more of the strange social satire/commentary from Sacha Baron Cohen that's had him riding to the top of the charts in comedy. He did it with Da Ali G show and still doing it now as he completes his trifecta of characters. If you're a homophobe, you won't like this film. If you have any sense of humor and don't want to shoot every homosexual you see with a shotgun or send them to hell by the power of God, you'll get a huge kick out of Cohen's absurd and outrageous brand of humor.

Thirst [DVD]

One of my most anticipated films of the year is Thirst, Chan-wook Park's vampire film. Park is best known for directing the "Revenge Trilogy", a series consisting of Oldboy, Mr. Vengeance and Lady Vengeance, three films connected only in mood and the factor of revenge. Park struck gold in all three of those films and I thought he carried that hot streak very well into his offbeat romantic comedy I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK, an impressive and genuine film. One can only hope Park keeps his pace up with Thirst, a film I'm dying to see.

The Limits of Control [DVD]

In a most Lynch-ian effort, Jim Jarmusch returns to the big screen with The Limits of Control, his most minimalistic and perhaps most strange work yet. The film follows a cool and quiet assassin (common Jarmusch actor Isaach De Bankolé) country to country on his assigned mission, something the audience rarely learns about. The film is aided by the characters he meets, played by some great accomplished actors such as John Hurt and Bill Murray. For fans only, The Limits of Control is a whole lot of slow-paced action that ultimately doesn't give a huge payoff. But still, I found it to be an impressive film, just not overly satisfying.

Downhill Racer [Criterion DVD]

I don't know much about this film, other than the fact that Robert Redford and Gene Hackmen star in it and it has to do with a
U.S. downhill ski team. But hey, Criterion put it out, and I'm sort of a slave to them. If they say it's good enough to release, it must be good enough to watch.

Sex, Lies, and Videotape [Blu-ray]

Oh my god!! I really need to get a PS3. Steven Soderbergh's ultra-successful independent film that helped change the landscape of the American indie film is now on Blu-ray. Words can't really describe this strange film. See it for yourself.

What else came out this week: Gone with the Wind (70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray], The Professional [Blu-ray], Galaxy Quest [Blu-ray], Working Men (Rush),
Is Anybody There?, Clerks [Blu-ray], Chasing Amy [Blu-ray], Avant-Garde 3: Experimental Cinema 1922-1954.

What to stay away from: Easy choice. NHL: Montreal Canadiens - 100th Anniversary Collector's Set. Haha, why would you want to watch a complete DVD box set about the 100 years this franchise has been in existence?

Anyways, that's all for this week. Don't get mad that I didn't include photos for all those titles. Cya sometime soon, I hope!

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