Tuesday, January 12, 2010

DVD Picks of the Week: January 12, 2010

It took a really great week of DVDs and Blu-rays to get me to make my first picks of the week entry of 2010, but nonetheless, I'm here. Let's get started.

In the Loop [DVD][Blu-ray]

I'm pretty certain that In the Loop is going to remain my favorite film of 2009. Coupled with the return of the related television show The Thick of It (both feature a few of the same characters and actors), creator Armando Iannucci had his hands full of comedy in 2009. The film and show are both led by vulgar fire-breathing spin doctor Malcolm Tucker (played brilliantly by Peter Capaldi). Tucker is a man that cusses like no one else and is credited with some of the more unique ways of telling someone off. In the Loop, a political satire of both the American and British governments, is a fast-paced comedy that in my eyes lands at the top of the list for 2009.

The Hurt Locker [DVD][Blu-ray]

One of the very best films of 2009 and a masterpiece of the war genre, Kathryn Bigelow's tense war thriller should be on the ballot come Oscar season. Jeremy Renner's lead performance is the sign of a rising star and shouldn't go unnoticed. The Hurt Locker is one of the true "edge-of-your-seat" films of the year.

Moon [DVD][Blu-ray]

Sam Rockwell, directed by David Bowie's son, Duncan Jones, turns in a captivating performance as a man stranded on a mining facility on the moon. Today is just a great day for some of the best films of 2009 to be available for purchase and home viewing. Moon is one of the better science fiction pieces of the decade as its aided by keen directing, a sharp screenplay and an eerie and unsettling mood of paranoia.

Departures [DVD]

A film I have yet to see but have just requested off of Netflix, Departures won the award for best foreign film at the 2009 Oscars. The Japanese film apparently follows a newly unemployed cellist who accepts a job preparing the dead for their funerals.

8 1/2 [Criterion Blu-ray]

8 1/2 will always have a special place in my heart. It was one of the first Criterion's I ever saw and the very first Fellini film I ever saw. At the beginning of my adventure into foreign films, few struck me as hard as this one. Perhaps only a couple of Ingmar Bergman titles have exceeded it. Watching 8 1/2 for the first time is a magical experience, something not created by most other films. And now having it available is crisp Blu-ray? What more can you ask for? I urge all newcomers to go out and get this film.

Big Fan [DVD]

I popped in Big Fan the other night and came away impressed. The film was directed and written by Robert Siegel, the man responsible for the screenplay to last year's critically-acclaimed film The Wrestler. Siegel certainly has something of a claim on the brooding loser genre. Big Fan is a darkly funny film starring Patton Oswalt in a challenging performance he might have been born for. Must see film for fans of films and sports. Those that live in the New York Metropolitan area, or even in Connecticut like myself, will appreciate the realism around the obsessed fans and late night radio show callers.

The Brothers Bloom [DVD][Blu-ray]

It seems like it took The Brothers Bloom long enough to be released. I still haven't seen it, but I'm making sure that I do eventually. Stars Rachel Weisz, Adrien Brody, and Mark Ruffalo.

The House On Sorority Row [DVD]

I feel like this should have been released at the same time the remake made its ways into theaters. A remake that is different enough from its original that its possible to enjoy as fresh content. The remake, Sorority Row, also took itself as least serious as possible, which was great for the film in the long run. The original is a good film as well, one of the unheralded slasher classics of the 1980s.

No comments: