Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Part 2 of my BluRay Coverage focuses on New Releases, films that are new to all home formats.  All of these films are also out on DVD, although the special features may vary.


Vicki Christina Barcelona

I’m not a big fan of Woody Allen.  I’ve seen a few of his movies and they always manage to disappoint.  So I wasn’t excited to see this one, even if it had won an Academy Award.  The story follows Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson), two young Americans spending a summer in Spain.  (Hence the title)  The two meet a charming "Casanova," Juan Antonio Gonzalo (Javier Bardem) and agree to go to his home.  While there Gonzalo’s beautiful but volatile ex-wife Maria (Penelope Cruz) arrives. When they all become romantically entangled, the smoldering sparks begin to fly in hilarious fashion.  It’s a fairly interesting premise, but I’ll let you decide how you feel it pays off.

The disc is pretty bare in the special features department.




I really love Baz Luhrmann.  Romeo + Juliet was very different, but great in its own right and Moulin Rouge! is one of the most original, beautiful musicals of all time.  When I first heard he was making Australia with Rouge!’s Nicole Kidman and the wonderfully talented Hugh Jackman, I was excited.  I assumed it would be a musical and couldn’t wait to see what this trio cooked up.  Then I found out it was not actually a musical but a Drama/Love-Letter to the trio’s homeland, Australia.  When the movie came out there was a very mixed reaction, some loved it, some hated it.  I never ended up seeing it in theaters.  The movie is one of the most beautifully shot films to come out in a long time.

Set in Australia on the brink of World War II, Lady Sarah Ashley, an English Aristocrat (Kidman), travels to a cattle ranch she inherited from her late husband.  When Australian cattle barons plot to take her land, she reluctantly joins forces with a rough-hewn local known as The Drover (Jackman) to drive 2,000 head of cattle across hundreds of miles of the country’s most unforgiving land, only to still face the bombing of Darwin by the Japanese forces that had attacked Pearl Harbor.  When tragedy strikes and Lady Sarah becomes unofficial guardian to a “half-caste” boy, the unlikely couple must come to terms with a prejudiced society, dishonorable business associates and the impending arrival of the Japanese.

This is a long movie and so the home format works great for it as you can break it up into 2 parts, or just pause it to go to the restroom or get a bite to eat.  This movie won’t be for everyone, but if you like epic love stories, it’s likely that you will enjoy it.

The Special Features include: a Featurette on Australia (the country, not the movie), 2 Deleted Scenes, A set of Behind the Scenes looks at 9 steps of the filmmaking process.


Let the Right One In

This was one of my favorite movies of 2008.  A beautifully dark vampire story that not only makes you care for the vampire, and this one’s not a peaceful lover ala Twilight’s Edward, but a cold blooded murderer, but also packs in the shocks and scares.  I was Super Excited when I received this Blu-Ray for review.  And while the features are good with a number of deleted scenes and features, I can’t recommend you buy this disc.


Unfortunately Magnet Films/Magnolia Pictures who distribute the film have included a very different version of the English subtitles on this release.  The new version seems to be almost an afterthought and don’t stand up to the great Theatrical subtitles, mainly because the new subtitles leave a lot of the emotion and humor on the wayside and some of the dialogue goes without subtitles at all.


Magnolia has said they will be releasing a version that has the theatrical subtitles, which will look identical to the current release except on the back next to English Subtitles it will say (Theatrical).  But they will not be recalling the old version or replacing it.  Just thought you should have a heads up.



My Name Is Bruce

This movie is not for everyone.  It’s made for B horror fans, specifically those that love Bruce Campbell.  It’s hilarious, cheesy, and amazing.  You know if you want it or not, so I’m not going to say anything else.



Role Models

I first saw this movie, well before it was a finished product and quickly fell in love.  I had been excited to see it since I first heard there was a new movie with Paul Rudd, because really that’s all I need.  But throw in Chrisopher “McLovin’” Mintz-Plasse, as a LARPer and I was sold.  But the movie was even better than I could have anticipated.  In fact it was one of the funniest movies of last year.

Yes, this is another of the ‘R’ rated comedies, so you likely already know if you’re even remotely interested in it.  But just in case here’s a bit of the plot.  Paul Rudd and Sean William Scott play immature adults who work for an energy drink, much like Red Bull, going to schools to promote it.  Neither of them are responsible in any way and they very quickly get into trouble and get community service working for ‘Sturdy Wings’ AKA Big Brother, Big Sister.  The pair are each teamed up with a kid who is somehow worse off than they are.  Rudd’s Danny gets paired up with Mintz-Plasse’s Augie, a nerdy Live Action Role Player, whose own parents rag on him.  Scott’s Wheeler get paired up with Bobb’e J. Thompson’s hilarious Ronnie, a loud-mouthed, boob obsessed kid who drives off each of his mentor’s after less than a day.  And of course these kids teach them something about themselves.  But really it’s hilarious and all the feel good moments are worth it to see the foresome show up for the ultimate role-playing battle that ends the movie.  Funny and brilliant.




What more can be said about this movie.  It’s the opposite of Let the Right One In, with a love-story between a girl and her vampire.  It’s kind of cheesy, aimed at teen girls, and yet I really enjoyed it.  So have several other guys I’ve talked to, and all of our wife’s have loved it as well. 

So if you like romance, vampires, supernatural danger, or baseball then maybe you should look past the stigma it’s got from everyone and give it a chance.



Marley & Me

I’m not gonna lie, I haven’t gotten around to seeing this one yet.  I’m not a dog person, My wife is allergic and the last dog I had was sometime in middle school, and so I just wasn’t that interested.  I thought my wife would want to watch it, but she didn’t, so we haven’t watched it.

But if you’re a dog person, or a pet person apparently this movie is for you.  It’s based on a bestselling book, it’s got Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson and it centers on a man and his relationship with the most unruly, but loveable dog of all time.  The movie follows this family as it starts and then grows all the way up to…well I shouldn’t ruin the movie, just have some tissue close at hand.

The 3-Disc Edition includes a DVD copy, a Digital Copy, and these Special Features:  19 Deleted Scenes, 5 featurettes, a Gag Reel, and much more. 



Slumdog Millionaire

Still one of the 2 best films I saw last year (the other being The Dark Knight). It’s simply the most uplifting movie I’ve seen in years.  It’s the story of one man’s life and his love for the girl of his dreams.  Of course it’s all told through flashback as he reveals how each part of his life has given him the answers to each of the questions on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.  If you haven’t seen it, or purchased it yet, run out and do it now.  It’s the best movie on this list.

Special Features include: A Making of, 12 deleted scenes, From Script To Screen: Toilet Scene, Indian Short Film – Manjha, Bombay Liquid Dance Music Video and 2 commentary tracks. 

Download now or preview on posterous
Blu-Ray Part 2.doc (36 KB)

Posted via email from the_cinemaniac's posterous


Post a Comment