Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Blu-Tuesday: February 23

It is a busy day for both Blu-Ray and DVD today. There are some excellent releases, some that just look horrible and some other releases that I can confirm actually are horrible. With so many titles to look at, we best get to it.


I love Steven Soderbergh. THE INFORMANT! was his second release from last year, after the summer art house entry, THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE. It was actually his fourth film of the year if you count his CHE films as two and consider that they only hit most theatres in 2009. THE INFORMANT!, based on the true story of corporate whistle blower, Mark Whitacre, is by far, his breeziest entry. Soderbergh, along with a jovial and exuberant, Matt Damon, seems to just be having a lot of fun with this one. THE INFORMANT! is the kind of fresh, adult comedy that Hollywood needs to make more of.


Here is another true story and another unfortunately under appreciated film. Director Tom Hooper first impressed me with his incredibly meticulous work on the HBO mini-series, JOHN ADAMS. Here he enlists the underrated Michael Sheen to play famed British soccer coach, Brian Clough, as well as writer, Peter Morgan (THE QUEEN, FROST/NIXON) to pen the script. Morgan clearly knows how to write for Sheen as this is their third feature film together. THE DAMNED UNITED is a good, fun sports film with a very human heart keeping it alive.


This 2009 documentary about famed ice queen and fashionsita, Anna Wintour, is only available on DVD. I had the chance to see it finally last week and it was a delight for me to go behind the scenes at Vogue magazine to see how their infamous September issue is put together. The funny part is that I don't even really care about fashion but the film kept me focused despite this because of the drama that goes on there. My only complaint is that there wasn't enough Wintour. My assumption is that director, R. J. Cutler, was not able to crack her and had to fill the rest of the film with Vogue's supporting team. Thankfully, all of it is way too glamourous to feel like filler.


This Showtime television series is just starting its second season and its first season is now available on BD. I started watching it last Friday night and finished all 12 episodes by the next day. I just could not stop watching. Addictive is the best way to describe it and when you see it, and you should see it, you will see why addictive works on so many levels. For a full review of the show, please click the link to read what I wrote for Exclaim!


I don't want to say too much about this movie by DONNIE DARKO director, Richard Kelly, because the good people at Warner Brothers were kind enough to send me a free copy. I must say though that THE BOX is one of the worst movies I have ever seen. It is one of those great, big messes that starts showing signs of woe about two minutes in and just gets worse and worse from there. It is one strange decision after another and an incredibly infuriating film to endure. I urge you; don't waste your time on this one. There is nothing interesting inside this box.


(2009 - Directed by Paul Weitz and starring John C. Reilly & Selma Hayek))

(2009 - Directed by Mike Clattenburg)

(2009 - Directed by Kirk Jones and starring Robert De Niro and Drew Barrymore

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