Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Black Sheep's Blu-Tuesday

By now, we've all heard about the crazy records James Cameron's AVATAR broke last week when it debuted conveniently on Earth Day, as though Cameron actually cared about the planet.  I mean, if he had allowed a portion of each AVATAR copy sold to go toward some form of environmental cause, I might feel differently about it but sadly, that isn't the case.  Instead the film sold 1.5 million copies on BD alone, over million when you consider DVD's.  That easily smashed the 600K first week sales of THE DARK KNIGHT from last holiday season.  And all this without any serious extras on it and no 3D.  I feel like AVATAR is one of those phenomenon titles that people just buy without thinking because everyone's gotta have it and then leave on their shelves forever.  One thing is for certain though, no title being releases this week will come anywhere near matching those sales figures.

This mature comedy is pure Hollywood cliche at times but also comedy gold at others.  It reminds me of DATE NIGHT in the sense that you know what you are watching is ridiculous and exaggerated and  you also know exactly where things will end up at all times but it doesn't matter.  The casts, in both cases, shine so bright that you just can't help but laugh and laugh loud.  In case you don't know the plot, Meryl Streep takes up with her ex-husband (Alec Baldwin) while starting a new relationship with her architect (Steve Martin).  It is also no coincidence that IT'S COMPLICATED is being released just before Mother's Day.  My mother will have already bought it by then but you can get it for yours.  Mothers love Meryl Streep!  And I loved watching Meryl Streep get stoned out of her head.

I have to be honest; I have not seen this Terry Gilliam film and I seriously don't have any intentions of seeing it either.  Sure, it looks like a visual mind trip and has the potential to be a lot of fun but I just can't bring myself to watch Heath Ledger's final performance, especially considering it was unfinished at the time of his death.  I don't want to creep you out.  You should watch it and let me know if it is worth it or not.  It was nominated for Art Direction and Costume Design at this year's Oscars after all.  And the BD release has a ton of goodies, including feature commentary, deleted scenes and a few featurettes, including one about Ledger.  I just prefer to remember Ledger's last completed performance as the Joker in the THE DARK KNIGHT instead.  My apologies, Mr. Gilliam.


A whole slew of back catalog titles make their first appearances on BD including the late Sydney Pollack's OUT OF AFRICA, starring of course, Meryl Streep.  Little seen Ang Lee film, RIDE WITH THE DEVIL gets the Criterion experience.  And both the overwhelmingly beautiful ELIZABETH and generally underwhelming ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE can be brought home for your royal enjoyment.


TuesdayGroup4 said...

All those suckers buying Avatar on Blu Ray, you know, in 6 months time, there will be a fancy shiny blue one with more special features than you could poke an ocean liner at. Enjoy buying it twice!

Black Sheep said...

I don't often have a lot of faith in the consumer but this was particularly sheeplike of them. Honestly, I feel like everyone and their mother bought Avatar last week because they felt like they had to. There wasn't much choice involved. Naturally, I must own Avatar. It was the biggest film of all time! In six months time, there will certainly be another edition that might actually be worth buying but six months after that, maybe people will finally start seeing this movie for the mediocrity it is.