Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Black Sheep's Blu-Tuesday

We're going to try something new this week.  As I cannot always find figures on last week's sales on time to post this column, I will also begin each week with the most exciting Blu-Ray release announcements from the last week.  I assume you don't check these sorts of things every day like I do so I figure summing it up once weekly will work for you.  The title that gets all my attention this week is the Oscar-nominated, A PROPHET.  I caught this one just before the telecast, where it lost to the inferior THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES, and I was floored.  It will be released on August 3.  Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning are more likely to find a larger audience with the home release of THE RUNAWAYS, July 20.  And looking even further ahead for all you collectors out there, the original 1933 version of KING KONG will make its way to Blu-Ray on September 28.

As for this week's releases ...

The first time I saw Tim Burton's wildly successful version of ALICE IN WONDERLAND, my ex had told me that morning that he was already seeing someone else just a short while after we split.  Needless to say, I did not have an easy time focusing on the explosion of matted colour on the screen.  The second time I saw it was the following weekend and, not to be outdone, I was on a date of my own.  I was able to see the film a lot clearer but I can't say I enjoyed it anymore the second time around.  Burton's vivid imagination is something of a cliche now that it is just being used by Hollywood to put a supposedly fresh spin on classic tales.  That hardly matters though when ALICE IN WONDERLAND is the biggest film of Burton's career and only the sixth film in history to cross $1 billion in international ticket sales.

Unfortunately, I was stuck in traffic somewhere on the 401 yesterday when the good people at Warner Bros. tried to deliver this brand new BBC Earth series, LIFE.  Subsequently, I have not yet had the chance to watch any of it but I do know what I'm doing as soon as I post this.  The people who brought you the breathtaking series, "Planet Earth", are doing it again, but this time, they're going to focus more on the inhabitants of the planet instead of the planet itself.  The original series was narrated by Richard Attenborough, just like "Planet Earth", but most North American retailers will be carrying the version that played on the Discovery Chanel, narrated by Oprah Winfrey.  I'm somewhat skeptical of this but also certain that whatever imagery will be on my screen will quickly allow me to drown out any voice around.

I can't say I remember disliking this film as much as most of my colleagues did when the film played in theatres.  I gave the film two stars and a lot of people said I was still being pretty generous.  The truth of it is, THE WOLFMAN has very little to sink your ravenous, razor-sharp teeth into.  It is all show with very little substance and honestly, the show is only passable really.  You spend most of the movie in the dark, literally as the action has to take place at night for the most part, as to why you're even there to begin with.  This is because Joe Johnston infuses the classic horror tale with modern ideas like daddy issues and girl trouble and does a bad job selling that too.  Even more mind boggling is how such a great cast got roped into this mess.  The wolf himself, Benicio del Toro, even served as a producer on this.  I don't get it.


Tom Cruise teams up with Steven Spielberg for the surprisingly enjoyable and suspenseful, WAR OF THE WORLDS.  Will Smith and Martin Lawrence do wonders for their careers with BAD BOYS.  And a bunch of Clint Eastwood classics, from SPACE COWBOYS to THE ROOKIE with Charlie Sheen, make their way to Blu-Ray, either individually or as part of the new CLINT EASTWOOD COLLECTION.  And yes, I was being sarcastic when I said, "classics".

Source: Blu-ray.com

No comments: