Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Black Sheep's Blu-Tuesday

A couple of weeks back, I focused on the new BD book release of DOCTOR ZHIVAGO.  I did not get my screener copy on time to review it but I received it shortly afterward.  I wasn't having the greatest of days and a three-hour plus film seemed like the perfect way to get lose for an extended period of time.  Watching the classic made me realize just how much I love grand, epic romances, especially if the love meets a tragic end.  Honestly though, when does the love survive in these scenarios anyway?  Julie Christie is just as gorgeous in this movie as the breathtaking scenery.  If you have not had the chance to see DOCTOR ZHIVAGO and are looking for a good, long trip down Film History Lane, pick this one up.

Moving on to the week at hand ...


It's a good thing this Garry Marshall crammed almost every likable star in Hollywood into this two hour tribute to a day that ordinarily annoys me.  I can't say the filmic ode annoyed me any less but there were a few moments that made it passable.  Highlights include Anne Hathaway as a girl in a fresh and potentially satisfying relationship that has to hide her moonlighting job as a phone sex operator; Jennifer Garner and Ashton Kutcher are actually pretty adorable together as friends who could be more; and this one scene between Shirley MacLaine and Hector Elizondo caught me completely off guard and had me weeping.  Essentially, I learned that to love someone means loving them for the parts that are hard to love just as much as the parts that are easy.  Mind you, I'm not sure how much advice about love I should be taking from Hollywood.


If it weren't for the two unexpected Oscar nominations this Oren Moverman film earned this year, this quiet commentary about casualties of war may have fallen entirely into obscurity.  Instead, after picking up a Best Supporting Actor nod for Woody Harrelson and a screenplay nomination, it managed to pull in a little over $6 million at the box office.  It doesn't sound like much but given how limited it played and how bleak the subject matter is, it's not bad at all.  Harrelson's nod is well deserved and in any other year, Ben Foster would have joined him amongst the nominees.  Foster is usually a little over the top but his restraint here offers a perspective that is cutting and moving.  The entire case delivers actually with Samantha Morton rounding out the team with another incredible performance as the widow of a fallen soldier.  For the full length Black Sheep theatrical review, just click this link.


Two very talented actors, Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon, give great performances in this Clint Eastwood picture but once again, Eastwood himself is his own film's worst enemy.  Honestly, this historical account of how the South African soccer team helped its country unify during a controversial period that found Nelson Mandela as its first black leader, opens with Mandela being driven down a road in a cavalcade with black soccer players on one side of the road and white ones on the other side.  Could this new leader divide the gap between these races?  Eastwood is a genius ... at being ridiculously obvious in his intentions, that is.  He is almost incapable of subtlety and he looms over all his projects with an air of enlightenment when all it really is ignorance for just how delicate these situations really are.  It isn't his worst picture but you can miss it and not be any worse for it.


Harrison Ford and Brandan Fraser try to collectively cure some incurable disease in what looks like an overglorified made for television movie called EXTREME MEASURES.  Criterion goes on WALKABOUT with the 1971 Nicolas Roeg film.  Michael Winterbottom makes what arguably could be classified as art house pornography with 9 SONGS.  And Al Pacino favorite, CARLITO'S WAY makes its way to BD for the first time.

Source: bluray.com

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