Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Black Sheep's Blu-Tuesday

There are a few Blu-ray announcements this week that are music to my ears.  First on deck are the Baz Luhrmann extravaganzas, MOULIN ROUGE and WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE'S ROMEO + JULIET, both being released on October 19.  The 45th anniversary edition of THE SOUND OF MUSIC makes it's way to BD for the first time on November 2.  Walt Disney is release both of their FANTASIA films together on November 30.  And Sofia Coppola's quiet work of brilliance, LOST IN TRANSLATION has found a December 7 release.  On a separate, non-musical note of business, the Special Edition of AVATAR will be released on November 16.  I suspect that anyone who cared to know that already did.  And what of this week?

I had great anticipation for this Michael Caine vehicle and on many levels, it is greatly satisfying.  It is beautifully shot, shockingly violent and features a Caine performance at its central core that strikes an odd balance of reservation and ferociousness.  To appreciate all of this though, one must forego the main plot.  Caine is HARRY BROWN, a retired marine who lives in some low-income housing in modern day Britain, that is overrun with gangs and drugs.  After his best friend is found dead at the hands of the gangs, Brown takes it upon himself to clean up the streets.  He does it reluctantly and he does have that marine background but that is not enough to get me to buy this elderly gentleman as vigilante premise.  If you don't mind the age thing, it is well worth the rent. (E1 Entertainment)

This latest release came out last week but I've now had the chance to watch the whole thing, thanks to the good folks at 20th Century Fox.  I usually judge a season of THE SIMPSONS by the episodes I did not already see and there were a few here.  I know it may seem like every episode has played on TV a million times but there are a few gems that do not get regular syndication rotation and you can see why pretty easily when we're talking about The Simpsons' trip to Brazil.  Yikes, that was borderline offensive.  My favorite though was when The Simpsons come to my hood, Toronto.  Bart learns in this episode that sometimes we only want what we want because we can't have it. This is a lesson this here critic apparently needed a cartoon character to teach him.  Reese Witherspoon guests on this one, which is probably pretty costly to air in syndication given her residuals.  Yes, THE SIMPSONS - SEASON 13 is a good time indeed.


- HARD CANDY - Ellen Page and Patrick Wilson in an intense game of wits with dire consequences. See Page in her pre-JUNO days and you will know why she's such a big deal.

- THE BLAIR WITH PROJECT - The original PARANORMAL ACTIVITY.  This one was actually scary ... and believable.

- SECRETARY - This early Maggie Gyllenhaal film is sinfully delicious and a whole lot of messed up.  It does prove to em though that there is someone out there for everyone, no matter what kind of freak you are.

Source: Blu-ray.com

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