Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Black Sheep's Blu-Tuesday

What a lovely day to be a blu-ray ... Both today's BR announcements and releases are so fantastic that I can't help but smile as I ponder how much they are going to cost me ... First of all, fans of the traditional Disney animation of yore will delight to hear that BAMBI and THE LION KING are being prepped for BR release in the spring of 2011. Specific dates will follow ... One of my favorites and one of the most polarizing movies I know of in recent history, Sofia Coppola's LOST IN TRANSLATION is coming in time for the holidays, sort of. Amazon.com has the BR on December 7 exclusively, while regular retailers get it on January 4, 2011 ... There is good news if you were hoping to catch a quality version of the original John Wayne film, TRUE GRIT, before the Coen Brothers remake, starring Jeff Bridges, this holiday season. The 1969 original lands on BR December 14 ... And Valentine's Day titles are already being readied. Look for PLEASANTVILLE to make its way to BR on February 1, 2011 ... And now for this week's best BR releases ...

(Criterion Collection)
This may be some of his most accessible work but it may also be my favourite Wes Anderson film, after RUSHMORE, that is. Classic is classic after all. Owen Wilson, Adrian Brody and Jason Shwartzman are the most implausible of brothers and their antics on a train ride through India are outlandish and, at other times, somewhat obvious, but they are always delightful. And gorgeous, I should say. I can't afford a voyage through India but this will do me just fine for now. This is its first appearance on BR and, from what I've read, the transfer is remarkable. It is Criterion though so that usually goes without saying. The set contains an all new commentary track featuring writers Anderson, Roman Coppola and Schwartzman but, unlike the DVD that is sitting on my shelf, it does not contain the short film, HOTEL CHEVALIER, with Schwartzman and Natalie Portman, which explains Schwartzman's character backstory. I guess I will have to just own both the DVD and the BR. Oh well.

(Warner Brothers)
It has been quite a long time since I've seen this David O. Russell film and I can't wait to see how it holds up on BR. George Clooney, Mark Whalberg and Ice Cube are Desert Storm soldiers in this sharp, humourous critique on the war. Famed director, Spike Jonze (BEING JOHN MALKOVICH) gives one of the most surprising turns in the film, simply because I didn't expect anything from him at all. The disc features director commentary as well as a behind the scenes documentary, amongst a number of other juicy special features. I am just curious to see if the behind the scenes footage will contain proof of the reported on-set difficulties that almost ruined this great piece of filmmaking. I want to see Clooney throw a chair or something.

(Mongrel Media)
When I caught this epic film in theatres this summer, I was completely taken in by it. I was not expecting to love it as much as I did but it is absolutely enchanting and mesmerizing. Director, Luca Guadagnino channels the spirit of the French "new wave" thanks to a culmination of so many great formal elements - most notably the brilliant screenplay, stunning cinematography and stirring musical score. All of this is capped by a remarkable cast, led by Tilda Swinton in a role that could see her nab another Oscar nod. American readers can run out and buy this today but Canadian folks will have to wait until its release on October 26. Either way, don't miss it! The scenery alone is worth it.

For a full review of THE DARJEELING LIMITED, click the title.

Source: blu-ray.com

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