Happy MLK Day, everyone. I suppose that I could have used the holiday as an excuse to take another long weekend, but this week actually brings us a few new Blu-rays of interest. Let’s take a look.
‘Captain Phillips‘ – Tom Hanks takes on Somali pirates in Paul Greengrass’ latest based-on-real-events thriller. The film nabbed six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, but none for either Greengrass or Hanks. That leaves it unlikely to win the big prize. Some fans were upset at the lack of recognition for Hanks, but I still contend that his laughable attempt at a New England accent did him in.
‘Blue Jasmine‘ – The pendulum of Woody Allen’s career swung back up last year with this drama about a society wife whose life falls apart after her husband is sent to prison. The film was generally acknowledged to be one of Allen’s good movies. (Lord knows they haven’t all been good lately.) Cate Blanchett and Sally Hawkins join the long list of actors that he’s directed into Oscar nominations.
‘In a World…‘ – Actress Lake Bell makes her feature writing and directing debut with this romantic comedy about the quirky community of movie trailer voiceover artists. The movie looks charming and reviews were positively effusive. I plan to rent this.
‘Instructions Not Included‘ – This Mexican comedy about parenthood proved the power of niche marketing when it seemingly came out of nowhere this summer and hit it big at the box office. Is the movie any good? Doesn’t really look it, but I suppose I’m not the target audience.
‘Machete Kills‘ – Robert Rodriguez just needs to stop at this point. The first ‘Machete’ sucked. Why would we need a sequel? I sure don’t.
‘Charlie Countryman‘ – Shia LaBeouf. Ugh.
The first Blu-ray release of Paul Verhoeven’s satirical masterpiece ‘RoboCop‘ was kind of crappy. A proper double-dip has long been needed, and now we have it. In time to promote the remake, MGM finally give us a new remaster from a 4k scan. Early word is that the disc contains the unrated Director’s Cut and looks pretty good. As I mentioned in a post last month, a SteelBook edition will be released in the UK shortly.
The 1963 all-star screwball comedy ‘ It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World‘ seems like an unlikely candidate for the Criterion Collection. For one thing, the movie was already released on Blu-ray by MGM a couple years ago. Nevertheless, Criterion offers up a new restoration of the film’s extended Roadshow cut. I guess somebody has to.
I don’t know much about it, but I’m less surprised to see Criterion release the 1992 ‘La vie de bohème‘, from Finnish purveyor of deadpan comedy Aki Kaurismaki.
Perhaps the most Criterion-y title of the week isn’t coming from Criterion at all. That would be Russian master Andrei Tarkovsky’s ‘Nostalghia‘, and Kino got this one.
On the cult side of things, Scream Factory gives us Paul Schrader’s 1982 ‘Cat People‘, which was previously released on HD DVD by Universal. I’m told that the Blu-ray still comes from the same dated and mediocre film-to-video transfer, unfortunately. Meanwhile, Image offers ‘Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy‘, a four-hour documentary about the Freddy Krueger franchise. Enjoy it, fans.
There was a complete season of ‘Crossing Lines‘? I was under the impression that the show got canceled early. I watched about half of the first episode over the summer and was bored stiff.
I already have a preorder in place for that UK SteelBook copy of ‘RoboCop’. Otherwise, ‘Captain Phillips’, ‘Blue Jasmine’, ‘In a World…’ all look to be worth renting. I’ll also add ‘Nostalghia’ to my wish list. Does anything float your boat this week?