Royal fever is in the air. As you may have heard, there’s kind of a big wedding happening in England at the end of next week. It seems like fortuitous timing, therefore, that recent Oscar winner ‘The King’s Speech’ is being released on video today, just in time for everyone to study up on the history of the royal family. If we look, there may be one or two other things worth checking out as well.
Here’s the new release slate:
- ‘Born to Raise Hell‘ (Paramount)
- ‘Farewell (L’Affaire Farewell)‘ (NeoClassics)
- ‘Fubar: Balls to the Wall‘ (Screen Media)
- ‘Glee: Encore‘ (20th Century Fox)
- ‘Goemon‘ (FUNimation)
- ‘Gulliver’s Travels (2010)‘ (20th Century Fox)
- ‘Gulliver’s Travels – 3D (2010)‘ (20th Century Fox)
- ‘Kes‘ (Criterion)
- ‘The King’s Speech‘ (Starz/Anchor Bay)
- ‘The Last Legion‘ (The Weinstein)
- ‘Mortal Kombat‘ (Warner Brothers)
- ‘Mortal Kombat: Annihilation‘ (Warner Brothers)
- ‘Rabbit Hole‘ (Lionsgate)
- ‘Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure‘ (Disney/Buena Vista)
- ‘Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure (3-Disc Combo Pack w/Purse)‘ (Disney/Buena Vista)
- ‘Short Circuit 2‘ (Image)
- ‘Somewhere‘ (Universal)
- ‘Square Grouper‘ (Magnolia)
- ‘Street Kings 2: Motor City‘ (20th Century Fox)
- ‘Street Kings/Street Kings 2: Motor City‘ (20th Century Fox)
- ‘Sweetie‘ (Criterion)
- ‘Tokyo Gore Police‘ (Tokyo Shock)
- ‘The Way Back‘ (Image)
- ‘Zombie Holocaust‘ (Shriek Show)
Obviously, the big gun here is this year’s Best Picture Oscar winner ‘The King’s Speech‘. Readers of this blog may recall that Drew wasn’t a fan of the movie, to put it lightly. If you follow the link above to the Blu-ray review, Aaron thought more highly of it. I finally got around to watching it this past weekend, and I probably fall closer to Aaron’s side. I think the movie was really the victim of over-hyping, more than anything else. Removed from the burden of living up to those Best Picture expectations, it’s a perfectly entertaining, smart, witty, and emotionally rousing movie. Was it the best film released in 2010? No, perhaps not. But I have no hesitation in recommending it anyway.
In other Oscar-related news, this week also brings us the home video release of ‘Rabbit Hole‘, for which Nicole Kidman was nominated for the Best Actress trophy. (She lost to Natalie Portman.) I saw this movie last year at the Toronto Film Festival, in much too close a proximity to another picture on the same theme. I think that diluted my appreciation of it. However, it’s certainly an emotionally devastating drama, and Kidman (of whom I’m not usually a fan) gives a terrific performance. So does Aaron Eckhart. I think I’ll need to re-evaluate this again at some point.
Lost amid the Oscar shuffle last year was ‘The Way Back‘, director Peter Weir’s return to the big screen. Our reviewer Steven Cohen liked it a lot. I didn’t get a chance to see it theatrically, but will definitely check out the Blu-ray.
Less interesting by far is the week’s other big day-and-date title, that new version of ‘Gulliver’s Travels‘ starring Jack Black (available in both 2D and 3D). The movie was savaged by critics and a big ol’ bomb at the box office. It looks just dreadful. Even if you have kids, do them a favor and find something better for them to watch.
Admittedly, the week’s two new Criterion releases aren’t exactly kid-friendly, but adult viewers may appreciate these early works from directors Ken Loach and Jane Campion. I haven’t seen either. I’m not much of a fan of Loach in general, but I know that he’s well respected. I’m willing to give ‘Kes‘ the benefit of the doubt. I’m more interested in ‘Sweetie‘. Both titles are going on my ever-expanding Criterion wish-list.