This first day of February brings us an eclectic slate of new Blu-ray releases. We’ve got remakes, classic animation, and some of this past year’s most overlooked films. Let’s see what might be worth buying, shall we?
Here’s the release list:
- ‘10‘ (Warner Brothers)
- ‘An Affair to Remember‘ (20th Century Fox)
- ‘Alice in Wonderland: 60th Anniversary Edition‘ (Disney/Buena Vista)
- ‘All About Eve‘ (20th Century Fox)
- ‘Almost Famous: Bootleg Edition‘ (DreamWorks – January 30th)
- ‘Bad Boys (1983)‘ (Lionsgate)
- ‘Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2‘ (Disney/Buena Vista)
- ‘Big Momma’s House 1 & 2‘ (20th Century Fox)
- ‘Boys Don’t Cry‘ (20th Century Fox)
- ‘Chain Letter‘ (Image)
- ‘Conviction‘ (20th Century Fox)
- ‘The Cove‘ (Lionsgate)
- ‘The Double Life of Veronique ‘ (Criterion)
- ‘Highlander: 25th Anniversary Collection‘ (Lionsgate)
- ‘Hurricane Season‘ (Vivendi)
- ‘Let Me In‘ (Starz/Anchor Bay)
- ‘Monsters‘ (Magnolia)
- ‘Never Let Me Go‘ (20th Century Fox)
- ‘Night Catches Us‘ (Magnolia)
- ‘Pleasantville‘ (Warner Brothers)
- ‘Ray‘ (Universal)
- ‘The Rules of Attraction‘ (Lionsgate)
- ‘Still Waiting…‘ (Lionsgate)
- ‘The Tillman Story‘ (Sony)
- ‘Welcome to the Riley’s‘ (Sony)
- ‘A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop‘ (Sony)
- ‘You’ve Got Mail‘ (Warner Brothers)
Although flatly ignored by both audiences and the Oscar committee, ‘Let Me In‘ was one of the best films of 2010. This remake of the beloved Swedish vampire movie ‘Let the Right One In‘ manages to be exceedingly faithful to the original, and yet also finds a life of its own. I wrote some more thoughts on the movie when I covered it at the Toronto International Film Festival. Our Blu-ray reviewer E. also makes his case for it if you follow the link above.
On the subject of remakes, acclaimed Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou (‘Hero‘, ‘House of Flying Daggers‘) tries his hand at adapting the Coen Brothers’ debut feature ‘Blood Simple’ as a goofy slapstick farce in ‘A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop‘. I watched this recently. The Blu-ray has absolutely gorgeous imagery and a terrific soundtrack, but the movie itself is utterly atrocious. It’s shockingly bad. I almost turned it off halfway through. I can’t believe that a director of the caliber of Zhang Yimou made it. The only worthwhile thing I got out of this movie was a reminder that I really ought to watch ‘Blood Simple’ again. I hope that comes to Blu-ray soon.
Let’s jump back to TIFF for a moment, if we can. One of the movies I most anticipated when I went to the festival last year was Mark Romanek’s adaptation of the Kazuo Ishiguro novel ‘Never Let Me Go‘. I found it kind of disappointing, but it’s difficult to separate my feelings for the movie as a movie from my feelings on how well it was adapted from the book. More about this in that TIFF post. In any case, the film went absolutely nowhere when it was finally released wide. I feel bad about that, because it is an interesting movie, and I think I ought to give it a second chance.
‘Monsters‘ tries to do the ‘District 9‘ thing on an ultra low budget. Drew thought it was pretty crappy. As I recall, the buzz at TIFF was also largely negative. (I didn’t go see this one.) On the other hand, it must have impressed somebody, because director Gareth Edwards has been signed to helm the next American Godzilla reboot.
All right, now let’s shift gears over to the catalog front. The big deal this week is Disney’s 60th Anniversary Edition of ‘Alice in Wonderland‘. This isn’t my favorite of Disney’s animated classics, but I’ll scoop it up just the same.
The Criterion Collection brings us Krzysztof Kieslowski’s ‘The Double Life of Veronique‘. I’ve managed to avoid seeing this one over the years. If I can admit to a bit of film snob heresy here, I think that Kieslowski’s much-heralded ‘Three Colors Trilogy’ is a bunch of pretentious garbage. I don’t know, I’ll probably give this a shot anyway. I’m a Criterion whore like that sometimes.
Other notable catalog releases this week include ‘Almost Famous‘, ‘All About Eve‘, ‘Boys Don’t Cry‘, ‘Pleasantville‘, and ‘Ray‘. Of these, I think the only one I’ll buy is ‘All About Eve’. I have the UK import disc for ‘Almost Famous’, and think that can hold me over. (I believe the new disc is a Best Buy exclusive.) Jamie Foxx delivers a deservedly-acclaimed performance in ‘Ray’, but the movie is otherwise an exceedingly formulaic biopic. ‘Pleasantville’ has never done anything for me, and ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ is the sort of thing I only ever need to watch once. Your mileage may vary.