Tuesday, March 26, 2013

New Releases On Blu Ray & DVD: 3/26/13


To barely anybody’s surprise, Daniel Day Lewis won his third Oscar for his powerful portrayal of the 16th President in LINCOLN (my review here), out today in a lavish package on Blu ray and DVD. 

Film buffs have their choice of a 2 disc or a deluxe 4-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack Super Set (Blu-ray + Bonus Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy). Bonus material includes the featurettes “The Journey to LINCOLN,” “A Historic Tapestry: Richmond, Virginia,” “Crafting the Past,” “In The Company Of Character" and “In Lincoln’s Footsteps.” As usual there’s no director’s commentary (Spielberg hasn’t recorded a commentary for any of his movies), but there’s plenty of Spielberg yakking about making his historical epic here so fans should be happy with this release. 

The first season of HBO’s Veep, you know the show with Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the Vice President, comes out today on Blu ray and DVD, and it’s a nice 2 disc Blu ray with DVD and digital copy set, with a neat art design that makes it resemble The West Wing’s DVD packaging of their seasons. 

I wasn’t much of a fan of the show when it first aired last year, but watching it now I am more appreciating Armando Iannucci’s (IN THE LOOP) shaky cam rhythms capturing the silly politics stressing out all his self centered characters, played by a fine ensemble cast including Anna Chlumsky, Tony Hale, and Matt Walsh, in a world in which the President is never named, political affiliation is never identified, and dignity is never present.

Louis-Dreyfus, who will always be Seinfeld's Elaine Benes to me, won an Emmy for her performance as the vain Veep, Selina Meyer, in the 8 episodes of season one here which are joined by such Bonus Features as “The Making of Veep,” “Misspoke” (a direct to the camera Louis-Dreyfus retracting remarks about Governor Chung), another outtake about Chung (which I don’t get at all), an Anti-Obesity PSA (also has a useless unfunny outtake), and 12 commentaries with cast and crew (I’ve listened to a few of them and they’re pretty entertaining). Annoyingly these extras are listed on the menu on disc one, but when you click on several of them it says “Please Insert Disc 2.”

Last December, I skipped a press screening of Andy Fickman’s PARENTAL GUIDANCE, starring Billy Crystal and Bette Midler as wacky grandparents, so I doubt I’ll put it in my Netflix queue, but for folks who are interested, it’s out now on Blu ray and DVD with several Special Features: commentary (with Crystal and Fickman), gag reel, deleted scenes (also with commentary), and a featurette entitled “FXM Productions Presents: In Character with Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, Marisa Tomei.” Hmm, I didn’t know Marisa Tomei was in it! Still doesn’t make me want to see it though.

A few other films I missed in their theatrical run, but actually might check out, are also out today on Blu ray and DVD: A ROYAL AFFAIR, EASY MONEY (aka SNABBA CASH), and the documentary STEP UP TO THE PLATE (French title: ENTRE LES BRAS), about French chef Michel Bras.

Also in that category is Rick Alverson’s THE COMEDY, which is also available on Netflix Instant. Tim Heidecker of Tim & Eric fame, stars as a guy who I hear is a bit of a dick who harasses people while he’s waiting for his Dad to die. I guess that’s what it’s about. Despite that I hated TIM & ERIC’S BILLION DOLLAR MOVIE, I am very curious about this film. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Andrew Dominik’s KILLING THEM SOFTLY, which featured Brad Pitt doing just that, is out today in both one disc Blu ray and DVD editions. I sort of semi-liked what Dominik was going for in the film, I likened it to a mash-up of GOODFELLAS and MARGIN CALL in my review last November, so I’m curious about what the Special Features are. Well, looks like only some deleted scenes, and a short “making of” featurette (6 minutes). That’s too bad, this is a film that could really use a commentary. 

Older films out today on Blu ray and DVD: THE SANDLOT: 20th Anniversary Edition, JURASSIC PARK (also a 20th anniversary re-issue just in time for the new 3D version of the film), Elia Kazan’s PANIC IN THE STREETS (1950), and Criterion Collection editions of Charlie Chaplin’s excellent MONSIEUR VERDOUX (1947) and and Robert Bresson’s A MAN ESCAPED (1956).

More later...

1 comment:

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