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This Week on DVD & Blu-ray (06-26-12)

June 26, 2012
This week there are three major studio comedies being released – there’s the well-received action/comedy “21 Jump Street”, the fantasy/comedy “Mirror Mirror” that didn’t do so well, and a then there’s the latest Eddie Murphy comedy “A Thousand Words”. Don’t have to say too much about that one. The CGI-heavy “Wrath of the Titans” is also out this week, bogged down by a boring story and a desire to surpass the massive box office the first movie earned. While it’s only slightly better than “Clash”, not even Rosamund Pike could save this busy and silly sequel. The best bet this week is “The Artist”, French director Michel Hazanavicius’ wonderful ode to the waning silent era, when Hollywood was which transitioning to the “Talkies”. The film earned ten Oscar nominations and won five, including Best Picture Best Director, Best Actor (Jean Dujardin), Best Costume Design and Best Original Score. I haven’t seen it since last fall, so I look forward to revisiting it and see how it holds up.
Speaking of the Oscars, the Belgian film “Bullhead”, which was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, is also out this week. I’m looking forward to catching up to this one, which is described as “a harrowing tale of revenge, redemption and fate” from director Michael Roskum, marking his feature-film (and international) debut. Another film on my radar is Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s “Once Upon a Time in Anatolia”, which is a Turkish film from 2011 that was recently released here in the States earlier this year. The film is based on a true story, about a group of men who scour the Anatolian countryside searching for a corpse. I’ve heard only great things about the film.
Criterion is releasing some notable titles on DVD/Blu-ray this week. Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 spy thriller “The 39 Steps” provides conspiracy and romance from The Master of Suspense. You can’t go wrong with that. Then there’s “The Samurai Trilogy”, directed by Hiroshi Inagaki, which looks to be a fine place to immerse oneself in the greatness of Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune. Consisting of 1954’s Oscar-winning “Musashi Miyamoto“, 1955’s Duel at Ichijoji Temple“, and 1956’s “Duel at Ganryu Island“, three films that combine a tender love story with bloody action, as the story of the legendary 17th Century swordsman Musashi Miyamoto unfolds. Yes, please.
Finally – new on Blu-ray this week is John Boorman’s 1972 classic “Deliverance”, which celebrates 40 years (I can’t believe it!) with a special “Anniversary Edition”. Known mainly for its memorable banjo playing and the “Squeal like a pig!” scene. But it must be noted that the film has impeccable cinematography by Hungarian Vilmos Zsigmond, a fine screenplay by James Dickey, who also wrote the book the film is based on (and has a small part as a Sheriff), and its beautiful Georgia shooting locales.
Well, that’s about it for this week. You can find links to reviews highlighted below. Enjoy the Rundown….
  • 21 Jump Street (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • The 39 Steps (Criterion Collection) (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • A Thousand Words (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • The Artist (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Bullhead (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Carried Away (DVD)
  • Christopher Nolan’s Director’s Collection (Blu-ray)
  • Daddy’s Home (DVD)
  • Damages: The Complete Fourth Season (DVD)
  • The Decoy Bride (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Deliverance (40th Anniversary Edition) (Blu-ray)
  • Dr. Seuss: Green Eggs and Ham and Other Stories (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Hiding (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Identical (DVD)
  • The Last Samurai (1974) (DVD)
  • LEGO Ninjago Masters of Spinjitzu: Season One (DVD)
  • Little Lord Fauntleroy: Remastered Edition (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Mirror Mirror (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Pink Floyd: The Story of Wish You Were Here (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • The Samurai Trilogy (Criterion Collection) (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Sector 7 (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Springtime in the Sierras (DVD)
  • TCM Greatest Classic Legends Film Collection: Humphrey Bogart (DVD)
  • TCM Greatest Classic Legends Film Collection: Joan Crawford (DVD)
  • Toxic Lullaby (DVD)
  • Wrath of the Titans (DVD/Blu-ray)





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