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This Week on DVD & Blu-ray (04-23-13)

April 24, 2013
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It’s that time of year, folks! When all the January releases return to haunt us, hoping that three months was long enough for you to forget what kind of duds were dropped at the beginning of the year. First up, is the disappointing “Gangster Squad” which shows how Ruben Fleischer (“Zombieland”) can take a talented cast and give them nothing to work with. Then there’s Gus Van Sant’s drama “Promised Land” about a big corporation fracking their way into a small town. Again, good cast with some great character scenes, but the movie would’ve benefited from taking a definitive stance on the issues presented. And then there’s the best film of 2012, which is finally coming out on DVD & Blu-ray….
 
 
That’s right, as you know, Juan Antonio Bayona’s “The Impossible” was my pick for Best Film of 2012. It’s an incredible film that follows the story of a family of five that survived the devastating 2004 tsunami in Thailand. I don’t say “follow” lightly, as we are physically and emotionally tossed around with this family (played with such natural and raw performances by Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Tom Holland, Samuel Joslin, and Oaklee Pendergast) as they are engulfed by the tragedy all around them. The events that keep the family apart during the aftermath are just as intense as the natural violence we see on the screen.
 
It’s impossible that they survived, but also impossible how this film was made. Don’t discount this film as one you “can’t bear to watch” due to its subject matter. Just watch it and be amazed.
 
“The Central Park Five” is also out this week, after airing on PBS last week. The documentary, directed by Ken and Sarah Burns and David McMahon, that covers the notorious rape of a Central Park jogger back in 1989 and the controversial conviction of five innocent suspects. Through interviews and detailed analysis, the doc covers all aspects of the case, including false confessions and inept police investigations. I’ve heard only good things about the film and its disheartening revelations.
 
Just as Steven Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park 3D” is winding down its theatrical run, all three films are getting a Blu-ray release. Now fans can watch the movie’s extra-dimension in their own home – if they have a 3D Blu-ray player. Responses to the post-conversion job has been mixed, but one thing’s for sure – viewers have enjoyed seeing this alleged classic on the big screen again.  
 
With Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatzby” coming out next month, it’s no surprise that the 1974 film adaption of the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic is out this week on Blu-ray for the first time. There doesn’t seem to be any unique Special Features attached, just promos for the new movie.
 
 Speaking of literary adaptations, Oscilloscope brings us  Andrea Arnold’s “Wuthering Heights” new iteration of the classic Emily Brontë novel. It premiered at last year’s Sundance which is when Catina Martinez reviewed the film for Keeping It Reel (see link below). It didn’t move her as much as it did other critics, but it’s definitely an original take on material that has been made into countless television mini-series, plays and films.
 
 
That’s it for this week! Previous reviews will be highlighted below. Enjoy the Rundown….
 
 
 
 
  • A Haunted House (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • A Haunting: The 2012 Season (DVD)
  • Alannis Moricette: Live at Montreux (Blu-ray)
  • Any Day Now (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Assassins Run (DVD)
  • Cheech & Chong’s: Animated Movie (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • City That Never Sleeps (1953) (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Cold Prey II (DVD)
  • Copacabana (1947) (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • El Cerrito (DVD)
  • Fifty Shades of de Sade (DVD)
  • The Fighting Seabees (1944) (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Gangster Squad (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • The Grapes of Death (Blu-ray)
  • Happy People: A Year in the Taiga (DVD)
  • The Impossible (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • It’s in The Blood (DVD)
  • Jurassic Park 3D (3D Combo Pack) (Blu-ray)
  • Magic Journey to Africa (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Magic Town (1947) (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Masterpiece Classic: Mr. Selfridge (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Maverick: The Complete Second Season (DVD)
  • Merlin: The Complete Fifth Season (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Pawn (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Pegasus vs. Chimera (DVD)
  • Pierre Etaix (Criterion Collection) (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Promised Land (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • The Queen of the People (DVD)
  • The Red Pony (1949)  (Blu-ray)
  • Richard III (Criterion Collection) (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Wake of the Red Witch (Blu-ray)
  • The Wanderers (DVD)
  • War of the Wildcats (1943) (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Whitesnake: Made in Japan (Blu-ray)
  • Wuthering Heights (DVD/Blu-ray)

 

 

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