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This Week on DVD & Blu-ray (08-06-13)

August 6, 2013
There’s some satisfying choices this week, with some of them being the best 2013 has had to offer – at least in the drama category. Two talented American writer/directors, Jeff Nichols and Derek Cianfrance released “Mud” and “The Place Beyond the Pines”, respectively, delivering two fine genre-bending dramas with some fine performances. They both come highly-recommended by the folks here at Keeping It Reel. Check them out and spread the word. Universal Studios is also releasing “Oblivion”, the Tom Cruise-helmed high-minded sci-fi actioner directed by John Krasinski that suffers the same end result as “TRON: Legacy”, his last film. It’s all fascinating sound and vision with a mishmash of other films found in the story. That was good enough for me though. I was won over by all the breathtaking visuals and the clean-designed world-building that overwhelmed the big-screen. Unfortunately, unless you have a personal IMAX screen, you probably won’t feel the full effect of it all.
Also out this week is Terence Malick’s latest film, “To the Wonder” starring Ben Affleck, Olga Kurlyenko, Rachel McAdams and Javier Bardem. Once again, we’re treated to Malick’s sublime visuals over a hypnotic soundtrack by Hanan Townshend, but other than that, the film unfortunately winds up being pretentious in its poetic approach. Through vague characterization, we follow a couple (Affleck and Kurlyenko) as they meet in France and then start a life in Oklahoma, eventually both encountering a few distractions (Bardem and Adams) along the way. I found myself both bored and annoyed by this picture. Clearly, Malick was going for a “less is more” approach, but sometimes an audience needs more to go on if we’re asked to follow characters along a supposedly tumultuous road. Affleck’s and Kurlenko’s characters were bland and unrealistic, making their story quite uninteresting. This is a film strictly for the die-hard Malick fans as it winds up testing every last fiber of patience for the viewer. Still, it’s a beautiful film. Just look at the trailer below.
A wide range of selections make their way to Blu-ray for the first time. From “Action Jackson” to “Ishtar” to “The Pick-Up Artist”. How’s that for 80s gems?
That’s it for this week! Previous reviews are highlighted below. Enjoy the Rundown….
  • A Boy And His Dog (Collector’s Edition) (Combo Pack) (Blu-ray)
  • Absence (Combo Pack) (Blu-ray)
  • Act Like You Love Me (DVD)
  • Action Jackson (Blu-ray)
  • Adventures in Zambezia  (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Aftershock  (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Battlestar Galactica: 35th Anniversary (Blu-ray)
  • Berserk: The Golden Age Arc II – The Battle for Doldrey (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • The Borgias: The Third Season (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Bruce Lee Legacy Collection (Combo Pack)  (Blu-ray)
  • Cavalcade (1933) (Blu-ray)
  • Care Bears: A Belly Badge for Wonderheart – The Movie (DVD)
  • Charlie Chan Collection  (DVD)
  • Community: The Complete Fourth Season (DVD)
  • The Cream Farewell Concert: Kino Classics Remastered Edition (DVD)
  • Duck Dynasty: Season 3 (DVD)
  • The Earrings of Madame De… (Criterion Collection) – Blu-ray
  • Eddie the Sleepwalking Cannibal (DVD)
  • Fear Not (DVD)
  • Gallowwalkers (DVD)
  • The King of the Streets (Blu-ray)
  • Lucas (1986) (Blu-ray)
  • Magic Magic (DVD)
  • Midsomer Murders: Set 22 (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Mud (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Oblivion (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Oliver & Company: 25th Anniversary Edition (Combo Pack) (Blu-ray)
  • On the Road (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Passenger 57(Blu-ray)
  • The Pick-Up Artist (1987) (Blu-ray)
  • Quicksilver (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Riddick Collection (DVD)
  • Robin Hood: 40th Anniversary Edition (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • The Sapphires (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Silver Streak (1976) (Blu-ray)
  • Smash: Season Two (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Strike Back: Season 2 (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Sushi: The Global Catch (DVD)
  • The Sword in the Stone: 50th Anniversary Edition (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Taz-Mania: Who Let The Taz Out – Season One, Part Two (DVD)
  • The Thick of It: Seasons 1-4 (DVD)
  • To the Wonder (DVD/Blu-ray) 
  • Tom and Jerry’s Giant Adventure (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Top Gear USA: The Complete Season 3 (DVD)
  • West of Memphis (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • WWII Top Secret: Dieppe Uncovered (DVD)
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