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DVD/BLU RAY SHED > This Week's New Blu Ray Releases | Blu Ray Shed: Mar. 26, 2013
Rajorajorajo | 26 Mar 2013 | 1,121 Views | 0 Likes | 0 Dislikes
This Week's New Blu Ray Releases | Blu Ray Shed: Mar. 26, 2013
dir. Steven Spielberg
Let me just get this off my chest: The worst thing about Lincoln is that it's kinda boring. It's literally 2+ hours of dusty ol' American politicians talking - and the film's brown and grey palette doesn't help much.
Now, it's not like I expected car chases or whatever, as Spielberg's film was sold as and is a fairly straight telling of the political weaving/dodging/eggshell-walking on the part of 18th century congressmen who thought slavery was bad. They of course are lead by a determined Abe Lincoln who insists on pushing abolition through at the start of his second presidential term despite the pressure on all sides to negotiate the end of the Civil War. A tricky time in US history to be sure, and were one to portray these events onscreen it's unlikely that one might top Spielberg's efforts. Still, it would have been nice to see a few romantic flourishes here and there - instead, the film ends up being a bit dry.
Having said that, it's impossible to discount the incredible, Oscar-winning protrayal of the man by superhuman acting genius Daniel Day-Lewis, and despite what I wrote in the preceding paragraph the politics argued herein ARE fascinatingly significant in terms of the history of a nation that is still plagued with racial inequality. It's a definite must-watch-eventually and regardless of any minor historical inaccuracies (remember history nerds, it's not a documentary) it does seem exactly like the kind of thing American high school kids will watch in class for decades to come.
dir. Charlie Chaplin
Originally written by Orson Welles, this latter-period Charlie Chaplin comically black talkie is as well-crafted as most of his other films - the man knew how to make a movie. More than that, he was a bonafide genius who could expertly pack thoughtful, resonant ideas into his goofy scenarios for a cinematic one-two punch the likes of which you can find in most of his work. In creating meaningful, timeless comedy the man was a poet. Monsieur Verdoux stands as one of his darker works...
Chaplin stars as the title character who is an unemployed, money-hungry sociopath - he marries rich widows and then kills them in order to get his hands on the dough. The ends justify the means for this dude, a role in which Chaplin is a delight to watch.
One can only imagine what the film would have been like if Welles had directed Chaplin as originally intended - probably also great but for different reasons. Instead we got an interesting take on an unusual character played by a beloved performer who appears here at the prime of his career (his silent work notwithstanding, of course).
dir. Steven Spielberg
The last Spielberg popcorn blockbuster of the first half of his amazing career kicked off the CGI revolution and resulted in Toronto's NBA team getting one of the dumbest names in sports history (I still love ya, Raps). If you don't already own this on DVD or what have you then picking up this 20th Anniversary edition - released today - might be a good idea; that is, if you're into dinosaurs and/or Jeff Goldblum (read: a human being with a beating heart).
And why not have a listen to our recent episode of The Very Important! Podcast in which a couple of Spielberg nerds discuss the man's career and significant impact on cinema?
dir. Andrew Dominik
One of Mike's favourite movies of 2012, despite its willingness to let James Gandolfini expound on hookers in ten minute chunks, despite its absolute heavy-handedness with its message on the moral reality of America's commitment to economic self-sufficiency, despite its being sold as an action-thriller despite actually being a smart, wryly comic and bone-dry drama.
It has a handful of just mind-blowingly good scenes. It also has a handful of scenes that will set your eyeballs rolling like bowling balls... that just seems to be Andrew Dominik's thing, as his Jesse James movie was much the same. You'll either love it, hate it, or turn it off ten minutes in. Not bad odds.