New out on DVD/Blu-ray this week
May 15, 2012 / 10:00 am
New out on DVD/Blu-ray for Tuesday May 15.
Chronicle tells the tale of three high school students, Andrew, Matt and Steve, who make an incredible discovery, leading to their developing uncanny powers beyond their understanding. As they learn to control their abilities and use them to their advantage, their lives start to spin out of control, and their darker sides begin to take over.
This is yet another entry in the pantheon of "found footage" films like Cloverfield, Paranormal Activity and Blair Witch Project; however where those films were full of annoying shaky cam, this one approaches the sub-genre with a little telekinesis-inspired creativity by having the main character Andrew control the camera with his mind so that it's not shaking all over the place constantly.
It's a fresh, energetic spin on the superhero origin story and I had a blast with this film as the action built steadily throughout, culminating in an all out ass-kicking barrage of mayhem and destruction towards the end, as the city of Seattle - where the film is set - is obliterated.
If you are going to rent anything this week make it Chronicle. The blu-ray contains extra footage not shown in the theatrical release so it's definitely worth checking out.
Albert Nobbs struggles to survive in the late 19th century Ireland, where women aren't encouraged to be independent. Posing as a man, so she can work as a waiter in Dublin's most posh hotel, Albert meets a painter with a similar secret and looks to escape the lie she has been living.
Glenn Close, who was nominated for an Academy Award for her work here, gives a very subdued and understated performance as Albert Nobbs. Sadly however, the film is also very subdued and at times I found it quite boring.
The performances by the strong supporting cast, which includes Janet McTeer, Mia Wasikowska, Brendan Gleeson and Aaron Johnson are solid but the languid pace of the film tends to drag on. There is some fine work on display here but overall I couldn't really connect with the story or the characters and I would only recommend this to fans of stuffy, turn-of-the-century British fare.
Los Angeles, 1999 - Officer Dave Brown (Woody Harrelson) is a Vietnam vet and a Rampart Precinct cop, dedicated to doing "the people's dirty work" and asserting his own code of justice, often blurring the lines between right and wrong to maintain his action-hero state of mind. When he gets caught on tape beating a suspect, he finds himself in a personal and emotional downward spiral as the consequences of his past sins and his refusal to change his ways in light of a department-wide corruption scandal seal his fate.
Rampart is a dark, twisted tale of police corruption and one man's descent into a self imposed hell. Woody Harrelson gives a searing performance as Officer Brown and he creates a character that is wholly unlikable yet someone who you feel sorry for at times.
The film is written by noted crime-fiction author James Ellroy and the dialogue crackles with intensity. Even though I would have wanted more from the resolution of the film, it's a powerful drama that is worth watching for the strong performances alone. Also featured in the cast are Sigourney Weaver, Robin Wright, Ned Beatty, Anne Heche, Cynthia Nixon, Ben Foster and Ice Cube.
Also out this week: the latest dumb comedy starring Katherine Heigl called One for the Money, the atrociously bad horror film The Devil Inside and the foreign films Norwegian Wood from Japan and Miss Bala from Mexico.
Blast From the Past
The first time that I ever set foot inside of a movie theatre was in the summer of 1978. I was 4 years old and what I was about to see would forever influence my interests and spawn my love of film and the overall fun experience of going to the movies. Since that day I've seen thousands upon thousands of films and I plan on watching many more, but I will always remember that first one. With that said, I thought over the next 35 weeks or so I would provide you with a top ten list of my favourite films of each year that I have been going to the movies.
Along the way you'll get some great rental ideas and maybe a sense of nostalgia, depending on your age of course.
Without further ado, here's my top ten films of 1978.
10. Every Which Way but Loose - Clint Eastwood plays a brawling trucker with a pet orangutan named Clyde. I know it's not a great movie but Clyde was absolutely hilarious and steals the show.
9. The Last Waltz - Directed by Martin Scorsese, this documentary showcases The Band's farewell concert and has so many amazing musical performances in it by the likes of Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Neil Diamond and Neil Young just to name a few. A must see if you are a fan of The Band.
8. Revenge of the Pink Panther - This was the sixth film in the popular comedy series featuring Peter Sellers as the bumbling and hilarious Inspector Clouseau. This stuff was like gold when I was a kid, however the best film in the series still remains 1964's A Shot in the Dark.
7. National Lampoon's Animal House - This frat-house comedy starring John Belushi is an all-time classic and basically launched the gross-out genre of comedies that we have today.
6. Midnight Express - A powerful, hard hitting drama about a young American man that is sent to a Turkish prison for trying to smuggle drugs out of Turkey. Based on a true story, Oliver Stone won an Oscar for the screenplay. A great film well worth checking out.
5. The Boys from Brazil - Featuring screen legends Sir Laurence Olivier and Gregory Peck this scary thriller is about Dr. Josef Mengele's nefarious plot to clone Hitler. It's a taut, suspense filled film that kind of freaked me out when I first watched it.
4. Dawn of the Dead - George A. Romero's follow up to Night of the Living Dead is a horror classic and my all time favourite zombie film. It's a gore filled, bloody masterpiece.
3. The Deer Hunter - One of the best films ever about the Vietnam war and its after-effects. This Academy Award winning film features incredible performances from Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Savage and Meryl Streep. What an emotionally jarring and powerful film this is.
2. Halloween - I can never get tired of watching this amazing John Carpenter classic. I've lost count how many times I've seen it and every time it's still scary and spooky as hell. This is easily one of the best horror thrillers ever made.
1. Superman - The one that started it all. My first movie going experience was magical to say the least and watching a man flying on the screen made my 4-year-old imagination soar along with him. Christopher Reeve will always be Superman to me. This was the first truly great superhero film ever made and paved the way for all that have come since. I cherish this film.
New out on DVD/Blu-ray is brought to you by Leo's Videos, 2680 Pandosy St. (250) 861-8437
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