New out on DVD/Blu-ray this week
Aug 7, 2012 / 10:00 am
New out on DVD/Blu-ray for Tuesday August 7.
The CGI feature Dr. Seuss' The Lorax is an adaptation of Dr. Seuss' classic tale of a forest creature who shares the enduring power of hope.
The animated adventure follows the journey of a boy as he searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To find it he must discover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world.
Featuring the voice talents of Zac Efron, Danny DeVito, Taylor Swift, Ed Helms and Betty White, The Lorax is a cute and fun animated tale that will definitely appeal to younger children. It's colourful and hectic, which kids like, and it even attempts to have a positive pro-environmental message to it. This is strictly for kids though.
Bob Marley's universal appeal, impact on music history and role as a social and political prophet is both unique and unparalleled.
Marley is the definitive life story of the musician, revolutionary, and legend, from his early days to his rise to international superstardom. Made with the support of the Marley family, the film features rare footage, incredible performances and revelatory interviews with the people that knew him best.
I absolutely adore Bob Marley. When I listen to his joyful and positive music a smile comes upon my face and I feel spiritually uplifted. This documentary, directed by Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland, Touching the Void, State of Play) is the most comprehensive and in depth look at one of the most legendary and influential reggae artists of all time. Whether you're a fan of Bob Marley or not, this is still a fascinating and compelling documentary that is well worth seeking out.
This is a rags-to-riches story of two friends, a small-time inventor (Dallas Roberts) and a sharky salesman (Jeremy Renner), who hit rock bottom before coming up with a gizmo that becomes a worldwide phenomenon. Based on a true story, this small drama was actually shot in 2009 and for some reason not released until now.
It's actually a pretty good little character piece that has some entertaining situations and a likable cast. You end up rooting for the underdog here so the film has a satisfying payoff and it's amusing to see what the big invention ends up being. This one is worth a rental.
Also out this week is the indie drama, Girlfriend, the quirky Canadian comedy, Moon Point, the latest Tom Sellick vehicle, Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt, and the first season of the TV show Grimm.
Blast From the Past
Continuing on from last week, here is my top ten films of 1990.
10. Wild At Heart - Around the time I saw this crazy film, I was a rabid watcher of Twin Peaks and therefore wanted to see everything that David Lynch touched. He didn't disappoint with this hyper-violent, kinky road trip movie that is heavily influenced by The Wizard of Oz and Elvis. Yup, it's a strange one filled with colourful characters played by Nicholas Cage, Laura Dern, Willem Dafoe and Dianne Ladd. If you like twisted films, check out Wild At Heart.
9. Arachnophobia - I always have been, and forever will be, creeped out by spiders. This fun horror comedy certainly didn't do anything to alleviate that fear. As squirm inducing as it is however, it is still a highly entertaining fright flick with plenty of humour and the violence is pretty tame so it's something that most of the family can sit and watch together. Eww, what's that black thing crawling up my wall over there? Arghhhh.....
8. Mountains of the Moon - An epic drama and adventure tale of exploration and friendship. It tells the true story of Captain Richard Francis Burton's and Lt. John Hanning Speke's expedition to find the source of the Nile river in the name of Queen Victoria's British Empire. This is a fabulous film filled with tense drama and dangerous moments as the men trek through Africa. Well worth seeking out.
7. The Hunt for Red October - I'm a sucker for a good underwater submarine adventure, and this spy thriller based on a Tom Clancy novel, with Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin, is an exceptionally well done piece of filmmaking. There is some action in it but it's mostly a really taut and tense dramatic thriller. This is the best of the Jack Ryan CIA movies.
6. Edward Scissorhands - The first collaboration between Johnny Depp and director Tim Burton is a magical and sweet gothic fairy tale that is visually creative, offbeat and heartwarming. It's essentially an updated version of the Frankenstein tale but with an unusual twist. Sadly, this was Vincent Price's last appearance in a film. I think this is one of Burton's best.
5. Darkman - In August of 1990 a friend of mine along with myself tried to go see the new movie Flatliners, but because we were only 16 at the time the crabby ticket selling lady wouldn't let us in, so we had no choice but to go and see the only other film playing in that theatre. It turned out to be Darkman and boy am I glad we got Id'ed because this movie was a blast. Director Sam Raimi created his own original superhero when he couldn't secure the rights to film either The Shadow or Batman and what resulted was a fun, pulpy action film starring Liam Neeson, Frances McDormand and Larry Drake. This one is highly entertaining.
4. Die Hard 2: Die Harder - It may not be quite as good as the original Die Hard but it's still a slam bang action thrill ride filled with tons of stunts and explosions. Bruce Willis is great in this role of a cop who once again finds himself in a tough situation battling terrorists, this time at an airport. The Die Hard series is one of the best action franchises around.
3. Misery - This is one of the best adaptations of a Stephen King novel ever put to screen. Kathy Bates is excellent in this and was totally deserving of the Best Actress Oscar that she won for playing a real wacka doodle. She is just downright scary and psychopathic in this film and you definitely feel sorry for James Caan's writer character who is being held hostage by this obsessed fan. This is a great psychological horror thriller filled with a tremendous amount of suspense. Highly recommended!
2. Miller's Crossing - This depression era gangster film is one of my favourite Coen brothers' movies ever made. It's stylish, funny and filled to the brim with exceptional dialogue that seems like it was lifted directly out of a Dashiell Hammett novel or an old film noir from the 30's and 40's. I love how the Coens pay homage to the films of yesteryear. There are some great performances in this as well by the likes of Gabriel Byrne, Albert Finney, Marcia Gay Harden, John Turturro and Jon Polito. My favourite scene is the "Danny Boy" scene with Albert Finney - wow, what a classic! This is just an exceptional film that almost made number 1 on my list.
1. Goodfellas - With all due respect to the masterpiece known as "The Godfather", I personally think that Goodfellas is the best film ever done about the mob. Martin Scorsese's hard hitting and gritty film is based on the true story of the Lucchese crime family and in particular, Henry Hill, who was an associate of theirs. The acting is first rate, with great performances by Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Lorraine Bracco, Paul Sorvino and especially Joe Pesci, who deservedly won the Supporting Actor Oscar for playing a short tempered lunatic. The reason I'm such a big Scorsese fan has a lot to do with how brilliant this film is. Goodfellas is undoubtedly a masterpiece and in my opinion a definite 10 out of 10.
New out on DVD/Blu-ray is brought to you by Leo's Videos, 2680 Pandosy St. (250) 861-8437
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