New out on DVD/Blu-ray this week
Sep 11, 2012 / 10:00 am
New out on DVD/Blu ray for Tuesday September 11.
Snow White and the Huntsman
Snow White (Kristin Stewart) is the only person in the land fairer than the evil queen (Charlize Theron). Unable to tolerate the insult to her vanity, the evil queen decides that Snow White must die, so she sends a huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) to kill the fairest of them all. However, the huntsman finds himself unable to murder the innocent young woman, and instead ends up training her to become a warrior capable of threatening the queen's reign.
Directed by first time filmmaker Rupert Sanders, Snow White and the Huntsman is a solemn and brooding interpretation of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale. It is definitely in stark contrast to any previous incarnation of the story and that is what makes it somewhat interesting. I say somewhat because as beautiful as the film is to look at it tends to drag a fair bit and is too long at just over 2 hours. There are some spectacular set pieces throughout the film however, and the special effects are great.
If you are a big fan of fantasy films with huge battle sequences and plenty of visual flair then you should find something here to your liking. I enjoyed Snow White and the Huntsman but I didn't go nuts for it.
The Loved Ones
Hell hath no fury... like a prom queen scorned. When Brent rejects Lola's invitation to prom, he sets off a chain of events that leave him the victim of her twisted revenge. Now he's the only guest at Lola's terrifying and demented prom, and must fight to survive what could be his final dance. Will Brent live through this nightmare of drills, nails, glitter and syringes... or become one of Lola's "Loved Ones"?
This 2009 made Australian horror film is finally being released on DVD and I for one am glad because this is one of the best and most original horror films that I've seen in a while. It's a sadistic and grisly film that is not for the faint of heart, but if you enjoy really twisted movies with a very dark comical tone, then this is the film for you.
The Loved Ones is sick, scary and oh so creepy. This is great stuff for horror lovers.
Ewan (Sean Bean) is a British Secret Service Agent faced with the task of pursuing and eliminating a British born Muslim suicide bomber, Ash (Abhin Galeya), and his terrorist cell, whilst Ash wrestles with his conscience and reflects on his journey to terrorism.
This is actually a pretty solid, hard-boiled action thriller that has some twists and turns in the plot and kept me fairly interested throughout. It's quite violent and intense at times as well. Sure it portrays the terrorists a little too stereotypically but since I don't have much use for maniacal extremism it didn't bother me too much.
Cleanskin is definitely worth a rental.
Also out this week is the ensemble romantic comedy What to Expect When You're Expecting featuring Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks and Anna Kendrick, the latest Jean-Claude Van Damme action flick called 6 Bullets, the new documentary My Trip to Al-Qaeda, and the TV series Big Bang Theory Season 5, Spartacus: Vengeance Season 2 and The Vampire Diaries Season 3.
Blast From the Past
Continuing on from last week, here are my top ten films of 1995.
10. Desperado - Robert Rodriguez's sequel to his low budget debut film El Mariachi is a ton of bloody fun. It's stylish and action packed and very entertaining. It also doesn't hurt that he introduced the world to Salma Hayek. Va va va voom! Thank you Mr. Rodriguez.
9. Crumb - This brilliant documentary directed by Terry Zwigoff is about noted underground comic artist Robert Crumb and his family. As much of an oddball as Robert Crumb is, it's his brothers who are even stranger and they provide some of the more fascinating aspects of the film. Crumb is a real peek behind the curtain at the life of a reclusive, weird but exceptionally talented individual. This is one of my favourite documentaries of all time.
8. Heat - Robert De Niro and Al Pacino are great in this spectacular heist film. It's essentially an old fashioned tale of cops and robbers but told in grand fashion by director Michael Mann, who shoots some of the best heist scenes ever put on film. Featuring a huge cast and an almost 3 hour running time, Heat is a sprawling epic of a crime film. This is dynamite stuff!
7. Braveheart - Speaking of 3 hour epics, this tale of a 13th-century Scottish warrior starring Mel Gibson is an incredible film that features some of the best and most brutal battle sequences ever shot. It won Best Picture at the Academy Awards and it also earned Best Director honours for Mel Gibson. Some might argue that Braveheart is Mel's crowning achievement of his career. That's debatable but nevertheless this remains one of the best of the 90's.
6. Seven - Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman are excellent in this dark thriller about a serial killer who kills his victims according to the seven deadly sins. This film also established David Fincher as a force to be reckoned with in the directing world. Seven is a taut, suspenseful mystery thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. The wallop of a twist at the end is like a punch to the gut. Seven is fabulous!
5. The Usual Suspects - Speaking of great twist endings, this film ranks right up there with the best of them. The Usual Suspects is a great crime drama about five criminals brought together to pull off a heist on a boat, but is that why they're really there? Kevin Spacey's great performance won him an Oscar and established him as a highly sought after actor in Hollywood from that point on. It features one of the best "MacGuffins" or "Red Herrings" in recent memory with the ominous presence of Keyser Söze. The Usual Suspects is first rate material.
4. Babe - This wonderful story of a pig who wants to be a sheepdog is such a magical and whimsical tale. It's sweet, cute and funny and it put a huge smile on my face when I saw it. It's quite cleverly done and doesn't just pander to little children even though it's completely suitable for the whole family. This film was so acclaimed when it came out that it received 7 Academy Awards nominations but it lost out to that big meanie Braveheart. If you love films with animals featured in them, then how can you not love Babe? "That'll do, Pig. That'll do."
3. Get Shorty - This hilarious crime comedy about a mob linked loan collector who gets involved in the film industry is based on an Elmore Leonard novel and it's one of the best caper films out there. Quentin Tarantino resurrected John Travolta's career with Pulp Fiction a year earlier and Get Shorty kept the momentum rolling in full swing. It features a great cast that includes Gene Hackman, Danny DeVito, Rene Russo, Delroy Lindo, Dennis Farina, Bette Midler and James Gandolfini and it has a razor sharp screenplay filled with smart, clever and crackingly funny dialogue. I was still on a high from Pulp Fiction the year before and Get Shorty really hit the spot for me. Great stuff!
2. Toy Story - I almost put this at #1 on my list, that's how much I love it. Toy Story was the first full length feature film from the brilliant folks at Pixar and it set the benchmark for computer animation at that time. It's one of the most original and innovative animated films that I've ever seen and I can't imagine for the life of me anyone not enjoying this wonderful blend of humour and adventurous storytelling. This is fun for all ages. The crazy thing is, that as perfect as I think this film is, the sequels are even better. Summon the inner child in yourself and you'll cherish Toy Story. *Hugs*
1. Dead Man Walking - A completely different film going experience to Toy Story but an emotionally resonant one nonetheless. This was the most powerful and though provoking film I saw that year without question. Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn are incredible in this story of a nun who befriends a death row inmate and guides him through this trying time with compassion and total lack of judgement. I love how the film doesn't preach about capital punishment either for or against it. Instead it showcases the humanity and absolute heartache involved all around. Tim Robbins directed this passionate and courageous film that truly gives the viewer something to think about after it's over. It may not appeal to all tastes but to me Dead Man Walking is a special film that was easily the best of the year. Beautiful!
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