November 5, 2012 |
"Sunset Boulevard" is ready for its close-up. Billy Wilder's 1950 award-winning darkly satiric tale of Hollywood starring William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich Von Stroheim and Nancy Olson is making its Blu-ray debut Tuesday in a new digital restoration. This isn't the first digital restoration for "Sunset Boulevard," which earned 11 Oscar nominations and won three Academy Awards. "Sunset Boulevard" was restored a decade ago for its DVD release. "It was the first time that an entire film was scanned for restoration," noted Andrea Kalas, vice president of archives at Paramount Pictures.
October 27, 2012 |
Polisse MPI, $24.98 Inspired by real child protection unit cases that French writer-director-actress Maïwenn either observed or researched, the docudrama follows a group of cops who investigate child abusers and molesters. The subject matter is bleak, but Maïwenn's approach to the material is smart and sensitive, showing how these officers, men and women, work diligently and carefully, trying to exact the truth about crimes when the victims often can't adequately explain what happened to them.
October 25, 2012 |
Unable to get the rest of Hollywood behind its plan to make Redbox wait nearly two months after movies go on sale to rent them, Warner Bros. has compromised with the DVD kiosk giant. Beginning next year, Warner will let Redbox offer its DVDs and Blu-ray discs 28 days after they go on sale, the same "window" followed by most other major studios. In exchange, Redbox has agreed to help promote the Ultraviolet digital download initiative and to buy a large number of Warner Bros. movies for its soon-to-launch video-on-demand initiative.
October 20, 2012 |
Magic Mike Warner Bros., $28.98; Blu-ray, $35.99 Available on VOD beginning Tuesday Steven Soderbergh's male stripper melodrama "Magic Mike" became a surprise hit earlier this year, drawing huge, raucous "girls night out" crowds thanks to its kitschy story about a studly dancer (Channing Tatum) who keeps running into trouble while trying to make enough money to start his own furniture-building business. But while "Magic Mike" features fun dance sequences and a hilarious performance by Matthew McConaughey as an ambitious club owner, this movie takes a serious turn in its second half, and becomes more of a bummer than it needs to be. Still, kudos to Soderbergh and screenwriter-producer Reid Carolin for turning what amounts to an old-fashioned backstage musical about sex workers into something so (mostly)
October 13, 2012 |
Moonrise Kingdom Universal, $29.98; Blu-ray, $34.98 Available on VOD Oct. 16 Wes Anderson's easily strangest (yet loveliest) film follows two New England pre-teens in 1965 as they run away and try to make a go of it in the wild. Anderson's movies always have been about the conflict between harsh adult reality and the more fanciful world of children's literature, but the split between the two has never been as extreme as it is in "Moonrise Kingdom," which combines kooky Boy Scout adventures with the looming specters of death, marital infidelity, teen sexuality and institutionalization.
October 4, 2012 |
Prometheus 20th Century Fox, $29.99; Blu-ray, $39.99/$49.99 Available on VOD beginning Oct. 11 The dopiest and most awe-inspiring blockbuster of this past summer, director Ridley Scott's "Prometheus" is both a prequel to and remake of Scott's sci-fi/horror classic "Alien," following a new group of space explorers as they encounter a malevolent force threatening all humankind. Noomi Rapace plays a scientist who thinks she's discovered the planet where all life began, and travels there with a crew more interested in getting paid than finding "God.
September 29, 2012 |
Sound of My Voice 20th Century Fox, $29.99; Blu-ray, $39.99 Available on VOD beginning Oct. 2 With "Another Earth," "Beyond the Black Rainbow" and now this one, indie filmmakers have been proving that they don't need big budgets or special effects to produce effective science fiction. "Another Earth's" Brit Marling co-wrote "Sound of My Voice" with director Zal Batmanglij and stars as a woman who claims to be a visitor from 2054. Christopher Denham and Nicole Vicius play documentary filmmakers who go undercover to expose her, but the more time they spend in the company of this would-be guru, the more they begin to question their own motives.
September 22, 2012 |
Damsels in Distress Sony, $30.99; Blu-ray, $35.99 Available on VOD beginning Sept. 25 Writer-director Whit Stillman's first film since 1998's "The Last Days of Disco" is a loopy campus comedy, starring Greta Gerwig as an idealistic upperclassman who leads a group of young women with strict rules about dating and cleanliness. Even those who've enjoyed the arch language and intricate social tribalism of Stillman's "Metropolitan" and "Barcelona" might be put off by the cartoony absurdism here.
September 15, 2012 |
The Cabin in the Woods Lionsgate, $29.99; Blu-ray, $34.99 Available on VOD beginning Sept. 18 Joss Whedon is one of the hottest writer-directors in Hollywood thanks to his blockbuster "The Avengers," but that's not even the best movie Whedon has been involved with in 2012. His script for this horror-comedy is brilliant: a deconstruction of the college-students-getting-picked-off-one-by-one-in-the-wilderness genre that's genuinely scary, even as it's explaining to the audience what it's doing.
September 7, 2012 |
Your Sister's Sister Available on VOD beginning Thursday Writer-director Lynn Shelton's follow-up to her hit indie comedy "ENMV0002398"> "Humpday" stars Mark Duplass as a sad sack who has a drunken sexual encounter with the sister of his late brother's ex-girlfriend. The indiscretion threatens to derail not only the siblings' rapport but also his own friendship with the woman who once loved his brother (Emily Blunt). As the trio - rounded out by Rosemarie DeWitt - spend time together at a house on a remote Washington island, plenty of unresolved feelings get dredged up, in that casually honest, frequently funny way that made "Humpday" such a delight.