DVD Picks 5/29/2012
It's a slow week, but there are some gems here, especially in the "better in Blu" segment.
dir. Michael Dowse
Seann William Scott is sort of an analomy, a pretty one note actor but he always entertains. He will never be a Chevy Chase or Bill Murray but he's fun to watch and "Goon" is apparently really funny.
Not content with his job as a bouncer, Doug Glatt (Seann William Scott) dreams of a more rewarding job and gaining his parents respect. When a chance encounter with an on-ice thug leads to a fistfight that Doug easily wins, the on-looking coach sees Doug's potential, in spite of his lack of any hockey playing ability. Joining the team and with the encouragement of his best friend (Jay Baruchel), Doug quickly becomes a rising star. Soon he'll have the opportunity to face-off against the infamous league thug, Ross Rhea (Liev Schreiber), perhaps finally land a girlfriend and stick to a job he enjoys. Now all he needs to do is learn to skate.
dir. Ralph Fiennes
Shakespeare adaptations that update the location to modern times are always fun. Anything with Ralph Fiennes equally as fun. Combine the two and it's going to be a lot of fun.
The classic legend of honor and betrayal has been astonishingly re-imagined in this exhilarating action thriller that wields a profound relevance for today. Caius Martius 'Coriolanus' (star and director Ralph Fiennes) is a feared and revered Roman General, suddenly pitted against his own city and fellow citizens. Rebelling against the power-hungry designs of his manipulative mother (Vanessa Redgrave) and rejected by his own people, Coriolanus incites a riot that expels him from Rome. The banished hero joins forces with his sworn enemy Tullus Aufidius (Gerard Butler) to exact his revenge -- and determine his destiny.
We Need to Talk About Kevin (2012)
dir. Lynne Ramsay
Tilda Swinton is a great actress, and this is an amazing performance. Like a more indie-updated "The Good Son". Which is ironic since the kid's name is "Kevin" and McCauly Caulkin played the original good son and also was named "Kevin" in the Home Alone movies.
A suspenseful and gripping psychological thriller, Lynne Ramsay's We Need To Talk About Kevin explores the fractious relationship between a mother and her evil son. Tilda Swinton, in a bracing, tour-de-force performance, plays the mother, Eva, as she contends for 15 years with the increasing malevolence of her first-born child, Kevin (Ezra Miller). Based on the best-selling novel of the same name, We Need To Talk About Kevin explores nature vs. nurture on a whole new level as Eva's own culpability is measured against Kevin's innate evilness. Ramsay's masterful storytelling simultaneously combines a provocative moral ambiguity with a satisfying and compelling narrative, which builds to a chilling, unforgettable climax.
Man on a Ledge (2012)
dir. Asger Leth
In the film critics call a "white-knuckle action thriller," ex-cop Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington, Avatar & Clash of the Titans) escapes from prison to plan the ultimate heist: steal a $40 million diamond from cutthroat businessman David Englander (Ed Harris), and in the process prove his innocence. From the ledge of the famous Roosevelt Hotel, with the whole world watching, Cassidy plays a clever game of cat & mouse with the NYPD while his dutiful brother Joey (Jamie Bell) works against the clock to extract the diamond and clear his brother’s name
Better In Blu
Summer Interlude (The Criterion Collection) (1951)
dir. Ingmar Bergman
Touching on many of the themes that would define the rest of his legendary career-isolation, performance, the inescapability of the past-the tenth film by Ingmar Bergman (The Seventh Seal) was a gentle sway toward true mastery. In one of the director's great early female roles, Maj-Britt Nilsson (To Joy) beguiles as Marie, an accomplished ballet dancer haunted by her tragic youthful affair with a shy, handsome student (Thirst's Birger Malmsten). Her memories of the rocky shores of Stockholm's outer archipelago mingle with scenes from her gloomy present, most of them set in the dark backstage environs of the theater where she works. A film that the director considered a creative turning point, Summer Interlude is a reverie on life and death that bridges the gap between Bergman's past and future, theater and cinema.
Summer with Monika (The Criterion Collection) (1953)
dir. Ingmar Bergman
Inspired by the earthy eroticism of his muse Harriet Andersson (Through a Glass Darkly), in the first of her many roles for him, Ingmar Bergman (Wild Strawberries) had a major international breakthrough with this ravaging, sensual tale of young love. In Stockholm, a girl (Andersson) and boy (The Magician's Lars Ekborg) from working-class families run away from home to spend a secluded, romantic summer at the beach, far from parents and responsibilities. Inevitably, it is not long before the pair is forced to return to reality. The version originally released in the U.S. was reedited by its distributor into something more salacious, but the original Summer with Monika, as presented here, is a work of stunning maturity and one of Bergman's most important films.