DVD Picks 6/12/2012
Pretty decent week...
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2012)
dir. Guy Ritchie
Robert Downey Jr. has one of the most inspirational comeback stories of all time. With "The Avengers" he added the cherry to his otherwise stellar phoenix-like reemergence. These new Sherlock films are also a big part of it. This one does not disappoint.
Robert Downey Jr. reprises his role as the world's most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, and Jude Law returns as his friend and colleague, Dr. Watson, in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Sherlock Holmes has always been the smartest man in the room... until now. There is a new criminal mastermind at large - Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris) - and not only is he Holmes' intellectual equal, but his capacity for evil, coupled with a complete lack of conscience, may give him an advantage over the renowned detective. Around the globe, headlines break the news: a scandal takes down an Indian cotton tycoon; a Chinese opium trader dies of an apparent overdose; bombings in Strasbourg and Vienna; the death of an American steel magnate... No one sees the connective thread between these seemingly random events - no one, that is, except the great Sherlock Holmes, who has discerned a deliberate web of death and destruction. At its center sits a singularly sinister spider: Moriarty. Holmes' investigation into Moriarty's plot becomes more dangerous as it leads him and Watson out of London to France, Germany and finally Switzerland. But the cunning Moriarty is always one step ahead, and moving perilously close to completing his ominous plan. If he succeeds, it will not only bring him immense wealth and power but alter the course of history.
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2012)
dir. Brian Taylor
It's Nic Cage as a demon who is cursed by the Devil and rides a motorcycle with a burning skull for a head. Can you seriously NOT like this movie? It's an entertaining flick through-and-through.
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance - Nicolas Cage returns as Johnny Blaze - still struggling with his curse as the devil's bounty hunter - is hiding out in a remote part of Eastern Europe when he is recruited by a secret sect of the church to save a young boy (Fergus Riordan) from the devil (Ciaran Hinds). At first, Johnny is reluctant to embrace the power of the Ghost Rider, but it is the only way to protect the boy - and possibly rid himself of his curse forever.
Harold and Maude (The Criterion Collection) (1971)
dir. Hal Ashby
One of the best movies ever made. Hal Ashby is one of the greatest directors who ever lived and his style has been swagger-jacked by just about every new age hipster indie filmmaker that you like. From Jason Reitman to Wes Anderson they've all borrowed from the genius Ashby. "Harold and Maude" is a masterpiece.
With the idiosyncratic American fable Harold and Maude, countercultural director Hal Ashby (Being There) fashioned what would become the cult classic of its era. Working from a script by Colin Higgins (9 to 5), Ashby tells the story of the emotional and romantic bond between a death-obsessed young man (The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou’s Bud Cort) from a wealthy family and a devil-may-care, bohemian octogenarian (Rosemary’s Baby’s Ruth Gordon). Equal parts gallows humor and romantic innocence, Harold and Maude dissolves the line between darkness and light along with the ones that separate people by class, gender, and age, and it features indelible performances and a remarkable soundtrack by Cat Stevens.
The Gold Rush (The Criterion Collection) (1925)
dir. Charlie Chaplin
An essential Chaplin film. Criterion does great with these Chaplin films and I'm sure this one does not disappoint.
The first feature-length comedy by Charlie Chaplin (Modern Times)—which charts a hapless prospector’s search for fortune in the Klondike and his discovery of romance (with the beautiful Georgia Hale)—forever cemented the iconic status of Chaplin and his Little Tramp character. Shot partly on location in the Sierra Nevadas and featuring such timeless gags as Chaplin’s dance of the dinner rolls and meal of boiled shoe leather, The Gold Rush is an indelible work of nonstop hilarity. This special edition features both Chaplin’s definitive 1942 version, for which the director added new music and narration, and a new restoration of the original silent 1925 film.
Superman vs. The Elite (2012)
Great Superman animation is hard to beat. I haven't seen this yet but I can't imagine it's not wonderful.
The Elite, a team of super-powered antiheroes, is renowned for killing their enemies. Despite the acclaim and approval the Elite enjoy, Superman knows they are in the wrong, creating more harm than good by their methods. Tensions between them finally culminate in a mass showdown on Jupiter’s moons, when Superman is forced to prove that violence is never a positive.
Better in Blu
As Good As It Gets (1997) - Twilight Time release. Only 3,000 copies printed.
The Wayward Bus (1957) - Twilight Time release. Only 3,000 copies printed.
Red Scorpion (1989)