This week in DVD and Blu-ray releases lacks the punch of an exciting genre film. Yet, where excitement fails, there are a pair of award-winning dramas that sizzled onscreen.
There are quite a few new names of actors in this week's home video releases, and they overwhelm even the most recognizable actors. It's strange when the best films are from strangers and the big names bring box office flops.
However, it's always a good week when Rodney Dangerfield makes the leap to Blu-ray. Your Blu-ray collection is almost complete.
The following releases hit shelves on DVD and Blu-ray this week.
A Single Man - In my opinion, this was one of the three best films of 2009. In Tom Ford's directorial debut, Colin Firth shines with an Oscar-nominated performance. While he absolutely earned the nomination, it is a shame the Academy Awards overlooked a breathtaking score by newcomer Abel Korzeniowski. It is without question one of the five best scores of 2009.
The story isn't for everybody. It is a romantic tale set in 1962 Los Angeles about a lonely man whose deep grief of a lost lover overwhelms him. It spans a 24-hour period where bookends harness a plot that rips your heart out, but also soothes it. The depth of emotion exhibited by Colin Firth proves that his career has been wasted on romantic comedies.
Most importantly, the film is a visual masterpiece. It is up-close and personal. While it can be uncomfortable at times, it is never hard to watch. Tom Ford turns every moment into a completely focused piece of art. A Single Man is a must-see for any fan of emotional drama and fine acting. But like I said, it's not for everybody.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - This indie crime drama is based on an acclaimed book of the same name by Stieg Larsson. With critical praise throughout the arthouse theater circuit, the story instantly reached the desk of filmmaker David Fincher. Shortly thereafter, names like Carey Mulligan and Daniel Craig were tossed around for an upcoming American remake.
The box office success of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was staggering. After opening in only 34 theaters, it expanded to 202 and cashed in a $100 million worldwide box office on a $13 million budget.
If you missed the film, or simply haven't heard of it, this is a chance to catch a forthcoming trilogy adapted from a book series before it becomes unfortunate blockbuster remake. While it is great to see brilliant minds like Fincher's tackling the story, it is a shame that Hollywood has jumped the gun for a remake.
Brooklyn's Finest - One of the most forgettable flops of 2010's first-quarter mustered up an embarrassing $34 million worldwide in nearly 2,000 theaters. It probably won't have much of a shelf life either. The title screams Five-Dollar-Bin with its A-List cast and D-level acting.
Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, Ethan Hawke and Wesley Snipes converge in a formulaic police thriller from Antoine Fuqua. How the same man who brought Training Day can come back with this piece is just sad. But it sure did have a great trailer.
Ladybugs - If you've never seen this film, this is your Blind Buy of the Week. Anybody with a sprinkle of respect for Rodney Dangerfield knows this is one of his most hilarious films. There's just something here that puts it next to Caddyshack and Back to School.
Jonathan Brandis, also known as that kid from Sidekicks with Chuck Norris, stars alongside Dangerfield in this cross-dressing comedy. Gender-bending slapstick comedies like this just don't work anymore - see Sydney White. Actually, don't see that movie. But Ladybugs really is a shining light of early-90s comedy that doesn't exist these days.
The Last Boy Scout/Last Man Standing - We don't usually show the double-features, but given a recent video that hit the Internet, there is really no better time to post it. Bruce Willis is one of entertainment's most iconic action stars and these two films are quite different, but somehow belong together.
Now, try getting the chorus to this Bruce Willis mashup out of your head: The Bruce Willis Song.
INTRIGUING PICK OF THE WEEK
Jimmy Hollywood - Joe Pesci and Christian Slater in an identity-crisis film? I'm in. The plot summary is confusing, so I won't get into it. All you ever need are those two actors in one film and you've got a spark that would make any home video player light up. With very few intriguing titles this week, this one might just be worth the rental.
Next week's DVD and Blu-ray releases bring some long-awaited titles to home video. While the new releases are almost exclusively indie hits, Christopher Nolan's Insomnia finally hits Blu-ray. It is the only Nolan film not in the format, and coincides with his release of Inception next weekend.
What do you think of this week's releases? Do any interest you?