A solid week with a fair bit to spend your money on..
Warner LOVE to constantly re-release Kubrick films into the marketplace, with several DVD releases culminating with the at the time definitive set which included 5 films and the amazing documentary A Life In Pictures. This set was eventually copied over to Blu, but without the documentary but as that’s now out of print, Warner have seen fit to put together a new set which reinstates the documentary and adds another 2 films. In many similar circumstances I’d slam the money-grabbing nature of this release but look at the films. Lolita, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket and Eyes Wide Shut. Add to this more features than any previous boxset, with a new 2-disc set of A Clockwork Orange providing most of them and the thing becomes nigh-on essential. I’ve already put in my order despite owning 4 of the films on Blu already but with the cash back from trading them in, and the 20OFFHMV code valid on the hmv.co.uk website till midday TODAY, this collection also feels like a bit of a steal for me.
I can tell you that 2001 looks amazing on Blu, with A Clockwork Orange and The Shining looking a bit ropier and Eyes Wide Shut looking acceptable. I can tell you that the A Life In Pictures documentary is worth a fair chunk of the price in itself. I can tell you that this is available for around Â£45 online. Then I can shut up and you can go buy it.
On 99% of weeks, NEDS would have been my pick of the week. One of my films of 2011 thus far, this is challenging and powerful stuff which seemed to come and go quickly from the box office. Not exactly multiplex fare but for fans of Britflicks which aim to be of worth, this is a must see. A young boy with a bright future finds that society’s prejudices quickly crush any hopes he has of having a better life and instead sinks into the abyss of his local gang, something that fundamentally alters his entire being and creates something more powerful than anyone could have expected. Mullan’s subtle work creates a lead character who does horrible things yet as we’ve seen him try and get out before it starts but get rejected, we actually get more on board with him than you’d otherwise ever expect. Conor McCarron as the older version of lead John is a magnetic screen presence despite the fact that it’s often hard to understand what he is saying, but his pure physicality in the role is something to be reckoned with as he grows from an innocent, intelligent child into a disturbing and depressing young man.
The disc itself contains only a featurette, a commentary from Mullan certainly would have been nice but never mind, and distributors E1 aren’t asking for too much it seems as it is available for around Â£11.99 online. If this sounds up your street, I’m going to say this is a blind buy and it’s certainly a disc I will be picking up soon.
I’ve been waiting for this one for a long, long time. The release date has been shifted around various times but FINALLY, Escape From LA is released on Blu today! The Rapture is truly upon us..
Yes, the blue/green screen is fucking brutal. Yes the $50 million budgeted film looks like it barely cost a tenth of that. Yes, it looks like it was made 10 years before it actually was. BUT I DON’T FUCKING CARE. Seeing Snake back on screen and surfing with Peter Fonda, dealing with a crazed surgeon played by Bruce Campbell, and playing basketball to save his life is cinema that I want to see. Carpenter and Russell understand each other and LA is their BIG budget experiment in seeing how far they can push their excesses and eccentric nature to the absolute limit. No, not all of it works but for sheer FUN, Escape From LA is still a blast and naysayers can suck it frankly.
The disc looks barebones and even at Â£12.99 online may be a stretch for some folks but I’ve got Â£10 credit on my HMV card so if it’s a few quid, I am very tempted…
ALSO OUT THIS WEEK
Tangled – Decent Disney fun comes to 2D and 3D Blu on a disc which should look and sound fantastic.
Morning Glory – Perfectly acceptable rom-com with Harrison Ford’s grizzly “can’t be fucked” nature actually working for the film.
Love & Other Drugs – Odd mix of sexy romantic comedy, real-life storytelling and weepie drama which works more than it doesn’t.
Barney’s Version – Disappointing, overlong and overly sentimental comedy-drama which has decent performances to save it.
48 Hours – Mismatched buddy cop classic.
Gulliver’s Travels – For retards the world over.
MORE NEXT WEEK!