Sunday, March 23, 2008

Out on DVD: Week of March 17, 2008 (US)

Whether you rent or download (legally of course), there are some great new features out on DVD this week in the U.S. Other countries don't what I do and order online!

My pick of the week would have to be Atonement. This film moved me, engaged me and is one of the reasons why I spend every day learning and writing about creations like this. I might even go so far to say this is a masterpiece, one of those rare five out of five’s.

Atonement tells the story of Briony Tallis, a fledging writer who, at the age of 13, irrevocably changes the course of several lives when she accuses her older sister's (Keira Knightley) lover (James McAvoy) of a crime he did not commit. Atonement is based on the best selling British novel by Ian McEwan and both cast and crew did an exceptional job of bringing the story to life. It’s a complete shame that this film only won for its soundtrack at the Oscars this year. If you rent one movie this weekend, make sure it’s Atonement.

Enchanted is also out this week. It’s a charming tale from Disney about a 2D cartoon princess who comes to life in grimy New York City. Dashing Dr.McDreamy (aka Patrick Dempsey) and the ever charming Amy Adams create friction as two people from entirely different worlds. I thought the mix of real life, 2D and 3D animation would be messy, but they manage to pull it off in this sweet fairy tale. Guys who watch NFL on Monday nights aren’t going to be all over this one, but if you grew up with Disney, you need to watch this. It’s great to see that even the big evil corporations can make fun of themselves.

If you are one of those Monday night football guys, you might prefer I Am Legend starring the highly talented Will Smith and a bunch of, in my humble opinion, crappy looking creatures. The story is based on a novel by Richard Matheson which has a huge fan base. Director Francis Lawrence and others got too carried away with the CGI monsters but the performance by Will Smith alone saves the film. I liked I Am Legend, and both endings (the alternative and theatrical are available on the DVD). This isn’t a perfect film by far but with tons of scares, action and Will Smith, it’s certainly worth the time.

Donnie Darko creator Richard Kelly’s new film Southland Tales, a highly anticipated but not very well received weird view of the pre-apocalypse future, is available now. I haven’t seen this but it actually didn’t even get released where I live…probably not the best sign. Love in the Time of Cholera, which stars recent Academy Award Winner Javier Bardem, is based on a novel of the same name. Florentino, rejected by the beautiful Fermina at a young age, devotes much of his adult life to carnal affairs as a desperate attempt to heal his broken heart. It’s a steamy, yet some say overlong, Latin love story. Either of these films would be ideal for something different, if that’s what you’re looking for.

1 comment:

Jean said...

I saw the following this week:

Atonement - Good
Southland Tales - Horrible and weird!!!
Love in the Time of Cholera - Fairly Good