This week two of the best films of 2011 hit DVD/Blu-Ray for your buying/viewing pleasure, and I couldn’t be happier about it. This was one of the harder choices for my top slot in a while. Both are in my current top 12 for the year and I wouldn’t be surprised if both wind up in the top 10 when all is said and done (though the list is still in flux). They’re joined by a few surprisingly good other flicks, plus some assorted movies besides them…of varying quality, of course. It all adds up to one of the 5 best release weeks I’ve seen this year. It’s a perfect haul right in time for the holidays. Most of these would make a rather perfect stocking stuffer or middle of Hanukkah gift to the film lover in your family! Anyway, as for the PICK OF THE WEEK, it simply was a case of deciding which of two great movies gets the honor. It was almost a coin flip, and I nearly went with my runner up in order to give it a little more of a spotlight here, but I just couldn’t quite do it. My ultimate choice is just a little bit better. It’s also one of the surprise hits of the year. I know you all want to know what film it is. Well, wait no more. It’s:
Midnight in Paris
One of Woody Allen’s biggest hits is also his best film in over a decade and for my money, one of his 10 best works. It’s been high up on my best of the year list since the moment I saw it, and I highly doubt it will end up excluded from my final rankings. A romantic comedy with just a hint of science fiction to it, there were few movies this year that entertained me more. Allen just hit a home run here, and now that it’s angling for Oscar attention, this is the perfect time to be putting it out on DVD to expand its profile. I can’t recommend this one enough…it’s simply a modern classic!
-Just barely missing the top slot and settling for 1A status is the sports drama Warrior. Gavin O’Connor turned in the most surprisingly emotional film of the year, and he got an Oscar worthy performance out of Tom Hardy to boot. Somehow O’Connor gets you to root for these characters just like in an actual sporting event. I was so sad to see it die at the box office, but now that it’s out on home video, that can be corrected. It’s in play for Oscars with Nick Nolte shooting for a Best Supporting Actor nod, so this is a great time to be coming out. Give this one the shot that you didn’t in theaters and you won’t regret it…
-Also getting recommendations from me this week are the financial drama Margin Call, the remake Straw Dogs, and the western Blackthorn. None are amazing works, but each have much to appeal to viewers and are well worth picking up. I was more pleased with the first flick mentioned than the latter too, but all are worthwhile endeavors for you all to consider purchasing.
-The rest of the releases include the black horror/comedy Burke and Hare (which I didn’t see but will try to now), the inoffensive but forgettable kids flick Dolphin Tale, the disappointing action film Colombiana, and the musical Glee: The Concert Movie (which I didn’t see and don’t wish to). There’s not a while lot to say about this group, so I’ll just say that if you want to grab any of these, then you should. It’s pretty much just that.
-My Vintage pick, in honor of this week’s release of We Bought a Zoo (you can find my Early Review here), is Cameron Crowe’s least appreciated work. It’s Elizabethtown, and sue me…I love it. It may be a mess, but it’s a beautiful and fascinating mess to me. I recognize the issues that some have with it, but it also contains two of the best sequences Crowe has ever put together. The all night phone call that shows Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst beginning to connect is vintage Crowe and the road trip home that Bloom takes is a classic to me. I know this may be my least popular pick in some time, but I stand by my enjoyment of this movie. Maybe give it another shot now that his latest is hitting theaters?
-What will you be watching on DVD this week? Discuss on the Forum!