This week, along with my 9 month anniversary (yes, my girlfriend has put up with me for that long), we have a very good slate of Blu-Ray/DVD releases to share with you. I always love doing this column, but the past few weeks have been a bit on the rough side, so this is a welcome change of pace at the moment. No less than 3 titles are fighting it out for my top honors today (with more to recommend), and I love when there’s competition for the slot. Speaking of which, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. For the coveted honor of being my PICK OF THE WEEK, I had to narrow it down from a top 3, though in all honesty it wasn’t that hard of a choice. The two runners-up are fine selections, but my top pick is a cut above. Curious what I picked? Well, it’s:
A movie that was so much more than just the one where Liam Neeson punches wolves in the face…this was both Joe Carnahan’s most mature work to date and also one of Neeson’s best performances as well. A very bleak survival tale that hammers home how unlikely survival is in the face of long odds, the movie manages a poetic beauty and honesty that frankly shocked me. Neeson owns the screen and Frank Grillo turns in a real good supporting performance, but the sense of dread and hopelessness that permeates almost every scenes of this film is the real character to take note of. I hope Carnahan is able to build off of this terrific work. The movie was a solid success in theaters earlier this year, and now that it’s available on Blu-Ray and DVD you really should pick this one up. It’s really worth it!
-Taking the runner-up slot this week is the drama Rampart. While I slightly preferred The Messenger, this film solidifies Oren Moverman as a talent to watch as well as someone who can bring out the best in Woody Harrelson. He deserved a Best Actor nomination last year for his turn as a corrupt cop in Los Angeles during the Rampart scandals. It’s truly intense work. The film isn’t perfect, but Harrelson alone is worth the cost of purchasing this one. No one seemed to see it in theaters, but now that it’s out there to take home, I hope you all do just that.
-Also getting solid recommendations from me today is the found footage superhero flick Chronicle and the documentary We Were Here. The former is a lot of fun and the latter is an important doc (one definitely snubbed for a nomination last year by the Academy) on a subject we really don’t pay enough attention to anymore. Both are equally worth taking home and adding to your collection…
-The rest of the releases aren’t much to write home about, but they include the overrated yet Oscar nominated drama Albert Nobbs, the mediocre found footage exorcism flick The Devil Inside, the terrible romantic comedy One for the Money, and romantic drama Norwegian Wood, which I’ve yet to see. If you’re a fan of one of these flicks, by all means pick them up…I just wasn’t a fan of any that I saw.
-My Vintage pick, in honor of this week’s release of What to Expect When You’re Expecting, is what I can only imagine has to be a superior film involving pregnancy. It’s Juno, and while there are many detractors of the film out there these days, it remains a delightful and heart-warming comedy to me. Jason Reitman’s flick won me over in a big way that first time I saw it, and I’ve yet to stop loving it, including Ellen Page’s phenomenal lead performance…a performance that I still feel should have won the Oscar. For all of you that have been turned off to the movie…take this opportunity to give it another chance. You might be glad that you did.
-What will you be watching on Blu-Ray/DVD this week? Discuss on the Forum!
Tags: blu ray, DVD, Joey's DVD Column, joeys dvd pick of the week, weekly DVD column