This week, we have a very interesting degree of variety on hand to choose from for our Blu-Ray/DVD selections. It’s also a week full of films that a year ago were looked at in a very different light than they are currently. You’ll see what I’m talking about shortly, but overall it’s a slate of releases that adds up to an average grouping, which I can’t complain about, but you all know I cross my fingers for more outstanding once. Anyway, today we have one of the top animated films of 2012 fighting it out for my top spot with an indie comedy. Usually you’d expect me to favor the little guy, but this time around for my PICK OF THE WEEK I’m going big budget and citing the latest from Pixar. Considering they don’t put out too many films at once, it’s not hard to guess what cartoon I’m talking about, but in case you’re spacing on the name, I’ll fill you in quick. It’s:
Ironically, in a year where Disney animation has tried to imitate Pixar more than ever before (see Wreck-It Ralph for a good example), Pixar itself doubled back to make its most Disney-like picture yet, and a princess tale at that. I enjoyed the tale of Princess Merida and her independent ways, but I definitely look at it as second tier Pixar. The studio is in a mini slump, but one thing you can’t complain about here is the animation, which is absolutely breathtaking. This could be the frontrunner for Best Animated Feature mostly by default, but it’s solid entertainment, that’s for sure. Now that it’s available to watch at home it’s definitely worth the view, even if it doesn’t reinvent the genre in any way…
-Also out today worth a look we have Julie Delpy’s indie comedy sequel 2 Days in New York. I found that Chris Rock stole the show in this comedy of manners flick, but the entire package was more than amusing enough to recommend. It’s a real step up from her last picture (2 Days in Paris), even if it’s not on the level of her collaborations with Richard Linklater. Delpy’s got a future behind the camera, that’s for sure.
-The rest of the releases this week includes the decent but underwhelming Oliver Stone action flick Savages, the terrible action comedy The Watch, as well as a host of films I missed. They include the documentary The Queen of Versailles, the Todd Solondz dramedy Dark Horse, another documentary in Last Call at the Oasis, the reality-comedy hybrid Nitro Circus: The Movie, and the Amy Heckerling vampire rom-com Vamps. I can’t recommend any of these right now, but I do have a review of the Heckerling film coming to you soon, so be on the lookout for that!
-My Vintage pick, in honor of this week’s release of Silver Linings Playbook, is a fellow David O. Russell film. I was tempted to choose just about any of his works, but I opted to go with perhaps his least seen flick. It’s Spanking the Monkey, a pitch black comedy about incest (yep, you read that right). Against all odds Russell was able to craft an incredibly compelling black comedy about one of the least funny subjects out there. Tim Roth choose to make a bleak drama out of the same material in his directorial effort The War Zone, but here Russell combs over the act for uncomfortable laughs. Somehow, he nailed it, and I really recommend seeking this one out. It deserves a much wider audience than it’s gotten to date. There’s a cult following for it, but it should be mentioned more often among his top tier efforts…
-What will you be watching on Blu-Ray/DVD this week? Discuss in the comments!
Tags: blu ray, DVD, Joey's DVD Column, Joey's DVD Picks of the Week, joeys dvd pick of the week, weekly DVD column