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Joey’s DVD Picks of the Week (8/7/2012)

The slate of releases is on the upswing at last…

This week we’re beginning to get back into the swing of quality Blu-Ray and DVD releases here in the column. It’s still not the most amazing assortment of titles (a true return to form comes next week), but it’s far better than we’ve gotten these past few weeks, so I’m very pleased, as I’m sure you all are too. For this week’s top choice, I’ll admit to not really having too much of a choice in what to make my PICK OF THE WEEK due to only one flick really speaking to me in any real way, but I’m very pleased with my selection nonetheless. The film in question is actually one of the few documentaries that I’ve cited this highly so far in the column during 2012. Curious what it is this time around? Well, it’s:

Marley

I was never a huge Bob Marley fan (and still aren’t, to be honest), but this documentary showed me that first of all, I know more Marley songs than I realized, and also that the man led a much more interesting life than I was ever aware of. I now understand why so many people worship him, and it’s a credit to the doc that this is the case. Kevin Macdonald made the rare 2 and a half hour documentary that’s worth the time spent, especially a musical one. It’s a little slow in the middle, but aside from that it’s a fine film indeed. I have no qualms about recommending this flick to you, especially if you love the man’s music or are curious about his history and impact on the world. Give it a shot and enjoy!

-Coming in second place this week is the animated movie The Lorax, which I was actually really looking forward to. It’s not a bad cartoon at all, and fine kid fare, but I really was hoping for more. It’s passable, but if you’re expecting something special, you’re likely to be disappointed. The visuals are outstanding, but the already thin story is rather lacking. Make of that what you will, but I’m right in the middle there. The book is better, but when is that not the case?

-Also out today we have the mediocre drama Bel Ami, along with a group of films that I haven’t seen that include the action pic Warriors of the Rainbow, the dramedy Blue Like Jazz, and the Mario Van Peebles drama Redemption Road. None of these flicks do much for me, but if you’re the opposite and are excited about them, don’t let me stop you. Take a look at them and see what you think!

-My Vintage pick, in honor of this week’s release of The Campaign, is a compilation of the dozen best films about politics in my eyes (yes, another multiple recommendation week). They are, in alphabetical order: The American President, The Candidate, Charlie Wilson’s War, The Contender, Dave, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, The Ides of March, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Primary Colors, Thirteen Days, True Colors, and Wag the Dog. These run the gamut from good to great, with some classics mixed in there as well. I’m a sucker for politics (yes, I’m following the Presidential Election just as closely as I follow my sports franchises), so I’m interested in seeing how Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis teamed with Jay Roach to satirize the world of political campaigns (in fact, I’m seeing it today…perhaps even as you’re reading this column). Give any or all of these a watch and I’m sure that you’ll be very happy that you did. They all come highly recommended…

What will you be watching on Blu-Ray/DVD this week? Discuss in the comments!

What do you think?

Film Lover

Written by Joey Magidson

When he’s not obsessing over new Oscar predictions on a weekly basis, Joey is seeing between 300 and 350 movies a year. He views the best in order to properly analyze the awards race/season each year, but he also watches the worst for reasons he mostly sums up as "so you all don't have to". In his spare time, you can usually find him complaining about the Jets or the Mets. Still, he lives and dies by film. Joey's a voting member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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    The Master could play at TIFF?

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