THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES (Blu-Ray and DVD)
One of the best movies of 2009 that you never saw was this arty Argentinian crime film that took home the “Best Foreign Language Film” Oscar, edging out the better known “A Prophet”
in a surprise that cost me the Oscar pool that year. You’d think I’d be more bitter, but after seeing this quietly engrossing thriller, I can’t stay mad.
Told in flashback, the story is of a federal justice agent who becomes obsessed with the rape and murder of a young woman, determined to bring her killer in. As the justice system fails her, he only becomes more set on his path, especially after finding some old pictures with a creepy guy who seems to be checking out the victim in all of them. After much exploration of the case, (we're talking years) you still will NOT see the ending coming.
A thriller well outside the realm of what we’d normally expect in this vein from Hollywood. Here’s a blurb for the cover: “A breath of fresh air”
. Or how about, "The absorbing mystery will keep you guessing"
. However, if we were to be honest and weren't only trying to get in print, we'd say, "Be sure to be wide awake for this very slow moving, but, for all that, next to perfect, character study wrapped around a murder mystery".
They tend to hate that 'slow moving' part, but I calls 'em as I sees 'em.---CLICK HERE TO BUY The Secret in Their Eyes [Blu-ray]
SPARTACUS: BLOOD AND SAND - SEASON ONE (DVD)
It seemed like everybody with this swords and sandals drama, at first, was complaining about how corny it was, but, much to my surprise, they kept watching. Why? Because the thing was damn near drowned in blood and boobs. Sometimes (and often) bloody boobs. I had to check this out for myself. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you, the future of pornography. At least, I kind of secretly (ok, not so secret now) hope so.
There's not much depth to this Starz
television series, but there's certainly lots of surface to stare at. Each episode is an hour of Roman drama about the Thracian slave who has been renamed by his captors as Spartacus
). Ol' Sparty
become thrust into the Roman gladiatorial arenas and his growing popularity with the crowds makes some of the snobby toga-wearers nervous. One has to mention the behind-the-scenes wheelings and dealings of shady Romans like Batiatus
) and his wife Lucretia
), but mainly so one sees what we're dealing with here. When you've got a period piece television show and you call Lucy Lawless
, you're probably not trying to get across 'historical accuracy' to your audience.
I'd call this Zack Snyder
's wet dream of a television show, filmed in hyper-stylized slo-mo, in brightly color saturated unreal CG environments, and swimming in preposterous amounts of super-red plasma. Oh yes, and punctuated with regular gasping, moaning, clawing, one camera angle away from being actual porn, sex scenes. But who's complaining? Sure, it's all trash, I can't argue that, but that's exactly what it wants to be. And despite myself, I'm going back to watch more.---CLICK HERE TO BUY Spartacus: Blood and Sand - The Complete First Season [Blu-ray]