If it's crap ... We'll tell you
This is kind of an odd week, with very few wide release films coming out for home theaters, but maybe that's because nobody wants to compete with the main contender, Cyrus' most anticipated film on blu-ray, the best Pixar movie ever and, duh, his...
THE INCREDIBLES (Blu-ray)
Not only for my dollar the best Pixar film, but the best superhero movie ever made as well. Sure, I might be biased, but "The Incredibles" delivers on everything that the Fantastic Four films wanted to, and failed miserably at. Family friendly, sure, but never cloyingly cutesy or pandering in any way, "The Incredibles" perfectly captures the awe of becoming a superhero, as the kids grow adjusted to their relatively new abilities, and the difficulty of adapting to the different stages of life, as Mister Incredible (Craig T Nelson) battles tooth and nail not just the villain of the piece (Jason Lee) but the onset of middle age as well. Naturally, this Blu-Ray looks and sounds, well, incredible, to be sure, but this being a Pixar home release, there's absolutely no skimping on new bonus features either. Everything is ported over from the DVD, some of it upgraded to HD, and there's a decent amount of new stuff as well, although, sadly, no new Incredibles short. I'm kind of baffled why Pixar wants to follow up their weakest film "Cars" with a sequel that no one I know wants to see, but not continue the story of the best superhero family ever. Perhaps if you all go BUY this title RIGHT GORRAM NOW, they'll see the light...
--CLICK HERE TO BUY The Incredibles (Four-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy)
...and then there's the rest...
Bizarro art horror with Jim Sturgess, a shy guy with a big ol' facial birthmark, who is seeking revenge against demons who killed his mom. More visually appealing than anything, as you'd expect from a Philip Ridley film ("The Reflecting Skin") but outside of the creepy and innovative visual sensibilities, there's not an awful lot of story to hang your interest on.
--CLICK HERE TO BUY Heartless
THE LAST CONTINENT/ANTARCTIC MISSION (Blu-Ray and DVD)
I love watching nature docs on HD. It's not like I'M gonna get off my ass and go on a big, expensive, uncomfortable trip, so I'd rather just watch the fruits of someone else's labors in as stunningly clear a way as possible from the safe comfort of my well-worn lazyboy. "The Last Continent" was a surprise theatrical hit in Canada, as it follows the crew of an expedition to Antarctica to examine evidence of climate change, set to the narration of Donald Sutherland, and "Antarctic Mission" is more from the same expedition, with a focus on wildlife.
--CLICK HERE TO BUY Last Continent/Antarctic Mission [Blu-ray]
MARWENCOL (Blu-Ray and DVD)
You might have heard us on Spill discussing here and there how much we loved this bizarre little doc that played here in Austin two SXSW's ago, but until now it hasn't been available to watch for non-festival goers. It follows Mark Hogancamp, a man who was beaten near to death and left with brain damage that left him incapable of remembering almost anything about his life, but who started healing himself by building an miniature elaborate WWII-era city in his backyard and photographing stories with it's action figure residents. Fascinating, involving stuff, especially considering that I know at least some of you Spillions out there do the something similar with your spare time, without having brain damage. Well, not as severe damage, anyway.
--CLICK HERE TO BUY Marwencol [Blu-ray]
Influential and always interesting French director François Ozon ("Swimming Pool") helms this relatively light hearted bit of magical realism about a baby who seems to be growing wings, that manages to straddle the line between cute comedy and social satire. But I'm sure that won't stop some enterprising scumbag producer from remaking it for American audiences into "Angel Baby" with Dane Cook and Katherine Heigl.
--CLICK HERE TO BUY Ricky
SECRET OF THE URN (DVD)
That OTHER one-armed samurai prevalent in Japanese storytelling (next to Zatoichi, of course), is Tange Sazen, whose story here is about having to protect from pretty much everybody a stolen urn that contains the key to a huge treasure. Luckily, he does so with gratuitous violence and geysers of blood. I love that these artfully grindhouse samurai films are finally making their way over to American shores thanks to AnimEigo.
--CLICK HERE TO BUY Secret of the Urn
A SUMMER IN GENOA (DVD)
This 2008 film by English director Michael Winterbottom I had never heard of...but that's because this DVD release retitled it from it's original "Genova" for some reason. After the untimely death of his wife in an accident, Colin Firth moves with his two daughters to the Italian city of Genoa where there is some amount of romantic confusion as he reenters the dating pool, fading grief, teenage girl problems, and a surprising ghost story. It's a Winterbottom film that was generally reviewed favorably which means it's gotta be worth a look.
--CLICK HERE TO BUY Summer in Genoa
THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER (Blu-Ray and DVD)
The third entry in Walden Media's versions of C.S. Lewis' essential fantasy series seems a bit of a step above the previous two, but only a bit. This time only the two younger kids, Edmund and Lucy, get to return to the world of Narnia, as apparently puberty is a magical doorstop, but this time they take their wildly irritating younger cousin Eustace with them (who, at points, almost makes the movie unwatchable), as they sail with Prince Caspian on a ship bound to determine the source of a dangerous green mist that threatens the land. It's an awkward beast, to be sure, but things really pick up in the last reel when a dragon gets into it with a giant sea monster. Even with all its other problems, that's still just enough of a geeky 'fuck yes' to make "Treader" worth a look for those of us who have had those 'versus' discussions about various mythological beasts.
--CLICK HERE TO BUY The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader [Blu-ray]