Posted on 02 February 2010.
Written and compiled by The Film Nest guest contributor “FightinIrish” (peep him in the Comments section)
Monster-sized week this week. A lot of essential catalog purchases. Don’t find yourself without them. Accompanying them are numerous musicals, two films starring Tony Jaa and his Muay Thai martial arts, numerous films for the month of love and of course some worthy new releases to add to your collection. This is certainly the biggest week of the new year.
Please know anything you buy through use of the attached links goes toward supporting us at The Film Nest. Thanks in advance.
Although we’ve seen the Zombie film far too often in recent years, this ones goes Shaun of the Dead-style and brings the laughs along the way. Strong direction that reminds one of Fight Club. Here’s our review for a more in-depth dissection. Also, before you listen to the commentary (or after), be sure to read our interview with writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick for more tidbits on the film.
Supplements: Commentary with actors Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg, director Ruben Fleischer, and writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, Go Behind-the-Scenes with “In Search of Zombieland” , “Zombieland is Your Land”: The zombification of the United States, Deleted scenes, Visual effects progression scenes, Theatrical promo trailers, “Beyond the Graveyard”: Behind-the-scenes picture-in-picture track (BD-exclusive), movieIQ, PS3 Wallpaper
A highly disappointing film considering who is involved in it, you’d expect more from Swank, McGregor, and Gere. So forgettable you might have forgotten we reviewed it. If you’re considering adding this to your collection, read our review first.
Supplements: Deleted scenes, Making Amelia, The Power of Amelia Earhart, The Plane Behind the Legend, Re-constructing the Planes of Amelia, Digital Copy
New York, I Love You
There seems to be a recent trend in Hollywood these days to do the huge ensemble cast films with the likes of He’s Just Not That Into You, the upcoming Valentines Day and this film. In many ways they remind me of “The Simpsons’” “22 Short Films About Springfield” episode, which always wins in a battle. This film is no different and not only does it have 48 main actors in it, it’s comprised of 11 directors with most likely only Brett Ratner and Natalie Portman as names you’d recognize. Basically a film about the city of New York and the people in it in their search for love.
Supplements: Yet to be announced
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, February is the month to release films based on or involving romance and situations of that nature. The second release this week to examine the aspect of “love” and how it affects people’s lives. This time without the huge cast and only one director. Jennifer Aniston and Aaron Eckhart do their best to show you some love. Will you show it to them?
Supplements: Feature Commentary with Director/Co-Writer Brandon Camp, Producer/Co-Writer Mike Thompson and Executive Producer Richard Solomon, Giving Romance a New Look, My Scenes
Universal Soldier: Regeneration
Another Universal Soldier film. This time we get Dolph and Jean-Claude back in the mix. Is it better than the previous ones? Who knows. I sure don’t cause I haven’t seen any of these. Typical direct-to-disc fare one would think.
Supplements: Audio commentary with John Hyams and Dolph Lundgren, Featurette: Behind the Lines, movieIQ, BD-Live
The House of the Devil
The reviews say this is a unique and scary horror film, but my first problem is that the main character goes out to babysit and decides to stay when there is no baby to sit. If that isn’t reason enough to get the hell out of there, you deserve everything that you get.
Supplements: Commentary with Ti West, producers and crew, Commentary with Ti West and Jocelin Donahue, Deleted scenes, Behind the scenes, Interviews with cast and crew, Trailer
One of the few Clint Eastwood-directed pics I haven’t gotten around to seeing. My understanding is that it’s a bit of a “down” picture, not really the most uplifting of films ever done. It’s definitely worth a view however and now we’ll will be able to see it in the best format available.
Supplements: Commentary by Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Documentary: Bravo Channel TV Special: Mystic River: From Page to Screen, Mystic River: Beneath the Surface, The Charlie Rose Show: Clint Eastwood, The Charlie Rose Show: Tim Robbins, The Charlie Rose Show: Kevin Bacon, Trailers
You know it. You love it. Now you can get it without having to get the 2nd or 3rd film, if that’s been the hold up. Easily the best of the three films. I won’t hear you if you even think of arguing that the second was better. This one has many more memorable moments, a greater story and seemed to truly keep you, as a viewer, drawn in throughout the whole film. Beautiful looking and sounding on Blu-ray, this will be the best this film has looked since it was shot. If you don’t own this film, my friend Luca Brasi will pay you a visit.
Supplements: Yet to be announced
The Godfather Part II
Many people say this is the better of the two films but really, outside of Robert DeNiro, I found this to be not nearly as good as the first. Was it still a good and interesting film? Of course, but it seemed to lack something the first had. Either way you feel about it, if you don’t have the box set here’s your chance to pick this up as is.
Supplements: Yet to be announced.
Gangs of New York
For some reason this film didn’t click with me. I love Daniel Day-Lewis, have since My Left Foot and The Last of the Mohicans. I think DiCaprio has elevated his game year after year. I believe that Scorsese is a great director and one of the best over the past 30+ years, but with all of that this film missed with me. However, now that it’s on Blu-ray I may have to watch it again.
Supplements: Feature Commentary With Martin Scorsese, Teaser Trailer, Theatrical Trailer, Costume Design Featurette, Set Design Featurette, History Of The Five Points Featurette, Exploring The Sets Of GANGS OF NEW YORK With Multiple Angles, Utilizing 360 Degree Shots of The Sets, U2 Music Video The Hands That Built America, Discovery Channel Special Uncovering The Real Gangs Of New York, The Five Points Study Guide
Walk the Line
It seems as if we’ve finally moved out of the era of biopics, most of them being about musicians of some kind, but before we left they had to drop one on us about the man in black. A good film no doubt with award-worthy performances by the leads, but I can’t help but blame this film for turning Joaquin into a crazy-bearded rapper. The world will never be the same.
Supplements: Directors Commentary by James Mangold, More Man in Black: 10 Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by Director James Mangold, Extended Musical Sequences, Rock and Roll Ruby Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash, Reese Witherspoon as June Carter, Cocaine Blues Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash, Folsom, Cash and the Comeback, Celebrating the Man in Black: The Making of Walk the Line, Ring of Fire: The Passion of Johnny and June
Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas
Johnny Depp has to be one of the best actors of his generation with the ability to play such a wide array of characters and really disappear into them. There’s only one person who seems to do it better, that being the aforementioned Daniel Day-Lewis. Fear and Loathing gives us Depp playing one of the craziest and smartest people we’ve seen in Hunter S. Thompson. This is truly a trippy film. It makes you understand what he went through in his drug-induced adventure. Also some very early work from big stars Benicio Del Toro, Toby Maguire and Cameron Diaz. Wish that Criterion would have handled the release of this on disc. Their 2-disc set was worth every penny.
Supplements: Deleted scenes, Spotlight on location, BD-Live, D-Box
The Last King of Scotland
An interesting film even though, spoiler alert, the main character wasn’t even real. Everything else was basically true, but the character played by James McAvoy was based loosely on someone else. Still this is a great film, gripping and a wonderful performance by Charles Jefferson himself, Forrest Whitaker, as Idi Amin.
Supplements: Nine deleted scenes, Fox Movie Channel Presents Casting Session – The Last King Of Scotland, Theatrical Trailer
Mona Lisa Smile
It’s a Julia Roberts film that I haven’t seen and really have no interest in seeing. Is it good? Could be. Is it bad? Could be. Watch it and let us know.
Supplements: Art Forum, College Then and Now, What Women Wanted: 1953, Music Video – Elton John “The Heart of Every Girl”
Maid in Manhattan
What’s worse than a Julia Roberts chick-flick? A Jennifer Lopez chick-flick. Seriously, who has ever had a maid that looks like Lopez? Anyone…Anyone? At least give us Lopez circa Anacondas where she has the quasi-unibrow going on and her hair’s super dark and curly and she hasn’t had surgery.
Supplements: Blooper Reel
The Music Man
I know very little of this film, musicals not being my forte, but I know that many consider it a classic. If you want to see a young Ron Howard not living in Mayberry, then grab this disc. Also, the Conan O’Brien-scripted “Marge vs. the Monorail” has a character based on this film.
Supplements: Yet to be announced.
An American In Paris
A classic no doubt. Gene Kelly is a dancing machine and this may be his best work. One of the few musicals I’d actually consider owning that wasn’t done by Disney.
Supplements: “Concerto of a Commentary” hosted by Patricia Ward Kelly and featuring rare, often previously unheard interviews with Gene Kelly, Vincente Minnelli, Arthur Freed, Alan Jay Lerner, Johnny Green, Saul Chaplin, Michael Feinstein, Preston Ames and Irene Sharaff and new observations by Leslie Caron and Nina Foch, Shorts: “MGM short: Paris on Parade (1938),” “MGM cartoon: Symphony in Slang (1951)”, 2002 American Masters Documentary: Gene Kelly: Anatomy of a Dancer, Documentary: “‘S Wonderful: The Making of An American in Paris”, Outtakes: Georges Guetary performing “Love Walked In” and Gene Kelly performing “I Got a Crush on You” (audio only), Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron promotional radio interview with Dick Simmons, Video and audio outtakes, Radio Interviews
I know very little of this film other than what I’ve read. Some say it’s a French version of My Fair Lady, so expect more snootiness, attitude and a general distaste for Americans except when the Germans invade. Anyway, if you’re into musicals I’m sure this will be something right up your French alley.
Supplements: Alternate Version, Audio Commentary, Documentary, Short Films, Theatrical Trailer
Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior
An insane fight film, but sadly nothing more. Of the Tony Jaa films released, this is the one that everyone should watch. If you truly enjoy it, then check out The Protector and Ong Bak 2: The Beginning and wait with all of us for Ong Bak 3 later this year. Jaa is just ridiculous.
Supplements: Life Tony Jaa And Stuntman Performance Before French Audition, The Movements Of Muay Thai, French Rap Music Video With Tony Jaa, Making Of Music Video, B-Roll (Taxi Stunts, Legs Ablaze Fight Sequence, Arena Fight Sequence)
Ong-Bak 2: The Beginning
I haven’t seen it and sadly movies like The Protector and our review kind of put me off of seeking this out. Now that it’s on Blu maybe I’ll give it a chance.
Supplements: HDNet: A Look at Ong Bak 2, Behind-the-scenes featurettes, Making-of featurettes, Interviews with cast and crew, including co-director/actor Tony Jaa, Never-before-seen footage from ‘Ong Bak 3′
Its freaking Casablanca. You have to own it. If you don’t, please join the rest of society and buy it. This is the disc-only version of Warner’s great box set that was released a year or so ago. If you’re not into a box set of stills and printings and an increased price, this is the version to get. Get it, watch it, love it. A classic film like this, one of the 10 greatest of all-time, Bogart being his bad-ass self, need I say more?
Supplements: Yet to be announced.