Check out the new-release and catalogue DVD and Blu-ray releases for the week of February 28th, 2012, with recommendations, links for purchasing, and retailer-specific information where applicable.
The big release this week is without-a-doubt Martin Scorsese’s Hugo – it was the recipient of 5 Academy Awards last Sunday, and was the only serious competition for The Artist, which took home 5 Oscars itself. Also new this week are I Melt With You, Johnny English Reborn, and Beneath The Darkness. A couple catalogue releases, including new Blu-rays from Criterion, Blue Underground, and Kino, also hit shelves Tuesday.
Read ahead for my recommendations and thoughts on some notable releases, followed by a more complete list of what is coming out this week.
Notable releases for Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 (2/28/2012)
DVD, Blu-ray, and Blu-ray 3D (Click links for product pages at Amazon)
Martin Scorsese’s first family film, and first foray into 3D, Hugo is a magical story of a young boy on his own in 1930’s Paris. Living within the machinery of a giant clock at a Parisian train station, young Hugo Cabret’s adventures lead him to Georges Méliès, a real-life film pioneer from the era responsible for some of cinema’s first special effects. Scorsese makes good use of 3D, crafting jaw-dropping pans through beautiful scenery, and even recreating the scene from the 1897 “Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat” where a train goes right towards the camera and audiences famously believed the illusion and scrambled to get out of its way. Also starring Chloe Grace Moretz and Sacha Baron Cohen, Hugo is a celebration of the birth of cinema.
I Melt With You (2011)
DVD and Blu-ray Disc
Thomas Jane, Rob Lowe, Jeremy Piven and Christian McKay are four middle-aged buddies enjoying their once-a-year reunion with some extreme male bonding. Each man has his secrets and regrets, and what starts out as celebratory debauchery turns to bitter self-truth as things spiral out of control in their race towards the bottom. A bit of a pity-party at times, but the film is bold in its convictions and goes to some surprising places. Not easily forgotten.
Scarlet Street (1945)
From Fritz Lang, ground-breaking director of Metropolis and M, comes Scarlet Street, a dazzling film noir with all the trimmings – femme fatales, embezzlement, bribery, faked deaths, and murder most foul. Christopher Cross, a cashier and amateur painter in a loveless marriage, chances upon Kitty, a young prostitute, being attacked. Unaware that her assailant is also her boyfriend Johnny, Chris intervenes and sends the man packing. The two get coffee and Kitty mistakes Chris for a famous painter instead of just an amateur – and Johnny later convinces her to get close with Chris in order to rip him off. This sets in motion the cruel machinery of tangled alliances and bitter betrayals that lead each participant to their oft-times cruel fate.
Baba Yaga (1973)
Oh Euro-sleaze… Italian model Valentina has been having strange, sexual nightmares ever since she received a ride home from a strange old woman. Also, her camera is possessed. And there is that strange bottomless pit she can’t quite wrap her mind around… Is it possible that the old woman was Baba Yaga herself, the legendary witch of Slavick folklore that is obsessed with subjecting young women to immense sadism and lust? Of course it is, and soon all the top models of Milan are under her spell as well. Yeah, very intellectual – though there is something undeniably charming about Italian cinema from the era. Maybe it’s just that beautiful language that makes their strange predilection towards erotic horror seem not quite so ridiculous.
Vanya on 42nd Street (1994)
DVD and Blu-ray Disc
An interesting experiment of a film, Vanya on 42nd Street is part play, part documentary. Over the course of three years, stage director Andre Gregory and a group of actors strived to understand Anton Chekhov’s play Uncle Vanya by performing it in a stripped down fashion without any commercial demands – invited audience only, bare stage, street clothes, etc. Gregory later teamed up with film director Louis Malle to document the version of the play they had developed, and this film, starring Julianne Moore and Wallace Shawn, is the result.
Other titles released this week:
Answers To Nothing (DVD)
Beneath The Darkness (DVD and Blu-ray)
Catechism Cataclysm (DVD)
The Buccaneer (DVD and Blu-ray)
Johnny English (Blu-ray)
Johnny English Reborn (DVD and Blu-ray)
Justice League: Doom (DVD, Special Edition DVD, and Blu-ray)
Mandrill (DVD and Blu-ray)
Nijinsky (DVD and Blu-ray)
Runaway Jury (Blu-ray)
Where Love Has Gone (Blu-ray)
American Experience: The Amish (DVD and Blu-ray)
The Angry Beavers: Season 3, Part 1 (DVD)
Here’s Lucy: Season 5 (DVD)
How The Universe Works (Blu-ray)
Law & Order: The 10th Year (DVD)
Mission: Impossible – The ’89 TV Season (DVD)
Princess Jellyfish: The Complete Series (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
Todd & The Book Of Pure Evil: The Complete 1st Season (DVD)
Top Gear: The Complete Season 17 (DVD and Blu-ray)
No particularly interesting sales/exclusives this week. Info on local retailers that stock most of these titles can be found here: Best Buy locations in Pittsburgh, Target locations in Pittsburgh, Barnes & Noble locations in Pittsburgh. For online shopping, Amazon usually has the best prices.
Post a comment with your own thoughts on this week’s releases! Tune in next week (March 6th, 2012) for a colossal Tuesday, where we’ll discuss new releases like Immortals, Game of Thrones: Season 1, The Skin I Live In, and Footloose – as well as a ton of exciting Blu-ray upgrades including Monty Python And The Holy Grail, To Catch A Thief, The Little Shop Of Horrors, Out Of Africa, and FernGully: The Last Rainforest.
Like this article? Click on the ‘Subscribe to get instant updates’ link at the top and receive automatic notifications when new content has been posted!
Interested in writing for modenook.com yourself? Click here to pick a topic and apply today!