Reviews

New to DVD and Blu-Ray: January 21st, 2014 – Captain Phillips, Comedy Bang Bang, Blue Jasmine and More

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This week new to DVD and Blu-Ray, we’ve got one of the best picture nominees, some great shows from IFC, Woody Allen’s latest and more.

First things first…

91ZwkVRmOzL._SL1500_Top Pick: Captain Phillips (Blu-Ray)

Paul Greengrass bounced back nicely from the mildly problematic Green Zone with Captain Philips, his Somali pirate movie that has all the tension of his best work on the Bourne series and United 93. It also features what very well might be Tom Hanks’ finest, most grounded performance ever (one that somehow didn’t manage to get an Oscar nomination), as well as a great breakout by Barkhad Abdi.

915-Xi8HyTL._SL1500_Other Good Choices:

Based on the hilarious improv comedy podcast, IFC’s adaptation of Comedy Bang Bang into a parody of talk shows is a bit hit or miss, but when it hits it hits hard. It also doesn’t ever really reach the brilliance of the podcast, but it’s still one of the most under watched brilliant comedies on TV. And while we’re talking about a show on IFC, the IFC series out today Bullet in the Face also deserves a mention, what with their latest series The Spoils of Babylon the network is quickly becoming the best place to find some truly out there, bizarre comedy that a network would never take. Woody Allen’s latest Blue Jasmine works primarily as a showcase for how incredible its star Cate Blanchett is, which is why you’ve seen her at awards show after awards show. The movie itself is a bit repetitive and at times even cartoonish, but still funny and admirably dark. The one nice thing about remakes of classics is that we usually get a nice new Blu-Ray restoration of the original. There’s already a pretty nice Blu-Ray of Robocop out there, but if you don’t have it yet then definitely check this one out. Lake Bell’s writing/directing/starring debut In a World is a bit rough overall, as many debuts are. But it shows Bell as a very funny person with a great voice (both in her writing and literally, as the film is about voiceover artist).

A1WRUC5ev6L._SL1500_Also Out This Week:

Robert Rodriguez’s modestly atrocious Machete Kills, butt-demon comedy Bad Milo, the Spanish parenting comedy Instructions Not Included, the thriller starring everyone’s favorite plagarist Charlie Countryman , Best Man Down , the Dylan McDermot thriller Freezer, the Naomi Watts drama Sunlight Jr., Paul Schrader’s Cat People , P!ink: The Truth About Love Tour concert movie, Clive Cussler adaptation Raise the Titanic, The Doors’ Re-Evolution, Ron Shelton’s basketball comedy White Men Can’t Jump,  the Boris Carloff horror movie Die Monster Die, Andrei Tarkovsky’s Nostalghia, documentary Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy, the Date Movie director’s new film The Starving Games, season five of NYPD Blue, seasons one and two of The Cosby Show, and Criterion’s releases of La Vie De Boheme and It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World. – Wesley