Holy crap on a stick! What did I do to deserve all of this awesomeness on DVD today? Four great films (three of which are up for Oscars) all hit stores today, ready for a good watchin’ over! And Tim Allen, I mean come on, who doesn’t love the guy?
Bicycle Thieves: The Criterion Collection: We’ll start this week out straight up old school, with Vittorio De Sica‘s classic. It’s about a family’s patriarch in a post-war Italy whose just lucked into a job, only to have the bike ,required by his employer, stolen. Haven’t heard of it? Don’t feel bad, neither had I until a college film course last year, but the stark reality of the film is touching and wrenching. The Criterion special features focus on the screenwriter, Di Sica and Italian Neorealism.
The Departed: It looks like it just might be Scorsese‘s year for that elusive Best Direction Oscar with his Internal Affairs remake, The Departed. And it’s easy to jump on the Departed-lovin’ bandwagon along with all those Academy members – the movie is a fast and well acted action joy ride, sure to be remembered as a highlight in Scorsese’s storied career. You can pick up the film in a bare-bones single-disc release, or a double disc version with some enticing extras centered on the big guy himself, Scorsese, along with a piece on Jack Nicholson‘s character and nine deleted scenes. You can read more from Thundarr, in either his best of the year list
Half Nelson: The goods just keep on trickling in with the superbly written, directed and acted Half Nelson. It’s a difficult film to sum up (thanks to the handful of different messages wrapped within it,) but it goes something like this: Oscar-Nom’d Ryan Gosling stars as a inner-city middle school teacher with a pretty serious drug problem, as he tries to figure out the complexity of a friendly relationship he has with a student. It’s a swell piece of cinema from a true auteur (relative newbie Ryan Fleck) that deserves a shot from any film-fan that enjoys unwrapping layers from a film until a fuzzy warm center is found. Read some more about it in my best-of from last year
Marie Antoinette: The only film to find a spot on both mine and Thundarr‘s best of ‘06 lists, Marie Antoinette’s quite the looker. Probably the best looking film of last year, it was painted in dulled but still bold colors, with enough eye candy to give you a stomach ache. It was a film that met the unfair fate of a lack of interest in theaters, but is sure to live on for quite a while on DVD. It’s one that should be seen on the big screen; but if you missed seeing it that way, don’t let that stop you from renting the DVD. Need more convincing? Check out the reviews by Thundarr and myself.
Wait, there’s more! The poorly timed but well-reputed Truman Capote bio-pic, Infamous is out today (Thundarr review can be found right here.) Like bad words? So do I, and lucky for us there’s documentaryFuck, and keeping in line with docs; The U.S. vs. John Lennon (Thundarr wrote up a piece on the genre for 2006.) And last but not least, it’s no ‘Sling Blade II: Electric Boogaloo;’ but Billy Bob Thornton does give us School For Scoundrels (and Thundarr is okay with that.)