dvd and blu-ray

the-edge-of-seventeen-blu-rayNadine’s (Hailee Steinfeld) life is falling apart. Her only real friend (Haley Lu Richardson) has begun dating her brother (Blake Jenner) which has only caused the outspoken high school student to become more the anti-social. Her new refuge in the storm that is her life is an equally sarcastic teacher (Woody Harrelson), who likes the student more than he lets on.

Written and directed by Kelly Fremon Craig, The Edge of Seventeen focuses on the emotional tumult of a teenager’s life leading to an honest, and sometimes quite funny, film. Steinfeld balances the protagonist’s frayed emotional state with aplomb in the story of a troubled young woman that is still hopeful even as Nadine swerves closer and closer to the edge.

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5-film-gangster-collectionWhat the hell is Gangster Squad doing on this set? The 2013 film wastes a talented cast on this idiotic take on a 50s cop (Josh Brolin) attempting to take down Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn). What a piece of shit. The rest of this collection is actually quite good, making you wonder who decided to try and polish this turd by putting in in their company.

Ben Affleck‘s The Town is the second-weakest entry in the set, but the look at Boston bank robbers is at least occasionally compelling. While flawed, 2001’s Training Day is worth a look for the performances of Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke as the older detective introduces his new partner to his world.

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Pinocchio

by Cap'n Carrot on February 14, 2017 · 0 comments

in Film

pinocchio-blu-rayAdapted from Carlo Collodi’s The Adventures of Pinocchio, Walt Disney’s second animated film features a morality tale about a young puppet brought to life who struggles to learn lessons about right and wrong. Helping him, but not always being successful, is Jiminy Cricket who is drafted into service as Pinocchio‘s conscience by the Blue Fairy who instills life in the marionette after answering the fondest wish of his creator Gepetto. If Pinocchio can prove himself brave, truthful, and unselfish, he may become a real boy, but before that can happen he’ll make a few wrong turns along the way.

Paroled from the Disney Vault, Pinocchio is re-released on Blu-ray as part of the new Signature Series. Extras include all the previously-released features (behind-the-scenes featurettes, storyboards, deleted scenes, and more) along with a handful of new short featurettes on the film, music, and Pleasure Island, and a vintage black-and-white cartoon.

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The King and I

by Cap'n Carrot on February 6, 2017 · 0 comments

in Film

the-king-and-i-dvdRe-released on DVD, 1956’s The King and I brought the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II musical to the big screen in CinemaScope starring Deborah Kerr as schoolteacher Anna Leonowens who instructs more than just her students when she takes a job teaching the children of King Mongkut (Yul Brynner). Winning five Academy Awards (including a Best Actor Oscar for Brynner), the film holds up.

As has been stated in other corners of the Internet, the DVD version of the film is much crisper and cleaner than the Blu-ray release (where lighting and color are both inconsistent). Fans who don’t own the 50th Anniversary DVD should certainly think about adding this to their collection for the music, Brynner’s performance, and an impressive amount of extras.

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For the Love of Spock

by Cap'n Carrot on January 4, 2017 · 0 comments

in Film

for-love-of-spock-dvdBegun before his father’s death as part of Star Trek‘s 50th Anniversary, Adam Nimoy takes a look at Leonard Nimoy‘s life and career, most notably his role as Spock. Including interviews from a wide swath of new and classic Trek actors, Nimoy interviews William Shatner, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, and Zoe Saldana, along with famous fans of Star Trek including Jim Parsons, Jason Alexander, and Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Although it doesn’t go into much depth about Nimoy’s life or his career, there are some nice anecdotes here and some fun classic stills and footage from his early career. Fans of Star Trek should enjoy themselves.

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freemaker-adventures-blu-ray-season-oneSet between the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, the animated LEGO Star Wars series follows the misadventures of a family of mechanics whose youngest member discovers a connection to the Force and accepts the responsibility of keeping the fragments of a powerful weapon out of the hands of the Emperor (Trevor Devall).

Most of the series focuses on the trouble young Rowan (Nicolas Cantu) gets his older siblings Zander (Eugene Byrd) and Kordi (Vanessa Lengies) into while helping a Jedi (who is secretly a Sith) find and collect the fragments of the Kyber Saber.

Collected on DVD and Blu-ray, extras include two short featurettes on the Freemakers and their salvage business. Highlights of the season include the Freemakers on Hoth, a trip to the Imperial Museum on Naboo, and getting dragged into a Wookiee rescue mission.

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Gleason

by Cap'n Carrot on December 14, 2016 · 0 comments

in Film

gleason-dvdOriginally intended as a video diary for Steve Gleason‘s unborn son, director Clay Tweel takes audiences along for the ride on the heart-wrenching journey of Gleason’s slow decline after being diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Going from a local football hero who helped rejuvenate the New Orleans Saints football team in the season following Hurricane Katrina to a man fighting to speak, move, and even breathe on his own is often difficult to watch. Refusing to give in, Gleason and his wife Michel continue to fight the incurable degenerative disease every step of the way including forming their own foundation to support others in need.

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The Lobster

by Cap'n Carrot on December 12, 2016 · 0 comments

in Film

the-lobster-dvdTaking place is an odd world where being single is apparently the only crime, David (Colin Farrell) checks into a hotel where he is given 45 days to find a partner or face being transformed into an animal for the remainder of his existence. Part metaphor about the pressures society puts on single people to find a mate, and part wacky adventure, The Lobster is an unusual film with a deadpan (and more than a little bleak) sense of humor and a very unconventional view of love.

The first-half of the film, taking place within the hotel, works quite well as David and the other singles (Jessica Barden, Angeliki Papoulia, John C. Reilly, and Ben Whishaw) fumble at finding enforced couplehood. The second-half of the film involving David’s adventures with the equally hard-line single exiles where he finds forbidden love (Rachel Weisz, who also narrates) may not be as strong but still delivers its share of humorous and tragic moments. Available on Blu-ray and DVD, the only extras included are a digital copy of the movie and a single behind-the-scenes featurette.

[Lionsgate, Blu-ray $24.99 / DVD $12.96]

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lo-and-behold-reveries-of-the-connected-world-dvdWerner Herzog‘s new documentary takes viewers on a journey through the Internet. With stops as its birthplace and interviews with creators and early users, Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World also examines current uses for the tool in robotics and automobiles as well as the voyeuristic and bullying aspects fed by the anonymity of its users (in one of the documentary’s most emotional interviews).

The journey also makes a stop in Green Bank, West Virginia where all transmissions are restricted by the law and at a hospital for Internet addiction. Looking further the film also discusses solar flares, hackers and internet security, dreams, missions to Mars, and the possibility of artificial intelligence. While not as cohesive as I’d like at times, nonetheless Herzog delivers a fascinating historical journey on the Internet and how it has affected humanity, for both good and ill, since its creation. Like it or not, it’s firmly woven into our daily life, and Herzog pulls up the rug to show both its more troubling aspects as well as where it might lead us in the future.

[Magnolia Home Entertainment, $17.99]

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Green Room

by Cap'n Carrot on December 5, 2016 · 0 comments

in Film

green-room-blu-rayNotable mainly for its cast including a pair of Star Trek actors (Anton Yelchin and Patrick Stewart), Green Room is your basic wrong place, wrong time thriller when a broke band stumbles on a murder in the green room of a remote Neo-Nazi bar in the Northwest. With the help of a witness (Imogen Poots) to the murder, the band (Yelchin, Alia Shawkat, Joe Cole, and Callum Turner) barricade themselves in the green room in an attempt to hold off the inevitable as the club’s owner (Stewart) rounds up some of the gang’s less-savory types to clean-up the situation.

Writer/director Jeremy Saulnier delivers a fairly tense thriller featuring a cast of damaged individuals fighting for their lives against some pissed off Neo-Nazis. Other than Yelchin’s bassist, I’m not sure there’s a good person on-screen which means we’re interested to see what happens to the dickish rockers but not necessarily invested in rooting for or against them making it out alive. Stweart’s casting is intriguing as brains behind the outfit (although it’s fair to say he’s slumming it here).

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