This Week in Blu-ray / DVD Releases: Interstellar, The Imitation Game, Wild

This Week: A fantastic week includes the epically satisfying Interstellar, an Oscar-calibre Benedict Cumberbatch, and HBO's killer combo of Veep and Silicon Valley.

► There may have been better films than INTERSTELLAR last year, but I doubt there was a better movie. Thoughtful, intense, scary, emotional – everything about Christopher Nolan’s epic puts you through the wringer and leaves you thinking about the world we’re in and where we’re headed, which the best sci-fi always does. We knew Nolan would deliver the spectacle, but it was the painful family dynamic which made all of that razzle dazzle matter, as astronaut Matthew McConaughey goes through a galactic wormhole searching for a new home for mankind as Earth starts to die. Doing so means leaving his kids, who will age as he passes through gravitational time. Anne Hathaway as his co-pilot, Jessica Chastain as his adult daughter and a surprise appearance from Matt Damon elevate things greatly. A loaded blu-ray includes three hours of goodies on an extra disc including the movie’s science, its lengthy origins (Steven Spielberg was first attached to direct in 2007), and how practical effects were used in several scenes.

► As we all knew, the Best Actor race was a two-man race this year, but there would have been no complaints from my end had Benedict Cumberbatch taken it. He’s that good in THE IMITATION GAME as Alan Turing, the brilliant mathematician tasked with cracking Nazi codes during World War II, and inadvertently laying the groundwork for modern computers. His reward after the war was being persecuted for his homosexuality. Thoroughly engrossing movie about one of history’s most unheralded heroes.

WILD earned Reese Witherspoon her first Oscar nomination since 2008 (when she won), playing a woman who hikes the 1,000-mile Pacific Crest Trail to find herself after the death of her mother. Through painful flashbacks, we see why she needs to leave her old life behind. Based on a memoir by Cheryl Strayed. Witherspoon may be better here than she was winning the Oscar for ‘Walk the Line,’ but, well, Julianne Moore.

► No show made me laugh harder last year than VEEP. An outstanding third season saw vice president Selina (Emmy-winning Julia Louis Dreyfuss) making a grab for the big chair after the president announces he won’t seek re-election. Among other things, it involves hilarious trips to London and Silicon Valley for two brilliantly-written episodes that made ‘Modern Family’ winning the Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy even more baffling. If anything, every episode gives you a dozen or so vicious put downs to inflict on your friends.

► Among the best of a banner crop of new comedies last year, HBO’s SILICON VALLEY is Mike Judge’s whip smart look at tech geeks trying to cash in on a startup music app with funding from a reclusive billionaire (a brilliant Christopher Evan Welch, who died after just five episodes) while contending with rivals developing a similar app. Judge lays out the absurdity of the Google age in eight mostly great episodes, capped by a hysterical sequence in the finale in which an epic dick joke solves a major design problem.

► Two new collections from Blue Underground serve up some vintage Italian horror. THE DARIO ARGENTO COLLECTION includes two of his classics, ‘Deep Red’ and ‘Inferno,’ along with an earlier misfire ‘Cat o’ Nine Tails,’ which Argento often calls his worst film. The other two make up for it, however, and are regarded as two of Italian horror’s most influential films. Less polished but way more gory is THE LUCIO FULCI COLLECTION, containing three of his early ‘80s gems: ‘City of the Living Dead,’ ‘The House by the Cemetery’ and ‘The New York Ripper.’ All three were so gruesome they sealed Fulci’s reputation as Italy’s Herschell Gordon Lewis, and were either banned or released unrated in different countries (Britain actually ordered all copies of ‘The New York Ripper’ flown back to Italy).

► At this point, it’s a sad-but-amusing game seeing what Nicolas Cage pops up in next. Take the Chinese-Canadian made OUTCAST, which pairs him with Hayden Christensen as crusaders trying to restore some order in 12th century China. If you’re not intrigued at the thought of Cage and Christensen trying to out-act each other with ridiculous accents, I admire your will power.

Also out this week:




Source: JoBlo.com



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