This Week in Blu-ray / DVD Releases: The Dark Knight Rises, V/H/S, Eastbound and Down ...
This week: Your silent knights are over - it's Batman week on Blu-ray. Also - Another round of Eastbound, and some vicious old school horror with V/H/S.
► Will Batman fans ever have it this good again? Warner will certainly make another Batman movie – probably sooner than later – but it's doubtful we'll ever see anything like the Christopher Nolan movies again: Three perfectly realized films forming one cohesive saga. Facing insane expectations, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES hammered home just how unique this series was, how different it operated from virtually every other comic-based movie. These weren't even superhero movies – they were crime stories which just happened to have a guy in a kick-ass costume. I was struck not by how epic it ended, but how emotional it got down the stretch – I surely wasn't the only one fighting man-tears at Batman's apparent demise. Blu-ray is stingy with the bonus stuff, which means a better version is likely soon. You do get an hour-long featurette on the Batmobile through the years and multiple features collected as ‘Ending the Knight.’ No Nolan commentary.
On the same day you can grab the whole saga on Blu-ray for about $30 with THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY. No new bonus features, but this is a nifty bargain for anyone on the Christmas list who somehow doesn’t own any of them yet. Also comes with an abbreviated 64-page version of the book ‘The Art and Making of The Dark Knight Trilogy.’
► The horror anthology V/H/S starts out gangbusters, with a gang of thugs hired to bust into a house looking for a specific tape. During the search, they pop in one bizarre tape after another (though they seem strangely nonchalant about the bizarre shit they just watched), with the first tale – about three college idiots bringing some girls back to their hotel room – by far the best. The final tale, about a Halloween house party that goes to hell, is also a keeper. The problem is the three ho-hum segments in-between. When it clicks, though, this is good, gory fun.
► So what happens after you wrap up all your storylines in what was supposed to be your series finale, only for HBO to order another season? EASTBOUND AND DOWN is in awkward spot for Season 4, because Season 3 was the end of the line for Kenny Powers. This is the year he finally got back to the big leagues, and while the pay-off felt a bit deflated after three years of build-up, it’s completely in synch with the show’s cynical nature. But now what?
► Lot of ‘best of the year’ buzz for Behn Zeitlin’s BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD. It’s told entirely from the point of view of a six-year-old girl (expect an Oscar nod for Quvenzhane Wallis), who deals with the tragedies rocking her Louisiana home in her own imaginative way. Won the Cannes Film Festival: Dramatic at Cannes this year.
► Not happy Meryl Streep has made the transition to ‘old lady’ roles. Somewhat happy to see her spar with legendary crank Tommy Lee Jones in HOPE SPRINGS. They play a couple trying to spice things back up after a few decades together, so they head to marriage therapy in the small town of Great Hope Springs. Steve Carell plays the specialist.
► Disney hasn’t made a movie that mortified unsuspecting kids in awhile. So imagine mom and dad’s joy leaving the theatre with wailing brats after THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN. Two parents (Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton) who can’t conceive on their own are suddenly visited by a kid they believe came from their garden, with his leafy legs and all. Of course he has a secret, and while adults might get a lot out of the sad ending, the young ‘uns are a different story. Approach with caution.
► Season 15 of THE SIMPSONS (the 2003/2004 season) starts with a typically strong Treehouse of Horror episode (love Homer as the new Grim Reaper), stoops to clunkers like ‘The Regina Monologues’ (road trip to London … meh), then rebounds nicely with the modern classic ‘Milhouse Doesn’t Live Here Anymore,’ where Milhouse moves to Capital City to become a bad boy and Homer panhandles to buy Marge an anniversary gift. Props to Fox for getting these out at a steady clip – how many other shows have 15 seasons on DVD?
Also out this week:
SO WHAT DVD/BLU-RAYS ARE YOU GUYS STOKED ABOUT THIS WEEK?!