The holidays are over and the dust has finally settled. That means that it is time to get the new releases back into full swing, and this upcoming week offers a little something for every movie fan. This week’s releases include a hand full of films from 2012, as well as three Academy Award winning Best Pictures making their very first appearance on blu-ray. There are so many films, so let’s get started.
- “Mrs. Miniver” (1942): Winner of six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, “Mrs. Miniver” is a war time drama film from director William Wyler that has enough heart and soul to fill three movies. The is a truly wonderful film that should be part of every classic film lover’s collection. The film stars Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Teresa Wright and Henry Travers. You can read a full post on this amazing film at Another Old Movie Blog.
- “Frankenweenie” (2012): Director Tim Burton has made many intriguing film in his career, but there is something oddly comforting in his newest release, “Frankenweenie”. Based on Burton’s own short film from 1984, this delightful film tells the story of a young boy who is devastated by the sudden death of his dog, and decides to bring him back to life. It is a superb tribute to the legendary “Frankenstein” (1931), and Burton’s creativity and style add so much to this modern, albeit twisted, tale.
- “Cape Fear” (1962): After much anticipation, it has finally arrived! “Cape Fear”, starring Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum, is a brilliantly made film that promises to leave you wary of the very presence of Mitchum from now on. Gregory Peck plays the lawyer that Mitchum terrorizes after Peck had served as the key testimony against him in a rape trial eight years earlier. Now Peck is forced to protect his family from this madman who won’t leave him alone.
- “Compliance” (2012): This thriller film flew under most people’s radar this last year, but thanks to an impressive Oscar campaign for Ann Dowd, people are now beginning to sit up and take notice. Directed by Craig Zobel, “Compliance” tells the “inspired by a true story” tale of a fast food manager who receives a mysterious phone call from someone claiming to be the police. The caller convinces the manager to detain one of the employees under suspicion of theft. Once the young girl is taken into the back room, the caller’s request become stranger and way more inappropriate, but the manager continues to comply, regardless of how far things are taken.
- “Grand Hotel” (1932): This Academy Award winning Best Picture boasts one of the greatest casts ever assembled, including Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore, Joan Crawford and Wallace Berry. The central story revolves around a great number of characters, as their lives intersect in the “Grand Hotel”. I, for one, can’t wait to see how tremendous this film is going to look on blu-ray, and even though the bonus features appear to be unexciting, this is still a film that classic movie fans should make sure to catch.
- “Two-Lane Blacktop” (1971): As the first Criterion Collection release for 2013, “Two-Lane Blacktop” is a cult road film that involves a cross country race. The film stars James Taylor, Dennis Wilson, Laurie Bird and Warren Oates in the leading roles. I have heard mixed things about this film, so if you have seen it please let me know if it is something worth checking out.
- “House At The End Of The Street” (2012): Since horror films rarely have anything new to offer, you can probably guess what this film is about just by hearing the title. Jennifer Lawrence and Elisabeth Shue star as a mother and daughter who find the perfect home in a small town, but soon after they arrive, they discover that years before (in the house at the end of the street) a girl murdered her parents and then disappeared. Now the girl’s brother lives there alone, and begins a relationship with Jennifer Lawrence, against her mothers wishes. “House At The End Of the Street” has nothing new to offer the horror genre, and is even disappointing if you were hoping for a series of good scares. The film still made plenty of money, primarily due to Jennifer Lawrence’s rise to fame, and somehow I doubt they will be able to convince her to come back for a sequel.
- “Driving Miss Daisy” (1989): Being released to blu-ray for the first time, this Best Picture winner starring Jessica Tandy, Morgan Freeman and Dan Aykroyd is a delightful film that continues to get better as the years go by. Although this film is often considered to have won a Best Picture award that it didn’t deserve, it is still a heart warming tale that everyone should see at some point.
- “Dredd” (2012): Somehow I thought that one movie about Dredd would have been enough, but apparently I was wrong. This science fiction film, starring Karl Urban in the title role, has earned bad reviews and even showed a disappointing run at the box office this year. The tired story, combined with too many special effects, left audiences with a bad taste, unless of course your whole purpose in seeing the film was to enjoy the 3D. If that is the case, you will be thrilled to see that you can also buy this film on blu-ray 3D.
- “The Jazz Singer” (1927): Often called the first sound film, “The Jazz SInger” is now on blu-ray! Although this film is considered a truly great film, there is no denying its impact on every movie that came after. This release promises to make “The Jazz Singer” look better than ever before, but the real beauty of this release is in the bonus features. This is a three disc collection that includes a blu-ray book with 88 pages of notes and pictures on this historical film. This set also includes a full length documentary of the history of talking pictures, studio shorts and cartoons, and 3 1/2 hours of Vitaphone comedy and music shorts.
- “Stolen” (2012): Nicolas cage stars as a convicted thief who is released from prison, and finds that his old partner has kidnapped his daughter, and is holding her ransom for the 10 million dollars he had supposedly stolen. He doesn’t have the money, and is therefore forced to rob another bank under the watchful eyes of the police.
In addition to these titles, other films being released on blu-ray for the first time this week include the Denzel Washington/Angelina Jolie thriller, “The Bone Collector” (1999), the Kevin Kline/Meg Ryan romantic comedy, “French Kiss” (1995), the George Clooney/ Michelle Pfeiffer romantic comedy, “One Fine Day” (1996), and the Terry Gilliam fantasy film, “The Brothers Grimm” (2005), starring Matt Damon and Heath Ledger.Back to Home for More Reviews