Category Archives: Home Video

Home Vid News: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (x2) Coming to DVD/BD

Tomas Alfredson’s exceptional theatrical adaptation of the classic John le Carré spy novel Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy [my CNN.com review] is coming to DVD and BD on March 20th and while the DVD screener I got last year is nice, I can’t wait to see how the wonderfully muted color palette used by director Tomas Alfredson and cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema looks in high definition. If done right, it should make you feel even more like you’re being swaddled in slightly damp corduroy. In a good way of course, because you’ll have a bottle of scotch or a pitcher of martinis, too.

With a superlative cast of Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch (don’t get me started on how brilliant Sherlock is…), David Dencik, Tom Hardy, Ciarán Hinds, John Hurt, Toby Jones, and Mark Strong, TTSS easily made my top ten of 2011 [CNN.com and indieWIRE.com] and while I love (Oscar winner) The Descendants, I wouldn’t have complained if writers Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan had picked up an little gold man last month.

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Falling Skies Arrives on DVD/Blu-ray on June 5th

Attention men and women of the 2nd Massachusetts Militia Regiment:

Just in time for the TNT premiere of season 2 this summer, Warner Home Video has announced a release date of June 5th for the season 1 DVD and Blu-ray sets of one of my favorite new Sci-fi series of last year, Falling Skies. A fantastic balance of suspense and action with a healthy dollop of heebies and jeebies, Falling Skies was a welcome addition to the summer TV season. It ended the season as cable TV’s #1 new show of 2011 and if this preview is to be believed, season 2 looks to ratchet up the Skitter killing excitement!

DVD Review – There Will Be Blood

Written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
Movie: 6 stars out of 5. Brilliant
DVD Quality: Flawless
Sound: Be prepared for huge transitions from silence to bursts of sound, but then again, you’ve seen the film, right?
Extras: 50/50.
While it’s no secret that Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood was among my favorite films of 2007 and repeat viewings don’t change that opinion. Paul Thomas Anderson has turned in a wide screen epic masterpiece for the new century. TWBB and Andrew Dominick’s The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (you just KNEW I was going to work that one in here, didn’t you?) are a magnificent 1-2 punch for 2007 which was overall, one of the strongest years in recent memory, IMHO.
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As for the DVD, the transfer is gorgeous. Needless to say, the film is presented in widescreen, enhanced for 16×9 TVs and on my 50″ Sony, it looks gorgeous. The 5.1 sound is great, with Johnny Greenwood’s stark and painfully appropriate score ringing through as clear as a bell.

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DVD Review – Planet Earth

Planet Earth
Narrated by David Attenborough
Produced by Alastair Fothergill
planetearth-cat-83024-sm.jpgI don’t think there are enough superlatives in the English language to fully convey how mind-blowingly cool the BBC series Planet Earth is. I am only 4 episodes in and already I know that as far as nature docs go, this is the ne plus ultra of the genre. Even when viewing the standard resolution DVDs (as opposed to the HD DVD or Blu-Ray editions, also available) on a 27-inch TV, you are bombarded with such astonishing image and sound (Dolby 5.1 stereo) as to make it very difficult not to watch all 11 50-minute episodes, plus the 150-minute extra series all in one go. Of course, that would mean 700 minutes of continuous viewing. But hell, that’s only just under 12 hours. Why not?

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DVD Review – The Fountain

The Fountain
Written and Directed by Darren Aronofsky
I wasn’t as prolific about this film upon release as I could have been, to be honest. In an email I sent to Darren Aronofsky and Eric Watson after I saw the film I wrote: “Along with a very talented group of people, you have created a beautiful, thoughtful, and heartfelt film” and of course, I told everyone I knew how the same thing. Some of them scoffed at me (most of them never having actually seen the film). I didn’t write a review for this blog and I wasn’t assigned to review it for any other outlet and for that, I am sorry. I certainly talked it up and considering how many people know, my mouth may be mightier than my pen. However, in the 8+ months since I saw the film, the traffic for this blog has grown approximately 500%, so maybe, just a little bit, I can influence a few more people.

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