I just want to be a sweetheart."
Though I am seeing the new David Gordon Green today, I haven't been to any theatrical screenings recently (outside of the movies I took myself to and posted about on the blog last week), so it's been all DVDs all the time. Prepare yourself for the onslaught! I haven't posted review links in a couple of weeks.
THIS WEEK IN DVD REVIEWS...
* The Aristocats: Special Edition, wherein everybody gets to be a cat, and oh, what fun we had.
Of course, reader mail always proves that some people are slightly oblivious to the concept of jokes: "I read your review of 'The Aristocats: Special Edition' and I enjoyed it. I happen to be both a Disney fanatic and a jazz fanatic, and I wanted to point out to you that jazz actually made its way to Disney years before THE ARISTOCATS or even THE JUNGLE BOOK -- it happened in 1955 when Walt hired Peggy Lee and Sonny Burke to write the score for LADY AND THE TRAMP, and La Lee also voiced three characters and sang several of the songs, including "He's A Tramp" which is *definitely* jazz!"
Okay, thanks. But sometimes accuracy makes for a dull affair.
* Elizabeth: The Golden Age, an overlooked sequel to the 1998 Cate Blanchett vehicle that offers a lot of what fans expect--plus a little more.
* ER - The Complete Eighth Season, a big transition year sees the show still riding high. Say farewell to Benton and Greene!
* Jean-Luc Godard: 3-Disc Collector's Edition, bringing together four of his '80s films intent on making your brain hurt. But in a good way.
* Margot at the Wedding, featuring Jennifer Jason Leigh and Nicole Kidman as sisters with issues in Noah Baumbach's darkly comic family drama.
It's interesting getting to review a movie a second time that I had reviewed theatrically only a few months before. It always seems to happen this time of year, when the really excellent but overlooked films of the previous autumn and winter come to DVD looking for attention while the theatres are full of the dreck that comes after the pre-Awards rush and before the spring flings. In the case of Elizabeth: The Golden Age, it just reinforces my opinion; with Margot at the Wedding, it's the pleasant discovery that I got it completely wrong the first time. Well, not completely, but it is interesting how things I complained about originally get praised on the redo--and I hadn't gone back and read the first review at all until I was done.
* Romeo & Juliet: A Monkey's Tale, a kind of cute Animal Planet show about monkeys in love.
* Walker - Criterion Collection, wherein Alex Cox examines the cyclical nature of history, casting Ed Harris as the first American dictator in Nicaragua. (Also at Criterion Confessions.)
* You've Got Mail: Deluxe Edition, a not-as-bad-as-you-think Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks vehicle remaking a classic Ernst Lubitsch motion picture.
In fact, there has been a lot of Lubitsch lately. And a lot of Godard. In addition to the above, so it is below...
UPDATED TO CRITERION CONFESSIONS...
This week's reviews written specifically for the site are:
* Lubitsch Musicals - Eclipse Series 8, a boxed set of four early sound films directed by Ernst Lubitsch, reviewed in three parts: 1 2 3
* Pierrot le fou, the massively awesome pulp fiction adventure from Jean-Luc Godard finally gets the DVD release it deserves. This goes to the head of the class!
Current Soundtrack: The Beatles, Love
Current Mood: Goya
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All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich