Tuesday, January 15, 2013

New Release Tuesday! (1/15/13)

A nearly abysmal week for DVD releases that's saved by the good folks over at Criterion.  As I type this I'm watching Leslie Banks in the dentist chair, Peter Lorre's scarred imp hovering in the background - a truly unnerving sequence.  Ah, pumping the nitros oxide now!  The Man Who Knew Too Much is most certainly the -


The Man Who Knew Too Much (Criterion Blu):  Before today, I had never seen either version of the film.  But since I've got that big beast of Hitchcock blus to get through,  and Guillermo Del Toro is all over this Criterion release, it's proper time to correct that absence.  I'm about thirty minutes into the flick as I type this and I'm madly in love with Peter Lorre's forehead scar.  And his smile.  He's a little beast of a villain, more compelling than either Leslie Banks or Edna Best but well worth the purchase.  Criterion continues its trend of lavish early Hitchcock discs, The Man Who Knew Too Much looks pretty nice next to my Lady Vanishes & 39 Steps blu rays.  And I'm really excited to watch the Guillermo Del Toro interview supplement.  Now if only I could track down that Del Toro Hitchcock book & learn spanish to translate my cinefile life would be complete (until the next obsession).


Taken 2:  Ok, these flicks should not be PG-13.  But once you get past their weak rating, the Taken films are whole heaps of silly European action.  And for my money the second film is far superior to the first.  The main reason?  Well, since Neeson took out all the A List goons in the last picture, vengeful papa Rade Serbedzija only has C List & D List henchman to send after him.  And Liam Neeson practically has no trouble dispatching these putzes in the most comical and brutal fashion.  Granted, that means that Taken 2 holds very little suspense but did you honestly think Neeson wasn't going to walk away from this one?  Nope, he's a CIA killing machine.  If only the film would allow us proper witness to his gory deeds.


Branded:  This looks awful.  A crappy cgi filled They Live ripoff.  But it's got Max Von Sydow.  And there is hope that a They Live ripoff could still hold goofy light hearted entertainment.  And I sorta love the poster above.  It's got something to do with the hero's pistol/axe combo.  Fingers crossed, but I'm not rushing to rent this flick either.

Men of a Certain Age Season 2:  I loved this show.  It never got it's audience, but for fans of painfully awkward melodrama there really was nothing quite like it on television.  Scott Bakula & Andre Braugher are amazing as always, but the real surprise for me is how good Ray Romano was in this middle age nightmare.  He's such a scumbag.  A sweet guy, and most of the time he means well, but often the results of his actions were horrendous.  And Romano pulls it off.  This most certainly is not sitcom banality.

Life's Too Short Season One:  Speaking of awkward and painful comedy?  Ricky Gervais partners up with Warrick Davis to present a fascinating saga of ego run amuck.  Haven't seen every episode yet, but what I have has been on par with the very best scenes of both The Office & Extras.  If you're a fan of misery with your laughter than this show is most certainly for you.  And it's great to see everyone's favorite Leprechaun get the last laugh.


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