This week on DVD and Blu-ray Danny Boyle comes to America, Jennifer Lopez gets stuck in a trunk with George Clooney and Jim Carrey goes to the dark side.
This Week’s Top Pick:
Watch “127 Hours” Fly By
The Deal: Danny Boyle’s follow-up to his Oscar juggernaut “Slumdog Millionaire” didn’t clean up at the awards show on Sunday like his previous drama, but it did nab a slew of impressive nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor for its star James Franco.
A searing, true life account of mountain climber Aron Ralston’s (Franco) fight for survival after getting trapped by a boulder in the National Park of Utah, “127 Hours” is not an easy watch – this is the film where Franco hacks off his right off arm with a dull knife. To make the tale bearable, Boyle employs an arsenal of filmmaking tricks to keep the pacing fast and the viewer engaged on both visceral and purely emotional levels.
As criticWIRE contributor Dave Calhoun wrote in his review for Time Out London, “‘127 Hours’ is a tough ride: not only because of the grim facts but because of the overwhelming experience of total cinema that Boyle inflicts on us to tell Ralston’s story. At the end, we stagger like Ralston from the dark into the light. We might have both our arms left, but our nerves are just as terrorised.”
Extras: Audio commentary with Boyle, producer Christian Colson and co-screenwriter Simon Beaufoy; a bunch of deleted scenes; the featurette “Search & Rescue” which retraces the actual events that aided in the search and rescue of Ralston; “127 Hours: An Extraordinary View,” a look at the collaboration between Boyle and Franco; and a digital copy of the film. Available on DVD and Blu-ray.
Other Hot Picks:
“Out of Sight” Has Never Been Clearer Than on Blu-ray
The Deal: The film that cemented Jennifer Lopez’s status as a sex symbol to be reckoned with, Steven Soderbergh’s “Out of Sight” is best remembered for the classic car trunk scene where Lopez gets up close and personal with a suave George Clooney. Adapted from an Elmore Leonard novel, the sexy thriller stars Clooney as a bank robber who falls for a U.S. Marshal (Lopez).
Extras: Audio commentary with Soderbergh and screenwriter Scott Frank; the making-of-documentary “Inside Out of Sight;” a slew of deleted scenes; music highlights from the film; a gallery of production photographs; and the original theatrical trailer. Available on Blu-ray.
Delve Into the “Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould”
The Deal: A favorite at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival and Full Frame Documentary Festival, Michele Hozer and Peter Raymont’s bio-doc “Genius Within” offers a comprehensive portrait of the great Canadian pianist Glenn Gould. The film weaves together never before seen footage of Gould, with photographs and excerpts from his private home recordings plus interviews with Gould’s friends and lovers.
Extras: The director’s cut contains footage not included in the theatrical release; deleted scenes; interviews with the filmmaker and more. Available on DVD.
“The Cable Guy” Gets a Second Chance on Blu-ray
The Deal: Met with mixed reactions when it hit theaters back in 1996, Ben Stiller’s dark comedy “The Cable Guy” which stars Jim Carrey playing against type as a psychotic cable installer, has since gone on to garner a cult following, especially now that Carrey has been churning out lackluster comedies for the past several years. Matthew Broderick co-stars in this loony tale of an obsessive technician (Carrey) who infiltrates the life of a client.
Extras: An impressive audio commentary featuring Stiller, producer Judd Apatow and Carrey; a gag reel; nine deleted and alternate scenes that run around 25-minutes; two TV specials (“HBO First Look” and “Comedy Central’s Canned Ham”); 17-minutes of rehearsal footage; Leslie Mann’s audition tape; the original theatrical trailer and more. Available on Blu-ray.
The Sweet Guilty Pleasure That Is “Burlesque”
The Deal: Anyone who expected the pairing of pop music’s loudest warbler and America’s favorite Vegas queen to yield a masterpiece, go check yourself. The campy, vampy and altogether insanely pleasurable musical that is “Burlesque” is anything but, which makes it one of the guiltiest all-out pleasures to hit theaters since Elizabeth Berkley licked that pole in “Showgirls.” If your idea of a good night in is watching Cher bash a car window in with a crowbar, give “Burlesque” a chance.
Extras: An audio commentary with director Steven Antin; a ‘Movie IQ’ track loaded with trivia from the film’ a six-and-a-half minute alternate opening sequence; a five-minute blooper real’ the Burlesque Jukebox which features six uncut musical numbers; five featurettes that go behind-the-scenes; and a slew of trailers. Available on DVD and Blu-ray.