New on DVD

New on DVD

Sherlock Holmes
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some startling images and scene of suggestive material
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
Golden Globe winner Robert Downey Jr. and director Guy Ritchie (Snatch) give a crazy interpretation of the classic detective tale where the eclectic sleuth and his sidekick Dr. Watson (Jude Law) attempt to figure out how to stop a man that has come back from the grave from wreaking havoc over London.  While many Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts were turned off by the overly adventurous script, many new fans were brought into the fold as the movie brought in over a half a billion worldwide, and all this while competing against the behemoth Avatar.  For sure the movie is worth watching, but the Blu-ray itself is just as innovative as the film.  Warner Brothers is consistently churning out the highest quality Blu-ray product, especially when they bring in their Maximum Movie Mode.  Here, Guy Ritchie does a fascinating lecture-style picture-in-picture look at the movie while you are watching it, complete with storyboard comparisons, focus points, production information, and basically a compact little film school on disc.  A-

The Baader Meinhof Complex
Rated R for strong bloody violence, disturbing images, sexual content, graphic nudity, and language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
German with English Subtitles

This extensively researched true story takes place in Germany over the 60’s and 70’s when young people obsessed with revolution started a violent crusade that sprang up throughout the world.  While many who lived through the 60’s might have a deeper knowledge of these events, my historical knowledge of the Vietnam era sprang directly from American tales from my parents and movies, so I found this story of the European reaction to be at first interesting, but then shocking and finally downright frightening.  To say this movie is engaging is an understatement.  Nominated for both the Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film, The Baader Meinhof Complex is a disturbing look at what can happen when an emotional society gets out of control.   Brilliantly written and directed by Uli Edel (Last Exit to Brooklyn), and terrifically acted by an exceptional cast, this picture is exemplary historical filmmaking.  But one fair warning for parents, pay attention to the rating as it was lucky to have only gotten an R and not an NC-17.  A

Alice in Wonderland: Classic Film Collection
Available on DVD

If you are Alice-crazy after the latest Tim Burton hit, Infinity has released this collection of rare Alice in Wonderland films including the two shorts directed by Walt Disney in 1925 starring four-year-old Virginia Davis, years before there was ever a Walt Disney Studios.  Also included here is the first ever Alice in Wonderland from 1915 starring Viola Savoy, which was thought to be lost, the French animated Alice of Wonderland in Paris from 1966 with the voice of Carl Reiner and the 1972 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland musical theatrical film starring Michael Crawford, Peter Sellers, and Dudley Moore.  It’s a lot of Alice, and while it’s not all great filmmaking, there is a historical value to this set that can be appreciated by any fan of the Lewis Carrol.  B

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