New on DVD

New on DVD

Shutter Island
Rated R for disturbing violent content, language and some nudity
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

When a girl goes missing in an insane asylum located on a remote island, two U.S. Marshals (Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo) attempt to investigate her disappearance, and anything else fishy that might be going on in the hospital run by its strangely-behaving doctor (Ben Kingsley).  Watching Shutter Island for the first time, I found myself really enjoying the ride trying to figure out what the heck was going on in the completely unpredictable world author Dennis Lehane (Mystic River) created.  Watching for the second time I understood why director Martin Scorsese wanted so badly to direct this film and what a masterpiece it truly it is.  Lots of films have surprise endings that throw a huge twist at you, but I’ve never seen a picture like this that is capable of taking you on two completely different journeys.  You could literally watch it twice back-to-back and not feel like you just saw the same film for a second time.  It is masterfully directed and wonderfully acted by the entire talented cast.  I do recommend you watch the extras on the disc, but only do so after you’ve seen the film as the spoilers will give away way too much before hand.  My prediction is that years to come, this could steadily climb many lists to reach the status as one of the great American films.  A+

Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete Seventh Season
Available on DVD

Much of the Seventh Season of Larry David’s hit HBO show’s excitement was brought on by the promise of the great Seinfeld reunion, and while the Rated-R Seinfeld is hilarious, some of the other episodes were so wrong and uncomfortable that my stomach still hurts just thinking about them (from both pain and laughter).  You have to have a twisted sense of humor to appreciate Larry David as he will really try to offend you if he can.  The season opens with him wanting to break up with his girlfriend because her breast cancer interferes with his ability to get out and play golf.  Then he dates a girl in a wheelchair just because he realizes that people in restaurants treat them better.  And these are minor offenses compared to some of his other misdealings.  But somehow he makes you laugh and the season turns out, once again, extremely satisfying.  A-

Ice Road Truckers: The Complete Season Three
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

250 miles north of the Arctic Circle lies Prudhoe Bay and during the winter, a brave group of truckers have three months to get as many loads to the Prudhoe Bay oil fields as they can before the road created from ice over the water, known as the Dalton Highway, melts away.  The problem is, the Dalton is the most dangerous highway in America, having claimed more than 400 people since it was built 30 years ago.  Season three cranks up the amps by adding a hot woman driver, great computer-generated graphics demonstrating exactly what can go wrong, and some of the most beautiful scenery on TV.  It’s a little too much testosterone for most folks, but the element of danger combined with big rigs and raw determination make this, at the very least, and interesting show to check out.  B-

Elvis 75th Birthday Collection
Available on DVD

Had The King made it past 1977, he would have turned 75 in January, and to celebrate, Fox is releasing this set of Elvis pics including Clambake, Flaming Star, Follow that Dream, Frankie and Johnny, Kid Galahad, Love Me Tender and Wild in the Country in one deluxe box set.  While certainly not amongst his better-known, or better-made films, the collection is sure to make some fans happy, although it would have been nice to have had them remastered for the new set.  C+

The Man with No Name Trilogy
Available on Blu-ray

Since the subject is birthdays, Clint Eastwood just turned 80 last week and even though he seems to be still going strong, these early films of his are still some of my all-time favorites of his.  This set, containing A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly are arguably some of the best westerns ever made and yes, I’d put up young Clint above John Wayne any day of the week.  These blu-ray transfers look and sound amazing and are stuffed with special features that have been collected throughout the years.  Thanks for the birthday present Clint!  A

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