New in Home Entertainment – March 15, 2011

New in Home Entertainment

March 15, 2011

The Fighter
Rated R for language throughout, drug content, some violence and sexuality
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

While the real story of boxer “Irish” Micky Ward and his brother Dicky might have gotten by you in the mid 1980s, you would almost have to be living under a rock to have escaped the press The Fighter has gotten over the last few months.  Winning Academy Awards for supporting actor and actress, Christian Bale and Melissa Leo, as well as a host of other known and unknown actors like Mark Wahlberg and Amy Adams, turn in easily the best ensemble performance of the year in this unique boxing flick which is more about the relationships than the fight.  While the basic premise is essentially your typical boxing plot, the film turns out to be very special due to the strong writing and superb acting, as well as a nicely paced drama directed by the extremely talented David O. Russell.  Originally under the direction of Black Swan’s Darren Aronofsky, David picked up the reigns and turned what could have been just another sports flick into a critical and box office success.  A

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements including disturbing disaster and accident images, and for brief strong language
Available on DVD, Blu-ray and Video on Demand

When I first saw this film a few months ago, I didn’t really have much love for it.  And while I still don’t think it’s a particularly good film, the release is timely and completely and unexpectedly relevant.  The opening sequence of Clint Eastwood’s afterlife drama begins in a town as it is devastated by a tsunami.  The effects of the destruction were good enough to earn the film an Oscar nod and in light of what just happened in Japan, the movie couldn’t be more sobering.  I still think that the filmmakers chickened out of taking any kind of religious stance, and even went as far as to mock two of the world’s largest religions.  But this time around the film has a different vibe in spite of its boring screenplay and not-so-great supporting cast.  C+

Sony Masterworks Classic Film Scores
In 1972 Charles Gerhardt released his famous Classic Film Score Series featuring the music of some of the greatest composers of the Golden Age of film.  Now 38 years later, the scores are being re-released on CD by Sony Masterworks, having been re-mastered using the original analog masters and including the original LP liner notes.  Among this release is Citizen Kane – featuring music from scores by Bernard Herrmann, Sunset Boulevard – featuring music from scores by Franz Waxman, Elizabeth and Essex – featuring music from scores by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Spellbound – featuring music from scores by Miklos Rozsa, Now, Voyager – featuring music from scores by Max Steiner, Laura/Forever Amber/The Bad and the Beautiful – featuring music from scores by David Raksin, and scores from movies featuring Bette Davis.  The recordings here sound like they were made yesterday and you could tell a lot of love went into releasing the series for the true movie music lovers of the world.  A

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