DVD Releases for February 10, 2009

DVD Releases for February 10, 2009

Frozen River
Rated R for some language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Oscar nominee Melissa Leo stars in this drama about a desperate woman that turns to smuggling aliens in order to provide for her family.  The script by Oscar nominated first time writer/director Courtney Hunt is a solid piece of suspenseful writing with loads of interesting characters and thought-provoking situations. A-

Rated R for violence including sexual assaults, language and sexuality/nudity
Available on DVD

Blindness tells the story of a futuristic world where everyone except Julianne Moore becomes blind.  The film shows real potential in the beginning, but the overly-long asylum scene is tedious and much of the picture becomes somewhat unbelievable.  After City of God and The Constant Gardener, I was really hoping that director Fernando Meirelles was going to knock another one out of the park, and I was sorely disappointed with this strike out.  C

Miracle at St. Anna
Rated R for strong war violence, language and some sexual content/nudity
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

The biggest problem with this latest Spike Lee film is that their is too much Spike Lee in it.  Following a group of black soldiers during World War 2 in Italy, the film has a few interesting moments but ruins them with too many embarrassingly and laughable scenes.  And after 160 minutes, Lee didn’t once try to explain the miracle in the title.  D

My Name Is Bruce
Rated R for language and some violence
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Iconic actor Bruce Campbell makes fun of himself with this tongue-in-cheek tale about a small town that recruits Bruce to take on a giant ghost-monster that is killing off its citizens.  If you are a fan of Bruce Campbell, you might find this a somewhat enjoyable film.  If you don’t recognize the name then trust me – do not attempt this movie – you’ll hate it.  This is bad filmmaking that tries to be bad, and revels in it.  C

Raging Bull
Rated R
Available on Blu-ray

Finally on Blu-ray is Martin Scorcese’s masterpiece about boxer Jake La Motta, brilliantly played by Robert De Niro who went on to win the Oscar for his performance.  Not only does the movie look better than I’ve ever seen it before, but the amount and quality of the special features make this a great addition to any Blu-ray collection.  To get a sense of the painstaking accuracy, check out the shot-by-shot feature of De Niro vs. La Motta in the ring.  A+