New on DVD

New on DVD

Lord of the Rings
Available on Blu-ray

April 6 marks the day that hardcore fans of Lord of the Rings will be very excited, but not for the reason you may think.  Both the Peter Jackson trilogy and the animated Ralph Bakshi editions will both be released, but for many of Tolkien’s loyalists, they will be skipping the trilogy for now.  Sure the 1978 Bakshi version is crudely animated and the rotoscope technology utilized combined with the hand-drawn characters looks like there was no clear vision, but there are some that really love this movie and think the story is more true to the books, even though the film was only half completed since no one would fund him to do the second half.  But the real reason the hardcore fans will be skipping out on Jackson’s Oscar-winning trilogy this time out is because this set only includes the standard editions and not the far superior extended editions.  Sure the lure of digital copy is tempting.  Who wouldn’t want a copy on their iPhone or new iPad.  But it’s hard to stomach shelling out that much money for the set now, knowing that the studio will try to get you again later when the extended editions are finally released on Blu-ray.  The Trilogy: A (but I would wait for the next blu-ray release whenever that might be).  Animated: C+

Dolan’s Cadillac
Rated R for violence and language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Based on the Stephen King short story, when a school teacher’s (Wes Bentley) wife is murdered in cold blood for witnessing the crimes of a mob boss (Christian Slater), the teacher vows revenge.  The first half of the movie is not that great, filled with way too much bad acting, including that of the lead actors, but once things get going in the end of the second and into the third acts, the film turns into a pretty decent revenge flick.  While Stephen King’s story is much darker, and the revenge is served much more cold, for the sake of a movie like this, they did a decent enough job for a straight-to-dvd thriller.  B-

Clash of the Gods
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

For those with a mind to discover what really went down with Perseus and Zeus, the History Channel has just released this 10 part series that explores many of the myths that entertainment today.  While the reenactments are pretty lame and the special effects could use a boost, the series is extremely interesting and full of enlightening moments.  I would rather watch the segment on Medusa here than the new Clash of the Titans any day of the week.  B-

Unrated but every scene is full of foul and offensive material
Available on DVD
Hungarian with English Subtitles

I remember walking through the Kiasma Contemporary Art Museum in Helsinki, Finland, which is one of the worlds most celebrated modern art institutes, and I was truly shocked as to what I saw there.  And needless to say it takes a lot to shock me.  I only mention that now, because this film reminds me much of that experience.  Taxidermia follows the lives of three generations of Hungarian men each living obscure and absurd, miserable lives.  It’s a movie that normally I would have turned off after the first fifteen minutes, but yet just like that museum, I couldn’t’t stop watching.  I couldn’t’t look away.  As grotesque and horrid as it was, I kept thinking to myself that this movie is too well made to be simply ignored as a trivial piece of Euro garbage.  There are way too many movies that I watch like that and this doesn’t even come close to fitting that category.  I felt like I was truly watching someone’s art come to life.  And while it’s not a film I could enjoy, there are folks out there that might connect and discover that deeper appreciation.  C+