Sunday, 10 June 2012

DVD-Blu-ray New Releases 11.06.12

It’s another bumper week for DVDs starting with the series eight releases of two of HBO’s biggest hits, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Entourage, we also have another TV show in the form of Aussie import Winners & Losers. From the little screen to the big screen we have The Muppets first cinema outing in a fair old whilst we with more serious efforts in the form of Eastwood biopic J. Edgar and 9/11 drama Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. Action comes in the shape of Man on a Ledge and Safe House.

Let’s start with Ryan Reynolds and Denzel Washington in Safe House. This CIA action film sees Reynolds attempting to deliver Washington to his bosses as the latter is being tracked by a fairly inept, but heavily armed gang of thugs. It’s pretty intense, I found myself having to pause for breath after several of the lengthy pulse-racing sequences. It’s a pretty good action film and well worth a watch, which can not be said for the unbearable tedium of Man on a Ledge.

Sam Worthington, the human equivalent of an empty garden shed, plays the lead role in this poorly thought out and frankly annoying heist movie. From the trailer you’ll know that Worthington’s time on the ledge is to act as a decoy for Jamie Bell and a semi-naked lady to pull off a robbery. I don’t mention the female actor’s name as she’s clearly only there to look pretty and distract men from how inept the whole thing is, which is a shame as she’s a good actress and is wasted in this turdfest.

J. Edgar is slow and omits many of the unspeakable acts that the former FBI Director was responsible. It’s a little bit Iron Lady in that it skirts around the larger issues of the day and as such is a total waste of everyone’s time. Unlike the Iron Lady, the make-up is piss poor and looks like I did it… blindfolded… with my hands tied behind my back. Okay, it’s not that bad but it pales in comparison.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is based on a best-selling novel and follows an annoying autistic kid around New York as he goes on an adventure to find something that his Father left for him. Tom Hanks appears in flashbacks as the Dad in the days leading up to his death in the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers. Sandra Bullock is wasted, in more ways than one, in her role as the grieving Mother in this twee and supposedly heart-wrenching tale. It doesn’t work though as it’s just far too irritating.

Curb Your Enthusiasm’s eighth series is one of it’s best, the first two episodes of the season are some of the best television ever made and the show was deservedly rated as the second best sit-com of all time in our recent top ten. I’ve spoken about this show in greater depth previously in this blog. I’ve also had a look at Entourage previously and you can check that out here. This final series comes way too late, this is a show that ran out of steam several years ago. They couldn’t pull the programme back from the brink is this shorter run and it kind of fizzled out rather than disappearing in a blaze of glory. I’ll no doubt end up watching the likely films that come from it though.

Winners & Losers is another of a recent crop of Aussie comedies that just don’t cut it with me. I’m not sure if it’s genuinely not funny or just isn’t to my taste, though I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt, Ashley reviewed it for us a while back, you can read that here. All of which brings us to our DVD of the week, and predictably it’s The Muppets with their long overdue return to our cinema screens.

Although it’s the winner of the much coveted DVD of the week award I still found the whole thing a little disappointing. That’s not to say it’s not good, it’s a damn fine film, it just didn’t feel equal to the sum of it’s parts. Jason Segel’s a good writer and a fantastic comic actor and the involvement of Bret McKenzie and Flight of the Choncords director James Bobin should have created the best film of the past decade… but it didn’t. It’s faithful to the original show, it’s a great family film and has enough laughs to keep people of all ages entertained.

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