There are a couple of new releases that have hit the stores on DVD and On Demand that are worth checking out. Over the last couple of days I have reviewed two films fresh out for rentals. One to avoid, The Last Witch Hunter and one to seek out is Steven Spielberg’s superb Bridge of Spies with Tom Hanks. Incidentally, the actual true history behind the film is quite fascinating and worth reading about.
James Bond’s return in SPECTRE is one worth going out of your way to find on disk. Although not as good as Skyfall or Casino Royale, SPECTRE is Bond as only we could love him. With a little more sly touches of humor but still maintaining the darker tones that the Daniel Craig Bond films have taken on, SPECTRE effectively closes out the plots setup by Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall and ties up the story lines in grand fashion. Terrific action sequences, well acted with exotic locales and beautifully shot, SPECTRE is a great Bond film. Christophe Waltz makes his first appearance as 007’s main arch nemesis, Ernst Stavro Blofeld with the terrorist organization SPECTRE and Bond fans will not be disappointed. Dark, mysterious and loads of fun SPECTRE is worth watching.
Crimson Peak kind of fizzled out at the box office amid a pounding by some critics. While it is not a perfect film, has some plot holes and inconsistencies in the script, Guillermo Del Toro’s gothic horror love story does have some excellent performances by Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska and Jessica Chastain. What the film lacks in a well structured plot, more than makes up for by its tone, mood and atmosphere. Stunning cinematography and production values create a frightening film about deceit, murder and good old fashion betrayal. It reminded me, quite pleasantly, of the old Hammer Horror films of the 60′ and 70’s. They too, were short on details but all about mood, tone and atmosphere. On this level, Crimson Peak is a great Saturday night horror flick.
Johnny Depp returns to his method acting in the best form as notorious gangster Whitey Bulger in Black Mass. I am one who has grown tired of Depp in throwaway films like the Pirates of the Caribbean. After the first two, I had moved on. Then a slew of disappointing films the included The Tourist and more recently Transcendence, Depp’s cred was plummeting like a stone. Finally, in Black Mass he shows why he is such a phenomenal talent. Totally, immersing himself in the role with gold teeth, different colored eyes and a reptilian sneer, Depp captures the essence of a man who personifies evil. Although the rest of Black Mass follows a more traditional path of story telling. it features an A list cast that includes Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumbebatch, Dakota Johnson, Sienna Miller, Corey Stall, Juno Temple, Kevin Bacon, Adam Scott and Peter Sarsgaard, Black Mass is one tough film. It won’t be remembered as a Good Fellas or Casino, but for what Black Mass sets out to do, it does well. This is an adult only film and not made for young kids. Parental discretion is advised.
1999’s classic family tale, The Iron Giant gets a much deserved re-release on a Siganture Edition DVD. It includes the original theatrical edition and a new expanded edition cut as well. It also comes with running commentaries, deleted scenes, original opening sequences, featurettes, storyboards, motion gallery, new trailer and a special look into the score, character design and animation and much more. Vin Diesel, Jennifer Aniston and Harry Connick Jr. headline as stellar cast about a boy and his best friend who just happens to be an iron giant. This is a wonderful family film and a classic in every sense.
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