My kids are on summer vacation and with that comes late nights and lots of movie watching – at the theater and at home with library DVDs and, more recently, Netflix. Just this weekend, I went to a late night showing of The Great Gatsby with my daughter, who had just read the book for English. I wasn’t expecting it to be great – there have been so many mixed reviews (see this Indiewire article) – but it was better than I expected – we didn’t see it in 3-D, but it’s a very ‘wow’ visual production. On the other hand, even though director Baz Luhrmann sticks to Fitzgerald’s remarkable text, the bling of it takes away from the characters and themes – it doesn’t probe too deeply – and there was so much over-the-top, pound you on the head symbolism. In the end it was fun, though, and glitzy, and Leonardo DiCaprio was captivating, his constant use of ‘old sport’ notwithstanding. I’m not sure when it’s coming out on DVD, but it’s definitely worth watching.
Monday night, for the Indie Int’l Film Festival, we screened Lucky, a movie about an orphan boy in South Africa trying to find a home. I think I can say that we all shed a few tears and were very moved by the film. I love these little gems that turn up from Film Movement.
And then last night, my daughter forced me to stay up to watch The Cabin in the Woods. I’m not a big horror movie fan, hadn’t heard about the movie and so thought it was a going to be another schlocky scary movie . But when the opening scene had Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford (pretty great actors) chatting about their weekend plans as they sat in a typical looking office, I thought, hmmm…what is this? Obviously not your typical horror movie – it’s a bit funny, a lot bloody, with monsters galore and a lot of self-referential horror movie tropes. I probably shouldn’t have stayed up watching it, but it drew me in…
Onto the DVD & Blu-Ray movie releases this week:
Masquerade – Blu-Ray and DVD: a Korean historical drama.
Hansel & Gretel: Witch-Hunters – Blu-Ray and DVD: a not too well-received bloody take on the well-known childrens’ tale, with the grown-up siblings as bounty hunters.
Oz, The Great & Powerful – Blu-Ray and DVD: a prequel to the well-loved classic, this movie focuses on the Wizard after he is swept from Kansas to Oz and his dealings with three squabbling witches.
Snitch – Blu-Ray and DVD: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stars as a father who goes undercover for the DEA in order to free his imprisoned son who was set up in drug deal.
Fred Won’t Move Out – DVD: two grown children must decide whether their aging parents should stay in the house where they’ve lived for fifty years.
Killing Lincoln – DVD: based on the bestselling book by Bill O’Reilly,
Rizzoli & Isles: Complete 3rd Season – DVD
The Newsroom: The Complete 1st Season – DVD: Jeff Daniels stars in this behind the scenes look at a fictional cable news network.
House of Cards: The Complete 1st Season – DVD: a series from Netflix about a cunning politician and an ambitious young journalist. Stars Kevin Spacey.