This week in DVD and Blu-ray brings one of Oscar’s biggest winners – albeit mostly in technical awards – with Martin Scorsese‘s Hugo, and Johnny English Reborn, which is best known for coming out in theaters and playing there for a while. It’s a weak week for releases, though Criterion has gifted us with one of Louis Malle’s best, and a classic from Fritz Lang. And Johnny English.
- Hugo: One of my favorite films in last year comes in both 2-D and 3-D releases. It comes with a number of supplements, though it looks like the more standard making of type stuff. Since it just won the best cinematography award, one hopes it looks spectacular.
- Johnny English Reborn: A franchise that is powered by it’s bigger showing abroad, this film all but disappeared domestically. There’s a lot of deleted material on this one, which isn’t surprising considering it’s a comedy. Also, it stars Rosamund Pike who isn’t exactly hard on the eyes.
- Beneath the Darkness: Dennis Quaid and some teenagers star in this nearly direct to video horror film. All word is that it’s pretty laughable, so there’s that.
- Scarlet Street: Fritz Lang’s riff on Jean Renoir’s film La Chienne is one of the hardest and most brilliant of the noir genre. Edward G. Robinson is brilliant as the stepped upon artist who enters into an affair with Joan Bennett, and she becomes famous through his art. But she’s got a bad boyfriend in Dan Duryea, and it gets complicated when she becomes more and more successful. A stone cold masterpiece.
- Vanya on 42nd Street: Louis Malle’s recording of a rehearsal of Checkov’s Uncle Vanya shows how the craft of acting is just as powerful in or out of costumes. This was Malle’s last film, and it’s a great tribute to the art of acting.
There’s also Baba Yaga, and I Melt with You, but neither are worth much.
What are you picking up this week?