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This week offers one of last year’s best movies that was sadly ignored by the academy and never got a particularly wide release. Also a film that shockingly got an Oscar nomination, a an arthouse flop, and some great catalog titles.

New:

  • Beyond Outrage: There was a time I was obsessed with “Beat” Takeshi Kitano, as his early films had a great sense of formalism mixed with the director’s great sense of shock and comedy. But he never seemed to grow as an artist, and so I’ve mostly been skipping his more recent output. I saw the first Outrage, and haven’t found motivation to watch the sequel, which seems to be more of the same. But you never know.
  • The Book Thief: It feels like 20th Century Fox thought they might have had an Oscar hopeful, or something, with this film, which disappeared quickly this past fall. I never heard much about this movie, period, which doesn’t speak well for it.
  • Homefront: The combination of Sylvester Stallone (as writer) Jason Statham and James Franco added up to a pretty predictable revenge feature, though it does feature a surprisingly good performance from Kate Bosworth. It might improve at home.
  • The Hungover Games: Yes, they still make these films.
  • Inside Llewyn Davis: A masterpiece, and one of last year’s best films, Joel and Ethan Coen paint a portrait of an artist on the cusp of the folk breakthrough who turns out to be a miserable person, and possibly a great artist. Oscar Isaac should have become a star because of this. Alas.
  • Out of the Furnace: This never crossed over, even it did star Christian Bale and Woody Harrelson. It looked pretty terrible from the outset, though it got beat up so bad, it’s probably better than it’s reputation, and surely has good performances.

Classics:

  • East of Eden, El Dorado, Giant, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Hatari!, Rebel Without a Cause: A great catalog collection coming from Warner Brothers, including all of James Dean’s films (all very much worth a watch) and two films from Howard Hawks, one of the greatest directors in American cinema.
  • George Washington: With Joe hitting SXSW this week, it’s fitting that David Gordon Green’s first breakthrough film is hitting Blu-ray this week.

 What are you picking up this week?