There are several great Blu-Ray releases this week to help fend off those winter blues. In this week’s edition, Skyfall finally gets an explosive home release, The Man with the Iron Fists will give you a martial arts nerdgasm, and one of my favorite guilty pleasures arrives on deliciously-gory Blu-Ray.
Ready for this week’s Blu-Ray releases? Then read on.
Starring: Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Javier Bardem, Helen McCrory, Judi Dench, and Ben Whishaw.
Director: Sam Mendes
Daniel Craig returns to the role of James Bond for the intrepid super-spy’s twenty-third adventure. Critically acclaimed by critics and very positively received by viewers across two continents, the film has been nominated for five Academy Awards, eight British Academy Film Awards, and has won a Screen Actors Guild Award.
Plot: James Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.
My Thoughts: Absolutely loved it! Maybe I’m biased because I’m British, but I love the thrill and adventure of a good James Bond film. Daniel Craig plays the role superbly well and Ben Whishaw is a welcome addition to the franchise as Q. My only complaint is that I would have liked to see more of Javier Bardem; he brings a creepy level of immorality to the villain role that’s been missing for some time in a Bond film. I suggest you buy it, predict you’ll watch it, and know you’ll love it. For your Useless Information Pile: Skyfall is the fourteenth film, as well as the first Bond film, to cross the $1 billion mark worldwide.
Our Rating: 5/5
To see why the film earned such a stellar rating, check out our review of Skyfall.
Starring: John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, William H. Macy, Moon Bloodgood, Adam Arkin, and W. Earl Brown.
Director: Ben Lewin
An independent drama film that debuted at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award, and was highly praised by critics and viewers alike. Actress Helen Hunt has been lauded for her performance in the film and is nominated for the Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role.
Plot: A man in an iron lung, who wishes to lose his virginity, contacts a professional sex surrogate with the help of his therapist and priest.
My Thoughts: I had no interest in seeing this while it was in theaters, so I’ve been patiently waiting for a home release. However, over the past couple of months, I’ve heard great things about it and now it’s on my must-watch-ASAP list (I have a ton of different lists). While the subject matter isn’t for everyone, reviewers have called it ‘accessible, enjoyable, and light-hearted’.
Our Rating: 4.5/5
Check out our review of The Sessions to read what our reviewer had to say about the film.
The Man with the Iron Fists
Starring: RZA, Russell Crowe, Cung Le, Lucy Liu, Byron Mann, and Rick Yune.
An American martial arts film written and directed by RZA, the leader of the Wu-Tang Clan. The film received mixed reviews and has yet to surpass its budget of $20 million in total box office sales.
Plot: In feudal China, a blacksmith who makes weapons for a small village is put in the position where he must defend himself and his fellow villagers.
My Thoughts: I enjoyed it. I’m not going to lie: when I heard that RZA was writing and directing a martial arts movie, I thought it was going to be a train wreck. Seriously. I was pleasantly surprised though. While it doesn’t offer anything terribly original to a martial arts film aficionado, it’s a fun watch, and the fight scenes don’t disappoint. Pick it up if you like the genre. For your Useless Information Pile: The first cut of the film was four hours long and RZA suggested splitting it into two films, but co-writer Eli Roth disagreed and it was edited to 96 minutes to ‘meet the studios’ requirements and to excise graphic content that would cause it to receive a more restrictive rating’.
Our Rating: 3.5/5
For a more detailed rundown of the film, check out our review of The Man with the Iron Fists.
Silent Hill: Revelation
Starring: Sean Bean, Radha Mitchell, Malcolm McDowell, Carrie-Anne Moss, Kit Harington, and Deborah Kara Unger.
Director: Michael J. Bassett
A sequel to the 2006 film Silent Hill and based on the survival horror game Silent Hill 3 by Konami. The film has received mostly negative reviews from critics, but many fans of the game franchise enjoyed it.
Plot: When her father disappears, Heather Mason is drawn into a strange and terrifying alternate reality that holds answers to the horrific nightmares that have plagued her since childhood.
My Thoughts: This is the guilty pleasure I was referring to earlier. While the film is pretty awful, I couldn’t help but enjoy it. The Silent Hill games gave me hours of creepy entertainment during my teens and that’s something that I’ll never forget. If you’re a fan of the game series, then I recommend giving it a watch. For the rest of you, I’d give it a miss unless you’re a big fan of the genre and have nothing better to do (like getting a colonoscopy).
Our Rating: 1.5/5
Why did our reviewer dislike the film? Read our Silent Hill: Revelation review to find out.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Starring: Logan Lerman, Dylan McDermott, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Kate Walsh, and Paul Rudd.
Director: Stephen Chbosky
An American coming-of-age film, based on the 1999 novel of the same name, that received positive reviews from critics and viewers alike, and has been nominated for a number of awards.
Plot: An introvert freshman is taken under the wings of two seniors who welcome him to the real world.
My Thoughts: I have yet to see it, but I’m really looking forward to it. The film’s cast has been highly praised (who doesn’t love Emma Watson?) and many reviewers have called it a refreshing take on the genre. Some critics disliked the film because it ‘celebrates non-conformity’ and ‘promotes drug use’, but I think those are just the ones who spent high school eating lunch at the ‘loser table’. For Your Useless Information Pile: The film was originally given an R rating but appealed, and won, a PG-13 rating instead.
Our Rating: 5/5
Another perfect rating? Is it too good to be true? Check out our review of The Perks of Being a Wallflower to find out.
Starring: Harry Connick, Jr., Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Nathan Gamble, Kris Kristofferson, and Frances Sternhagen.
Director: Charles Martin Smith
A 2011 family drama film, based on the book of the same name, that received positive reviews from critics. The film and book are inspired by the true story of Winter, a bottlenose dolphin that was rescued off the Florida coast in 2005.
Plot: The film is inspired by the remarkable true story of a courageous dolphin named Winter and the compassionate people who banded together to save her life.
My Thoughts: A very heartwarming film that pleasantly surprised me. I don’t often get into movies like this, probably stemming from the time I saw Free Willy in theaters and a guy – …well we just won’t go there. Seriously though, if you have a kid or half a heart, then you should add this to your collection.
To see what our reviewer had to say about the film, read our Dolphin Tale review.
Weeds: The Final Season
Starring: Mary-Louise Parker, Alexander Gould, Justin Kirk, Kevin Nealon, and Hunter Parrish.
The eighth and final season of Showtime’s hit show is finally yours to own on wonderfully-sticky Blu-Ray (I had to make some kind of marijuana reference)! It comprises the final 13 episodes of the show that won numerous awards over its eight-year run and made soccer moms even hotter.
Plot: Everyone’s favorite pot-selling soccer mom and hemptress, Nancy Botwin, returns in the complete eight season of the hit series ‘Weeds’.
My Thoughts: I’m a semi-fan of the show and a huge fan of the ever-sexy Mary-Louise Parker. I’ve only seen the first two seasons, but now that the show has ended, I’ll be giving the whole series a run-through. If you’re looking for a little buzz with your drama, then be sure to start adding this hit show to your Blu-Ray collection. The series now totals 102 episodes; how much dope has been smoked during its eight-year run? We’ll never know.
That’s all for this week boys and girls. Have yourselves a very happy and mellow weekend (that’s three marijuana references in case you were counting).
Are you a fan of any of this week’s releases? Let us know in the comments below.