DVD Triage: Jiro Dreams of Silent Houses and Deep Blue Seas

So I missed doing last week’s DVD Triage altogether, and what a mistake THAT was. There were a lot of interesting releases last week, compared to a relatively slow week this week. So I thought I’d just quickly list last week’s most interesting releases quickly here before getting into this week’s. Highly Recommended: The Turin Horse, Extraterrestrial. Recommended: Mamitas. Curious Myself: Lockout, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Intruders. Other Notable Releases: The Three Stooges, Get the Gringo, Casa de Mi Padre, Friends With Kids, 4:44 Last Day on Earth. TV Releases: Eureka S5, Leverage S4, Sanctuary S4, Alphas S1. I’ll do the same for classics down in that section. I have just included last week’s Instant Watch releases along with this week’s; not an inordinate amount of either releases or expirations.

New Release Pick of the Week

Jiro Dreams of Sushi
This documentary about Jiro Ono, widely considered the finest sushi chef in the world, and his ongoing love for his art and striving toward perfection in the sushi that he prepares and serves has been getting near-universal acclaim on its way around the festival circuit. Our own Marina adds to that with a four-star DVD review.
2011 USA. Director: David Gelb. Starring Jiro Ono, Yashikazu Ono.

Other New Releases

Age of the Dragons (2012 USA, dir Ryan Little, stars Danny Glover)
Bathory: Countess of Blood (2012 USA, dir Jurai Jakubisko, stars Anna Friel)
Big Easy Express (2012 USA, dir Emmett Malloy, stars Mumford & Sons, etc.)
Boss: Season 1 (2011 USA, stars Kelsey Grammer, Connie Nielsen)
Brake (2012 USA, dir Gabe Torres, stars Stephen Dorff)
Inspector Lewis: Series 5 (2011 UK, stars Kevin Whately, Laurence Fox)
Meeting Evil (2012 USA, dir Chris Fisher, stars Luke Wilson)
My Way (2011 South Korean, dir Je-kyu Kang, stars Jang Dong-Gun)
On the Inside (2011 USA, dir D.W. Brown, stars Nick Stahl)
Treasure Island (2012 UK, dir Steve Barron, stars Eddie Izzard)

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DVD Triage: Margaret and Flynn Have an American Reunion

New Release Pick of the Week

Margaret
After sitting on a shelf for some eight years, Margaret finally got a very limited release last year, and despite a muddled trailer and mixed reaction, a whole raft of critics have emerged acclaiming it as a masterpiece, albeit a flawed and messy one – this release is a longer and presumably more coherent director’s cut. I didn’t get out to see it myself, but I admit I’m fascinated by the story surrounding it.
2011 USA. Director: Kenneth Lonergan. Starring: Anna Paquin, Matt Damon, Mark Ruffalo, J. Smith-Cameron, Allison Janney.

Other New Releases

Adventure Time: Season 1 (2010 USA, creator Pendleton Ward)
The Flowers of War (2012 China, dir Zhang Yimou, stars Christian Bale)
Senna Blu-ray (2010 UK, dir Asif Kapadia)

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DVD Triage: Instant to the Rescue!

There is pretty much JACK SHIT in terms of New Releases this week, and not very much of interest in catalog releases, either aside from a few possibly-but-not-really interesting Blu-ray upgrades. So I exercised creative license and moved the Instant Watch section to the top, because they came through with first-of-the-month releases this time, and there are quite a few notable things to check out. Look further down for DVD releases, and still further for Instant Watch expirations, which are pretty much the same as last week.

Instant Watch Picks of the Week

12 Monkeys
This is pretty high on my personal to-see list, not least of which because I think I’ve already seen it and can’t remember a lick of it. But I’m a pretty big fan of the original short La Jetée, and Terry Gilliam doing a feature-length take on that idea can only be a good thing.
1995 USA. Director: Terry Gilliam. Starring: Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis, Christopher Plummer.

In the Mood for Love
There was actually just a conversation about this film as compared to other Wong Kar Wai films, and if you weren’t sure which side you came down on, here’s a chance to watch or rewatch it. Personally, I think this film is gorgeous and amazing, though I haven’t seen all of Wong’s filmography by a long shot.
2000 China. Director: Wong Kar Wai. Starring: Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Maggie Cheung.

Once Upon a Time in the West
Man With No Trilogy notwithstanding, this is easily the Leone film I want to come back to most often, even if it’s just to drink in that opening scene one more time. A great villainous turn from Fonda doesn’t hurt at all, either.
1969 Italy. Director: Sergio Leone. Starring: Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, Claudie Cardinale, Jason Robards.

Other Instant Watch Releases

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DVD Triage: The Wrath of 21 Artists

Trying a new thing with the title this week, instead of just the boring old date. Kinda silly, but yeah. There are quite a few releases this week, both new and catalog, big name and festival faves. Oscar films are out in force with both The Artist and foreign film nominee Bullhead making their way to DVD and Blu-ray. Meanwhile, Criterion has some tasty new Blu-rays, and small distributor Olive is making marks with two difficult-to-find Jean-Luc Godard films.

New Release Picks of the Week

The Artist
Last year’s Oscar winner and a pretty big favorite around here, too – I know I couldn’t manage to resist its old-fashioned charm and homage to the silent film era. Simply a lovely and adorable film.
2011 France. Director: Michel Hazanavicius. Starring: Jean Dujardin, Béatrice Bejo, John Goodman, James Woods.

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia
A very long, slow burn, but one that ended up sticking with me far longer than a lot of festival films do. The mystery isn’t the point here, the character interactions are, and they unfold with a subtlety (and sly humor) I didn’t expect, but very much appreciated.
2011 Turkey. Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan. Starring: Muhammet Uzuner, Yilmaz Erdogan, Taner Birsel.

Other New Releases

Christopher Nolan Director’s Collection Blu-ray (includes Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Inception, Memento, Insomnia)
Damages: Season 4 (2012 USA, stars Glenn Close, Rose Byrne)
The Decoy Bride (2012 UK, dir Sheree Folkson, stars David Tennant)
Oranges and Sunshine (2010 UK, dir Jim Loach, stars Emily Watson)
The Perfect Family (2011 USA, dir Anne Renton, stars Emily Deschanel)
Sector 7 (2011 South Korea, dir Kim Ji-Hoon, stars Ha Ji-Won)
A Thousand Words (2012 USA, dir Brian Robbins, stars Eddie Murphy, Allison Janney)
Sound of Noise (2012 Sweden, dir Johannes Stjarne Nilsson, stars Bengt Nilsson)

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DVD Triage: 19 June, 2012

Sorry about the horrific delay in this column this week! Between big projects at work, my husband’s car being in the shop, and trying to squeeze in some LA Film Fest screenings, my writing time was a bit cramped this week. Also, after lulling me into complacency with very few expirations over the last several weeks, Netflix is expiring a whole slew of awesome things on the first of July, which both took me a long time to list out and made me sad while I was doing it. Lots of great stuff in there, so be sure to check the full list.

New Release Picks of the Week

Attenberg
Stylistically caught between the French and Czech New Waves and whatever Tsangari and Lanthimos are leading down in Greece right now, this film is a low-key but secretly weighty look at a young woman’s unconventional attempts to deal with her late-blooming sexuality and the impending death of her father. My AFI review.
2010 Greece. Director: Athina Rachel Tsangari. Starring: Ariane Labed, Evangalia Randou, Vangelis Mourikis, Yorgos Lanthimos.

Jeff Who Lives at Home
Jay and Mark Duplass, once poster children for the Mumblecore movement, are edging nearer and nearer the mainstream, and from all I’ve heard, it’s working out pretty well for them. I’ve yet to see this one, but despite not usually being interested in the Segal/Helms oeuvre, I’m curious to check it out.
2011 USA. Director: Jay and Mark Duplass. Starring: Jason Segal, Ed Helms.

Other New Releases

The Big Fix (2011 USA, dir Rebecca Harrell & Joshua Tickell, stars Peter Fonda)
Cat Run (2011 USA, dir John Stockwell, stars Paz Vega)
Exit Humanity (2011 Canada, dir John Geddes, stars Brian Cox)
Four Lovers (2010 France, dir Antony Cordier, stars Marina Fois)
Franklin & Bash: Season 1 (2011 USA, stars Breckin Meyer)
Holy Rollers (2011 USA, dir Bryan Storkel, stars Colin Jones)
My Afternoons with Margueritte (2011 France, dir Jean Becker, stars Gerard Depardieu)
My Reincarnation (2011 Tibet, dir Jennifer Fox)
Seeking Justice (2011 USA, dir Roger Donaldson, stars Nicolas Cage)
Wilfred: Season 1 (2011 USA, stars Elijah Wood)

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DVD Triage: June 12

New Release Pick of the Week

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
I enjoyed the first Sherlock Holmes movie, but in the holiday rush never made it to see the sequel, though I intended to. Perhaps this might be a Redbox opportunity in the near future. After seeing Prometheus, I’m definitely curious to see more Noomi Rapace (though her bits in the trailer for this are not particularly convincing).
2011 USA. Director: Guy Ritchie. Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Rachel McAdams, Jared Harris.

Other New Releases

Accident (2009 Hong Kong, dir Soi Cheang, stars Louis Koo)
Demoted (2012 USA, dir J.B. Rogers, stars David Cross)
Episodes: Season 1 (2012 USA, stars Matt LeBlanc)
GCB: Season 1 (2012 USA, stars Kristin Chenoweth)
A Little Bit of Heaven (2011 USA, dir Nicole Kassell, stars Kate Hudson)
Missing: Season 1 (2012 USA, stars Ashley Judd)
Paradise (2009 South Korea, dir Jang-soo Lee, stars Jin-hee Ji)
The Sarah Jane Adventures: Season 5 (2011 UK, creator Russell T. Davies, stars Elisabeth Sladen)
Scandal: Season 1 (2012 USA, creator Shonda Rhimes, stars Kerry Washington)
Superman vs. The Elite (2012 USA, dir Michael Chang, stars George Newbern)
Thin Ice (2011 USA, dir Jill Sprecher, stars Greg Kinnear)
Too Big to Fail (2011 USA, dir Curtis Hanson, stars James Woods)
Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds (2012 USA, dir Tyler Perry, star Tyler Perry)

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DVD Triage: 5 June 2012

New Release Pick of the Week

Breaking Bad: Season 4
I’ve only seen the first season of Breaking Bad myself, but I was incredibly impressed with that season and all the buzz I’ve heard about the subsequent seasons has also been outstanding, so I’m giving the season four set a sight-unseen endorsement.
2012 USA. Creator: Vince Gilligan. Starring: Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul.

Other New Releases

Act of Vengeance (2010 Turkey/USA, dir Mahsun Kirmizigul, stars Gina Gershon)
Bad Ass (2012 USA, dir Craig Moss, stars Danny Trejo)
Burn Notice: Season 5 (2011 USA, stars Jeffrey Donovan, Gabrielle Anwar)
Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 8 92011 USA, stars Larry David)
Declaration of War (2011 France, dir Valérie Donzelli, stars Valérie Donzelli)
Fairly Legal: Season 1 (2011 USA, stars Sarah Shahi)
Falling Skies: Season 1 (2011 USA, stars Noah Wylie)
Hatfields & McCoys: Bad Blood (2012 USA, dir Fred Olen Ray, stars Christian Slater)
In Plain Sight: Season 4 (2011 USA, stars Mary McCormack)
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012 USA, dir Brad Peyton, stars Josh Hutcherson)
Machine Gun Preacher (2011 USA, dir Marc Forster, stars Gerard Butler)
Necessary Roughness: Season 1 (2011 USA, stars Patrick Johnson)
Pretty Little Liars: Season 2 (2011 USA, stars Holly Marie Combs)
Private Romeo (2011 USA, dir Alan Brown, stars Hale Appleman)
Seven Days in Utopia (2011 USA, dir Matt Russell, stars Lucas Black)
White Collar: Season 3 (2011 USA, stars Matt Bomer)

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DVD Triage: 30 May 2012

New Release Pick of the Week

We Need to Talk About Kevin
One of the most powerful and overwhelming films I’ve seen in a long time, and easily one of the best films of 2011. Tilda Swinton is always amazing, but this is probably her finest work yet, and Lynne Ramsay is definitely a directorial force I hope to hear much more from in the future.
2011 UK. Director: Lynne Ramsay. Starring: Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller.

Other New Releases

The Aggression Scale (2012 USA, dir Steven C. Miller, stars Ray Wise)
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies (2012 Australia, stars Ben Lewis)
Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker (2012 USA, dir Fumihiko Sori, stars Luci Christian)
Finding Jenua (2011 USA, dir Alison Mason, stars Leigh Rose)
Gone (2012 USA, dir Heitor Dhalia, stars Amanda Seyfried)
Life Without Principle (2011 Hong Kong, dir Johnnie To, stars Terence Yin)
Memorial Day (2011 USA, dir Samuel Fischer, stars Jonathan Bennett)
Monroe: Series 1 (2011 UK, stars James Nesbit)
96 Minutes (2011 USA, dir Aimee Lagos, stars Brittany Snow)
Rookie Blue: Season 2 (2011 USA, stars Missy Peregrym)
Royal Pains: Season 3, Vol 2 (2011 USA, stars Mark Feuerstein)
Sing Your Song: Harry Belafonte (2011 USA, dir Susanne Rostock, stars Harry Belafonte)
Take Me Home (2011 USA, dir Sam Jaeger, stars Sam & Amber Jaeger)
The Yellow Wallpaper (2011 USA, dir Logan Thomas, stars Juliet Landau)

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DVD Triage: March 22

New Release Pick of the Week

Sherlock: Season 2
I’ve only just started watching Sherlock on Netflix Instant, but I’m already totally a fan – great modern approach to the material. Hopefully the DVD release of Season 2 means it’ll hit Instant soon as well.
2012 UK. Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Rupert Graves.

Other New Releases

American Warships (2012 USA, dir Thunder Levin, stars Mario Van Peebles)
Beyond (2011 USA, dir Josef Rusnak, stars Jon Voight)
Black Cobra (2012 USA, dir Scott Donovan, stars Damion Poitier)
Carol Channing: Larger Than Life (2012 USA, dir Dori Berinstein)
Mutant Girls Squad (2010 Japan, dir Noboru Iguchi, et al, stars Asami)
Newlyweds (2011 USA, dir Edward Burns, stars Edward Burns)
Perfect Sense (2011 UK, dir David Mackenzie, stars Ewan McGregor)
Planzet (2010 Japan, dir Jun Awazu, stars Kaori Ishihara)
The River: Season 1 (2012 USA, creator Oren Peli, stars Bruce Greenwood)
Rizzoli & Isles: Season 2 (2012 USA, stars Angie Harmon, Sasha Alexander)
Teen Wolf: Season 1 (2011 USA, stars Tyler Posey)
United (2011 UK, dir James Strong, stars Dean Andrews)

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