THE WEEK OF MAY 5th, 2009



THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON

Special Features

  • The Curious Birth of Benjamin Button—four-part documentary:
  • Academy Award-nominated director David Fincher introduces the
    surprising beginnings of what would become an epic masterpiece
    including the casting of Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, the decision to
    change the location of the story to New Orleans and more.
  • Follow the production from day one including the challenges of aging
    Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, designing over five thousand costumes and
    creating the animatronic baby.
  • Explore the incredible visual effects techniques created specifically
    for the film that allowed Brad Pitt to play the title character at
    virtually every age. Also includes a visit to the scoring stage with
    composer Alexandre Desplat.
  • Walk the red carpet at the film’s premiere in New Orleans, with final thoughts from cast and crew.
  • Audio Commentary by director David Fincher


The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
is one of those films that I’m glad to have reappreciated. When I originally saw the film at an advanced screening in December, I was little underwhelmed. I found many contrived plot devices and awkward third acts that seemed to be the handiwork of Eric Roth. But, time has passed and now I can see what Pitt and Fincher were doing. Taking out the elderly Blanchett device and focusing in on the heart of the film, you are greeted by one of the warmest love stories of the last decade.



WENDY AND LUCY

Special Features

  • Nothing

Wendy and Lucy proves
that Americans only know how to depress each other by using kids or animals. Sure, you could talk a good game about a crisis overseas. But, if you threaten the life or well-being of an animal, you can get anyone hooked. That’s all I took away after watching an enthralled group of fellow writers observe Wendy and Lucy. Say what you want about America, but don’t screw with Benji.



LAST CHANCE HARVEY

Special Features

  • Commentary
  • Featurette
  • Trailer



Last Chance Harvey
is
a low-end film that takes advantage of older actors to pass off no cash as class. Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson have done better work. Hell, Richard Schiff and James Brolin have done better work. The film is so paint by the numbers that even a child can call out what’s going to happen ten minutes before it does. That doesn’t mean there isn’t chemistry between Hoffman and Thompson. It’s just that a little spark doesn’t go a long way.

THE PERSONAL CRITERION COLLECTION




I had an idea for a subset column for The Special Edition. Many people
want to have Criterions in their collection. Many people pretend to
like half of the films that Criterion releases. But, what about those
people that honestly can’t be bothered to be told what to like. What
about them?

That’s why I want to test the waters and see if
this floats. I want the readers of CHUD and this dear article to head
to the Boards and nominate their Personal Criterion Collection entry. I
want to see explanations and not just mindless listing of entries,
people.

All titles eligible are previously released DVD/BR media that you believe to be essential/necessary to the collection of the Home Entertainment enthusiast.

THE FIRST ENTRIES

1. The Fountain

2. Videodrome


3. Seven Men from Now


4. Stalker


5. The Last Days of Disco
6. Paris, Texas
7. Vanishing Point
8. The Stunt Man
9. The Deer Hunter
10. The Third Man
11. Southland Tales
12. Head
13. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
14. Sorcerer
15. Henry V (1989)
16. The Great White Hope
17. Fixed Bayonets
18. Dracula: Pages from a Virgin’s Diary
19. The Ballad of Cable Hogue
20. Gates of Heaven
21. The Dirty Dozen
22. Opening Night
23. Birdman of Alcatraz
24. Elmer Gantry
25. The Band Wagon
26. Five Guns West
27. Detour
28. Jubal
29. Affair in Trinidad
30) Experiment in Terror
31) Seconds
32) Coffy
33) 1984
34) Special
35) Talking Heads: Stop Making Sense
36) The Fortune Cookie
37) Executive Suite
38) Two People
39) The Sand Pebbles
40) The Iron Horse
41) Watermelon Man
42) The Girl Can’t Help It
43) Diner
44) Rumble Fish
45) Pale Rider
46) High Plains Drifter
47) Lady Snowblood
48) Help
49) The Bank Job
50) The Hudsucker Proxy
51) Tommy
52) The Pawnbroker
53) Imitation of Life (1959)
54) Desperate Living
55) In Harm’s Way
56) The Dam Busters
57) The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant
58) Blood and Lace
59) Two-Lane Blacktop

and today’s entry suggested by Malmordo.






60) Saint Jack. (click on box art to try to buy it at Amazon)

Peter Bogdanovich’s return to low-budget filmmaking (produced by his
mentor, Roger Corman) after three financial and critical disasters is
one of his greatest achievements. Ben Gazzara plays the gregarious pimp
Jack Flowers, bullied out of business by vicious triads. An excellent
screenplay co-written by Howard Sackler (THE GREAT WHITE HOPE) from
Paul Theroux’s novel also charts Flowers’ friendship with auditor and
relative innocent William Leigh (Denholm Elliott).



The film is admirably subtle, truthful with characters and has a
powerful sense of the Singapore locations and environment. Gazzara is a
perfect fit for Flowers; you won’t see him so absorbed and on-point in
anything other than his superlative work for John Cassavetes. He’s ably
supported by fine actors like Elliott, Joss Ackland, James Villiers,
and Bogdanovich himself (even George Lazenby fares well as a gay
senator and unknowing target of blackmail).



The New Concorde DVD, featuring commentary by Bogdanovich, is woefully out of print.


HERE’S THE LINK TO NOMINATE MORE TITLES.


EVERYTHING ELSE THAT’S AVAILABLE ON DVD

  • Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Classic Collection, Set 1
  • Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Classic Collection, Set 2
  • Attack Of The Giant Leeches
  • Bleak House: Special Edition (BBC 2005)
  • The Charles Dickens Masterworks Collection (BBC)
  • Doctor Who: Battlefield
  • Doctor Who: The E-Space Trilogy
  • Enchanted April
  • The Fall And Rise Of Reginald Perrin: The Complete Series
  • From A Place Of Darkness
  • A Grin Without A Cat
  • Incendiary
  • Jake And The Fatman: Season Two
  • McLeod’s Daughters: The Complete Eighth Season
  • Mississippi Chicken
  • Mythbusters: Collection 4
  • The Old Curiosity Shop (BBC 2007)
  • One Wild Oat
  • PBS: Over Ireland
  • Profit Motive And The Whispering Wind
  • Smother
  • TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: John Wayne Westerns
  • TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Western Adventures
  • TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: WWII – Battlefront Europe
  • That Girl: Season Five
  • The Tibetan Book Of The Dead
  • Under The Bombs

 
BLU-RAY: THE DISC THAT WALKS LIKE A MAN

  • Big
  • Bleak House: Special Edition (BBC 2005)
  • The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button (The Criterion Collection Two-Disc Special Edition)
  • Dexter: The Second Season
  • Dog Soldiers
  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  • From A Place Of Darkness
  • Grease (Rockin’ Rydell Edition)
  • Heroes Of World Class Wrestling
  • How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days
  • IMAX: Amazon
  • IMAX: Blu Sea Trilogy
  • IMAX: Journey Into Amazing Caves
  • IMAX: The Magic Of Flight
  • Incendiary
  • It Could Happen To You
  • Last Chance Harvey
  • PBS: Over Ireland
  • Roxanne
  • Saturday Night Fever (30th Anniversary Special Collector’s Edition)
  • Twilight (Special Edition)
  • Twilight (Amazon Exclusive Ultimate Collector’s Set)




SPEND YOUR MONEY!




NEW RELEASES



*Blu-Ray prices are in BOLD BLUE


The Curious Case of Benjamin Button  16.99/ 26.99

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button 2 Disc (standard)  22.99

Last Chance Harvey 16.99/ 26.99



Imagination Movers  14.99

Mickey’s Big Splash  14.99

Plumm Summer  17.99



Lipstick Jungle Season 2 17.99

Jon & Kate Plus 8 Season 4 (Exclusive Bonus Disc)  16.99

Boston Legal Season 5  34.99



DVD Deals for the Week



10.00

Mamma Mia!

P.S. I Love You

Sex and the City: The Movie

Enchanted



13.00

Nights in Rodanthe

Seven Pounds

Weeds: Seasons 1-3

Fireproof



15.00

Marley & Me

Slumdog Millionaire

Australia

The Secret Life of Bees



19.00

Jon & Kate Plus 8: Season 3

The Big Bang Theory: Season 1

30 Rock: Season 1

Gossip Girl: Season 1



———————————————–







NEW RELEASES

*Blu-Ray prices are in BOLD BLUE

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button  15.99/ 25.99

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button 2 Disc  22.99

Last Chance Harvey  15.99/ 24.99


Mickey’s Big Splash  14.99

Jon & Kate Plus 8 Season 4  19.99

Earth The Final Conflict Season 1  26.99

Boston Legal Season 5 34.99



Mother’s Day DVDs


Sex and the City  9.99

The Closer: Season 1  18.99

Gilmore Girls: Season 1  18.99

Weeds: Season 1 18.99

The OC: Season 1 18.99

30 Rock: Season 1 -19.99

The Tudors: Season 1  19.99

Friday Night Lights: Season 1  19.99



RECENT DVDs

Pineapple Express  9.99

Step Brotehrs  9.99

Burn After Reading  9.99

Traitor  9.99

Righteous Kill  9.99

What Happens in Vegas  9.99

There Will Be Blood  9.99

Sex and the City: The Movie  9.99



The Tale of Despereaux 14.99/ 24.99

Sex and the City the Complete Series  109.99



Dexter: Season 2  39.99

Mamma Mia!  9.99

Role Models 16.99

Milk 16.99



6.99 DVDs


P.S. I Love You

Across the Universe

Made of Honor

Dirty Dancing

Fool’s Gold

No Reservations

10 Things I Hate About You

Memoirs of a Geisha



$8.99 DVDs

Little Miss Sunshine

When Harry Met Sally

The Devil Wears Prada