dvd releases

Toomb’s New Blu Rays (and DVDs)

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Welcome back Eugeneans! How was everyone’s rain-soaked and yet, oddly sunny weekend? I hope as fun and movie-filled as mine! Coming up thus week we’ve got some good movies on disc to keep you and your family entertained.

First up we’ve got the quintessential British filmThe Kings Speech. Centered around the World War II-time King: George VI, father of Queen Elizabeth II, (played by Colin Firth) and his life-time struggle with a stammer in his speech. He takes the help of a rather unorthodox speech therapist, played sublimely by Geoffrey Rush, and over the months and years they form a close friendship. “Bertie,” as King George VI was called affectionately (and not-so) before ascending to the throne after his brothers abdication, manages to conquer his stammer and lead Britain through one of it’s darkest times in History. The Kings Speech is a beautiful film, and frame by fame, director Tom Hooper (the Damned United, HBO’s John Adams, and Longford) guides us through historical circumstances with suspense and tight storytelling. What really shines here is the performances by Firth, Rush, and Helena Bonham Carter. See this movie. The Kings Speech is rated R for some language.

Next Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart star in Rabbit Hole, a “dramedy” from director John Cameron Mitchell (of the fantastic Hedwig and the Angry Inch). A tale about a happy couple whose son dies accidentally, and how they manage to carry on. Rabbit Hole is a strangely comedic and touching film about loss and grief, however it doesn’t overburden the viewer with sadness. It relishes in the positive and the whole film works somehow, hanging on the performances of Kidman and Eckhart. Another must-see released this week. Rabbit Hole is rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, some drug use and language.

For the family viewing, Disney is opening it’s vault to release the classic, Bambi for a limited time. I don’t know if you know how Disney does this, but it’s a total scam. At any given time it is impossible to find certain Disney movies at the same time. Like for instance, they’ll release Bambi, but will quietly take Sleeping Beauty off the shelf at the same time. Why do they do this? In order to get more money out of us, the consumers. Think about how many times you’ve heard the words, “Never before released from the Disney Vault.” It’s because either A) they haven’t released whatever movie on whatever format is popular at that time (VHS, DVD, now Blu Ray) so they get to cash in on it B) Because we keep spawning new generations of Disney-philes… so when our kids who have never heard of Fox and the Hound see that advertisement they think it’s a new movie, and so on and so forth. Disney is the evil empire, and Mickey Mouse is Darth Vadar.

Anyway, Bambi is out on Blu-Ray and DVD, and I gotta tell you, this movie is horrible. Today’s kids won’t get it. Unless they’ve found a way to 3D Flower or Thumper so that they can breathe a little life into one of the stalest animated Disney movies ever. Bambi is rated G for everyone, but be warned, Bambi’s mom gets it Scorsesse-style at the end.

Last is a gem brought to us by National Geographic called The Way Back. I got the chance to preview this movie and it is very good. It stars Ed Harris, Jim Sturgess, and Colin Ferrell, and is directed by the Australian auteur Peter Weir (Master and Commander: Far Side of the World). It tells the true story of prisoners in a Russian Gulag in Siberia during WWII who escape from the prison only to face the harsh and deadly landscape that surrounds them for thousands of miles. The tag at the beginning state something like: “In 1942, three men walked out of the Himalayas claiming they’d escaped from a Siberian Gulag over 4000 miles away. This is their story.” What happens to these men is indescribable, and practically unbelievable. I highly recommend this movie to anyone, it is a triumphant tale of the human will to survive. The Way Back is rated PG-13 for violent content, depiction of physical hardships, a nude image and brief strong language.

Have a fun-filled, action-packed week, and stay classy Eugene.

New Releases on DVD/Blu Ray

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Wow what a weekend! Sucker Punch was trounced at the box office and the critic’s corner, a double-blow that might be knocking it out of the spotlight… a shame too, cause it’s a great movie experience! Anyway, it’s after Tuesday and that means Toomb’s New DVD/Blu Ray’s are here. It’s a day of intrigue and thrills and Oscar-winning performances at your home theater!

First up we’ve got the real-life political thriller Fair Game, starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn. Fair Game is the dramatized story of Valerie Plame and the CIA leak from the Bush Administration that was all over the news a few years ago. Plame’s covert status as an agent was (alleg.) revealed by White House officials out to discredit her husband after he wrote a New York Times op-ed piece accusing the Bush administration of manufacturing intelligence about WMDs to justify the invasion of Iraq. Fair Game is rated PG-13 for some language.

There’s also the true-life crime story of All Good Things starring Ryan Goseling and Kirsten Dunst. It is based on one of New York’s most notorious missing persons case involving Robert Durst, scion of the wealthy Durst family. Goseling (Blue Valentine, Half Nelson, Stay) stars as David Marks, a character based on Durst, and the original script uses new evidence and testimony to tell a tale of love, betrayal, and murder. All Good Things is rated R for drug use, violence, language and some sexuality.tang

Next there’s the family-friendly film Tangled starring the voices of Zachary Levi (Chuck!) and Mandy Moore. Tangled is the re-telling of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale of Rapunzel for our modern age… complete with talking animals and slap-stick comedy… We’ve heard this story before, but the kids will love it. Tangled is rated PG for brief mild violence.

Lastly is the Academy Award winning pop-masterpiece Black Swan. Directed by auteur Darren Aronofsky (Pi, Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain, The Wrestler), Black Swan is a horror-movie retelling of Swan Lake that sneaks in under the radar as an art-house film… but either way, it’s a great watch. Natalie Portman won an Oscar for her portrayal of a ballerina unraveling as she gets in touch with the dark side of her personality, in order to “dance the Black Swan.” Black Swan is rated R for strong sexual content, disturbing violent images, language and some drug use… a MUST SEE.

Have a great week Eugeneans!

DVD/Blu-Ray/OnDemand New Releases for 3/22

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Hello moviefans, it’s Wednesday and that means yesterday were the new releases on DVD and Blu-Ray! It’s a bomb-tastic day as well with box office stinkers galore. No matter how you get your new releases, on disc or on demand, this release is ready to rock.

First up is The Tourist, starring Angelina Jolie as a mystery woman who ensarls Johnny Depp in a web of lies in this spy-thriller filmed in Paris and Venice. Word is all the beautiful scenery, heavy-hitters like Jolie and Depp, and a great director (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck won a Best Foreign Film Academy Award for 2006’s The Lives of Others), couldn’t save this movie. A lack of very needed chemistry between the two lead characters is just the tip of the iceberg with this sinker. The Tourist is rated PG-13 for violence and brief strong language.

Secondly, aliens attack in Skyline. This lower-budget take on alien invasion movies like Independence Day, shows it from the perspective of a group of friends trapped in an LA condo. Starring Eric Balfour and Donald Faison, this suspense-thriller feels like it was made for pre-teenage boys- who will like it very much. Skyline is rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, some language, and brief sexual content.

Thirdly is a movie made for the whole family- and that picnic basket thief from Jellystone park hits the big-screen in Yogi Bear. Voiced by Dan Aykroyd and Justin Timberlake, Yogi Bear follows the exploits of the famous cartoon bear in this live action/CGI production. We haven’t had to watch it yet in our house, but I’m sure we will, and word is it’s pretty funny for a TV-remake. Yogi Bear is rated PG for some mild rude humor.

Also released today is How Do You Know, a romantic-comedy starring Reese Witherspoon and Paul Rudd. Need I say more? How Do You Know is rated PG-13 for sexual content and some strong language.

Whether your favorite flavor of bad-movie is cheesy spy thriller or sickeningly sweet rom-com, this week’s new DVDs will cover them all. See you all Friday, and have a great week!