DVD and Blu-Ray Weekly: Red Riding and Other Ventures

In the future I will cover DVD’s with a more original perspective than this. I will focus more on such things as cover art, special features, worthwhile blu-ray expenditures, and the irreplaceable pleasures of owning a genuine DVD collection. Resist the internet revolution! However, today is a very special day in the realm of DVD releases. Today is a day that will likely go down in the books of history as just another, rather inconsequential Tuesday. But for those of us who dwell in the world of film blogs, such as each and every one of you reading this, today is a special day. Today we get the U.S. release of Red Riding.

Let us just pause and take a brief moment of silence to appreciate the wonderful service provided by IFC… Amen to that! Moving on.

Red Riding is a rare work of art compiled by a group of genuinely talented artists and performers, one that was created outside of the traditional studio system with the goal to entertain and amaze, without aimlessly seeking financial gain. It is not even a film, or three films, or a mini-series; it is what it is. Call it what you like. I call it damn good.

To briefly escape my noticeable hype and over-exaggerated enthusiasm, this release has been a long wait and has not disappointed overall. The artwork and special features are rather generic, but certainly passable. The interviews are limited, and the deleted scenes are done in one long roll with no explanation or clarification of their context. But at this point, I would say that we are lucky at all to be seeing this in any way shape or form. For those who are not familiar with the Red Riding trilogy’s growing legacy, here is the short version: Tony Grisoni (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) wrote a three film adaptation which was then taken into the hands of three different directors, produced by Revolution Films and aired on the British TV station, Channel  4. When it aired, it gained immediate praise, and ended up living a healthy festival circuit, where David Thompson infamously declared it to be “better than the Godfather.”

Earlier this year it found its’ way to British shelves, but gave no indication to a U.S. release. But here we are, with little warning, a great but quietly reserved accomplishment from the last decade can be welcomed into your home and added to the irreplaceable pleasures of your collection, the one you can show off to all of your friends, the one that looks much more impressive than a collection of files on a computer.

$5 Find of the Week!

Gotta love the five dollar bin at Wal-Mart, or wherever the hell else you shop! This week, I inexplicably got a text from someone in Tennessee who told me The Machinist, starring Christian Bale, was in the five dollar bin. Lo and behold, she speaks the truth! I have not ever seen this film, but if you have the desire to see Christian Bale experiencing unhealthy weight loss, check it out!

Other Ventures

I held off starting this column last week as I judged that Film Misery’s readership would lack interest in The Break-Up Plan, but hey, whatever floats your boat, it’s still available this week if you’re inclined. On that note, the major releases for this week are Marmaduke, which is probably a classic by the standards of live action talking dog movies, and Why Did I Get Married Too, a sequel from cinematic auteur Tyler Perry.  Look for those come Oscar season!

I fully take back what I wrote at the beginning about doing this differently in the future, I had way too much fun writing this and I hope you enjoyed reading it as well. Alas, this Tuesday is about to come and pass with little notice; help the cause! Comment away!

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