As Alex noted earlier, The Thin Red Line earned its Criterion makeover this week, and it certainly makes a wonderful edition to any film buffâ€™s collection. Available in both DVD and blu-ray format, this exquisite release is one of the best Iâ€™ve seen all year.
Right off the bat, you will notice the beautiful cover art, a wonderful representation of the tone of the film and a literal, thin red line. The film itself is one of the very best cinematic representations of war, a great character study, and one of the few offerings of infamously slow director, Terence Malick. It is truly a beautiful film and this release does it justice. If you ever get a chance to catch it in blu-ray, donâ€™t pass it up. Normally, I am indifferent to hi-def, but certain films are significantly enhanced. These are films whose cinematography and sets are so refined and so detailed that it makes a difference to see as much as you can, as clearly as you can. Malick is a careful director in that respect.
There is much to love aside from the visuals as well. The special features are broken up based on area of interest: acting, editing, music, and actors. Each feature has its own merits, but Iâ€™d be lying if said I wasnâ€™t disappointed about the lack Malickâ€™s presence. Not that I am surprised by it, as he is seemingly well it work on the upcoming The Tree of Life. I think we all expect great things from that. For a further reading on the features available, check out this Ropes of Silicon article. Alex posted it earlier this week, and quite honestly, I canâ€™t describe it better than he does. Iâ€™ve only just finished the features, and it is a lot to digest, but itâ€™s worth the time and money.
Iâ€™ve got a lot to say here this week since I didnâ€™t get around to this column last week. There were a number of strong releases, if not some oddball selections. First off there is Ondine, one of Alexâ€™s favorite films of the year so far. I didnâ€™t know what it what it was going in and was pleasantly surprised by both Colin Ferrell and the pure originality of the film. Neil Jordan is a great director to watch; his personality is every bit as fun as his films. The DVD is a solid release for an unjustly ignored film.
Also we have the 1963 classic Charade available on blu-ray, although Iâ€™m not sure the extra-crisp visuals will change anyoneâ€™s mind about the film. For those who collect, this may be an important entry, but to the casual buyer, Iâ€™d recommend waiting for it to show up TCM.
The Secret in Their Eyes, the underdog Oscar winner of best foreign language film last year is now available. As is a straight to DVD film called The Experiment. It is a remake of a critically acclaimed Scottish film that stars Adrian Brody and Forrest Whitaker. It might be interesting.
In the world of major releases, Robin Hood, Iron Man 2, and Get Him to the Greek are available. Each of those films carry redeeming qualities yet none lived up to their predecessors or hold any interest in DVD examination. Yet, to those it may concern, they are available.
Most importantly, Itâ€™s Always Sunny in Philadelphia season five is out now. If you havenâ€™t seen the show, check it out. It is blissfully obscene and the fifth show is the best thus far.
Five Dollar Find of the Week:
Finally, we have the five dollar find. This weekâ€™s options were slim, but coming across Charlie Kaufmanâ€™s breakout, Being John Malkovich at a low cost is an opportunity worth mentioning. The price of DVDs is falling fast, so more and more is becoming eligible for this section each week. In one way this is thrilling. But in the long run it is the downfall of movies as we have known them for the past few decades. Look forward to the internet revolution! Netflix and Itunes downloads are taking over, like it or not!