Spins and Streams (8/7/2012)

Welcome to Spins and Streams, a weekly look at new arrivals on Blu-Ray, DVD, and home video.  More than just another column about new home video releases, we will link to reviews, summare the film, drop in some factual tidbits, and (naturally) offer you a chance to purchase the film (and support the site in the process!).

Consider it your weekly trip through the video store, both virtual and physical, scouring the shelves and combing the racks to find something you can enjoy at home, no matter what your personal preferences…

BLU-RAY/DVD

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax Combo Pack (Two Discs: Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet)
Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax 3D Combo Pack (Three Discs: Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet)
Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (DVD)

From my ★★1/2 theatrical review in March 2012:
“I am alright with a film espousing the pro-environmental beliefs of the Seuss book and original 1972 made-for-television animated special, which sticks pretty closely to Seuss’ book. Since that was the Dr.’s intent, the material should match that. However, the problem lies in the screenplay by Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul, which simply pushes its themes way too easy and often. Essentially, Daurio and Paul, have taken the covers of the Seuss book and ripped out much of the inside pages, fashioning their own Seussian take on the messages found in the source material.”  Animated/Family, PG, 86 Mins, Dir: Chris Renaud and Kyle Balda

See what else has arrived in stores and via streaming services…after the cut!

Marley [Blu-ray]
Marley

A long overdue, comprehensive, and definitive look at the iconic reggae musician, Bob Marley, Marley is a film which got a weekend run on VH1 prior to its release on DVD and Blu-Ray.  Many have praised the film as one of the year’s finest documentaries and as a HUGE fan of the man, I cannot wait to catch up to this soon.  Documentary, PG-13, 145 mins, Dir: Kevin McDonald

Blue Like Jazz [Blu-ray]Blue Like Jazz

Blue Like Jazz is an interesting film that ultimately sets up better than it executes.  After a couple of producers backed out, the project was notably saved by a massive push from supporters via Kickstarter. Based on Donald Miller’s semi-autobiographical novel of the same name, Jazz explores a 19-year old freshman’s journey of faith from conservative Houston, Texas to an unbridled and unrestrained liberal arts college in Portland, Oregon.  Young, fresh-faced talent populates the cast but eventually scenes and dialogue run together and the film loses its novelty along the way.  Comedy/Drama, PG-13, 107 mins, Dir: Steve Taylor

Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale [Blu-ray] – 4 1/2 hour International Version
Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale – 4 1/2 hour International Version
Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale [Blu-ray]
Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale

One of the final nine contenders for the 2011 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, Warriors Of The Rainbow: Seediq Bale was, in its original form, an epic and unflinching 4 1/2 hour bloodbath which documents the Wushe Incident, an uprising by the indigenous Seediq of Taiwan against oppressive Japanese forces present in their country.  The Academy reportedly screened the same 2 1/2 theatrical version which eventually saw a short North American theatrical release this past spring and both versions are now released on Blu-Ray and DVD.  I have been sent the abridged version and hope to find the time to review it soon.  Feels like the kind of movie you have to pack a lunch for, in terms of watching it, but with all the violence reportedly found in it, that lunch may pass long before the film reaches its conclusion!  Taiwan/Action/Historical Epic, UR, 276 mins/154 mins, Dir: Te-Sheng Wei

Bel Ami

Adapted from the 1885 novel by Guy de Maupassant, Bel Ami is a post-Twilight project for Robert Pattinson that drew some attention from curious Pattinson fans, but received a lackluster response when it debuted at the Berlin International Film Festival in February 2012.  Pattinson plays a wealthy opportunist, who banks a number of mistresses along the way.  Pattinson stars alongside Uma Thurman, Christina Ricci, and Kristin Scott Thomas, but Magnolia Pictures decided to release the film on just a handful of screens and the film grossed just $120k at the box office.  I have a copy for viewing and will try and weigh in soon.  Romantic Drama, R, 102 mins, Dir: Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod.


Redemption Road

Directed by Mario Van Peebles, Redemption Road is a faith-based musical journey starring Michael Clarke Duncan and Morgan Simpson (who co-wrote the screenplay) as two men journeying through the South attempting to come to terms with life through friendship, heartbreak. music, and tragedy.  Critics were split on the film, which had a modest 2-week run in August/September 2011.  This title popped up as available on Netflix this week as well.  Drama,/Inspirational, PG-13, 91 mins, Dir: Mario Van Peebles.
ADDITIONAL CATALOG AND NOTEWORTHY BLU-RAY/DVD RELEASES


TELEVISION SERIES/SPECIALS

NOTABLE NEW STREAMING TITLES (COURTESY OF INSTANTWATCHER.COM)
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