Tuesday, December 8, 2009

DVD Releases for December 8, 2009

This week four good to great movies come out on DVD, all of which you will want to catch up on if you want to be up to date during awards season.

The Cove *** ½
Probably the best, most powerful, documentary of the year, this film concentrates on the slaughter of dolphins at a remote cave in Japan. The filmmakers team up with environmentalists to try and get footage of what is really going on so that they can show the world. The result is a powerful environmental documentary, one that reduced me to tears, as well as an exciting story of almost espionage like tactics. This could easily be your Oscar winner for best documentary this year. For my original review please see: http://davesmoviesite.blogspot.com/2009/08/movie-review-cove.html

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince *** ½
The sixth film in the Harry Potter series, and the second directed by David Yates, does not hit the heights of the best of the series (that would be the third and fourth films), and is disappointing in that it cut a lot of the stuff that for me made this the best installment of the books, but is a definite improvement over the last film, and as a film unto itself is still a supreme entertainment. The child actors have grown into their roles admirably, and the addition of Jim Broadbent as Professor Slughorn was inspired. For my original review please see: http://davesmoviesite.blogspot.com/2009/07/movie-review-harry-potter-and-half.html

Julie & Julia ***
A chick flick if there ever was one, this film is about two women, Julie (Amy Adams) a modern resident of New York and her idol Julia Child (Meryl Streep) is France during the 1950s. The two stories cut back and forth, so while Child is learning to cook and writing her first cookbook, Julie is making her way through the same cookbook, trying to get through every recipe in a year. They have the unconditional support of their admiring husbands (Stanley Tucci is wonderful as Childs). The movie is fine, the performances quite good (although I still do not understand why Streep is going to get nominated for hers, but whatever), here is a fine that women will certainly admire much more than men, although I must admit I enjoyed it. For my original review please see: http://davesmoviesite.blogspot.com/2009/08/movie-review-julie-and-julia.html

Public Enemies ****
Michael Mann’s latest ode to all things masculine is one of his best. I know a lot of people complained that this was more of the same from Mann, and that he didn’t even try to connect the story of John Dillinger (Johnny Depp) to that of the great depression, but to me those were minor points. What remains in Public Enemies is a story of men defined by their actions (which is how they always are in a Mann film) and the brilliant, glimmering surface of the movie – one of the best made films this year bar none. Depp and Christian Bale, who plays the FBI Agent trying to get Dillinger, are both in fine form, but the ace up the films sleeve is Marion Cotillard, with the best eyes in show business, who for the first time in a Mann film delivers a real, full performance by a woman. A great film. For my original review please see: http://davesmoviesite.blogspot.com/2009/07/movie-review-public-enemies.html

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