DVD Picks of the Week: April 7, 2009

Another Tuesday, another day of new DVDs hitting the shelves at your local brick and mortar or online retailer of your choice. Solid week this week. Let’s begin.

Doubt [DVD][Blu-ray]

Doubt was easily one of my 10 favorite films of 2008. I unfortunately never wrote a full review of the film but if I had I would have been raving. In particular, I would have focused on the amazing performance by the entire cast. I was the mean son of a bitch that wanted Philip Seymour Hoffman to win the best supporting actor Oscar over Heath Ledger (who did deserve the award he won). Hoffman was outstanding as the priest in question while Meryl Streep who came up short in her shot at best actress was resoundingly cruel as the nun challenging him. The film was bolstered by Amy Adams and Viola Davis’ short but absolutely sweet performance. On another note, it was odd to see a film with four acting nominations not get nominated for anything else.

Pre-Code Hollywood Collection [DVD]

This collection of films from an absolutely interesting time in cinema history looks to be worth checking out. The “pre-code” era was the era before the production code was enforced in 1934. Censorship barely existed prior and filmmakers were able to craft whatever they wanted. This collection features six films (The Cheat/Merrily We Go to Hell/Hot Saturday/Torch Singer/Murder at the Vanities/Search for Beauty) and contains stars like Cary Grant, Tallulah Bankhead and Randolph Scott. It was an interesting time and an influential time and this set has all the fixings to be a worthy purchase.

No Country For Old Men: Collector’s Edition [DVD][Blu-ray]

Based on the film alone, I would highly recommend this. Unless you already own it. When a film as good as No Country For Old Men is announced as a 3-disc special edition you hope that it would contain more than this one does. And you would also pray that the third disc doesn’t fall victim to the recent trend of “Digital Copy” that studios have resorted to. They apparently think what everyone wants is a digital version to watch on their laptop or iPod. No. Just give me the film and pack those discs full of special features. The digital copy logo ruins the cover art, and you know how us DVD collectors freak out over cover art! Ugh. Anyways, I already own this film and don’t feel the need to upgrade to fill the pockets of studio execs. Regardless, if you don’t own this masterpiece of a film, pick this up, it’s a good place to start.

Cleopatra: 75th Anniversary Edition [DVD]

Not much to say here, other than the fact that I would like to see this Cecil B. DeMille classic. Looks like a great film and the DVD looks to be loaded with features. The cover art is snazy too. Oh Universal, how I love when you give the good treatment to classic films!

Getting kinda lazy, moving on to the quick picks. These are essentially other notable titles that come out this week just for record keeping purposes. These are not official recommendations, just to keep you, the reader, as up to date as possible : American History X [Blu-ray], Shaw Brothers Collection, The Tale of Desperaux [DVD][Blu-ray], Yes Man [DVD][Blu-ray], 2010: The Year We Make Contact [Blu-ray].

Stay away from: The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008). Even though they tried to make up for this shit stain of a remake by including the original classic film with it, I’d stay far away from this one. It’s an insult to cinema.



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