New on DVD this week is a sweet princess, a damaged ballerina, and an exposed CIA agent. Here’s the rundown…
Tangled. This is one of my favorite family movies of 2010, thanks to a sweet story, a girl with gusto, and a magical soundtrack (“I See the Light” was nominated for an Oscar). Directed by Nathan Greno and Byron Howard, this Disney film about a princess finding her way in the world features the voices of Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy, Ron Perlman and Jeffrey Tambor.
Read my full review here, and be sure to check out this movie. Rated PG for brief mild violence; 100 min; official site; Facebook; buy on [amazon_link id=”B004G6009U” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Amazon[/amazon_link].
Black Swan. Although I’m not sure it was truly Oscar-worthy, this psychological thriller is still a must-see for fans of director Darren Aronofsky or Oscar winner Natalie Portman. The story follows a young ballerina who slowly loses her mind as she morphs into the Black Swan from ‘Swan Lake.’ Rated R for strong sexual content, disturbing violent images, language and some drug use; 108 min.; official site; Facebook; buy on [amazon_link id=”B0041KKYEW” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Amazon[/amazon_link].
Fair Game. I just saw this gripping thriller at the State Theatre in downtown Traverse City and loved it. Directed by Doug Liman, the real-life story follows CIA operative Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts), whose identity is allegedly leaked by the government as payback for an op-ed her husband (Sean Penn) wrote criticizing the Bush administration. Rated PG-13 for some language; 108 min.; official site; Facebook; buy on [amazon_link id=”B004IFYN2Y” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Amazon[/amazon_link].
The Human Experience. Right now, today, this week, this year… everyone on the planet should watch this movie. Directed by Charles Kinnane, the documentary follows four adventurers — Jeffrey Azize, Clifford Azize, Michael Campo, and Matthew Sanchez — as they ponder humanity’s inexplicable will to survive and endure amidst tragedy and hopelessness.
Spend time with the homeless on the streets of New York City, orphans in Peru, and African lepers who’ve been exiled to the forests of Ghana. An incredible and amazing film. Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material and some disturbing images; 90 min.; official site, Twitter, Facebook; buy on Amazon.
Hubble 3D. I don’t have an IMAX theater near me, but if you can see this film in 3D or IMAX 3D, I’ve heard it’s a stunning experience. IMAX 3D cameras were launched on board the Space Shuttle Atlantis on May 11, 2009, and the astronauts filmed the five intricate and difficult spacewalks required for the final service of the STS-1256 Hubble Space Telescope. You can actually see close images of distant galaxies, which is absolutely amazing to think about. Directed by Toni Myers, Leonardo DiCaprio served as narrator. Rated G; 45 min.; official site; Facebook; buy on [amazon_link id=”B004ODLUF8″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Amazon[/amazon_link].
Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown. Ok, first of all, why does Linus have to give up his blanket? The kid’s what, five? I say hang onto it for a while until the cold, hard reality of life sets in. Nevertheless, Linus decides it’s time and dutifully goes about trying to give up his precious piece of fabric before Grandma’s visit (I think she’d be with me on this). But he realizes it’s harder than he thought, even with the help of Charlie Brown, Snoopy and Lucy. Yet another classic installment of the Peanuts franchise that puts kids first, with or without their blankets. Not rated; 46 min.; buy on Amazon.
Upstairs, Downstairs Complete Series: 40th Anniversary Edition. I’m so psyched about this release it’s ridiculous. If you haven’t seen the most popular and successful British drama series in television history, now is the perfect time. This 21-disc collection from Acorn Media features all five series and more than 25 hours of never-before-seen extras.
Gordon Jackson, David Langton, Jean Marsh, Angela Baddeley, and Christopher Beeny are just a few of the actors in this iconic series about the wealthy, aristocratic Bellamys and their loyal and lively servants in London’s posh Belgravia neighborhood following World War One. Not rated; official site; buy on [amazon_link id=”B004H0ZHD4″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Amazon[/amazon_link].
Skyline. Ok, so this cheesy sci-fi action thriller wasn’t my favorite movie of the year, but if you like movies about aliens and humanity’s struggle to survive, it’s worth checking out. Directed by The Brothers Strause, it stars Eric Balfour, Scottie Thompson, Brittany Daniel and Crystal Reed. Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, some language, and brief sexual content; official site; buy on [amazon_link id=”B003Y5H5GU” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Amazon[/amazon_link].
Sunday in New York. I love classic movies, especially movies that offer a close-up look at a particular time in history. In this frothy 1963 comedy, Jane Fonda plays a virginal young woman who ditches her fiance (Robert Culp), runs off to the swingin’ New York bachelor pad of her brother (Cliff Robertson), and meets a guy on the 5th Avenue bus (Rod Taylor). Will she or won’t she? That is the question.
Directed by Peter Tewksbury, Peter Nero wrote the score and Mel Torme crooned the title tune. Not rated; 105 min.; buy on [amazon_link id=”B004NW8SYG” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Amazon[/amazon_link]. Take a trip down memory lane, my friends: