9 items from 2011
They come sporadically, but are instantly identifiable: Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront, Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver, Samuel L. Jackson in Jungle Fever. Roles that launch actors into the upper echelons of master thespians, roles that reward the audience with the sense of seeing something terribly unique and profound, roles that could have only been played by one person to create such stunning results. And for David Thewlis — who'd been acting on screen since 1985 — it was Mike Leigh's 1993 Naked that gave him such a role, a role that made much of the world stand up and notice. Our review of Naked on Blu-ray follows after the jump. Leaving Manchester in a stolen car under the threat of violence, Johnny (Thewlis) goes to visit the home of ex-girlfriend Louise (Lesley Sharp). With Louise not home he makes the acquaintance of her flatmate Sophie (Katrin Cartlidge), and the two quickly seduce each other. »
- Andre Dellamorte
In the past few years I've fallen in love with Mike Leigh's work. The first film of his I saw was 2004's Vera Drake, a dark and disturbing picture that doesn't necessarily represent the side of Leigh I love, but is nonetheless a powerful film. It wasn't until Happy-Go-Lucky in 2008 that I saw my second Leigh feature and the sheer lust for life that was exhibited in that film from Sally Hawkins' performance to Leigh's script won me over. Since then I've enjoyed Secrets and Lies, Topsy-Turvy, Another Year and now Naked as Criterion has upgraded their 2005 DVD edition to a beautiful Blu-ray transfer, that allows for Leigh's direction and script to shine along with powerful performances and Dick Pope's wonderful cinematography.
- Brad Brevet
Chicago – Mike Leigh is now widely recognized as one of the best living directors, delivering yet another critically-acclaimed gem last year in the excellent “Another Year” (also recently-released on Blu-ray and DVD). Before “Secrets and Lies,” “Vera Drake,” and “Happy-Go-Lucky,” there was a searing, riveting howl at the moon known as “Naked,” the first film that really drew international attention to both Leigh and star David Thewlis. The film was recently given the upgrade treatment by Criterion, releasing it on Blu-ray for the first time.
Blu-Ray Rating: 4.5/5.0
A good way to draw international attention is to win prizes at Cannes and Leigh and Thewlis won Best Director and Best Actor in the Spring of 1993 at the festival on the Riviera. Leigh had a strong background in theatre and had made some notable television plays and a few feature films (including the highly-underrated “Life is Sweet”), but “Naked” really changed his trajectory. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Hitting movie theaters this weekend:
Movie of the Week
The Plot: The final chapter of the Harry Potter franchise. Harry, Ron, and Hermione continue in their quest to find and destroy the Dark Lord’s three remaining Horcruxes
The Buzz: We’ve been following these spell-casters around now for just over a decade, and it’s hard to believe that their journey is coming to a close. It’s been interesting to see Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint grow up on screen. I’ve personally found these films to be more and more palatable as the kids have moved on through the years, and have therefore found each »
- Aaron Ruffcorn
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Rango I wanted to ask for this one for review, but I just didn't have the time so Kevin took care of it for me and I'll have his review of the Blu-ray up in the morning. This was a fun film and a great homage to a countless number of westerns. I imagine it will have wonderful repeat value and if the image I saw on the big screen is any indication, this should look excellent at home in high-definition. Naked (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] The rest of this week finally sees my schedule begin to open up and this is priority one. I'm frustrated I haven't been able to get to this Blu-ray yet as anything from Mike Leigh tends to be a must watch and since I haven't seen Naked yet it makes it that much more intriguing. »
- Brad Brevet
Your Weekly Source for the Newest Releases to Blu-Ray
Tuesday, July 12th, 2011
Battle Beyond The Stars: 30th Anniversary Special Edition (1980)
Synopsis: Shad must scour the cosmos to recruit mercenaries from different planets and cultures, in order to save his peaceful home planet from the threat of the evil tyrant Sador, bent on dominating and enslaving the entire universe. Joining this “magnificent seven” of mercenaries are the deadly Gelt, carefree Cowboy, and the sexy Valkyrie Saint-Exmin. (courtesy of Blu-Ray.com)
Special Features: Audio commentary with producer Roger Corman and writer John Sayles; Audio commentary from production manager Gale Anne Hurd; The Man Who Would Be Shad featurette; Space Opera on a Shoestring featurette; Still gallery; Poster gallery; Theatrical trailer; Radio spot.
Synopsis: In the future, a clerk at the all-powerful Ministry of Information sticks to his ideals and ends up crushed by the system in this half comedy, half »
- Travis Keune
DVD Playhouse—July 2011
By Allen Gardner
The Music Room (Criterion) Satyajit Ray’s 1958 masterpiece looks at the life of a fallen aristocrat as a metaphor for an India that is not only becoming Westernized, but modernized technologically and culturally beyond recognition. When the beloved music room, where he has hosted lavish concerts in the past, starts falling into disrepair as attendance drops steadily, the man realizes his way of life is vanishing. Stunningly shot in black & white, one of Ray’s finest works. Bonuses: Documentary on Ray from 1984 by Shyam Benegal; Interviews with Ray biographer Andrew Robinson and filmmaker Mira Nair; Excerpt from 1981 roundtable discussion between Ray, critic Michael Ciment, director Claude Sautet. Also available on Blu-ray disc. Full screen. Dolby 1.0 mono.
- The Hollywood Interview.com
The film was first issued on DVD by Criterion back in 2005.
David Thewliss gives the world a piece of his mind in Naked.
In the movie, David Thewlis (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) stars as Johnny, a charming and eloquent but relentlessly vicious drifter. Rejecting anyone who might care for him, the volcanic Johnny hurls himself through a nocturnal odyssey around London, colliding with a succession of other desperate and dispossessed people, and scorching everyone in his path.
Leigh’s picture of England’s underbelly is an amalgam of black comedy and doomsday prophecy that took the best director and best »
Note: I’ll be updating this page as Criterion makes the release dates and final art available. – Ryan 4/15/2011
Well here we are, another mid-month Criterion new release announcement. This time last year, we were treated to the incredible one-two punch announcement of Black Narcissus and the Red Shoes as upgraded DVD/Blu-ray editions. This time around we have even more to be excited about.
First up, a couple of films that we’ve actually already covered on the podcast will finally be getting Blu-ray upgrades. One of our very first episodes was on Mike Leigh’s Naked (a film that I wasn’t too hot on, but I loved Leigh’s Topsy Turvy). Now you’ll finally be able to see this incredibly daring and raw look at England in the early 90s, with David Thewlis as the immortal Johnny. I found the dialogue to be a little too rapid and not very naturalistic, »
- Ryan Gallagher
9 items from 2011
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