Tag Archives: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

New on DVD: October 14

Pick of the Week

4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days
There’s absolutely no question about which DVD to highlight this week. Of all the movies from last year, this is the one that blew me away the most. I raved about it then, and my opinion hasn’t changed. Filmmaker Cristian Munjiu has managed to make a minimalist thriller about illegal abortions that will likely remain one of the best films of its or any other year. It’s harsh, it’s heart-rending, it’s sympathetic, it’s unrelenting, and I promise you, whether you’re pro-life or pro-choice (and it’s not a particularly political film anyway), you won’t be able to watch it and remain unchanged by it. Whether you choose to rent it or buy it may depend on how much you want to study Munjiu’s ability to make a film in which there’s so little action so riveting; but please, do one or the other.

Movie Releases

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Of course, this is the big blockbuster release of the week. I enjoyed the film, but then I’m a sucker for anything Indiana Jones. Certainly it’s nowhere near as good as the original trilogy (except maybe Temple of Doom – I really hate that one), but Spielberg and Ford have enough tricks up their sleeve to keep it entertaining. For the most part. Okay, really, the chase scene through the jungle was the best. The aliens? And the atomic-bomb-proof-refrigerator? Not so much. But I digress. If you want to complete your Indy collection, buy it. If you just want a fun, escapist couple of hours, rent it. If you don’t like Indy, it’s got nothing else on offer, so don’t bother. (Also available in a box set with the original trilogy, in a single-disc edition, and on Blu-ray)

Also releasing: Mongol (also Blu-ray), War, Inc. (also Blu-ray), Still Life, XXY, Stuck (also Blu-ray), and Standard Operating Procedure (also Blu-ray).

Classics and New Editions

Alfred Hitchcock Premiere Collection
Another set of Hitchcock rereleases this week, this time from his British and Selznick years. This box set includes: The Lodger (said to be the first time made a cameo in his films), Sabotage (an adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent; not to be confused with Hitchcock’s The Secret Agent, which is not), Young and Innocent (a solid entry into his British canon), Rebecca (his first Hollywood film), Lifeboat (Tallulah Bankhead and others, yes, stranded in a lifeboat), Spellbound (psychiatrist Ingrid Bergman, patient Gregory Peck, and dream sequence by Salvador Dali), Notorious (not only one of Hitch’s best, but one of the best spy films ever made), The Paradine Case (again Gregory Peck, in one of only about five post-Hollywood Hitchcock films I haven’t seen). Only Rebecca, Spellbound, and Notorious are available individually (and are the clear winners in the set), but I’d put in a plug for Sabotage and Young and Innocent as well (which are available individually from previous releases, just not in Premiere Editions).

The New World: Extended Cut
Now, Terrence Malick’s The New World is one of those films I expected to find dull and silly; instead, I found it one of the most beautiful pieces of visual poetry ever put on film, and it now resides very close to the top of my Best Of 2006 list. That said, I’m not sure it needs to be any longer, and this release will add some 30 minutes to the original 135 minute running time. It seemed pretty perfect to me in the theatrical cut, which always makes me wary of potentially indulgent director’s cuts. Still, I do highly recommend the film overall, and now you have extra viewing options.

TV on DVD

The Unit Season 3
Nothing I’m hugely excited about this week, but I just started watching The Unit this season and quite enjoying it. (I started watching it the first season it was on, but the time slot ended up conflicting with something else within a few weeks and I dropped it.) It’s about half covert ops army stuff, following Dennis Haysbert, Robert Patrick, and Scott Foley (and now Nicole Steinwedell) around on missions, and half army wives as this year, their wives get new identities and covers to stay safe from threats against the soldiers’ families. I might go back at some point and watch the earlier seasons. But it wasn’t hard to jump into in the middle, so I might not.

Also releasing: CSI Season 8, Back to You Season 1, Rules of Engagement Season 2, The Sarah Silverman Program Season 2, Vol. 1, and The Partridge Family Season 3.

New Releases: Catch-Up Reviews

I’m going to stop doing the monthly recap posts and instead try to write reviews/reactions more consistently throughout the month. Since I haven’t actually posted on anything I’ve watched since February, I need to do a few catch-up posts, which I’ve decided to separate into film categories (New Releases, New DVDs, World Cinema, Great Directors, etc.) rather than by month. Honestly, the monthly format was more useful for me than it was for any of you – after all, you don’t care when I saw a film, so keeping everything as strictly chronological as I used to do is fairly pointless. A thematic arrangement makes more sense.

So with no further ado, here’s the first of several catch-up posts; this contains all the theatrical new releases I’ve seen since February: Penelope, Leatherheads, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Iron Man, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

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Trailer Watch!

Haven’t done one of these for a long time, but I defend myself on the grounds that there hasn’t been hardly anything released yet this year worth watching. And Debbie, I promise I will write about American Idol tomorrow.

 

Baby Mama

Apparently this is the response to all of last year’s unplanned pregnancy movies.  Don’t ask me to explain why I guiltily want to see this.  Probably something to do with my untold love for 30 Rock.  Opens April 25th.

Son of Rambow

This has been knocking around festivals for a year or so, and just because it has a release date now doesn’t mean I’m overly optimistic about it coming near where I am. Ah well.  The festival reviews have been glowing, and it looks as endearing as anything. Opens May 2 in limited release.

Speed Racer

So when I first heard about this movie, I wrote it off as another stupid kids-TV-series-to-kids-movie thing.  But then I saw the trailer.  And remembered that it’s the Wachowski brothers making it.  And it looks so totally awesome that it’s pretty much my most highly-anticipated movie right now.  Look at it!  It looks so gorgeous, like a futuristic 1950s. Opens May 9th.

More after the jump.

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