[19 April 2011]
McClatchy-Tribune News Service (MCT)
A multi-award-winning drama tops this week’s lineup of the latest Blu-ray releases.
It’s not often that film critics and film fans so overwhelmingly agree on the worth of a movie, but they certainly did when it came to “The King’s Speech” (Anchor Bay, 2010, $39.99). Both groups enthusiastically embraced it.
It is the moving story of England’s King George VI (a dynamite performance by Colin Firth), who suffers from a stammering problem. That’s quite a drawback for someone who is expected to give dozens of speeches throughout the year.
At the urging of his wife, Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter), George seeks the help of Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush). With Logue guiding him, the king is able to make an important radio address to England as World War II unfolds.
The film was nominated for 12 Oscars and won four, including Best Picture, Best Director (Tom Hooper), Best Actor (Firth) and Best Original Screenplay (David Seidler). Highly recommended.
Other notable Blu-ray releases:
“Rabbit Hole” (Lionsgate, 2010, $39.99): Becca (Nicole Kidman) and Howie Corbett (Aaron Eckhart) are suffering through a devastating personal crisis: They’ve seen their 4-year old son hit and killed by a car. They try everything to put their lives back together; even reaching out to the driver of the car. A vivid study on how such an event can impact a family and their friends. Recommended.
“Born to Raise Hell” (Paramount, 2010, $24.99): You never have to wonder what a Steven Seagal movie is going to be like. He promises plenty of action and always delivers. This one is no different: Seagal plays an Interpol agent who is part of a task force trying to stop gun trafficking and dope running through the Balkans. When one of the members of his force is killed during a gang war, Seagal sets out to avenge his friends’ death.
“Sharpy’s Fabulous Adventure” (Walt Disney, 2011, $49.99): Regular viewers of the Disney Channel don’t have to be told who Ashley Tisdale is. Tisdale scored big as drama queen character Sharpy Evans in the incredibly popular “High School Musical.” Now she’s back as Sharpy in this new film that unfolds in New York City. Includes standard DVD and digital copies.
“Mortal Kombat” (Warner Brothers, 1995, $19.98): Based on a popular video game, this action adventure follow a group of expert fighters who compete in a dangerous tournament on a mysterious island. The stakes? The fate of all mankind.
“Mortal Kombat: Annihilation” (Warner Brothers, 2010, $19.98): Led by the mighty Shao Kahn, the evil Outworlders return with their goal of humanity’s complete destruction. Earth’s only hope is the great martial arts warrior Liu Kang.
“Gulliver’s Travels” (20th Century Fox, 2010, $39.99): Jack Black stars in this modern twist on the classic adventure tale. On a writing assignment that takes him toward Bermuda, Gulliver (Black) finds himself shipwrecked on the fantastic island of Lilliput. At the same time he is transformed into a giant in size and ego. That’s bad news for the tiny Lilliputians. Includes standard DVD and digital copies. Also available in 3-D at $49.99.
“Somewhere” (Universal, 2010, $39.98): A child shall lead them — at least that’s what happens to actor Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorf), whose Hollywood life style is filled with women, booze and drugs. Then his 11-year-old daughter Cleo (Elle Fanning) comes to stay with him and changes his perspective.