New DVD Releases for the Week of May 5 2009
Here is a list of the new DVD Releases for the week of May 5 2009 (for TV on DVD releases head over to Daemon’s TV):
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Synopsis: “I was born under unusual circumstances.” And so begins “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” adapted from the 1920s story by F. Scott Fitzgerald about a man who is born in his eighties and ages backwards: A man, like any of us, who is unable to stop time. We follow his story set in New Orleans from the end of World War I in 1918, into the 21st century, following his journey that is as unusual as any man’s life can be. Directed by David Fincher and starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett with Taraji P. Henson, Tilda Swinton, Jason Flemyng, Elias Koteas and Julia Ormond, “Benjamin Button,” is a grand tale of a not so ordinary man and the people and places he discovers along the way, the loves he finds, the joys of life and the sadness of death, and what lasts beyond time.
Cast: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Julia Ormond, Ed Metzger, Taraji P. Henson
Director: David Fincher
Recommendations: This is one of the most beautiful stories that I have seen in a while and the movie has stayed with me ever since I saw it at the movies. I think it’s definitely worth buying, if only to be able to watch Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett’s amazing performances over and over again.
Wendy and Lucy
Synopsis: Proving why she is one of the most highly-regarded auteurs of current cinema, Kelly Reichardt’s (OLD JOY) subtle storytelling technique uses a formal minimalist style to weave together a unique emotional and political road film. Wendy Carroll (Michelle Williams) is driving to Ketchikan, Alaska, in hopes of a summer of lucrative work at the Northwestern Fish cannery, and the start of a new life with her dog, Lucy. When her car breaks down in Oregon, however, the thin fabric of her financial situation comes apart, and she confronts a series of increasingly dire economic decisions, with far-ranging repercussions for herself and Lucy. WENDY AND LUCY addresses issues of sympathy and generosity at the edges of American life, revealing the limits and depths of people’s duty to each other in tough times.
Cast: Michelle Williams, Will Oldham, Will Patton, Larry Fessenden, Walter Dalton
Director: Kelly Reichardt
Recommendations: I am a big fan of Michelle Williams and I remember seeing the trailer for Wendy and Lucy and really wanting to see it. And now that it’s on DVD, it’s definitely a rental for me.
Buy it: WENDY AND LUCY on Amazon
Synopsis: An adulterous woman’s life is torn apart when her husband and infant son are killed in a suicide bombing at a soccer match.
Cast: Michelle Williams, Ewan McGregor, Matthew MacFadyen
Director: Sharon Maguire
Recommendations: I’m going to rent this based strictly on the cast, which looks pretty amazing if you ask me. Plus after reading the synopsis, I am really curious to watch it.
Last Chance Harvey
Synopsis: New Yorker Harvey Shine (Dustin Hoffman) is on the verge of losing his dead-end job as a jingle writer. Warned by his boss (Richard Schiff) that he has just one more chance to deliver, Harvey goes to London for a weekend to attend his daughter’s (Liane Balaban) wedding but promises to be back on Monday morning to make an important meeting—or else.
Harvey arrives in London only to learn his daughter has chosen to have her stepfather (James Brolin) walk her down the aisle instead of him. Doing his best to hide his devastation, he leaves the wedding before the reception in hopes of getting to the airport on time, but misses his plane anyway. When he calls his boss to explain, he is fired on the spot.
Drowning his sorrows at the airport bar, Harvey strikes up a conversation with Kate (Emma Thompson), a slightly prickly, 40-something employee of the Office of National Statistics. Kate, whose life is limited to work, the occasional humiliating blind date and endless phone calls from her smothering mother (Eileen Atkins), is touched by Harvey, who finds himself energized by her intelligence and compassion.
The growing connection between the pair inspires both as they unexpectedly transform one another’s lives.
Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, Kathy Baker, James Brolin, Eileen Atkins, Richard Schiff, Liane Balaban
Director: Joel Hopkins
Recommendations: I missed this in theaters and while I don’t think it’s the movie of the year, but it looks sweet enough.
Winter of Frozen Dreams
Synopsis: Sex, Passion, Betrayal, Murder A true story of an unlikely serial killer. A brilliant biochemistry student who is also a prostitute. A brutally bludgeoned body buried naked in the snow. Thus begins Winter of Frozen Dreams, a sordid love story and a macabre web of blackmail, lust, and deceit. The Hoffman case was the first televised murder trial in US history. The true-life story of Barbara Hoffman, is complex and contradictory in every sense as she was both a brilliant biochemistry student at the University of Wisconsin and Madison’s most notorious prostitute. On a frigid, twenty-two below zero Christmas morning, Barbara Hoffman’s (Thora Birch) distraught young fiancé, Jerry Davies (Brendan Sexton III) leads police investigators to a corpse, which only hours before, he had buried in a snow bank. Lead by Detective Lulling (Academy Award winner Keith Carradine), the police investigators uncover the naked and brutally bludgeoned body of Harry Berge. Davies desperately insists that he is not a murderer and that he and Hoffman are guilty only of burying the corpse of a stranger. Shades of film noir blend with true crime, as Barbara Hoffman lives out her days in prison, refusing to give interviews or even go before the parole board.
Cast: Thora Birch, Keith Carradine, Brendon Sexton III, Leo Fitzpatrick, Dean Winters
Director: Eric Mandelbaum
Recommendations: I hadn’t heard of this movie, but I think I might check it out when it’s on TV.
Buy it: WINTER OF FROZEN DREAMS on Amazon
Synopsis: Marilyn Cooper (Academy Award-winner Diane Keaton) is one of those mothers- the kind who’ll call at 6:30 in the morning, or tell embarrassing stories about her son Noah (Dax Shepard) to complete strangers. When she suspects her husband is having an affair, she decides it’s time to “take a break,” and shows up on Noah’s doorstep with bags and five foster dogs in tow. Already having lost his job, hosting an unwelcome houseguest (Mike White) on his couch, and facing pressure from his wife Clare (Liv Tyler) to start a family despite his fears of inadequacy, Noah now finds the mother he’s always kept at a distance just a room away. He soon starts to realize that if he wants to stand up to the problems in his life, he’ll have to stand up to his mother.
Cast: Diane Keaton, Dax Shepard, Liv Tyler, Mike White
Director: Vince Di Meglio
Recommendations: This sounds like a pretty effortless movie to watch, and I can always use one of those.
Buy it: SMOTHER on Amazon