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August: Osage County – First up, in alpha order, is the new Julia Roberts/Meryl Streep award fodder film (that failed to make the impact it intended). Sad really, considering it comes from the mind and pen of Tracy Letts who gave us Bug and Killer Joe. The play it’s based on won the Pulitzer, Tony, Drama Desk, NY Drama Critics and Theater World Awards, so adding Oscar to that was the hope. But alas, ‘twasn’t meant to be. The story follows a family reunion of sorts in Oklahoma of some of the worst people alive – played by some of the best actors alive. Why it failed, I have no idea. But it did. I’ll give it another chance on Blu and see if it grows on me.
Bad Ass 2: Bad Asses – The first Bad Ass was a pretty interesting film, based on a wild viral video that spun off in a totally different direction. I guess the spinning is still going and Danny Trejo’s Bad Ass Frank is joined by the clearly NOT getting too old for this shit Danny Glover.
Cocaine Cowboys: Reloaded – Look, Cocaine Cowboys is an awesome documentary film. The fact that it’s finally coming to Blu-ray, all tweaked out with additional deleted scenes is a no-brainer.
Criterion Reissues: The 400 Blows and The Night of the Hunter – Two awesome Criterion films street today. Truffaut’s defining film and one of the great, and still vastly influential gothic noirs, make my wallet that much lighter this week.
Grudge Match – De Niro versus Stallone is a pretty good title fight. It’s a few years too late as far as I’m concerned, but this looks like a good rental, so I’m in.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – Peter Jackson and Company continue their trek into a children’s book that could have been told in one three-hour film, but ‘eff it, right? By all reports, this one is vastly better than the first Hobbit (all you had to say was there’s no 12 minute dwarf song and I would have guessed), so this will be a blind buy at Target today for most of us. Unless there’s a super duper retail exclusive that’s better. Hmmmm... let’s see what exclusives there: Best Buy – Steelbook, Target has a Lego figure of Legolas, Wal-mart, I dunno. So yeah, Target it is.
Lizzie Borden Took an Ax – Christina Ricci stars as the titular axe murderer, uhm, Lifetime movie? Wow, Lifetime; between this and next week’s Flowers in the Attic release, you’re really stepping up your television for women game.
Nurse 3D – I’m a sucker for 3D bewbs, so yeah, I’ll be watching this on a 3D monitor somewhere somehow. Is the film any good? Don’t care.
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones – I guess the main Katie mythology is taking a breather, so why not drop some Latino flavor in while we wait? This entry is a new story, but ties into the story set up in the original series. I honestly can’t believe I speaking about these films like they mean something. Damn you pop culture for making me care about this crap.
Zero Charisma – Playing D&D as a structural plot device: if it’s good enough for Dan Harmon, damnit, it’s good enough for Katie Graham and Andrew Matthews. Zero follows tabletop gamer Scott as he navigates a pretty ass-soaked existence – and things just get worse when he meets his Positive Zone self (a guy who has the life Scott wishes he had) who joins in on his weekly game and takes over Scott’s spotlight. Critically and fandom acclaimed, if you haven’t heard of this, do yourself a favor and put it at the top of your own queue.
There you go. Lots and lots of good stuff to peruse this week. And there’s actually even more if you’re still hungry for titles. Head over to the Release Dates and Artwork section of The Bits for a more complete list of titles coming this week. And as a greedy reminder, be sure to help support The Bits by clicking the links above.
See you next week, where we’ll be looking at cartoon squirrels, secret lives and two much requested classics from Universal!
Be back in a week and keep spinning those discs…
– Todd Doogan