The Town (Blu-ray) Criticize This! Pick of the Week – The Town is a riveting look at a Boston neighbourhood where most of the locals are drug users, criminals, or both. Directed by Ben Affleck, who also stars alongside Rebecca Hall, Jeremy Renner, and Jon Hamm, it’s reminiscent of ‘70s crime-dramas such as Dog Day Afternoon and The Taking of Pelham One Two Three.
This is Affleck’s follow-up to 2007s Gone Baby Gone and he has now proven he’s a master behind the camera (I’d say he’s on the path to becoming the next Clint Eastwood). The film has just the right amount of drama, action, and humour, and with great performances from the entire cast, it should be remembered for many years to come.
While the picture quality is not as perfect as it could be (I believe this is caused by the fact there are two versions of the film on one disc), The Town on Blu-ray is still a very decent release and the 5.1 DTS-HD sound mix makes up for the lesser image. Special features include the theatrical cut and extended cut of the film (which packs 23 extra minutes), audio commentary with Ben Affleck (on both cuts), and BD-Live functionality. Film **** Blu-ray **** (out of 5 stars).
The Other Guys (Blu-ray) – In The Other Guys, Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg play NYPD desk jockeys who end up in a heap of trouble when they try to be real cops and venture out in the field. Directed by Adam McKay, it’s funny in that dumb way Ferrell does best (as seen in Anchorman and Talladega Nights, also directed by McKay). Wahlberg plays off of Ferrell perfectly, delivering more laughs even. While I enjoyed the film, I did find it lengthy and some of the jokes got tired quickly (Eva Mendes playing Ferrell’s hot wife, for instance, was milked dry).
The Blu-ray release for The Other Guys is a clean transfer that looks nice, but besides a few action scenes this is not required viewing in high-def. Special features include audio commentary with the mothers of Adam McKay, writer Chris Henchy, and Will Ferrell, making-of featurettes, extended and deleted scenes, a gag reel, and more. A regular DVD and digital copy of the film are also included. Film *** Blu-ray *** (out of 5 stars).
Cyrus (Blu-ray) – Cyrus is by far the biggest disappointment I’ve seen all year. I had high hopes for a Duplass Bros. film (these are the guys who did the fun films Baghead and The Puffy Chair) with big names like Jonah Hill, Marisa Tomei, John C. Reilly, and Catherine Keener. Unfortunately, the story of a 21-year-old (Hill) still living at home and being jealous of who his single mother (Tomei) brings home (Reilly) is just sad and awkward and made me hate everyone onscreen. With no likeable characters, bad pacing, and terrible direction, this should be a contender for the Wal-Mart bargain bin in a couple of weeks.
I feel as though Cyrus on Blu-ray is a waste of technology and don’t even recommend renting it in the format as that would show a sign of support. Special features include deleted scenes, a Q&A with the directors, two Fox Movie Channel features, and more. Film ** Blu-ray * (out of 5 stars).
Also available on DVD and Blu-ray this week:
Despicable Me (DVD/Blu-ray)
Nanny McPhee Returns (DVD/Blu-ray)
Legend of the Guardians (DVD/Blu-ray)
The A-Team (DVD/Blu-ray)
True Grit (1969, Blu-ray)
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (DVD/Blu-ray)