Easy A (Blu-ray) Criticize This! Pick of the Week – Loosely based on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Easy A tells the story of Olive (Emma Stone), a grade A student who is branded the school tramp after she lies about losing her virginity.
It’s been a long time since a high school movie came along equal to something John Hughes would have made during the Brat Pack days of the ‘80s. And with a strong script, great performances, and solid direction by Will Gluck, Easy A succeeds at not only being the best movie in this genre since Hughes’s Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, but it’s also one of the best films of the year (even after repeat viewings it still keeps a smile on my face the entire time). Patricia Clarkson, Stanley Tucci, Penn Badgley, and Amanda Bynes also star.
The Blu-ray release of Easy A looks and sounds sharp and crisp and is a worthy addition to your collection. Special features include audio commentary with Emma Stone and director Will Gluck, a pop-up trivia track, making-of featurette, a featurette on movies from the ’80s, a gag reel, and much more. Film **** Blu-ray **** (out of 5 stars).
Devil - When I saw the trailer for Devil last summer before a screening of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, the audience in the theatre seemed genuinely interested in it until M. Night Shyamalan’s name appeared and everyone burst into laughter. Shyamalan is only a producer on Devil though, and director John Erick Dowdle (Quarantine) has actually made a decent little thriller that feels more like an episode of Tales from the Crypt or The Twilight Zone than a feature film.
The premise is simple but affective: Five people get stuck in an elevator and whenever police or rescue crews get close to saving them something happens to stop them. It soon becomes clear there is a force keeping these five people hostage in the elevator, but why? Chris Messina, Bojana Novakovic, and Logan Marshall-Green star.
The DVD release of Devil is not much to write home about. Special features include deleted scenes, a pair of short making-of featurettes, and a promo video for The Night Chronicles, which Devil is part of. Film *** DVD * (out of 5 stars).
Step Up 3 (Blu-ray) – Are you a fan of the previous Step Up films? Are you a fan of dancing? I’m not and found Step Up 3 to be one of the worst things ever put to film. Ever! To me it was a display of pretty people who can’t act and a script worthy of being used as toilet paper. I don’t even know if the dancing was any good I was so dumbfounded by what I was witnessing. The only thing I can imagine that would make this movie more painful would be seeing it in 3-D (the original title was Step Up 3-D).
If the people who created Blu-ray technology knew movies like Step Up 3 would be coming I think they would have scrapped the project. Sure, those pretty people look nice in high-def but the terribleness of the rest of the film is amplified tenfold. Special features on the Blu-ray release include deleted scenes, music videos, a dance montage, and more. A regular DVD of the film is also included. Film * Blu-ray * (out of 5 stars).
Also available on DVD and Blu-ray this week:
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (DVD/Blu-ray)
Family Guy: It’s a Trap (DVD/Blu-ray)
Caprica Season 1.5 (DVD)
Stonehenge Apocalypse (DVD)
Vomit Gore Trilogy (DVD)
The Films of Rita Hayworth (DVD)