Warrior Criticize This! Pick of the Week – One of the most underrated movies of the year, Warrior is not just about Ultimate Fighting, but is one of the greatest portrayals of hatred that can tear a family apart and never repair. Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton both deliver amazing, relentless performances as brothers battling each other emotionally and physically, while Nick Nolte as their alcoholic father should be a shoe-in for an Oscar nomination. For viewers just looking for awesome fight scenes, they are unbelievable and better than anything I’ve ever seen on screen before. Special features include deleted scenes, making-of featurettes, and more. Film **** DVD *** (out of 5 stars).
Midnight in Paris - Woody Allen’s latest film follows Hollywood writer Gil (Owen Wilson) as he gets swept away during a trip to Paris and ends up spending each night living in the past with the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, Cole Porter, and Gertrude Stein, while his fiancee Inez (Rachel McAdams) gets closer to an old fling (played by Michael Sheen). It’s a great literary comedy with some fine performances, especially from Tom Hiddleston who plays F. Scott Fitzgerald. While it might not appeal to everyone, Allen fans are sure to enjoy it. The only special feature included is a 4-minute video from the discussion panel at Cannes. Film *** DVD * (out of 5 stars).
Straw Dogs - I’m not a huge fan of Sam Peckinpah’s original Straw Dogs, but this useless remake is truly the dog’s breakfast and one of the worst movies of the year. Bland, boring, and completely pointless. The acting by James Marsden and Kate Bosworth is abysmal and I found I didn’t care for any of the characters or what happened to them at all. And what the hell is James Woods doing in this trash? Stick with the original or just watch something better. Special features include making-of featurettes and more. Film * DVD ** (out of 5 stars).
Dolphin Tale (Blu-ray) – Dolphin Tale is a cheesy, sugary sapfest from the makers of The Blind Side that is solely a film to play with your emotions. I have nothing against dolphins, family values, or Winter, the dolphin the movie is based on, but this is nothing more than a movie-of-the-week one might catch on Lifetime. Why Ashley Judd, Morgan Freeman, and Harry Connick Jr. agreed to be in it is surprising. I guess I shouldn’t have expected much more from a movie that had such a terrible poster. The Blu-ray release has a decent enough image and sound mix, but since the movie is such rubbish it’s not worth owning or even renting. Special features include making-of featurettes, a gag reel, and more. A regular DVD and digital copy of the film are included as well. Film * Blu-ray * (out of 5 stars).
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Top image: A scene from Warrior. Courtesy Alliance Films.