Saturday, March 2, 2013

New on DVD

FIRE UP THE BIG SCREEN                
by Mark Dispenza

Awards season is over and now it's time to play catch-up in the privacy of your home or a friend's living room.  For your enjoyment, here is a compilation of some of our favorite foreign and American indie films currently in DVD release:...

Celeste and Jesse Forever - This is a film that breaks the mold of traditional romantic comedy.  Celeste and Jesse are the perfect couple, until six years into their marriage, they find that they have grown apart and value different things.  They decide to call it quits. The problem is they're still best friends at heart and can't stay away from each other.  

Holy Motors - It's a cinematic thrill ride that's sometimes hard to follow, but Holy Motors is surely one of the most inspired works of artistic vision to hit the world of film in a very long time.  Director Leos Carax painted a mesmerizing canvas around actor Denis Lavant in one of the most electrifying performances to be ignored at the Oscars this year. Sometimes it takes a while for people to appreciate sheer genius.

The Master - Yet another work that is so far out of the mainstream that it will take a while to win the appreciation it's due, The Master tackles life's big question on a human scale.  Joaquin Phoenix delivers a career-best performance as Freddie, a lost soul who finds his way via the unlikely path espoused by a charismatic cult leader.  It may be hard to understand Paul Thomas Anderson's work, but you're always sure to see great performances.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower - This is a film that captures the wonder of the teen years, without shying away from the hard truths.  Logan Lerman and Emma Watson play new friends who discover their attraction to one another arises as much from tragedy as from the bonds of love and friendship.  This is a break-out role for Watson.  She's not Hermione anymore.

Robot and Frank - Frank Langella again proves that age is not slowing him down, as he delivers one of the year's best performances as a former criminal who struggles to cope with declines in health and mental acuity during his twilight years.  The robot that Frank's son provides as a servant turns out to be more of an aid than anyone imagined.

The Sessions - Based on an auto-biographical article by Mark O'Brien, a 30-year-old, polio-stricken writer decides to have sex for the first time and seeks out the services of a sexual surrogate to provide him with the experience.  It's a life-affirming story about sex that mines the depths of purest love, with yet another outstanding performance by John Hawkes.

...And Releasing this Week: 

The Intouchables - In one of the most internationally popular films of the year and France's official Oscar submission, Francois Cluzet and Omar Sy star as a quadriplegic man and his caregiver.  They come from entirely different worlds, but together form a bond that transcends ethnicity, culture and class.  It's a beautiful film with a beautiful story that continues to resonate around the world.

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