The Golden Compass
Even though Compass flopped big time at the box office and in many critic’s eyes, it somehow won an Oscar for best visual effects. *Shrug*. In any case, this children’s story takes place in an alternate universe where every human’s soul is trapped inside an animal. There’s something to do with the Aurora Borealis, an armored polar bear voiced by Ian McKellan (Magneto) and a condemnation of the Catholic Church. Somehow it all relates and besides, your kids will probably love it. Blu-ray and 2-disc DVD features include a crap ton of behind-the-scenes featurettes.
Director Steven Soderbergh makes it very clear that every actor in his Ocean’s trilogy is way cooler than you will ever be. The first Ocean’s was a fun and breezy laid-back film where eleven middle-aged hipsters robbed Andy Garcia’s casino. Part 2 (12) was a different sort of movie - three middle-aged hipsters (the rest sit in jail for most the film) are grateful enough to invite viewers to watch them on vacation. There’s no heist, just a switcheroo at the end. At the very least, it’s a beautiful travelogue (just pretend the Travel Channel made it). Both films are fun and lightweight. Recommended - with commentary tracks on both films, a couple documentaries on the first film and a crap load of deleted scenes for the sequel.
Leave it to Hollywood to revise history and pad it with a much-needed love story (see: Titanic). Lady Guinevere can’t decide which hottie to marry - aged King Arthur (Sean Connery) or the ravishing, young Lancelot (Richard Gere)? Negating the lack of historical authenticity, rarely can you find a romantic costume drama with this much ass-kicking. Features include commentaries, deleted scenes and some making-of’s.
Saludos Amigos/The Three Caballeros - Regular ol’ DVD
While not wildly remembered like Pinocchio or Sleeping Beauty, these two films are really a part of the official Disney animated feature catalog despite existing merely as wacky Latin American travelogues. You see, with tensions on the rise before WWII, America had this Good Neighbor Policy with Latin America and Europe. Meant to increase American influence and support in these countries, a number of American films were produced with Latino themes and locales… hence these goofball features with Donald Duck. Boring history aside, both films are gorgeous to watch and perfect for collectors.
Apr 29, 2008