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New on DVD. Reader Request Poll

I'm no longer sure how to cover new DVD releases. Just as I'd decided we needed more coverage of them -- acknowledging that this is how most people watch movies -- and just as I'd decided on this biweekly format of "you choose!" Netflix went and signed some month long delay deal on new releases... but only some of them.

So now the subject of when something is or isn't available on DVD is nearly as confusing as whether or not a movie is or isn't available to people theatrically, which is something I don't think any of us ever wanted to see happen. Why can't the movie business learn what all other businesses seem to know in the modern age: if people want something, you agree to sell it to them! Curse you corporate deal-makers.

So I'm no longer going to be remotely completist about covering which DVDs are out which makes my little OCD self really sad but there it is. So since you're only getting a portion of what's available anyway, I will now only list movies I am curious about in some way (sometimes for healthy reasons, other times not). You can choose between the following movies... (If you don't have an immediate preference, let someone convince you to vote for something in the comments.)

  • 13 ASSASSINS -Takasi Miike plays with his samurai dolls. Supposedly the 45 minute action sequence which concludes the film is epic epicness.
  • BATTLE: LOS ANGELES -Aaron Eckhart, cleft chin champion, battles aliens in Pacific Central Time.
  • CEREMONY -Indie romantic comedy in which Michael Angaro falls for Uma Thurman who is already engaged to Lee Pace.
  • HAIR (1979) New on Blu-Ray Hippies sing and dance in Central Park in this stage to screen adaptation.
  • HALL PASS -overpaid stars pretend to be average suburbanites who are allowed to cheat on wives. We're guessing heteronormative-monogamous values prevail & nobody actually does the extramarital deed and/or realizes it was a mistake to even have the fantasy. There's no place like home!
  • NEW YORK NEW YORK (1977) New on Blu-Ray Martin Scorsese's post WWII musical about the on again off again romance of a saxophone player (Robert De Niro) and his chanteuse girl (Liza Minnelli).
  • RED RIDING HOOD -Amanda Seyfried is color blind, pairing the famous red cloak with a lavender dress (yuck), as she visits her grandmother with very big teeth.


Previously you forced Nathaniel (c'est moi) to write about The Other Woman, The Rescuers and Biutiful. What will it be this time?

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Reader Comments (15)

Definitely New York, New York; you've hinted elsewhere that it's underrated; and if anyone can suss out the complex layers of a film, especially a musical, that would be you, Nat.

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJanice

I read a review about Hall Pass and how the film is about the failings of middle aged bodies. I'm trashy so I'm not going to pretend that I hate the movie.

Nonetheless I voted for Hair.

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPaolo

Who is voting for Red Riding Hood? Nathaniel, listen to me. If that wins, fast forward to the big celebration scene maybe 40 minutes in. That is the closest this film gets to being any good. If the rest of the film had that level of energy and sexual exploration (what's Red Riding Hood without sexual maturation? This film), it would be engaging. Instead, it's dull as dishwater and only half as fun.

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

I agree with Janice, NEW YORK, NEW YORK definitely. Marty's handle on the genre, especially in the second half is splendid. The story is bleak, and it's not that innovative on its own but it's beautiful to watch, has a brilliant prolonged musical sequence with Larry Kert and Liza Minnelli is impeccable (she's never reminded me of Judy as much as she does here).

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew K.

Hair is an interesting failure, so I voted for that one.

13 Assassins' end action scene is excellent, but I can't say I was all that invested in any of the characters.

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRJ

i want long, straight, curly, fuzzy
snaggy, shaggy, ratty, matty
oily, greasy, fleecy, shining
gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen
knotted, polka dotted
twisted, beaded, braided
powered, flowered and confettied
bangled, tangled, spangled and spaghettied


July 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpar3182

I agree with RJ that Hair is a "failure" - the "interesting" part I'm not so sure of, but it's been a while. (I really only have one thing to say about that film - Treat Williams as a hippie. (??) There ya go.)

Sometimes I think it's a bad idea to make a period film to close to the period in question. A film on the Tudors, for instance, who is going to quibble with errors of fact, setting, chronology, costuming, etc? Historians and geeks who are into that period. A film about the 1960s? We have too much footage of the actual period, too many films on hand, that give us a feeling for that decade (or how people in that decade saw themselves.)

I haven't seen Mad Men, however, so that may be exempt judging from the love it gets here. I guess if you're going "recent period" you need to either be "spot on" for the feel of the time, or be wildly creative and purposefully anachronistic. Moulin Rouge is not recent enough a period, but it's a good example. (I'm tempted to say that the women's costumes of The Tudors, which I've only seen once, is attempting that, but too me it just looked like 16th century clothing as visualized by a 10-yr old girl.)

Oh, I guess I would give my second-place vote, were such available, to 13 Assassins. I assume those who voted for Red Riding Hood did so because they/we all know how skillfully Nathaniel can rip into crappy cinema.

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJanice

I've been meaning to revisit "New York, New York" for ages. I remember it as less an anomaly in Scorsese's work than as an extension of his style into a genre, the musical, that critics rarely take seriously. The heightened blood-red tones and fake stage sets, Liza's fearless (or is it pathetically camp?) imitation of her own mother, DeNiro at the peak of his powers: I remember the movie as having some of the operatic qualities of "Taxi Driver" and even the more realistic "Mean Streets." But I have no idea if it holds up. I hope you'll watch it and let us know.

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterOwen Walter

Hall Pass was a disappointing. Only a few laughs which is crazy because of the cast. I voted for Red Riding Hood because I have it sitting here but haven't been able to force myself to watch it yet. (Looks bad but I'm a fan of Oldman & Seyfried. I've heard mixed things on Battle: Los Angeles.

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMary

ny,ny deffo,liza is perfect in this and i am not a fan except her 89 disco pet shop boys cd.

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMARK

I know NYNY will win, that being more TFE's type, but Nat you HAVE to watch 13 Assassins anyway at some point. I promise you it's no more gore than you can handle - seriously, it's My Fair Lady compared to other Miike movies - and it's one of the best action movies of the past oh let's say 20 years. Calling it an "action movie" only feels like I'm boxing it in because they don't make action movies like this anymore. Smart and steady and emotionally complex and so delightfully WEIRD in the Miike way. It's as good as Kurosawa.

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJA

Hair is not a good movie, sorry. NYNY is a masterpiece...

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Johnnie To >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Takashi Miike (just in case you're considering some Eastern crime action flick)

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

"Battle: LA" sent me into a depression spiral. No joke. It's one of the three or four worst movies I have ever seen.

I voted for "New York, New York". Although I'm seeing "13 Assassins" in a few weeks so might be good, too.

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

Even if 13 Assassins doesn't win, you MUST see it. You owe it to yourself.

July 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJasper
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