New on Blu – 3/3/15

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part One

The worldwide phenomenon of The Hunger Games continues to set the world on fire with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, which finds Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) in District 13 after she literally shatters the games forever. Under the leadership of President Coin (Julianne Moore) and the advice of her trusted friends, Katniss spreads her wings as she fights to save Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and a nation moved by her courage. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is directed by Francis Lawrence from a screenplay by Danny Strong and Peter Craig and produced by Nina Jacobson’s Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik. The novel on which the film is based is the third in a trilogy written by Suzanne Collins that has over 65 million copies in print in the U.S. alone. (c) Lionsgate

Scott’s Take

Check out Scott’s review here!

Steve’s Take

Is it bad that I still haven’t seen a movie in this series? Move along.

Claudio’s Take

Check out Claudio’s review here!

Foxcatcher

FOXCATCHER is a psychological drama directed by Academy Award nominee Bennett Miller (MONEYBALL) and starring Golden Globe winner Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Academy Award nominee Mark Ruffalo, Academy Award winner Vanessa Redgrave and Sienna Miller. The film was written by E. Max Frye and Academy Award nominee Dan Futterman. FOXCATCHER tells the story of Olympic Gold Medal-winning wrestler Mark Schultz (Tatum), who sees a way out from the shadow of his more celebrated wrestling brother Dave(Ruffalo) and a life of poverty when he is summoned by eccentric multi-millionaire John du Pont (Carell) to move onto his estate and train for the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Desperate to gain the respect of his disapproving mother, du Pont begins “coaching” a world-class athletic team and, in the process, lures Mark into dangerous habits, breaks his confidence and drives him into a self-destructive spiral. Based on actual events, FOXCATCHER is a gripping and profoundly American story of fragile men who pinned their hopes for love and redemption on a desperate obsession for greatness that was to end in tragedy. (c) Sony Classics

Scott’s Take

Kudos to Steve Carell for completely transforming himself to play the creepy character of John du Pont. I had to keep doing double takes to make sure it was really him. Foxcatcher is a fascinating true story that WILL get under your skin. Highly recommended.

Steve’s Take

I agree with Scotty on this one. Steve Carell with a job well done and this is one that everyone should consider checking out.

Tinkerbell and the Legend of the Neverbeast

Fun and talented animal fairy Fawn believes you can’t judge a book by its cover, or an animal by its fangs, so she befriends a huge and mysterious creature known as the NeverBeast. While Tink and her friends aren’t so sure about this scary addition to Pixie Hollow, the elite Scout Fairies set out to capture the monster before he destroys their home. Fawn must trust her heart and take a leap of faith if she hopes to rally the girls to save the NeverBeast.

Scott’s Take

Another week, another Tinkerbell movie. This one is designed strictly to keep your kids in front of the television while you catch up on laundry.

Steve’s Take

I have enough babysitting material. Big Hero 6 has been a great help over the last week. If you are looking for an animated movie, go grab the best one from 2014.

The Last of Robin Hood

Errol Flynn, the swashbuckling Hollywood star and notorious ladies man, flouted convention all his life, but never more brazenly than in his last years when, swimming in vodka and unwilling to face his mortality, he undertook a liaison with an aspiring actress, Beverly Aadland. The two had a high-flying affair that spanned the globe and was enabled by the girl’s fame-obsessed mother, Florence. It all came crashing to an end in October 1959, when events forced the relationship into the open, sparking an avalanche of publicity castigating Beverly and her mother – which only fed Florence’s need to stay in the spotlight. THE LAST OF ROBIN HOOD is a story about the desire for fame and the price it exacts. (C) Samuel Goldwyn

Scott’s Take

Yawn!! The Last of Robin Hood looks unbearably dull. Someone else take one for the team and let me know how this is. I can’t see them all people. Let’s go!

Steve’s Take

This is crazy. Exactly how many Robin Hood movies are there??

Mrs. Doubtfire

After out-of-work actor Daniel Hilliard (Robin Williams) loses custody of his three children to his ex-wife Miranda (Sally Field), he dresses up in drag to become the matronly Mrs. Doubtfire, the family’s new nanny, in order to see his kids every day.

Scott’s Take

HELLLLLLLOOOOOO!!  The late, great Robin Williams shines as a divorced dad trying to win the hearts of his kids as well as his estranged wife. Fantastic entertainment for all ages.

Steve’s Take

Scotty please don’t do that again. Mrs. Doubtfire is a fantastic movie, but I could have sworn I just bought it as an add-on gift for my mother-in-law a few years ago. Grab it if you don’t have it.

Hook

Steven Spielberg filters J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan through a distinctly 1990s sensibility in Hook. Peter Pan has become Peter Banning (Robin Williams), a 40-year-old mergers and acquisitions lawyer with a permanent scowl on his face and a cellular phone in his belt. Banning has lost any memory of being Peter Pan, and he is also in danger of losing his wife Moira (Caroline Goodall) and two children, Jack (Charlie Korsmo) and Maggie (Amber Scott). Peter and his family travel to London to visit Granny Wendy (Maggie Smith) who recalls Peter’s lost youth and asks him, “Peter, dear, don’t you know who you are?” With Peter’s children asleep in the same bedroom where the original Peter Pan story began, there is a blinding flash. Peter comes into the room to discover a note from Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman), informing Peter that he has kidnapped his children. Granny Wendy now tells him who he really is and encourages him to re-discover his happy thoughts, transform himself into the Peter Pan of the past, and go rescue his children. With the encouragement of Tinkerbell (Julia Roberts), Peter recalls the birth of his son and once again takes wing. Then it’s off to Never Land to rescue his kids. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

Scott’s Take

Although I haven’t seen Hook in ages, I remember enjoying the hell out of it when it was released.  So ,imagine my surprise when I look at Rotten Tomatoes and Hook sits at an absurd 30%.  There are Adam Sandler movies rated higher than Hook. Lighten up people.

Steve’s Take

I loved this movie. Robin Williams again. I see a trend.

The Captive

Matthew steps briefly into a diner and comes out to find that his young daughter Cassandra has vanished without a trace from the back of his truck. Her unsolved abduction destroys Matthew’s once-happy relationship with his wife, Tina, who, haunted by mementos of Cassandra that appear mysteriously at her work, suspects her husband of foul play. Years later, when detectives Nicole and Jeffrey discover recent images of Cassandra online, Matthew risks everything to ensure his daughter’s safe return-and to save himself and Tina from the limbo of unrelenting despair.

Scott’s Take

I recently watched The Captive on Netflix or Amazon Instant and I hated it. It’s not that the story was bad, it’s just told in flashbacks as it jumps back and forth from present to past making it hard to follow. Ryan Reynolds needs to fire his agent as his once bright star has fizzled with poor career choices. It’s a shame because he is a talented actor. Don’t waste your time with The Captive.

Steve’s Take

Check out Scott’s take. I haven’t seen or heard of this one. Doesn’t sound like I want to either.

The Grifters

The Grifters superbly directed by Stephen Frears, beautifully adapted by Donald E. Westlake from a novel by Jim Thompson is a superlative, psychological drama and one of the finest film noir of the decade. In contemporary Los Angeles, Roy Dillon (John Cusack), a cynical con artist makes his living by small-time hustling. His trampy, deceptively empty-headed girlfriend Myra (Annette Bening) has bigger plans for him. These plans are foiled when Roy is badly hurt by a bartender he is attempting to cheat and is desperately in need of medical attention. He is aided by his estranged mother, Lily (Angelica Huston), an experienced professional con-artist who works for the mob. Lily makes sure that Roy has the medical attention he needs, and incurs the wrath of her employer when she costs him alot of money because she is late in making her bets. Lily and Myra take an instant dislike to each other and compete for Roy’s affections. On a trip to the racetrack, Myra, unknown to Lily, spies on her stealing money and informs her boss. Lily, desperate to save her life goes to Roy and begs for money to escape and make a new life. Lily, discarded by Roy, follows her seeking revenge. The film quickly comes to a stunning, suprisingly poignant ending. The Grifters is exceptional in capturing the atmosphere of Los Angeles and showing the life of the con-artists who operate there. It also handles its unusual subplot dealing with the odd, sexually ambiguous relationship of Lily and Roy, the child she gave up and now hopes to reclaim. John Cusack gives a restrained, nuanced performance as the sly, manipulative and sexually-confused Roy. Annette Bening is also extremely good as Myra, an unscrupulous woman who uses her body to get what she wants. However, the move really belongs to Angelica Huston, who gives an outstanding, complex Oscar award winning performance as a woman who will do anything to survive. The long finale sequence of the film, as Lily attempts to persuade Roy to help her is outstanding in the understanding and psychological depth both Huston and Cusack bring to their roles. Huston is simply stunning as she leaves Roy’s apartment intent on surviving despite the emotional cost. Stephen Frears handles this complicated material with great still and understanding, and received a well-deserved Oscar nomination, as did Bening and scriptwriter Donald Westlake.

Scott’s Take

Those of you who didn’t quite get your con artist fill from Will Smith’s latest Focus should go out and grab The Grifters. Who doesn’t like a movie about con artists? It doesn’t get any better than this one. A must see!

Steve’s Take

The summaries on all of the old movies are like novels. Anyway…everyone loves a good con. Here is another for you.

Next Week

A lot of retreads this week. Mockingjay and Foxcatcher are the obvious ones to go out and grab. Next week we have a SLOW week with Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and Wolfcop hitting shelves. Have a great week everyone.