New this Week: ‘TRON: Legacy,’ ‘The Fighter’ and ‘Hard Boiled (BD)’

Hitting movie theaters this weekend:

The Fighter – Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams
How Do You Know – Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson
TRON: Legacy – Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde
Yogi Bear – Dan Aykroyd, Justin Timberlake, Anna Faris

Movie of the Week

TRON: Legacy

The Stars: Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde
The Plot: Sam Flynn (Hedlund), the son of Kevin Flynn (Bridges), looks into his father’s disappearance and finds himself pulled into the electronic world where his father has been living for the past 25 years.
The Buzz: This film has been more than adequately promoted, especially here in cyber-space, which is all very appropriate. The film’s original teaser was released eons ago, which has allowed for a tidal wave of anticipatory energy to build up, day after marketable day. The question now is: Will TRON: Legacy live up to the hype? My bet is that it will — that is, if one’s expectations are congruent with the purist possible treatment of escapism one could ever imagine. In my estimation, audio/visual spectacle is the only thing promised here, and I believe this film will deliver on such, and deliver it well.

Everything looks to be amped to eleven. Daft Punk is primed to provide audiences with a truly amazing audio experience, I can’t imagine a better pairing really, and I enjoyed the visual spectacle of the film’s many trailers quite a bit. They often made me wish I was seeing TRON: Legacy right then and there, instead of whatever forgettable film I was about to see that night — which very rarely happens. Yes, this film has been expertly marketed, IMHO, and even after all the countless artifacts of promo, it still seems to have maintained a genuine air of mystery. I can’t wait to see it.

Every Friday we’ll have new reviews of the latest films.
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New Blu-ray and DVDs released this week:

The A-Team (BD/DVD) – Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley
Cyrus (BD/DVD) – John C. Reilly, Marisa Tomei, Jonah Hill
Despicable Me (BD/DVD) – Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand
Exit Through the Gift Shop – Directed by Banksy
Hard Boiled (BD) – Chow Yun-fat, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Teresa Mo
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (BD/DVD) – Directed by Ricki Stern, Anne Sundberg
Micmacs (BD/DVD) – Dany Boon, André Dussollier, Nicolas Marié
Mother and Child (BD/DVD) – Naomi Watts, Annette Bening, Kerry Washington
Nanny McPhee Returns (BD/DVD) – Emma Thompson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ralph Fiennes
The Other Guys (BD/DVD) – Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg
True Grit (BD) – John Wayne, Kim Darby, Glen Campbell

Blu-ray/DVD of the Week

Hard Boiled (BD)

The Stars: Chow Yun-fat, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Teresa Mo
The Plot: A rugged cop teams up with an undercover agent to take down a malicious mobster.
The Buzz: When I was a freshman at the University of Iowa, I had the pleasure of living in a dorm room just down the hall from an absolute film buff. The guy was a genuine film nut; his knowledge of hip indie cinema consistently blew me away and he always managed to recommend excellent film after excellent film. It was apparent that this kid lived and breathed to watch movies. He even established a video rental system for the entire hall, complete with fines for not rewinding his tapes (yes, this was back when films were on chunks of plastic we called “tapes”). Like me, my neighborly benefactor was a film major, but his passion for celluloid truly put mine to shame, which if I may be so bold, is saying something.

Now, to get to the point, this kindly gentleman was solely responsible for introducing me to John Woo’s spectacular masterwork Hard Boiled. I first watched it with him in his dorm room, and couldn’t believe how incredible the action sequences were (just imagine a brilliantly exaggerated Diehard), and on top of that, Woo had masterfully managed to make the story matter too, which was a beautiful feat considering the genre. The film’s lead, Tequila (Yun-fat), is an extraordinarily likable and rugged character; he might even win my vote for “best film hero of all time.”

I’m so entirely stoked that this film has finally gotten the blu-ray treatment. For those of you who have yet to see this action-film paradigm, I don’t want to say much more than, “this is the best gun movie ever made.”

If you’re unfamiliar with Hard Boiled‘s cousin The Killer, or any of Woo’s earlier Hong Kong action extravaganzas (i.e. A Better Tomorrow I, A Better Tomorrow II), you owe it to yourself to look into ‘em, but Hard Boiled is just too perfect, I’d suggest starting there. That is, if you’re a fan of unadulterated bullet-festered action cinema, as Hard Boiled IS the end all be all of such.

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