For an awards show that purports to honor outstanding achievements in film, the Academy Awards seem oddly drawn to the familiar. The movies with the most nominations at this year’s Oscar race, for example, are The King’s Speech and True Grit — two films with a great deal of critical acclaim backing them, but ones that are decidely lacking in any grand ambition beyond presenting a traditional, accessible story. The Oscars, it would appear, favor the classically good to the unconventionally good, leaving the latter out to be forgotten in a sea of mediocrity and predictability. This isn’t a shocking revelation; the Academy Awards have always favored films that adhere to a certain standard of genre filmmaking. A heart-rending, war-based drama about one man’s uplifting struggle against adversity will always win out over the truly innovative, progressive, subversive films of our times. Read More »
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Splice has its problems—not least of which is a flat third act horror turn-around—but it’s also refreshingly weird and original, taking the familiar monster movie/genetic-experiment-gone-wrong formula and twisting it into something uniquely its own. The Cronenberg inspiration is clearly evident, and lest the film get too serious, there’s also a knowing Sam Raimi vibe that creeps in now and again during some uncomfortably hilarious moments of absurdity. Not everyone will be able to tolerate the bizarre turns the story takes, but for those able to let the film’s perverse sense of dread pull them in, it’s one of the more intriguing films to be released in quite awhile.
Available on Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: DVD & Blu-ray – A Director’s Playground: Vicenzo Natali on the set of Splice.
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|Amazon – $17.99|
|BEST BLU-RAY PRICE|
|Amazon – $24.99|
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In November, when the twenty films submitted for the Best Animated Film Oscar were submitted, we noted a couple of titles that might have been unfamiliar to readers. One of them was The Secret of Kells, which we introduced as “an interesting hand-drawn film about a ninth-century boy who rebels against his guardian’s orders and helps to illuminate a famous Irish manuscript.”
The film has already been released internationally, and at the time we ran that piece, the handful of commentors who had seen it were very enthusiastic about the film. I want to take this chance to run the trailer again so that those who’ve never heard of the film get an idea of how it landed the nomination. Read More »