Her - Warner Bros. - Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD
Director: Spike Jonze
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson
There are so many different things to love about Her, but since everyone already focuses on things like the love story and our increasing relationships with technology, let's spend a little bit talking about the most incredible part of the film: the performances. Joaquin Phoenix is just mesmerizing in this role. The charm he radiates is so natural and so disarming that every smile lifts your heart, and every coy tick pulls at your heartstrings. It's not only one of the best of his career (and so radically different from all his other roles), but it's one of the most perfect performances in years.
Then there's Scarlett Johansson who deserves every accolade in the book for turning a voice-only role into something so physical and tactile that you have to remind yourself that she never actually appeared in the movie. It's not easy to fill a voice with so many mannerisms you can picture, but she did it flawlessly. And there's also a really superb supporting performances from Amy Adams, Chris Pratt and Rooney Mara.
Special Features: We dive into the special features on this disc over here, where you can conveniently see a funny clip of Joaquin Phoenix accidentally dropping Samantha off of a roof.
Other Notable New Releases
Unfortunately this week is kind of disappointing for 2014 movies hitting home video (I, Frankenstein), so let's just focus on some fantastic older films getting new Blu-ray issues. First up is a double bill of Crocodile Dundee I and II (sorry Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles), two movies that still hold up better today than they have any right to. Despite both of these movies being sooooo '80s, there's this weirdly timeless quality to the fish-out-of-water story that works without the benefit of nostalgia. Paul Hogan's great, but recently rewatching these made me realize that one of the secret weapons of both films is Linda Kozlowski, who is sexy, funny, smart and confident-- which isn't always the case with the obligatory love interests in comedies. Basically, if you haven't seen these in a while, pick up this set and be pleasantly surprised at how great these movies still are.
Speaking of the '80s, this week also sees Evilspeak and Final Exam hitting Blu for the first time. The latter is an enjoyable, early '80s slasher that plays up its college campus setting quite nicely. It certainly doesn't stand as tall as the iconic heavy hitters of the genre, but it's a step above most of the random slashers that followed in Michael Myer's footsteps. Also hailing from 1981 is Evilspeak, which you may recall as the movie about a bullied nerd who uses a computer to summon demons to punish his jerk classmates. It embodies fun, funky '80s horror; the kind of movie that was readily passed around on VHS back in the day, and that wasn't afraid to take something so silly so seriously (a quality a lot of modern horror movies are missing).
Jumping forward quite a few years, we've got a new, stand-alone Blu-ray release for one of Francis Ford Coppola's most divisive movies: The Godfather: Part III. If you're a fan of this epic crime trilogy, you probably already own this as part of a box set, but if for whatever reason you want to own only the least loved of the trilogy, today is your day.
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