Marley

Searching for Sugar Man

Nobody was surprised last week when Daniel-Day Lewis took home the Best Actor Oscar for Lincoln. It was an accomplished performance by an actor working in a league of his own. But another reason the award seemed so very unsurprising is the fact that a well-known actor was rewarded for embodying a familiar real-life figure. Awards ceremonies have made something of a habit out of rewarding actors for portraying famous real-life persons. One of my major gripes about Philip Seymour Hoffman taking home the gold for Capote in 2006 was the fact that Hoffman, who had never been nominated before, had previously lifted so many original characters off the page and gave them incredible depth (of course, I’m referring to Twister). But the face of a known actor embodying another known face functions like a magnet of praise when accomplished convincingly. The opposite can be said of non-fiction filmmaking. The critical and box office success of Searching for Sugar Man marks the culmination of a trend that’s seemingly particular to mainstream documentary filmmaking: the use of the medium to resurrect or elevate a previously under-appreciated or forgotten personality.

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Hot Rod

Netflix just doesn’t slow down its new streaming releases, with a huge crop recently being added on the first of the month and more noteworthy titles appearing on regularly. The great variety in titles can be easily seen by taking a look a rich, slow Western-horror, an absurd comedy, a dude punching wolves in the face, a prescient media classic and .

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Welcome back to This Week In DVD… now with more Blu-ray! The times they are a changing, and occasionally that means FSR’s DVD department is sent Blu-rays to cover instead. It happens. This week it happened to a handful of older Touchstone films, a couple Chuck Norris classics, two TV series, a beloved children’s classic and two direct to disc horror films. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Strike Back: Cinemax Season One (Blu-ray/DVD) Michael Stonebridge is an elite member of Britain’s anti-terrorist squad, and his latest mission finds him taking on the world’s most dangerous madman while he simultaneously takes on a new partner in a disgraced Delta Force soldier named Damien Scott. Together they kill, screw and blow(up) their way around the world trying to stop an impending terrorist attack. This is technically the British series’ second season, but it’s the first with the extra financial backing from Cinemax. And anyone who knows Cinemax knows they bring lots of sex wherever they go. Seriously. The show crosses the line into implausibility more than once, but that never diminishes the fun. Fantastic action sequences, strong pacing, high production values, solid chemistry between the leads and a bevy of buck-naked ladies make this one worth watching (and possibly owning). [Extras: Commentaries]

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christmas-carol-firstlook-header

Strangely enough, it’s the look of the animation that will nauseate and not just Jim Carrey playing Scrooge playing Jim Carrey in Robert Zemeckis’s latest.

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