Nurse Jackie

discs got3

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. Game of Thrones: The Complete Third Season The naval assault against the Lannisters has failed, and that little prick Joffrey remains atop the throne. Elsewhere, Daenerys is gathering an army to join her and her trio of dragons, Robb Stark is working to mend fences and create allies, and the White Walkers are continuing their ridiculously slow journey towards civilization. I’ve never read the novels, and I can’t imagine doing so without photos so I can recognize who’s who in the enormous list of characters, but this is some wonderfully dense and entertaining television. Season three continues to follow numerous story threads and characters, and while some are more engaging than others there’s not a single dud among them. The production value remains high resulting not only in strong performances but also in brilliant production design and cinematography. And if you haven’t watched the ninth episode of this season yet… oh my. Enjoy. Beyond the actual quality of the series, HBO proves once again that they care about the packaging and special features more than any other network. The Blu-ray case, complete with slipcase, is once again a gorgeous and highly practical creation. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Featurettes, commentaries, deleted scenes]

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discs kid with bike

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. The Kid With a Bike (Criterion) Cyril (Thomas Doret) is a young boy in flux. His mother is long gone, and his father has dropped him at an orphanage ostensibly for a few days while he gets his job and house in order. That lie hides an unforgivable truth that Cyril simply can’t accept, but through his efforts to reunite with his dad he comes under the care of a single hairdresser (Cecile de France) with struggles of her own. This French film is a deceptively simple tale of a lost boy at risk, but it becomes one of the year’s most suspenseful experiences thanks in large part to Doret’s incredible performance. His fragile emotional state teases as much danger as local teen thugs and Cyril’s constant bike-riding do leaving viewers nervously awaiting a seemingly inevitable and terrible turn of events. But even as we worry we can’t help but fall in love with the boy and the woman, their challenging and sweet interactions, and the film’s effortless display of affection and humanity. I rarely buy Criterion titles at retail (because they’re freaking expensive!), but like Broadcast News and The Game I’ll be making an exception here. [Extras: Interviews, featurette, booklet, trailer]

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This Week in DVD

Welcome back to This Week In DVD! Some fun titles are hitting shelves today, and not a single one of them rocked the box office. Of course, some of them never had the chance… but Tower Heist? Pretty sure that was intended to be a hit. Other releases this week include the Elizabeth Olsen stunner Martha Marcy May Marlene, the Korean action epic War of the Arrows, the bland Channing Tatum (redundancy alert!) thriller Son of No One, and more! As an added bonus one of the eleven entries below has been contributed by the highly educated and spry Landon Palmer! Can you guess which one? As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Retreat A couple dealing with marital issues heads to a remote island to save their relationship, but when a stranger washes up onshore with a fantastical tale of a worldwide plague the three of them enter into a deadly game of survival.This British thriller takes major cues from the superior Dead Calm, but it manages to create solid suspense, tension and uncertainty of its own. Cillian Murphy and Jamie Bell give strong, convincing performances as the husband and stranger, respectively, but Thandie Newton doesn’t fare as well. Still, this is the kind of thriller that deserves better than to get lost in the shuffle. Check out my full review here.

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This Week in DVD

This week sees several new releases hitting shelves from big budget comedies like Due Date and Megamind to smaller films like Fish Tank and Psych 9, but the largest grouping seems to fall under the foreign film heading. Lisbeth Salander gets an attractively packaged trilogy box-set, French gangsters run rampant, a Russian teen fights crime in a flying car, and two flexible women spend a sex and talk-filled night in a hotel room. So yeah… foreign films seem to be the way to go this week. Alien vs Ninja Everyone knows aliens and ninjas are cool, but for some reason no one thought to put them together until now. Not surprisingly, it took one of the creators of The Machine Girl to make it happen. And that association should also tip you off as to the tone and aesthetic of the movie… this isn’t a big budget, brilliantly scripted action pic. But it is a tale of warring ninja clans fighting each other in the woods of Japan until they’re interrupted by the arrival of an alien ship. The aliens onboard look like bipedal dolphins crossed with a bowling ball, and they’re hungry for Japanese cuisine. There’s a rather dull half hour early on, but stick with it for the final 45 minutes or so which is chock full of some ridiculously fun action, solid fight choreography, and some inappropriate touching. Check out my full review here.

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Every year, we TV people gather around the idiot box to see what shows were the best of last year. Well, at least what the Academies thought were the best, anyway. And, no, the irony of watching a television show about television shows isn’t lost on us. Last night was a gala night for the small screen featuring a few surprises, a few snubs, and Jimmy Fallon in an Elton John suit. Here’s a break down of what went down at the 2010 Emmy Awards.

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In spite of my surprising (and completely unshared) love for the movie The Box, I figured there needed to be a drinking game for something that people have actually seen. So this week, to avoid a drinking game with Maaaattt Daaaayyymuhnnn, I’m setting my sights on Showtime’s Nurse Jackie.

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Rob Hunter loves movies. He also loves the tender moment between first kiss and the gentle unclasping of the bra. And yes, we said ‘moment.’ These two joys come together in the form of cash money payments that he receives every week and immediately uses to buy more DVDs. This week he takes look at The Informant!, Cirque Du Freak, Dead Snow, The Box, Sorority Row, and many, many more.

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