Knot (2013/Image Blu-ray
Psychotherapy Of A Plains Indian
B-/B-/B & C+/C/B- Sound: B/B/B- & C+/C+/B- Extras:
B/B-/C+/C/C+ Films: B/B-/B-/C+/C+
are five very serious dramas you should know about...
we have a pair of underseen Costa-Gavras films way overdue for
(2002) and Capital
(2013, his most recent work too unnoticed), which deal with
activity that is questionable in the least and criminal overall.
Is very detailed in how the Catholic Church and particularly Pope
Pius XII ignored the Holocaust and the price Jews and the world paid
and still pay to this day, while Capital
is another insiders look at moneymen playing outrageous games with
extreme wealth, breaking all laws around, practicing late capitalism
like the world is about to end and the moral bankruptcy that results.
has us follow Kurt Gerstein (Ulrich Tukur), a German Christian and
Chemist who becomes part of The Final Solution be becoming one of its
architects without at first realizing it, but morally objects early
and landed up being one of the first to prove it happened. The film
pulls no punches and has great acting, scenes and moments throughout
that pulls no punches, reminds us how many Christians and especially
Catholics made up the Nazis and how this legacy is still hidden,
denied and remains un-dealt with. It is also a source of current
anti-Semitism. Mathieu Kassovitz leads the rest of the great cast
here of one of the most underrated political films of the last 40
has Gad Elmalehas as a young bank executive picked to suddenly be CEO
over several older, more qualified men in what turns out to be a ploy
and plot to ruin and gut the bank he works for and take it for all
its worth, but he is onto how he is being used early and has his own
ideas. Gabriel Byrne is the head of the outside investors trying to
pull this fast one out of Miami, Florida and though not as savage as
Of Wall Street
(2013) or J.C. Candor's underrated Margin
(2011), plays like an effective flip-side in its subtlety, even
counter-approach by showing the rotten-ness in a different light.
That is why I recommend it.
has had his successes (Z
(reviewed elsewhere on this site from Criterion), The
and misses (Music
but he is back in strong form here and not enough people have seen
either film. Glad to see both of them out on Blu-ray in special
editions everyone should see at least once.
on both include illustrated booklets, Amen.
adds a feature length audio commentary track by Costa-Gavras hosted
by Wade Major, a 2014 re-release Theatrical Trailer and vintage BBC
Pius XII: The Pope, The Jews & The Nazis
that further shows how the Catholic Church enabled The Holocaust,
adds cast/crew interviews.
(2013) is an interesting dramatic film version of the terrible,
embarrassing miscarriage of justice that happened recently in Memphis
after three underage male children are found severely sexually
assaulted, exploited and murdered. Instead of finding the actual
killer(s), local authorities decide to scapegoat three teens who
don't fit in with their narrow, conformist world and the lies and
frame-ups lands them up in jail with no hope of freedom or hope of
justice of any of us.
version has Reese Witherspoon (in an ambitious performance for a
change) as a mother of one of the murdered children who may be closer
tot he truth than she realizes and Colin Firth as an investigator who
knows there is some kind of cover-up. Despite the several
documentaries made on the subject and many knowing the conclusion of
the actual case, Egoyan foregoes his usual approach and sticks to the
darker side of the case, no matter the outcome; something the media
has disturbingly failed to do. That this was not bigger national
news is a very disturbing in itself, but this film has enough good
moments that it reminds us effectively how neglect by those in power
are sending the U.S. (and other countries for that matter) more and
more down the wrong path as moral authority takes a bizarre,
De Haan, Bruce Greenwood, Stephen Moyer, Amy Ryan and Elias Koteas
include a Making Of featurette, Deleted Scenes and featurette Getting
Into Character: The Cast Of Devil's Knot.
You can see a great documentary about the case in Amy
at this link:
P.: Psychotherapy Of A Plains Indian
the story we've seen before where a person in trouble (here Benicio
Del Toro as a Native American man, the title character) in a hospital
circa WWII seeming schizophrenic, but maybe not. The underrated
Mathieu Amalric is the French doctor and expect who might be able to
uncover the actual truth in a film to its credit that does not make
this story into a clone of Penny Marshall's underrated Awakenings
(1990) or some bad feel-good movie that rings phony al the time.
This is a greta pairing of two great actors.
the script and final result is uneven, has more good separate moments
than being a film with an impact, message and payoff. I wanted this
one to work badly, but the talent cannot overcome the limits of the
narrative's confinements. Still, this is ambitious and everyone was
at least trying. Larry Pine and A Martinez also stars.
include Interviews, a Making Of featurette and Original Theatrical
Gordon Green's Joe
(2014) is an ambitious attempt to get
back to the roots of his best early films like George
before going too commercial for his own good, based on a gritty book
by Larry Brown, but even with Nicolas Cage in great form as the gruff
title character in this tale of of trashy southerners with no future
ruining the lives and future of all around them, the film is too
sidetracked for its own good and some good performances (often in
thankless roles) cannot stop the predictability or even flatness of
the results. A shame since some moments work and Tye Sheridan as a
15-year-old who wants more with his life making a great acting
showing here among all of this, the film's 117 minutes is uneven.
Too bad, because it has some good moments, but Green has lost his
edge and needs to get it back quickly.
include Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and iTunes
capable devices, while the Blu-ray adds Deleted Scenes, two Making Of
featurettes and a
feature length audio commentary track
by Green, Actor Brian D. Mays and Composer David Wingo.
four Blu-rays look pretty good, but the
1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers on Knot
just edges out the usually solid 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High
Definition image transfer on Amen.
(shot on Kodak 35mm film, some digital work and some print flaws hold
it back a little, plus color can be lite at times), the 1080p 2.35 X
1 digital High Definition image transfer on Capital
(shot on 35mm Fuji film, one of the last that will ever use that
stock, but with more weak points than expected) and the HD-shot 1080p
2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Joe,
anamorphically enhanced DVD of Knot
and anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on Jimmy
(also shot all on 35mm film) are softer, but tie for second-place
performance wise here.
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes on all four Blu-rays are
pretty good, but in this case, Amen.
have the better
sonics while Knot
are a bit limited in soundfield, yet they all sound well recorded and
mixed. The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on
DVDs tie for last place, though Jimmy
would likely sound better in a lossless version.