The Lunchbox Blu-ray Review

     Actors: Irrfan Khan
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, AC-3, Dolby, Widescreen
  • Language: Hindi
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Audio Description: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: PG
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: July 1, 2014
  • Run Time: 105 minutes


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            This debut feature by Ritesh Batra has the premise of an Indian romantic comedy, but has sense enough to allow the personalities of the characters to drive the narrative rather than the genre conventions. This may leave some viewers feeling unsatisfied with the more irresolute filmmaking choices, but the journey is undeniably delightful. Much of the credit for this goes to the film’s undeniably engaging leads, as well as Batra’s willingness to engage in crowd-pleasing moments of inspired human connection.

     

    Afflicted Blu-ray Review

         Actors: Derek Lee, Clif Prowse
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, AC-3, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: July 1, 2014
  • Run Time: 86 minutes



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            I was torn in deciding what to reveal in my review of Afflicted, because I greatly admire the marketing team’s restraint in revealing what the film is actually about. The plot description is purposefully vague and the trailer never clarifies exactly what the “affliction” is. On the other hand, this is one of those rare experiences where I was quickly disappointed once I realized what major plot point had remained hidden from the marketing. Personally, I would probably have enjoyed this movie more had I known more about the sub-genre it was going to conform to.

     

    Two Lives DVD Review

         Actors: Juliane K√∂hler, Liv Ullmann, Rainer Bock
  • Director: Georg Maas
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: German
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: June 24, 2014
  • Run Time: 99 minutes


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            Two Lives is an extremely difficult film to review, for several different reasons. First of all, it is a mystery thriller which unfolds wonderfully; something I would never risk destroying with a clumsy plot description. Second, there is very little frame of reference in recommending it, because it stands alone without the typical trappings of genre filmmaking. From beginning to end, I was never certain of the film’s direction, which can be a wonderful cinematic treat for the more sophisticated moviegoers. I also couldn’t find myself easily recommending this, because it is the type of film with such a slow build that the first half is more work than entertainment.

     

    Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me DVD Review

         Actors: Elaine Stritch, Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin
  • Director: Chiemi Karasawa
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: June 24, 2014
  • Run Time: 81 minutes





  •         My grandfather was an actor his entire life. From a lengthy list of stage shows that he was involved in to a familiar filmography of TV shows and films, Victor Izay had a successful career as a performer that carried on well into his 80s. Weeks before his death at 90 years old, he was still reciting Shakespeare and Edgar Allen Poe, and so I found this documentary about 87-year-old actress Elaine Stritch to be remarkably familiar. Shoot Me captures the spirit of a performer perfectly, especially in showing struggles of the spotlight with the increased difficulty of aging. Elaine Stritch is a unique personality, but my experience with my grandfather showed me that there is also a great deal of universal truth in her individual struggles.

     

    The Boondocks: The Complete Fourth Season DVD Review

  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 24, 2014
  • Run Time: 225 minutes


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            The Boondocks is uncompromisingly shocking, potentially offensive, and always more intelligent than it seems at first glance. Based on Aaron McGruder’s award-winning comic strip, The Boondocks is about a group of upper-middle class black families living in a wealthy suburban neighborhood. Huey and Riley are young brothers living with their grandfather, both with completely different personalities. Riley is completely absorbed by the hip-hop lifestyle, while Huey is a more interested in learning and critical thinking than conforming to the pop culture pit-traps for a young black man. The neighborhood also includes a black man who is married to a white woman, a self-deprecating black man, and an assortment of other bit players along the same lines.