The Salesman Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Shahab Hosseini, Taraneh Alidoosti, Babak Karimi, Mina Sadati
  • Director: Asghar Farhadi
  • Producer: Asghar Farhadi
  • Format: AC-3, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Farsi
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: May 2, 2017
  • Run Time: 124 minutes

        There are numerous ways to approach thinking about The Salesman, a deceptively simple film from Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi and the winner of Best Foreign film at this year’s Academy Awards. Although resembling a basic revenge narrative, it is also a film that is distinctly Iranian. At the same time, the film comments on the differences between East and West in the depiction of an Iranian stage adaptation of Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman.” But the beauty of Farhadi’s work is not simply that it is a revenge narrative, nor that it has commentary on cultural differences, but in the way that it accomplishes both of these tasks with subtlety and ambiguity. Even as I continue to think about the end, I am constantly faced with shifting certainty about the events in the film and their meaning.

Tunnel DVD Review

  • Actors: Jung-Woo Ha, Doona Bae, Oh Dal-Su
  • Director: Kim Seong-Hun
  • Disc Format: Color, Dolby, NTSC, THX, Widescreen
  • Language: Korean (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Studio: Well Go USA
  • DVD Release Date: May 2, 2017
  • Run Time: 127 minutes

        Disaster films are a difficult sub-genre, relying on the effectiveness of filmmaking to build suspense even when the narrative itself rarely offers many surprises. If it is a disaster film about tornados, the audience is anticipating the specific destruction they will bring. Tunnel has an even harder task, limiting the cast and the number of things that can happen in a confined space after a tunnel collapses as our protagonist is driving through it. In fact, only the first portion of the film actually feels like a disaster movie, with much of the run-time being more of a confined survival narrative.

Orange is the New Black: Season Four Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Taylor Schilling, Laura Prepon, Kate Mulgrew, Michael Harney, Nick Sandow
  • Directors: Andrew McCarthy, Constantine Makris, Erin Feeley, Tricia Brock, Uta Briesewitz
  • Disc Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Studio: LIONSGATE
  • Release Date: May 9, 2017
  • Run Time: 778 minutes

        Even the best televisions shows need to find ways to reinvent themselves after the first few seasons, otherwise it begins to feel repetitive and formulaic. Despite primarily being a comedy based series, “Orange is the New Black” made some boldly dramatic moves in season four, not afraid to change the dynamic of the show and even the cast. This was also the season that the prison series decided to enter the discussion of current events and social issues, specifically relevant to the minorities making up a majority of the inmates.

The Expendables 1 & 2 4K Ultra HD Review

  • Actors: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts,
  • Director: Sylvester Stallone
  • Disc Format: 4K, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R
  • Studio: LIONSGATE
  • Release Date: May 2, 2017
  • Run Time: 103 minutes

        The Expendables is a franchise that was both ahead of its time while simultaneously being dated. Often humorous, occasionally unintentionally, The Expendables feels like an 80’s action film in many ways, which is fitting considering the impressive cast of veteran action stars. At the same time it stylistically belongs to another decade, this franchise was also the first to benefit from the novelty of a beefed-up ensemble cast of movie stars. Simply put, without The Expendables, there may never have been The Avengers. It also served as a return for Sylvester Stallone, both as an action star and as a filmmaker, coming on the heels of revivals of several of his most popular 80’s franchises (Rambo, Rocky Balboa).