New to DVD...First up we have two of my favorite movies of last year released for home-based consumption on DVD and Blu-ray. Before the Devil Knows You're Dead and Juno.
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead was Number Two on my list behind the (eventual) four-way tie for Number One of best films of 2007. I picked up the Blu-ray edition and was just as stunned the second time around seeing this masterwork by Sidney Lumet. Since it's not a grand spectacle/summer event movie, I almost got the standard DVD release, but I'm SO glad I went for the more expensive format. I learned in the special features that the movie was filmed in HD digital and it comes through in the transfer. The extra features are interesting, particularly the feature commentary by Lumet, Hawke and Hoffman. Just buy the damn thing already. 91/100
Juno, won best original screenplay for a reason. And no, it's not just that the writer was a blogging ex-stripper who made good. It's cause the blogging ex-stripper is a damn funny and interesting woman who can effing write. Again, I picked up the Blu-ray edition, and while the extras are good, the movie itself in an HD format is spec-fucking-tacular and justifies spending the extra bucks. Also included in the edition I got was a digital copy, an increasingly common feature that allows one to put a movie on one's ipod or computer for portability. I've put the movie on my iPhone and it's quite watchable, but uses over a gig of memory. I'll watch it and delete it very soon. 89/100
Across The Universe
I'm a lifelong Beatles fan. But I gave this movie the best objectivity I could. Ultimately it's a bunch of interesting cover version videos strung together with a trite and obvious plot. It's probably the most amazing crappy film I've seen in a long time. Good bits-80/100. Bad bits-50/100. Overall 60/100.
Ashes Divide: Keep Telling Myself it's Allright
On the music front, I've got a little story to tell.
Once upon a time there was this guitar tech (Billy Howerdel) who worked for Nine Inch Nails and Tool (among others) and decided he would form a band of his own. The Tool singer decided to join up, and Lo, A Perfect Circle was born. After a pretty good first album the band did a mediocre cover disc and a so-so second album with rotating members. Cut to 2008 and the tech turned lead guitarist/singer releases a new disc with a new band (albeit with the same drummer) called Ashes Divide. My thoughts?
It's not bad, in fact it's very well produced, but ultimately it's not all that great. I've given it multiple listens, and while it might eventually grow on me a bit, I just don't think it's all that lasting. 66/100.