All of the new DVD releases hit stores (and Netflix) on Tuesdays. So each week in What to Netflix: New DVD Tuesday, I sort through the best of the batch and tell you what to add to your queue. In addition to the titles below you can view Cate Blanchett's award-nominated performance in Elizabeth: The Golden Age and The Jane Austen Book Club, which I featured as one of my February Must Haves. Additionally, the Jodi Foster thriller The Brave One, which I liked well enough, is now on DVD.
The Assassination of Jess James by the Coward Robert Ford
This movie adaptation of Ron Hansen's acclaimed novel brings to life two infamous personalities of the American wild West. Notorious outlaw Jesse James (Brad Pitt) befriends what amounts to a latter-day celeb stalker, Robert Ford. Played by Casey Affleck who has been nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal, Ford is a man looking for fame and will do just about anything to attain it.
I enjoyed this movie, despite some awkward pacing and artifice. The visualizations of the West and solid performances make this a great choice for home-theater viewing.
It's a fun week for DVDs so
Across the Universe
I once described the look and feel of Across the Universe as a shroom-induced dream set to Beatles songs, and I stand by that description. Using the Fab Four's music, a romantic plot line, and trippy visual effects, director Julie Taymor takes audiences through the ups and downs of the 1960s. The result is an ambitious, psychedelic attempt to capture a moment in time, and I give it an "A" for effort.
The burning question you'll probably have when viewing these crazy visuals is, "How'd they do that?" Thus, the two-disc DVD set is highly satisfying with all its making-of featurettes. Also, the commentary by Taymor gives great background on why she chose the '60s as her backdrop and how the Beatles inspired her.
2 Days in Paris
Julie Delpy wrote, stars in, directed, and composed the music for this comedy that co-stars Adam Goldberg. I had a chance to talk with Delpy about this film, and it was clear she has a serious interest in exploring what makes modern relationships tick. The film follows a neurotic yet lovable couple that spends two awkward days in Paris where Marion's (Delpy's) family forces them to confront their relationship issues, not to mention their cultural differences. Overall, the movie is a charming take on all the work that goes into love nowadays. Special features include five deleted scenes and an interview with Julie Delpy.