Blu-Ray & DVD Review Round-Up: CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER, PADDINGTON 2 & MORE
This time around: Love is in the air for Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet in Call Me By Your Name; Paul Schrader’s Blue Collar gets buttoned-up; Hugh Grant commits crimes against acting Paddington 2; Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman get weird in The Killing Of A Sacred Deer; there are strings attached to Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal; the con is on for Warren Beatty and Jack Nicholson in The Fortune and love is blind for Blake Lively in All I See Is You.
Call me By Your Name
Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet deliver strong performances is this excellent romance from director Luca Guadagnino. This coming of age drama sees Hammer and Chalamet forming a close bond over a relaxing summer in Italy and both offer up fearless turns as young men coming to terms with their burgeoning romance.
Guadagnino creates a tremendous sense of atmosphere with his Italian locations and he’s aided by Sufjan Stevens’ dreamlike music. Special mention must also go to Michael Stuhlbarg for his turn as Chalamet’s father.
Call Me By Your Name comes with a wealth of extras: Snapshots of Italy: The Making of Call Me By Your Name, a commentary with Chalamet and Stuhlbarg, In Conversation with Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet and Luca Guadagnino and The Mystery of Love music video.
Paul Schrader’s Blue Collar is a muscular drama with a multitude of different layers: friendship, politics, wealth, power, corruption. Richard Pryor, Harvey Keitel and Yaphet Kotto play three factory who feel that their union is working hard enough for their rights. They decide to rob their local union office but things don’t quite go according to plan when they walk away with just a few hundred dollars. The central trio do great work and their camaraderie is great – something which is even more incredible given that they couldn’t stand each other on set.
This Indictor release of Blue Collar comes with a stunning array of extras. You get a Schrader commentary, a screenwriting master-class, an hour-long Visions interview from 1982 (great!) and more. You could listen Schrader talk all day.
Director Paul King’s Paddington 2 features many of the elements which made the original so enjoyable, but somehow this lacks the magic spark that made film such a fantastic piece of entertainment. That’s not to say there’s nothing to enjoy here – Hugh Grant has a blast as the villain of the piece and Brendan Gleeson is fun as a bad-ass prison chef. It looks great and the finale is well designed but this marmalade sandwich is going a little stale.
An excellent array of special features offer-up a lot of additional value on this blu-ray. You get a commentary, a BAFTA Q&A and behind the scenes odds and ends. Good stuff.
The Killing Of A Sacred Deer
Director Yorgos Lanthimos delivers a deliciously dark psychological thriller with The Killing Of A Sacred Deer. Colin Farrell is a surgeon with a seemingly prefect life, however he also has an odd little friendship with a teenage boy (Barry Keoghan). Nicole Kidman plays his wife, who accepts the boy into their lives, not worrying about the creepy nature of the relationship.
This is an off-beat atmosphere piece with a lot of lingering shots and stilted dialogue. The performances are good as far as they go, but this isn’t about realism. The film plays by it’s own rules but the lack of authentic emotion means there’s little emotional pay-off despite the fact it’s a well built piece of cinema.
You get 20 or so minutes of interviews Lanthimos and the cast.
The Dark Crystal
Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal is a remarkable feat of puppetry which is beautifully designed and rendered. Set in a mystical world named Thra, the 1982 film sees the evil Skeksis and the cuddly Mystics attempting to locate the titular crystal which will save their planet from destruction. Co-directed by Frank Oz and produced by Gary Kurtz, on the surface this might be a kids movie, but there’s plenty for adults to enjoy too. Think Lord Of The Rings with less CGI and more felt!
The Dark Crystal comes jammed with extras. Documentaries, interviews and everything else that you would want from this ’80s classic.
Warren Beatty and Jack Nicholson team for this slapstick comedy about a pair of hapless conmen attempting to score cash from Stockard Channing’s heiress. This Mike Nichols film was unjustly panned on its initial release in 1975, but today it’s a tremendous little curio. Old friends Beatty and Nicholson give it their all and they make it a blast to watch. Worth checking out.
The Fortune features a commentary with critic and film historian Nick Pinkerto and a fantastic chat between Mike Nichols and Elaine May which was recorded after a screening of May’s Ishtar at New York’s Walter Reade Theater in 2006.
All I see Is You
Marc Foster threatens to go full-blown Hitchcock with All I See Is You. He doesn’t quite manage to get the tone right though and this mystery-romantic-drama isn’t mysterious, romantic or dramatic.In fact, it’s all rather silly. Blake Livley plays a blind woman who gets her sight back and Jason Clarke plays her husband who becomes less loving when he becomes obsolete as a carer. Other things happen but you probably won’t care.