Random Factoid #287

11 05 2010

Frank Mengarelli, the “Pompous Film Snob“, tagged me in one of these seemingly endless memes.  This one is about the Criterion Collection DVDs.  The point of the thread is to find out who has the most of these very special DVDs.

How many do I have?  One.

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”

To be honest, I don’t buy many DVDs nowadays.  And the Criterion Collection focuses on older movies, which I’m more prone to rent.

Random Factoid #268

22 04 2010

After committing 2,000 words to the impact and legacy of “Avatar,” I’m sure everyone is wondering if I already have my copy.

The answer is no, and I don’t plan to buy it.  At least not this edition.  I’m not the kind of person who will buy a DVD and then wait a while to buy a more loaded version.

James Cameron has said that the version being released today is literally just the movie.  Deleted scenes and more extras are coming later, along with 3D.  I’m expecting something to trump the three hour making-of documentary on the Criterion Collection DVD of “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”

By the way, he also mentioned in the article that I linked above that he is planning a re-release sometime later this year.  I might actually go back and see it again; it will be worth the money where so many movies I see this summer won’t.

REVIEW: Gomorrah

21 01 2010

Writing a blog has encouraged me to go out of my comfort zone and watch movies that I wouldn’t have usually watched. One of my big areas of exploration has been foreign film, and I decided to give “Gomorrah” a whirl. It had everything going for it in my mind. The movie was presented by my favorite director, Martin Scorsese. It was being released on DVD by the Criterion Collection, a company committed to selling “important” films. The basis of the movie was in a book so shocking and revealing that the author had to go underground after its publication.

The higher the pedestal, the harder the fall. And “Gomorrah” fell hard.

Two hours after popping the disc into my laptop, I had finished what was one of the least involving movies I had ever seen. And this was a topic that I love!

The movie sets out to show the effects of the Italian mafia on the people through five different stories. I was hopeful at the outset, but I slowly began to lose interest. Soon enough, I was disengaging from each of them one by one. The only story I actually cared about by the end of the movie was the escapades of Marco and Ciro, two teenage wanna-be gangsters who compare themselves to Scarface. They were the only reason that I let “Gomorrah” share the screen with Facebook for an hour. Without them, I would have exited DVD Player and happily unloaded this doozy at the library.

Rather than rail on “Gomorrah,” a movie that many people thoroughly admired, for a whole review, let me suggest alternatives if you are interested in this kind of movie. “City of God” is a Brazilian movie that chronicles organized crime and drug trafficking in the slums of Rio de Janeiro, and it is a movie that I wholeheartedly love. Scorsese has two excellent Mafia movies, “The Departed” and “GoodFellas.” But please, save yourselves and don’t waste your time watching “Gomorrah.” D /