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RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: Bridesmaids Arrives on Home Video

Plus, another Disney classic flaps its ears onto Blu-ray.

by | September 20, 2011 | Comments

Well, after a couple of decent weeks of home video releases, it looks like we’ve hit another speed bump this week. The biggest release is the hit comedy Bridesmaids, but beyond that, there isn’t much to report in terms of brand new releases. We did decide to include on direct-to-video movie, just because the idea of Bruce Willis and 50 Cent doing a film together was sort of amusing. Aside from that, we’ve got another big Disney classic moving to Blu-ray, an iconic Audrey Hepburn movie, and a couple of films by French New Wave pioneer Claude Chabrol that are getting the Criterion Collection treatment. This week is a bit better for those interested in TV (season collections for shows like Modern Family, both the new and old series of Hawaii Five-O, the miniseries The Kennedys, Law & Order, etc), but overall, there just wasn’t a whole lot to choose from.



Bridesmaids

90%

Kristen Wiig has been making her presence felt both on SNL and in smaller supporting roles in various films, but could she effectively become a comic leading lady? Bridesmaids answered with a resounding “yes,” earning a stellar Certified Fresh 90% Tomatometer score and over $160 million at the box office. Touted as the female answer to The Hangover, Bridesmaids stars Wiig as likeable but unlucky-in-love Annie, maid of honor to Lillian (Maya Rudolph), who leads her motley crew of bridesmaids and the bride-to-be on a raucous, rollicking series of misadventures. Critics raved about the film, noting it as a successful marriage of genuine characters, gross out gags, and pathos, and singling out Wiig for her breakout performance. With a solid supporting cast of comediennes that includes Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McLendon-Covey, and Ellie Kemper, Bridesmaids isn’t just another “chick flick;” it’s one of the biggest surprise comedies of the summer.



Setup

There are various reasons why some movies one might otherwise presume to have received a theatrical release never actually got one, like behind-the-scenes strife between filmmakers and studios, disagreements over distribution, and so on. But usually, it’s hard to say for sure, and when it comes to a movie like Setup, one might say to oneself, “Bruce Willis has still got some star power, Ryan Phillippe’s always been a solid supporting player, and 50 Cent is… well, he’s 50 Cent.” For better or for worse, this crime thriller skipped theatrical release and went straight to home video. The story is a familiar one: three old friends plan a surefire jewel heist, but unbeknownst to two of them, the third plans on keeping the loot for himself, prompting one of the two betrayed friends to partner up with the mob to get his revenge. No reviews have come in for Setup, and when you add that to its cookie-cutter plot and the fact that it skipped theaters, it’s probably safe to assume this will only please those in desperate need of a heist flick… any heist flick.



Dumbo – 70th Anniversary Blu-Ray

97%

Aside from a Mexican version of this release that came out on Blu-ray last year, Dumbo hasn’t been available on home video at all for a few years now. Keeping with the tradition of rereleasing their old classics in high definition, Disney now offers up this 70th Anniversary edition of the film, with pretty much the same content that last year’s release had. For those unfamiliar with the story, Dumbo is Disney’s 1941 animated film about a circus elephant ridiculed for his particularly large ears. With his friend Timothy Mouse at his side, Dumbo soon learns that, while his oversized ears may look rather odd, they’ve nevertheless given him the power to fly. Clocking in at just over an hour, Dumbo is Disney’s shortest animated feature film, but true to the studio’s reputation, it packs plenty of story in its brief runtime and features all of the warm animation and wonderful music you’d expect from a Disney classic. As for special features, the 70th Anniversary edition comes packed with deleted scenes, a making-of featurette, art galleries, two bonus shorts, and more. Definitely worth a pickup for Disney enthusiasts and those just looking to pad out their kid flick libraries.



Breakfast at Tiffany’s – 50th Anniversary Edition Blu-Ray

88%

Audrey Hepburn is one of Hollywood’s enduring icons, and the 1961 comedy Breakfast at Tiffany’s might be her most iconic film, Holly Golightly her most iconic role. One finds it difficult to imagine another actress who could so perfectly embody the charm, grace, wit, and vulnerability that Hepburn so effortlessly puts on display in the film. Holly Golightly is a young socialite, moving in sophisticated circles and entertaining the wealthiest of men, until she meets aspiring writer Paul Varjak (George Peppard), a neighbor in her apartment building. The two become friends and soon develop a romance until someone from Holly’s past appears and reveals some unsettling truths. Loosely based on a novella by Truman Capote, the film is somewhat marred by a few cultural anachronisms, but director Blake Edwards is at the top of his game here, the supporting cast (Peppard, Buddy Ebsen, Patricia Neal) is outstanding, and Hepburn herself simply lights up the screen with her presence. The new 50th Anniversary Blu-ray comes with special features found on previous releases, like an audio commentary, a discussion on race prompted by Mickey Rooney’s character, and several short featurettes about Hepburn’s style, the Paramount Studios lot, Henry Mancini’s music, and more.



Le Beau Serge/Les Cousins – Criterion Collection

100%

Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut get most of the credit, but it was Claude Chabrol who fired the first shot in the French New Wave with Le Beau Serge, which beat both Breathless and The 400 Blows to theaters. Like the rest of his Cahiers du Cinema compatriots, Chabrol loved Alfred Hitchcock’s work, and Serge is heavily idebted to Shadow of a Doubt; it’s the spare, chilling tale of Francois (Jean-Claude Brialy), who returns to his rural hometown and tries to help his old friend Serge (Gérard Blain), who’s succumbed to bitterness and alcoholism. Chabrol used the same principal actors in Les Cousins the following year, and this clever character study about a pair of cousins whose relationship is tested when one falls in love with the other’s close friend won Chabrol popular and critical acclaim in France. Criterion has swanky new editions of both films, which feature new digital transfers, audio commentary from Chabrol scholars, documentaries, interviews, and more.

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