Monday, 20 February 2017

DVD Roundup: art history edition

I've never cared much for Dan Brown's series of pseudo-scientific novels, and the subsequent films, and Inferno just kind of came and went for me. However, there are a few people I know that enjoy these films, acknowledging the somewhat ludicrous situations that Robert Langdon, played by Tom Hanks, gets into, but intrigued by the historical details. Hell, if watching these films and reading the books gets people in Leonardo da Vinci's, Dante's and Botticelli's works, then that can't be a bad thing.

Based on the life of Newton Knight, who revolted against the Confederacy during the American Civil War, received distinctly mixed reviews from the critics. Swerving between praise for historical accuracy and respectful story telling, to slow, boring, and even accusations of being a "white savoir" narrative, Free State of Jones may be best left to those wanting to educate themselves of a little known figure in the war.

Richee was instantly turned off by this film because it stars Shia LaBeouf. Whatever your opinions of him, he's certainly become much choosier of his projects since discovering metamodernism. American Honey seems to be one of those metamodernist films; it follows the life of Star (Sash Lane), who runs away from home and joins a group of travelling sales men. While there may be debauchery, a short cut to hedonism, the films primary focus is on the cinematography and the exploration of young love. At 160 minutes though, this is a film you are gonna wanna make your butt comfortable for.

With the release of Kong: Skull Island next week, its time to catch up on the giant apes back story before we see his new incantation. Apart from the perfect film that started it all, the 1933 Cooper and Schoedsack classic, there has been some re-releases newly available. First up is the Peter Jackson 2005 epic that kick started Kong's revival, but this time in the Ultimate Edition, witch an extended cut that brings the movie to an eye-bleeding 200 minutes. Next is King Kong vs Godzilla, the 1962 Toho film, which brings together two of cinema's most iconic monsters, and lastly King Kong Escapes, the second of the two Toho produced Kong movies, but this one includes the evil Mechani-Kong created by a nefarious Dr Who.

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