Blu Tuesday: Gold and More

Every Tuesday, I review the newest Blu-ray releases and let you know whether they’re worth buying, renting or skipping, along with a breakdown of the included extras. If you see something you like, click on the cover art to purchase the Blu-ray from Amazon, and be sure to share each week’s column on social media with your friends.

“Gold”

Stephen Gaghan’s long-awaited follow-up to “Syriana” may not have been the awards contender that some predicted, but it’s a mildly entertaining adult drama – inspired by the 1997 Bre-X mining scandal – that boasts some great work from Matthew McConaughey. Though the Oscar-winning actor looks every bit the part as balding, potbellied has-been Kenny Wells, his performance is much more than the physical transformation he’s undergone. He carries the film every step of the way, exuding his trademark charisma to turn Kenny into the kind of loveable loser that’s hard not to admire. The movie itself has some major problems, but McConaughey is such a compelling presence, fervently chain-smoking and guzzling booze throughout the film, that “Gold” just about gets by on his performance alone.

Extras include an audio commentary by director Stephen Gaghan and a series of featurettes on the film’s origins, location shooting in Thailand and star Matthew McConaughey. FINAL VERDICT: RENT

“The Red Turtle”

Following in the footsteps of Studio Ghibli (which co-produced the film), Michael Dudok de Wit’s “The Red Turtle” is a surprisingly poignant feature-length debut that proves animation can be just as effective as live action when done right. Using “Robinson Crusoe” as a starting point, this soulful and meditative tale about a shipwrecked man who washes up on a deserted island tackles some big themes like man vs. nature and the circle of life. The fact that Dudok de Wit accomplishes this without a single word of dialogue is impressive, giving “The Red Turtle” a picture book quality that thrives off its simple yet beautiful animation. Although the film’s more fantastical elements may leave some people scratching their heads, it’s such a mesmerizing experience that you’ll be thinking about it for days.

Extras include an audio commentary by writer/director Michael Dudok de Wit, a pair of production featurettes and a director Q&A from AFI Fest. FINAL VERDICT: RENT

  

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