Blu Tuesday: Fargo, Spotlight 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 Facebook and Twitter with your friends.

“Fargo: Year Two”

WHAT: After small-town beautician Peggy Blumquist (Kristen Dunst) accidentally runs over the youngest son of the Gerhardt crime family, she unwittingly escalates a turf war between the Gerhardts and the Kansas City mob, dragging her loyal husband Ed (Jesse Plemons) and local sheriffs Lou Solverson (Patrick Wilson) and Hank Larsson (Ted Danson) into the conflict.

WHY: Unlike “True Detective,” which fell victim to the all-too-familiar sophomore slump, “Fargo” positively thrived in Season Two, perfectly towing the line between black comedy and crime thriller. A big part of the show’s success is just how well it’s cast from the top down. Though Patrick Wilson, Kirsten Dunst and Jeffrey Donovan (as the eldest and nastiest of the Gerhardt brood) are among the standouts, there’s not a single weak link in the entire ensemble. The writing also continues to be top-notch – from the sparkling dialogue, to the excellent character development, to the smartly plotted narrative that keeps you coming back for more – while the show’s absurdist tone works even better in a period setting like the late 1970s. Creator Noah Hawley is in high demand these days, and for good reason, because he’s once again crafted a funny, engaging and richly developed crime saga that works both as a prequel to the previous season as well as its own standalone story.

EXTRAS: The three-disc set includes a 44-minute featurette on making the season, interviews with Patrick Wilson and Keith Carradine about the Lou Solverson character, and a look at the fictional book, “The History of True Crime in the Midwest,” that appears in the penultimate episode.



WHAT: In 2001, Boston Globe editor-in-chief Marty Baron (Live Schreiber) assigned the newspaper’s Spotlight team – a four-man group of investigative journalists led by Walter Robinson (Michael Keaton) – to follow up on a story about a local priest accused of child molestation, only to uncover a massive scandal within the Boston archdiocese.

WHY: Tom McCarthy’s “Spotlight” may be one of the most low-key awards contenders in quite some time, relying on top-notch acting and writing to recount the fascinating true story that changed the way we looked at the Catholic Church forever. It’s just a really well-made movie, and the best one about investigative journalism since “All the President’s Men,” which creates suspense from the seemingly boring daily grind of searching through documents and chasing down leads. Every single actor plays their part and plays it extremely well, working together as an ensemble to serve the story instead of a particular character. The same goes for McCarthy and Josh Singer’s disciplined script, which avoids the allure of sensationalizing events or being exploitative. “Spotlight” lets the story speak for itself, and though it’s one of great importance, the film is first and foremost a celebration of the journalistic process that made it possible for the courage of a few to be heard by the entire world.

EXTRAS: The Blu-ray release includes a six-minute roundtable discussion with the real-life Spotlight team, as well as a pair of featurettes on the film and the state of journalism.


Read the rest of this entry »


You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook for content updates. Also, sign up for our email list for weekly updates and check us out on Google+ as well.

10 of the sexiest movie posters of all-time


The end of the decade brought a flurry of movie-themed features about cinema in the new millennium. We here at Bullz-Eye even tossed our hat into the ring, and one of the lists I submitted was of my favorite movie posters from the last ten years. One particular selection (a teaser poster for “Good Luck Chuck” featuring Jessica Alba holding a melting ice cream cone) was commented on by just about everyone on staff, so in keeping with the spirit of the incredibly sexy one-sheet, I decided to put together a list of some of the sexiest movie posters of all-time. Censorship may have played a big role in movies since their inception, but that hasn’t stopped studios from using sex to sell, and we can all agree that there’s nothing particularly censored about this sultry collection of posters.


“The Sin of Nora Moran” (1933)

Movie studios used to rely on painted images of their feminine stars to promote a film (just about every Marilyn Monroe and Brigitte Bardot vehicle had one), but of the hundreds of sexy poses to choose from, this poster for “The Sin of Nora Moran” is the cream of the crop. You may not be too familiar with its star, Zita Johann (whose biggest claim to fame is co-starring alongside Boris Karloff in the 1932 version of “The Mummy”), but between the virtually see-thru dress that she’s wearing and the manner that her body is positioned, it’ll certainly make you wish you were.

“Lo*li*ta” (1962)

Putting aside the somewhat pedophilic nature of the story, Stanley Kubrick’s “Lo*li*ta” has one of the most alluring posters around. Though Sue Lyon was only 16 when she made the film (and playing a 14-year-old at that), the slightly blurred photo of her wearing those famous heart-shaped glasses while she innocently/playfully sucks on a red lollipop has remained one of the most iconic images of the last 50 years. Lyon never did look her age, but that doesn’t make you feel any less guilty for staring; something Kubrick no doubt intended with this beautifully composed shot.


“The Graduate” (1967)

An American classic. Anne Bancroft doesn’t even appear in the poster except for her outstretched leg, but then again, that’s the point. The mystery behind the image (which has been spiced up in this 30th anniversary version with Dustin Hoffman’s famous quote) is sexy exactly because you want to see more but can’t. Whoever was responsible for this poster is a genius, because it tells you everything you need to know about Mike Nichols’ cult classic without really saying anything at all.

“Dracula Has Risen From the Grave” (1968)

Apart from its hilariously candid title (I love the inclusion of the parenthesized “obviously” just below), this Hammer-produced Christopher Lee flick isn’t quite as tongue-in-cheek as its poster indicates. Still, you have to admire the mix of sex and humor in this photo. It looks absolutely gorgeous in black-and-white, and despite just barely featuring the woman’s open mouth and heaving breasts on the top and bottom borders (thus drawing even more attention to them), your eyes go straight to her neck. It’s all accomplished with a little splash of color in the form of two pink band-aids covering a vampire bite mark, and while it might not sound like much, it’s the highlight of what’s since become one of my favorite posters.

Read the rest of this entry »


Related Posts