This balls-to-the-wall black comedy weaves together the stories of a flamboyant con man, an AIDS subplot, suicide attempts, prison gags and at least one graphic gay sex scene into a decorative throw rug enveloping a tender love story. In a bravura performance, Jim Carrey stars as Steven Russell, a criminal and peerless liar who may or may not be mad for a wide-eyed Southern sweetheart (a sparkling Ewan McGregor). The movie eventually loses a bit of steam, but writer-directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (who penned Bad Santa) keep their lead character slippery until the very end, which makes for a satisfying and often very funny film. (available now)
Special Features: Audio commentary, featurette
Just released on Blu-Ray to celebrate the seminal film's 35th anniversary, this packed set brings together features from its many different DVD and laserdisc releases, including the original 1986 commentary by director Martin Scorsese and screenwriter Paul Schrader. The film itself hasn't aged a bit: Sure, it can't decide on an ending, but the deeply disturbing story of Vietnam vet-turned-vigilante antihero Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro at his scariest) continues to show recent imitators (Observe and Report, Super) how it's done. You know why? Because the filmmakers were just as fucking crazy as the world they created. Coked-out Scorsese was a mad genius behind the camera, willing to try anything and pulling it off every time, while Schrader, well, he slept with a gun under his pillow, for chrissakes. That's why it still feels so fresh and so thoroughly, genuinely fucked-up. (available now)
Special Features: Three audio commentary tracks, featurettes, trivia
What a lovely little turd you made, Disney. Sparing no expense to bring 1982's nerd-tastic cinematic video game into the CGI present (including digitally magicking über-creepy "young Jeff Bridges" into the movie to battle with "old Jeff Bridges"), Halo somebody Joseph Kosinski made sure that every dollar of Disney's $170 million made it onto the screen. The problem is that he forgot to make sure there was a reasonably logical plot to go with it. It shouldn't matter in a spectacle like this, but there's only so much Troniness one's eyes can take before they grow accustomed and your brain switches on. The poor noggin will find no purchase here, but I'm recommending it anyway for the sheer exhilaration of watching so much money be spent in service of so little. Tron: Legacy never feels cynically made - in fact, a sincere love for the property oozes from the screen - so the movie is more an excuse for silly drinking games than an exercise in cinematic self-flaggellation. Enjoy? (available now)
Special Features: Featurettes, Daft Punk music video
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