New to Home Video 9/13/22
Check out our reviews of what’s new to home video 9/13/22:
One would be hard-pressed to find a film that more fully embodies the tragedy and exhilaration of show business than Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis. An over-the-top, gaudy spectacle, this film lovingly embraces the excesses of its subject, effectively elevating it above other, more conventional musical biopics, which so often become bogged down in workmanlike reverence. That in itself would have been enough to make Elvis a memorable, exciting movie, but Luhrmann’s approach to the material shows an audacity seldom found in modern tentpole movies. The musical biopic is a staple of American cinema and the formula has become familiar to any savvy moviegoer, but Luhrmann understands that this isn’t just any musical biopic because it isn’t just any musician. With all due respect to the likes of Johnny Cash, Elton John, Buddy Holly, Ray Charles, and Freddy Mercury, this is Elvis Presley we’re talking about. The King of Rock and Roll. His level of fame was so gargantuan that few people can even fathom it. And it is that unfathomability that Luhrmann chooses to embrace, allowing Elvis to remain an unknowable mystery to a viewing audience eager to know more. We reach out desperately, hoping to catch a glimpse underneath the flashy exterior, but are forced to be content with a brief moment of eye contact and a knowing smile. And building an ostentatious epic around a tantalizing enigma is a huge risk, on the level of no less than David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia. And just as Lean uses the story of T.E. Lawrence to make larger points about war, nationalism, and shared humanity, so Luhrmann attempts to use the life of Elvis Presley – which burned so brightly before flaming out far too soon – to explore the alternately toxic and invigorating nature of entertainment. It is a masterful, vital film, and one of the best of the year… Review
John Michael McDonagh’s The Forgiven (adapted by the director from Lawrence Osborne’s novel) might take the scenic route getting there but it eventually reveals itself to be a film in the grand tradition of the “house in the country” movie. Think The Rules of the Game or Gosford Park. Except, in this case, the house is more of a villa and the countryside is actually the Moroccan Sahara. And, instead of following the Agatha Christie playbook where the inciting incident happens only once all the players are gathered, The Forgiven‘s plot kicks off before the weekend’s festivities have even gotten underway, when a married couple, David and Jo Henninger (Ralph Fiennes and Jessica Chastain), strike and kill a Moroccan teenage boy (Omar Ghazaoui) on the road to the party… Review
Also new to home video 9/13/22: Lightyear, Where the Crawdads Sing, Costa Brava, Lebanon
Battleship Pretension is a film discussion show and a film review website founded by Tyler Smith and David Bax. Beginning in March 2007, Battleship Pretension the show (known to fans simply as “BP”) embodies the type of laidback, free-flowing conversations had by lovers of film around the world. Battleship Pretension the website is dedicated to being a destination for those seeking worthwhile opinions on current releases, be they foreign, independent, studio pictures, theatrical, home video releases, etc. From its meager beginnings in Los Angeles, Battleship Pretension has amassed a worldwide audience and readership. From Germany to Korea to Australia, people have tuned in to share in Tyler and David’s love of film. As Battleship Pretension’s following continues to grow, the purpose remains the same: Reach out to the international cinephile community, invite them to join in the discussion and perhaps even start one of their own.