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New on DVD: ‘Loving Vincent’ Is Different Approach to Filmmaking



Tribune News Service
Saturday, January 13, 2018

There are three very different movies topping this week’s list of new DVD releases. The connection is that all three are so well-crafted they should be part of your collection.

Loving Vincent, 3.5 stars: The film is the result of what can happen when a director is inspired to look beyond the celluloid canvas to tell their story. To achieve this, Dorota Kobiela used a selection of van Gogh paintings as the basis of the visuals for the production and through the work of hundreds of painters created 65,000 hand-painted frames of film that weaved seamlessly the moments from one van Gogh work to another.

Each brush stroke by the army or artists is used to tell the story of what happened after van Gogh’s death in 1890. The script is based on letters written by the artist and his brother, Theo, along with other documentation from that time.

There have been plenty of movies over the years that have had cinematography so beautiful that each frame looks like a piece of art. Loving Vincent takes that one step more as each frame is a piece of art that is display in a movie theater in such a way to bring a new kind of motion to the artist’s work.

Blade Runner 2049, 4 stars: Despite a gap of 35 years between the release of Ridley Scott’s massively influential Blade Runner and the sequel, Blade Runner 2049, from director Denis Villeneuve (Arrival), the new film suffers no problems with the time gap. That’s because Blade Runner 2049 doesn’t fit the purest definition of a sequel, but is more of a seamless extension of the original production. It has the same type of complicated characters, breathtaking visuals, stunning sound and addictive story as Blade Runner but presented with a fresh perspective.

What you will see is a film so smartly put together, beautifully acted and visually consuming that it has earned the right to be heralded with the same accolades as one of the best movies ever made in Blade Runner.

Happy Death Day, 3 stars: The film has a body count to rival most horror movies. But, because almost all the deaths are one person, the count could also be seen as very small. Either way, the best place where Happy Death Day departs from the tried-and-true horror format is having Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) be the subject of all the attacks.

In a standard horror movie, the only fun is guessing in which order those trapped in an old mansion, camp ground, sorority house or other convent way of rounding up the nearly departed will be killed. Since that’s not in the equation, the focus goes from a morbid game of chance to a smart whodunit.

The film also features a creepy killer who covers his identity with a strange mask. A hockey mask for a killer immediately suggests there’s violence in the heart of the person wearing it. The chubby-cheeked baby face mask shouldn’t be that creepy, but there’s a strangeness to the design that makes it work.

Also New

The Snowman: The clues to a woman who is missing starts with a snowman. Michael Fassbender stars.

I, Daniel Blake: Two people must depend on each other to deal with major issues in their lives.

Crooked House: Private detective must find the man who murdered his ex-lover’s grandfather. Max Irons stars.

Whisper of the Heart: Chance encounter with a strange cat sends a quiet girl on a quest to find her true talent.

Matinee: The 1993 film from director Joe Dante is available on Blu-ray for the first time.

Beyond Skyline: Father must save his child from aliens.

9/11: Five strangers end up on the same elevator of the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Charlie Sheen stars.

The Commander: The Complete Collection: Lynda La Plante British crime drama series starring Amanda Burton as Commander Clare Blake.

Cook Off!: Mockumentary on the quirky contestants battling in a cooking competition to win the $1 million prize. Melissa McCarthy stars.

Better Call Saul: Season 3: The third season of the cable series starring Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill earned 10 Emmy nominations.

My Neighbors the Yamadas: Animated tale that looks at the big and little celebrations of life by the Yamada family.

Gangster Land: Amateur boxer works his way up through the organized crime world to get close to Al Capone.