The final great week of releases of 2012? It doesn’t really get much better than this.
Disc Of The Week
The Passion Of Joan Of Arc – We’ve already spent a great deal of time fawning over the majestic beauty of this Masters Of Cinema release of Carl Th. Dreyer’s best known feature, but for those late to the party know this: not only is this package quite possibly the best of 2012, its up there with the greatest of all time. While extra material on the discs is waylaid at the haste of several different versions of the film (20 and 24fps editions of the movie feature) this is more than made up for by the presence of a 100 page book containing a number of essays and articles. The film itself is as great an example of cinema as one might hope to ever see. Perfection.
A Trip To The Moon – It’s easy to forget that major portions of Georges Méliès’ most famous work were considered “lost” as recently as 2002. This latest restoration is practically miraculous, with each frame hand painted as per the original intentions of Méliès twelve decades ago. The slight running time of the film itself is compensated for by Serge Bromberg and Eric Lange’s The Extraordinary Voyage, a feature-length documentary on the life of the project featuring all manner of interesting folk.
The Last Of The Mohicans – Michael Mann’s historical epic makes a belated bow on Blu-ray.
Alfred Hitchcock Collection – A second, more successful release than the disastrous Universal Pictures box-set from earlier in November. While not as wide and varied a collection as the earlier set, the films contained herein do at least look the part. An existing North By Northwest Blu-ray heads up a package that also includes Strangers On A Train and a 3D-enabled Dial M For Murder.
Tarantino XX – Celebrating 20 years of Quentin Tarantino comes this major retrospective in disc form of the American filmmakers work. Featuring each of his directorial outings, plus a number of other projects (True Romance), as well as two discs worth of critical musings, Tarantino XX is pretty definitive of the director to now. It’s a shame The Whole Bloody Affair wasn’t finished in time.
Magic Mike – A victim of poor marketing, Magic Mike is a clever, adult drama in the key of the ’70’s greats of this ilk, yet was sold as though it were some kind of cheap sex comedy. Give it a shot, it’s one of our favourite films of 2012.
The Amazing Spider-Man – The appropriately monickered Marc Webb took over the reins of the Spider-man franchise this year, to completely whelming effect. The characterisation is of a high standard, but it’s ultimately a little forgettable.
Brave – Talk about whelming. Pixar’s first miss. Yes, we liked Cars.