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DVD Review: Zero Dark Thirty

There’s no argument that Kathryn Bigelow can do drama.

And, boy does she do drama well in her latest film, Zero Dark Thirty.

Zero Dark Thirty follows Maya (Jessica Chastain), a CIA operative who spends 10 years hunting for Osama bin Laden.

The film begins with an audio recreation of 9/11 and then continues through the 10-year manhunt, which includes the 2005 London bombings, several CIA deaths and, ultimately, ends with the dramatic SEAL Team Six raid.

Chastain gives it her all in her portrayal of Maya. She is the face of the hunt, and over the course of the story we see the toll it takes on her. She gives a masterful performance, and it is the key to not only the emotions of the film, but its larger points.

Although Chastain is the film’s clear star, the movie also has a brilliant supporting cast that includes Kyle Chandler, Jason Clarke, Chris Pratt, Harold Perrineau, Joel Edgerton, Jennifer Ehle, and James Gandolfini.

Zero Dark Thirty is thrilling and just as captivating as Bigelow’s previous one, Hurt Locker, if not more so.

Edited: March 25th, 2013

The Bible Experience Opening Night Gala

Last night (March 19), The Bible series’ executive producers, Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, were joined by some of their celebrity friends, including Kristin Chenoweth, Montel Williams and Ariana Huffington, to celebrate the opening of The Bible Experience in New York.

“The Bible Experience” is an exquisite gallery featuring rare biblical artifacts and an array of breathtaking photography from the series production in celebration of the epic miniseries. Previously at the Vatican, these one-of-a-kind rare artifacts will be on display exclusively for the first time ever in New York.

“The Bible Experience” is located at 450 West 14th Street between Washington and 10th Avenue and will run 10:00AM to 6:00PM daily from March 20, 2013 to March 27, 2013.  Admission is free.

The Bible available on Blu-ray, DVD and DHD on April 2nd

Edited: March 20th, 2013

Rust and Bone DVD Review

Rust and Bone captivates from the start.

Through the direction of Jacques Audiard, the film gives and audience a breathtaking and compelling look at life.

Set in the South of France, Rust and Bone follows Stephanie (Marion Cotillard), who works with killer whales at Marineland to give daily shows to visitors.

At night, Stephanie goes to nightclubs and gets into fights both there and at home with her boyfriend.

Then, there’s Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts), who has been given custody of his 5-year old son Sam and takes him from Belgium to France so that they can live with Ali’s sister and her husband while he tries to find work, which he does as a bouncer in a nightclub.

That’s where Ali meets a drunken Stephanie. They reconnect some time later after an accident at Marineland. Together, they attempt to gain some form of normalcy in their lives in the process, develop a relationship beyond the platonic.

Both Cotillard and Schoenaerts shine on screen. It’s unfortunate that their performances were overlooked during awards season, for they deserve a lot more recognition for it.

Throughout the film, Audiard sculpts the material into an emotional experience and makes it an obvious must-see.

Edited: March 20th, 2013

Director Ang Lee and Editor Tim Squyres Discuss Life of Pi

Director Ang Lee’s Life of Pi is not only visually pleasing, but also tells a young man’s story of adventure, survival and discovery.

During a recent event in New York, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment gave an intimate look on how the film was made, deleted scenes and special featueres. Director Ang Lee, editor Tim Squyres and screenwriter David Magee were on hand to discuss the challenges with making the movie, bring the book to life and how the industry is changing.

“The editor for a movie like this is not just doing montage and putting images together, doing combinations, and deciding rhythms,” said Lee. “He’s actually making the images as well.

“I don’t really know what editors do or how to define editing anymore. It involves creating images, as well — particularly the rhythm of mise en scène, not just montage,” he said.

The panel discussion included the screening of two deleted scenes, as well as VFX breakdowns from the film’s massive shipwreck scene, which will be included in the Blu-ray supplements.

As part of the extensive production of Life of Pi, Lee made a cartoon sketch of each shot of the scene, frame by frame, to further bring the book to the big screen.

The director also addressed challenges with making a movie such as this.

“A movie like this, it’s very common that half of the budget goes to visual effects,” Lee said. “This is a business where it’s very hard to make money, and it’s at the end of post-production, so everyone’s getting down on the VFX studios.

“And, each time you see visual effects, you want to see something that’s never been done before, so their research-and-development fees are high,” he said.

Life of Pi will be released on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, and DVD internationally on March 8 and in North America on March 12 by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Edited: March 11th, 2013

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