Blu-rays Reviews: Opened This Week (April 08-11, 2014)

(1)Couscous Apr 14, 2014 (3 Days)

Directed by Abdellatif Kechiche; starring Hafsia Herzi, Habib Boufares, Faridah Benkhetache
No one has yet written a history of food as ritual and metaphor in the cinema. But it would run the gamut from the palatially solemn (the orchestrated Victorian banquets in Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence) to the grisly comic (the boot shared by Chaplin and Mack Swain in The Gold Rush), taking in Satyajit Ray’s account of fastidious Calcutta Brahmins grimacing at seeing Bengali peasants eating with their hands in his Pather Panchali and including the most calculatedly disgusting food ever cooked, either Mrs Lovett’s pies in Sweeney Todd or the meals served by would-be gourmet chef Vivien Merchant to her fastidious husband Alec McCowen in Hitchcock’s Frenzy.

(2)A Touch of Sin April 8th, 2014

In some instances, social reflection comes by gazing through the lens of a culture seemingly besotted by a sudden, superficial prosperity. Writer-director Jia Zhangke contemplates this notion in ‘A Touch of Sin,’ his vast, sobering chronicle of greed, ambition, violence, and corruption in modern day China that casts shade on the country’s recent and rapid economic growth, hinting at the always familiar systemic failure of ethics and moral decency in a time when there is tremendous capital to be gained.

(3)The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 3D Blu-ray Apr 08, 2014

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug DVD/Blu-ray is now available in stores. Find out what’s included in The Hobbit sequel’s bonus features.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was a box office smash when it hit theaters back in December, and now it has been released on DVD and Blu-ray. We take a look at the film on Blu-ray, as well as the bonus features included.
The Limited Collector’s Edition Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack includes two Gates of Erebor replica bookends from the Noble Collection and features the theatrical version of the film in 3D hi-definition, hi-definition and standard definition.

Funny Face Apr 08, 2014

Fashion photographer Dick Avery, in search for an intellectual backdrop for an air-headed model, expropriates a Greenwich Village bookstore. When the photo session is over the store is left in a shambles, much to salesgirl Jo Stockton’s dismay. Avery stays behind to help her clean up. Later, he examines the photos taken there and sees Jo in the background of one shot. He is intrigued by her unique appearance, as is Maggie Prescott, the editor of a leading fashion magazine. They offer Jo a modeling contract, which she reluctantly accepts only because it includes a trip to Paris. Eventually, her snobbish attitude toward the job softens, and Jo begins to enjoy the work and the company of her handsome photographer.

Sabrina Apr 08, 2014

Billy Wilder directs the lighthearted romantic comedy Sabrina, based on the play by Samuel A. Taylor. Sabrina Fairchild (Audrey Hepburn) is the simple, naïve daughter of a chauffeur, Thomas Fairchild (John Williams). They live on an estate with the wealthy Oliver Larrabee (Walter Hampden) and his two sons: workaholic older brother Linus (Humphrey Bogart) and fun-loving younger brother David (William Holden). Sabrina adores the charming David, but he thinks of her as just a kid. Her father sends her away to Paris for chef school, where she meets Baron St. Fontanel (Marcel Dalio), and she returns a worldly, sophisticated woman. David immediately falls for her, but he is already engaged to marry heiress Elizabeth Tyson (Martha Hyer). Sabrina wants to break up the wedding in order to finally catch the man of her dreams, while Linus fights to keep the marriage on in the interest of family business and Mr. Tyson’s (Francis X. Bushman) fortune. In order to keep Sabrina away from David, Linus pretends to court her himself. In doing so, they eventually realize their true feelings for each another.

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