Blu Monday: Tangled, Made in Dagenham, & All Good Things

Mesrine: Public Enemy #1: First up on Blu Monday we have the follow up to the anti-climatic Mesrine: Killer Instinct. This time around the film promises not to let you down. If you have seen the first film you know Mesrine‘s ultimate outcome. The escapes and ultra violent antics can only lead to one outcome. While still deeply engaging Meserine: Public Enemy #1 has the luxury of  already developed characters giving range to new addition and more action. With a growing public profile and a taste of fame Mesrine becomes more daring, granting interviews while he is in hiding and almost taunting the police that can’t keep a hold of him. The film’s antics become ever so daring as it comes to it’s inevitable out come.

Writing anything about Mesrine with out mentioning Vincent Cassel is imposable as Jacques Mesrine, Cassel disappears becoming something great.  His ability to truly become the character is reason enough to seek this film out. Cassel is quickly become one of the greats leaving viewers begging for more.

Music Box has done it again first with their release of The Millennium Trilogy and now with the Mesrine Saga they seem unstoppable. I highly suggest you seek out both films in the series, but saying that I can’t give  Mesrine: Public Enemy #1 a “Buy it” as the film is greatly lacking in special features. With The Millennium Trilogy they seemed to hold back as well waiting for a larger release to dive deeper into the film. So I suggest you wait, see the film and buy the duel release.

RENT IT

All Good Things: The eerie tale of Robert Durst and the mysterious disappearance of his wife Kathie, a story that in most part remains unsolved today. The two meet when Robert known in the film as David meets Katie while doing maintenance work for his father in her apartment. After a small conversation the two are off to a party and soon after, falling madly in love. David’s wealth and Katie’s humble up-bringing become a problem for David’s over-bearing father as David is torn between pleasing his father and being there for his wife. This strain turns into abuse and ultimately the disappearance of Katie herself. This alone sounds like a great plot for a film but as it turns out it’s only half the story when it comes to the twisted web of the person that is Robert Durst.

When I fist saw the film I was first taken back with the acting. I knew what to expect with Ryan Gosling and was never let down, but when it came to Kristen Dunst I just can’t make the same statement. That’s why it pleases me to say that she was great in the film and this could quite possibly be the best role she has ever played. You could tell that she was giving it her all and completely disappearing in the character. So much so, that when she is gone from the film you just desperately want her to return.

This could also be because the film feels like two films in one. I think I would have enjoyed it more if it had ended with the possible death of Katie, but doing this would just discredit the story. Something that the Blu-Ray takes even deeper, with multiple featurettes about the history of the relationship and making of the film to the haunting commentary of Robert Durst himself. This commentary alone makes the film worth watching. Never before have I heard or seen anything like this and it is nothing less than intriguing. Because of the fantastic special features I have a new found respect for the film and I have to give it a Buy it.

BUY IT

Made in Dagenham: While our first two films walk that darker line it’s Made in Dagenham that starts to brighten things up. This story about Rita O’Grady and her fight for equal pay for women is nothing but inspirational. The film follows Rita and her union of seamstresses as they fight for a better wage from the Ford motor company. Most importantly it’s about one woman’s ability to find a voice for women everywhere.

The film’s ensemble cast is fantastic, none standing out more than Sally Hawkins and Bob Hoskins. It was the on-screen relationship between the two that stood out most to me. Sally has been on a roll lately with Dagenham and Never Let Me Go, she proves that she is ready for more.

Not only is the film good the Blu Ray doesn’t hold back on the special features. With an extensive making of featurette and commentary by Director Nigel Cole the film is packed for re-watchablility. Add on the crisp picture and sound of Blu Ray and Made in Dagenham is  a film worth adding to your collection. That is why I’m giving Made in Dagenham a Buy it.

BUY IT

Disney’s Tangled: Disney’s 50th animation rounds out this week’s Blu Monday. If the film before doesn’t brighten your day, then Tangled most certainly will. Tangled is the re-imagining of the old tale of Rapunzel with a modern twist on top. Rapunzel is stolen at birth and raised in a tower by her captor, a woman who wants to possess the ability to stay young forever. That power did reside in a flower that she used to visit, but when that flower was taken from the ground to save the queen from illness, it’s powers were passed on to her child, Rapunzel in her long flowing golden hair.

Rapunzel was voiced by Mandy Moore and the young strapping lad that she encounters Flynn Rider was voiced by Zachary Levi. The story was fantastic and I don’t think I have enjoyed a Disney story this much since Beauty and the Beast was released. The humor is really what excels the best in the story. Rapunzel acts fragile and weak, but is really a strong, independent young lady; which makes for a great role model for young girls. She wields a frying pan as a weapon pretty fearlessly. There is also a lot of humor in the sidekicks of the film. Rapunzel has a pet chameleon named Pasquale that shows a lot of emotion in his eyes without ever speaking and the horse is really what had me laughing. The horse was named Max and worked for the Castle security. He had the morals of a human that will do no wrong and always follows the rules, but at times, acted just like a dog. He was so funny, I almost want to give it a Buy It on that alone; but first, the special features.

Sadly, the special features are really lacking on this Blu-Ray. There is no commentary, no detailed features on how things were made. No, we just have a special feature with Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi standing in front of a painfully white back drop talking about the movie and dropping little trivia tidbits. They share their experience on the film in very brief statements and they show bits about the creators coming up with the look for Flynn Rider and how hot he needed to be. Outside of that feature, there are some deleted scenes that weren’t finished and they are pretty hard to sit through, since they aren’t complete and there are two alternate openings in the same fashion. I was really surprised that there were no games on the disc for the kiddos. Disney is usually pretty good about loading these up to keep everyone busy. Perhaps they thought the film would sell itself.

It does look pretty fantastic on Blu-Ray however. It was shown in 3D in the theaters and I was told that a certain lantern scene was to die for. This blu-ray is also available in the 3D version and I would suggest that if you are going to buy this, you should just get the 3D version, even if you don’t have a 3D TV yet. You will probably get one soon. The animation is sparkling on any version of the Blu-Ray, but I am sad to say that the version I am reviewing will only get a RENT IT, due to the lack of features.

RENT IT

but buy the 3D version

by Ryan Davis

About Ryan Davis

Ryan is the Founder of Lost in Reviews, a member of The Kansas City Film Critic's Circle, and a key component in the movement to digitally restore the 1986 classic film The Gate. Ryan is also the co-host of Blu Monday a DVD and Blu Ray review show which Lost in Reviews co-founder Angela Davis also appears. While he may be a film and music snob, that doesn't mean you can't be friends. Well it could if you don't like the same bands or films he does, overall it might be best to avoid the subject all together.

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