Smiles of a Summer Night: First up on Blu Monday we have the Ingmar Bergman film Smiles of a Summer Night. This film pushed Bergaman into international success and it was his last chance at making a successful film or risking any chance he would have at creating another film. This comedy follows Fredrik Egerman, a middle-aged lawyer married to a 19 year old beauty, Anne. Their marriage has yet to be consummated and is only further disrupted by Egerman’s former love, actress Desiree Armfeldt and the budding love triangle between Anne Fredrik and his son from a former marriage Henrik. This comedic drama of entangled lovers has been restored beautifully on Blu Ray.
Smiles of a Summer Night has been restored to near perfection making this release the best version of the film to date. The score and picture have never looked so good due to the digital restoration and uncompressed sound. Throw in a wide array of special features including a conversation with Igmar and a video introduction to the film and it becomes a must own for any fan of Ingmar Bergman. While the special features and the restoration of the film give you all you need to pick up the film on Blu Ray the insert booklet with an essay by film critic John Simon and review by Pauline Kael paints a different picture of the film all together. From creation to critical analysis the booklet is definitely worth the read rounding out what the Blu Ray has to offer and making it worth adding to your collection.
Fat Girl: Walking into the film I had no idea what to expect I just popped the disc in and took the ride. This uneducated viewing only added to the film’s over all intrigue and my overall shock as to the story that transpired. Fat Girl is an intimate look into the lives of two sisters as they struggle through their own rivalry and the challenges of growing up. That obligatory synopsis of the film could also find its way on to an array of teenage films but, it’s the fearlessness of Fat Girl that makes it unique and worthy of a criterion release. The uncensored direction of Catherine Breillat shines on Blu Ray making the film as visually stunning as it is twistedly shocking.
With two interviews with Breillat and an intimate behind the scenes look at the making of Fat Girl this Blu Ray release is jam-packed with special features. The release of Fat Girl is a must see, even now I want to blert out the film’s ending and dissect it’s meaning and statement about adolescents. I would rather immerse you with mystery so you can experience the film in the same way I did. I can’t think of a Criterion film that wasn’t worth its purchase price and Fat Girl is just another addition to this long list. Even if you can’t pick the film up on Blu Ray I suggest you see it just for its shocking conclusion.
The Green Hornet 3D: This film is one of the only movies that I can recall that was successful with it’s 3D post-conversion. The 3rd dimension adds more than an extra layer to the film, it becomes a new device for Michel Gondry’s creativity. While most critics and fans alike attacked the series’ new direction, I enjoyed the take on the classic. Rogen breathes new life into an old story and with the vibrate direction of Gondry, the film shines on Blu Ray. If you haven’t heard of the film before it’s the story of Britt Reid the male version of Paris Hilton by day and Crime fighting super hero by night. This call to arms wasn’t Britt’s first career choice, but after the mysterious death of his father opens his eyes to the corruption of a crime ridden city, Brit has no choice but to fight back. With a lot of help from his new best friend Kato, Brit sets out to make his father proud and clean up the city in which he lives.
With the exception of Avatar there hasn’t been a 3D film that I was looking forward to seeing again, well that was before i saw The Green Hornet. The film has it all: well written comedic dialog, fast paced action, and the feeling like you’re seeing something fresh and new. If you were just given the film alone I would suggest you buy it but with the inclusion of an array of special features it really can’t be missed. I suggest you pick the film up on Blu Ray and if you have a 3d TV you can’t pass on adding this title to your collection.
By Ryan Davis