Tuesday, March 30, 2010

DVD reviews - An Education, Sherlock Holmes, Baader Meinhof Complex

An Education
This is another Oscar Best Picture nominee that is now available. I must say, however, that I was not as enraptured by this film as were many others. It's a pleasant enough biopic, with good acting and writing. The direction is on the bland side and it isn't as funny as it tries to be. The story about a young student being led astray by a cad is rather predictable, and some points are glossed over much too quickly. It succeeds well at capturing the '60s vibe, but that will primarily impact those with a fondness for nostalgia. Extras include commentary, deleted scenes (including an alternate ending) and a making-of featurette. 

Sherlock Holmes
This was an enjoyable enough film but also quite forgettable.  Guy Ritchie does his usual adrenaline-charged work, and Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law have good chemistry. But Rachel McAdams is somewhat wasted .  I have to add that I'm getting a little bored by every sort of hero being remade as a high-powered action hero, from Jason Bourne, to James Bond and now Sherlock Holmes. What made Holmes fascinating was his thinking ability, his powers of deduction. I can't wait to see the action-hero reboot of the wheelchair detective Ironside. Extras include deleted scenes and featurette.

Der Baader Meinhof Komplex (The Baader Meinhof Complex)
This was nominated for Best Foreign Film in 2009, but I don't believe it got a general release in North America which is a shame. It's a two-and-a-half hour drama about the group of young German radicals in the late '60s and '70s. They participate in what would be considered domestic terrorism, yet many in the general public support them. A well-made political drama, it puts a lot of current events into context. Fine work from writer-director Uli Edel. Extras include behind-the-scenes featurettes.

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