DVD/Blu-ray Releases — 8/16/2011

 New options for your home viewing this week:

Jane Eyre is, above all, a handsome production of Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel.  Superbly lit by Adriano Goldman using natural light, the film stars Mia Wasikowska as the titular Jane, who seems passive and quiet and reclusive until you get her talking.  And she does, against social mores, with her employer Mr. Rochester (Michael Fassbender), who owns Thornfield Hall–seen here as a Gothic nightmare where candlelight dances off faces and the sun struggles to burst through curtains–and discovers she is not the self-pitying waif he expects her to be but a strong-willed young woman who can hold her own in a debate.  He is nothing that he seems, either, and a secret threatens to tear their blossoming love asunder.  Director Cary Fukunaga has crafted a very fine adaptation.  My review is here.  Available on DVD and Blu-ray.

There’s something undeniably haunting about the case of Mary Surratt (played by Robin Wright Penn), which is the focus of Robert Redford’s courtroom drama The Conspirator.  Tried as part of the conspiracy to assassinate Abraham Lincoln, Surratt gives every impression that she is guilty but for that nagging reasonable doubt brought on, in part, by a mourning nation and a surviving administration that demands justice–or maybe just revenge.  James McAvoy plays Surratt’s attorney, a Union army veteran who is skeptical of his new client, and as the evidence falls apart, the resilience of the military tribunal to condemn her seems to grow stronger.  There’s a more thoughtful movie to be made with this material.  My review is here.  Available on DVD and Blu-ray.

There are a lot of questions hanging in the air that the ineffective Something Borrowed leaves unanswered.  Like, What does Dex (Collin Egglesfield) see in the egotistic control freak Darcy (Kate Hudson)?  Why does Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin) stay in love and hope for a future with Dex even after he, six years ago, picked Darcy over her on a whim?  Why doesn’t this movie feature more of Rachel’s friend Ethan (John Krasinki), who actually sees straight through all the contrived conflict and tells his best friend to just make a decision already?  My review is here.  Available on DVD, Blu-ray, and DVD/Blu-ray Combo.

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About Mark Dujsik

Film critic since 2001. Writer/editor/publisher of Mark Reviews Movies, and contributor for RogerEbert.com and Magill's Cinema Annual. Member of the Chicago Film Critics Association and the Online Film Critics Society.
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