The red carpet season may be over with the airing of the Academy awards. However, on home video it's still going strong with this week's DVD release of the Oscar winning best picture of the year. So, read on to find out about what you can see for the first week in March 2014.
"12 Years A Slave"- A free Black man from New York is abducted and sold into southern plantation slavery in this searing best picture winner. Based on the autobiographical accounts of Solomon Northup. Barbaric practices are examined in accurate but, unsettling detail highlighted by astounding portrayals by Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and supporting actress award winner Lupita Nyong'o and the unflinching direction by Steve McQueen ("Shame"). Part of the 30 Day rental program, which means it can only be rented now at local Family Video stores.
"Cold Comes the Night"- Bryan Cranston, in his first post-"Breaking Bad" performance, plays a half blind criminal featured in a slow burning Mystery that revolves around Alice Eve ("She's Out of my League") as a captive single mother protecting her child and a missing bag of money. Suspenseful and the leads certainly play against type to keep it fresh.
"Girl Rising"- Read an article with slideshow and trailer. Enter a contest to win a free DVD of "Girl Rising", courtesy of Cinedigm, by visiting the Pittsburgh Indie Movie Examiner's Facebook page for entry details.
"Last Days on Mars"- A Horror/Science Fiction hybrid that gets the Sci Fi part right. An intrepid collective of Astronauts travel to Mars for bacteria research and (of course, otherwise we wouldn't have a movie) find an alien microbe that infects, then controls it's carrier. Derivative, pieced together from better known material like "Alien", "The Thing" or "2001: A Space Odyssey". Although, the admirable acting by Liev Schreiber, Elias Koteas and Olivia Williams elevates this feature barely above mediocrity. Also available in Blu Ray.
"Oldboy"- A decade after the Cannes winning Korean Thriller comes Spike Lee's Americanized remake of a man imprisoned under mysterious circumstances for numerous years who is suddenly set free. His mission now is to find those who held him and make them pay. A note for note update, it seems the only thing Lee improved upon over the original is it's stellar cast that includes Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Samuel L. Jackson and Sharlto Copley. Also available on Blu Ray.