By DNA Smith
PICKS OF THE WEEK
“True Grit” (PG-13) — It takes not only true grit, but a 10-gallon hat filled with chutzpah to remake one of John Wayne’s most iconic films — and to pull it off successfully and with style. The Coen brothers have done just that. Hailee Steinfeld stars as Mattie Ross, a 14-year-old girl who hires crusty, old marshall Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) to hunt down Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin), the man who murdered her father. A supporting cast featuring Matt Damon and Barry Pepper, beautiful cinematography and a killer script round out what is arguably the best Western of this decade.
“American: The Bill Hicks Story” (Unrated) — Like Lenny Bruce and Andy Kaufman before him, Bill Hicks was an uncompromising, groundbreaking comedian who died before his time. Considered too controversial for network television (even late-night), Hicks took his act to Great Britain, where he found the fame that eluded him in America. This amazing documentary tells Hicks’ story via rare performance footage, interviews with friends and family, and animated sequences.
“The Man Who Would Be King” (PG) — For decades, director John Huston (“The Maltese Falcon,” “The African Queen”) wanted to bring this classic Rudyard Kipling story to the screen. He originally wanted Clark Gable and Humphrey Bogart, but Bogie died before the project could get off the ground. Finally, in 1975, Huston found his perfect cast in Sean Connery and Michael Caine as Victorian-era soldiers Daniel Dravot and Peachy Carnahan, who travel to the remote Himalayan country of Kafiristan, where Daniel claims to be the reincarnated Alexander The Great in order to con the natives of their massive treasure.
This grand tale of High Adventure has finally gotten the Blu-ray release it deserves. If you love a rollicking yarn filled with action and romance, “The Man Who Would Be King” is a perfect addition to your home video library.
“Superman: The Motion Picture Anthology (1978-2006)” (PG) — Speaking of Blu-ray re-releases, this massive eight-disc boxed set not only contains all the Superman films (from 1978’s “Superman: The Movie” through 2006’s “Superman Returns”), but also some 20 hours of special features, including the 1951 George Reeves feature “Superman and the Mole-Men” and four Superman-inspired Looney Tunes.
“Rome” The Complete First Season
“Pretty Little Liars” The Complete First Season
“When It Was a Game” The Complete Collection
“The Big C” The Complete First Season
“Hopalong Cassidy” The Complete Series
“The Gene Autry Show” The Complete First Season
“Transformers Beast Wars” Season One
“Frankenstein Jr & The Impossibles”
© 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.