Tune to The 2 Guys Named Chris Show every Monday to get the scoop on the latest new films and releases to DVD from a Canadian point of view. Julie Crawford, Film Critic for The Vancouver Courier, gives her two cents worth every Monday morning on Rock 92.
January 21, 2013
by Biggie Josh Ellinger,posted Jan 29 2013 6:32AM
A Royal Affair
Nominated for Best Foreign Film at this year’s Oscars, A Royal Affair is the true story of the doomed royal relationship between an English girl in the late 1700s sent to marry the King of Denmark, who turns out to be mentally ill and controlled by the corrupt Danish nobility, who bleed the country dry. The king becomes so ill during a trip that he recruits a German doctor (Mads Mikkelsen) to be his personal physician. Dr. Struensee is a man with radical ideas who becomes the king’s playmate and constant companion, and eventually the most powerful man in the kingdom. He and the queen (Alicia Vikander) engage in a torrid and dangerous affair that transforms the kingdom for the better: they official ban torture, censorship and the excess spending by members of the court, putting their lives in jeopardy. Mikkelson makes a great romantic hero here; great story, beautiful-looking period piece about the Age of Enlightenment.
Death Race 3: Inferno
Death Race 2000 came out in 1975 and starred David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone mowing down innocent pedestrians for points. In the modern incarnation convicts kill each other by whatever means necessary in a fight to the finish. “Frankenstein” (Luke Goss) has miraculously survived from Death Race 2, and is back to win his freedom and stop the franchise from going worldwide. “More cars, more cons, more death” is the motto here, in this mindless boobs-and-body-count straight-to-DVD offering. Ving Rhames, Dougray Scott also star. It’s gory for gore’s sake, it’s repetitive, and it’s boring.
An unrated version an all sorts of extras on the blu-ray in case you didn’t get enough mayhem from the feature film.
For A Good Time Call…
In Jamie Travis’ first feature film, Lauren (Lauren Anne Miller) and Katie (Ari Graynor, Celeste and Jesse Forever) shared a horrific moment back in college and haven’t seen each other since. But after Lauren is dumped by her reliable boyfriend and Katie is about to be evicted from her dream apartment, the two former enemies reluctantly agree to move in together. Little does Lauren know, but Katie is working part-time as a phone-sex operator; Lauren offers to streamline Katie’s business and the two become partners, then odd-couple besties. Justin Long co-stars as their gay BFF; very dirty cameos from Seth Rogen and Kevin Smith. When I chatted to the director he compared it to those girl-power movies of the 80s with Bette Midler and Goldie Hawn, and the film is definitely a chick flick about friendship that just happens to be surrounded by R-rated chitchat.
Special features on the standard disc include deleted scenes, feature commentary with Graynor, Miller and Travis, plus a making-of featurette with audience reaction to the film.
Searching for Sugar Man
A nominee for Best Documentary Feature this year, about a musician named Rodriguez, who producers thought was going to be huge in the early ‘70s but for some reason, the record never hit. Rodriguez faded into obscurity and it was rumoured that the artist had played one last gig and then commited suicide onstage. But in the meantime, one of his records made its way to South Africa, then under heavy censorship. The record was copied, became popular, and eventually record producers got the rights to print the album even though it was banned from being played on the radio. Rodriguez became bigger than Elvis, helping to spur on the anti-apartheid movement, even though no one in South Africa could discover anything about him. Back in the U.S., Rodriguez didn’t know anything about it, the money never got to him, and he lived in squalor in Detroit. An amazing story whether you’re a music junkie or not: it’s interesting from a political point of view, and Rodriguez as a character is fascinating. Great film.