“The Third Man” (Blu-ray)
Among this week’s Blu-ray releases, Carol Reed’s 1949 drama “The Third Man” has to rank near the top.
Based on the novel by Graham Greene, Reed’s film features an American (Joseph Cotton) who arrives in post-World War II Vienna to discover that his friend Harry Lime (Orson Welles) has died. Looking into the matter, our protagonist discovers not only that Lime might not be dead but also that he himself is falling in love with Lime’s lover (Alida Valli).
Much influenced by Welles’ 1942 masterpiece “Citizen Kane,” “The Third Man” begs to be discovered by a new generation. DVD includes commentary by Steven Soderbergh, full-length making-of documentary and more. (1:33; not rated)
Based on the stage musical set to the music of the Swedish pop group ABBA, this Phyllida Lloyd-directed film tells the story of a young woman (Amanda Seyfried). Hoping to meet the father she has never known, she invites three men (Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård) to her wedding, without telling her mother (Meryl Streep) that the men – all of whom are the mother’s ex-lovers – are coming.
Streep, as usual, can do anything, and Seyfried (HBO’s “Big Love”) is a real find. DVD, which is available in Blu-ray, includes commentary by director Lloyd, making-of featurettes, additional musical number, deleted scenes, outtakes. (1:49; rated PG-13 for sex-related comments)
“The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor”
This third film in the “Mummy” series is a tired continuation of the same old thing. Any franchise, however, that thinks Maria Bello can just step in for Rachel Weisz either has no respect for its audience or simply doesn’t care about quality (Weisz has won an Oscar; Bello’s best credits still belong to television).
This time around, the adventurous couple (Brendan Fraser and Bello) jump at the chance to disrupt their peaceful life and deliver a package to China. Once they arrive, things begin to go wrong, mostly involving their now nearly adult son (Luke Ford) – more obstreperously stubborn than his father.
Welcome are new additions Michelle Yeoh and the great Jet Li. It’s time, though, to give this franchise a deserved rest. DVD includes commentary by director Rob Cohen, making-of featurettes, deleted and extended scenes. (1:52; rated PG-13 for action adventure, violence)
Also available: “Crossroads,” “The Elder Son,” “Jungle,” “Mr. Bean – The Ultimate Collection,” “Sangre de mi Sangre,” “Spiker,” “The Wedding Director”
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