Monday DVD mega-release day

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There are four reasons to buy a movie today. They are ‘The Place Beyond the Pines‘, ‘Evil Dead‘, Brian DePalma’s ‘Passion’, and Darren Aronofsky’s debut movie finally released on Blu-ray, ‘Pi’.

Of course, hold fire on the purchasing as you could win three of them here here and here!

We’ve reviewed ‘The Place Beyond the Pines‘ and ‘Evil Dead‘ this year, but how are the special features?

Well disappointing for both really. ‘The Place Beyond the Pines’ comes off worst with a trailer-y featurette of about five minutes, and that’s your lot. The filmmakers don’t want to talk about this one yet, which is a shame for such an interesting movie. ‘Evil Dead’ has about half an hour of featurettes, talking to the cast and crew with lots of glimpses behind the scenes, honouring the original and how it was a tough shoot etc etc, but again it’s all fluff really and doesn’t reveal any great insights or conflict while making the film.

So how does ‘Passion’ measure up? Brian De Palma has such a great cinematic history that it’s nice just to see his name on a new movie, even if it is a European co-production remake of an original movie released only two years earlier. Rachel McAdams is the bitch boss from hell, and Noomi Rapace plays her talented creative. Christine (McAdams) has some strange desires in the bedroom, and Rapace is pulled into her world with intense results. This erotic thriller ends up feeling somewhat inconsequential, but it’s measured, controlled, and shows that De Palma still knows how to pull the strings. Fingers crossed he may get something more meaty next time.

Don’t go looking for any extras though.

And what’s that ‘Pi’ Blu-ray like? A grainy, black and white low-budget movie doesn’t really benefit from a remastered HD transfer perhaps as much as colour, special effects-filled extravaganzas, but that Clint Mansell soundtrack booms louder than ever and you can almost hear the scratching of hair as our mathematical hero begins his descent. There are individual audio commentary soundtracks from director/writer Darren Aronofsky and star Sean Gullette, and a few trailers too. An essential purchase for Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain) fans.

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