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DVD Shopping Bag: Black Swan Blu-ray

Wolverine 2, Hotties and Blu-ray

By Robert T. Trate     April 05, 2011

Natalie Portman is The Black Swan
© 20th Century Fox/Bob Trate


To start with, I apologize for not featuring Tron Legacy in this week’s column. I did not receive a copy in time for review. Thankfully, Tim Janson did and his review is available here on Mania. What I did receive a day late for last week’s column is Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan. A film I thought for sure would win him the best director Academy Award. That was until I saw The King’s Speech. Part of me still believed that he would win; only because his next film was Wolverine 2 (the irony of winning Hollywood’s most coveted award usually means your next project is heavily scrutinized). If you are fan of either Aronofsky or Wolverine you know how that turned out on both accounts.
When Black Swan initially came out I was intrigued by Aronofsky’s choice of topic for his film. He can tell a story that will deal with reality and its harsh, if not brutal, lessons. Yet, the man knows how to tell a love story as well. Whether it is the cold reality of a faded wrestling superstar and his love for what he does or the love a doctor has for the one patient he can’t cure, his wife. Aronofsky drags you across the coals allowing you to feel everything his characters feel and more. Here we have a woman so obsessed with being the best that she blurs reality between her life and the part she plays. To be honest all this is in hindsight, I was drawn into seeing Black Swan for two of reasons that had nothing to do it with its plot. One is very high brow the other… well to be honest I am just a guy.
1. Darren Aronofsky:
His early work such as Pi and Requiem for a Dream attracted film aficionado’s attention. The Fountain garnered science fiction fans attention where as The Wrestler earned everyone else’s. His films deal with character driven stories and their reality of the situation. Aronofsky has an unrelenting eye on the world that many of us never see or hope that we never do. Fan boys rejoiced when word spread that Aronofsky would reteam with The Fountain’s Hugh Jackman for Wolverine 2. Much like Christopher Nolan for Batman, Aronofsky would finally tell a Wolverine story in the vein in which one should be told. Now that he is off the film fan boys have retreated to their collective corners and thoughts of a Wolverine reboot sound better than a sequel.
2. The Hotties:
Natalie Portman makes out, among other things, with Mila Kunis. There I said it. No, I am not proud of it. I figured if the movie was some art house flick and was too sophisticated at least I saw that. Saw that on a 30-foot by 70-foot screen and larger than life. Two of Hollywood’s hottest actress making out not only warranted my attention but the old man in front of me as well. He did get slapped by his wife for his “oh yeah” but that also added to my experience in seeing the film.
After Seeing the Film:
Black Swan is an incredible film that is not only brilliantly made but warrants multiple viewings. No, not for the “love making scene” but to watch Portman’s decent into madness. Emotionally she parallels what the White Swan and the Black Swan are going through in Swan Lake. Hence, the Academy Award win. Aronofsky exploits the medium of film and special effects to show us this internal struggle. He does this so much that the film takes on a Fight Club motif where we question how the film is going to end. Is Mila Kunis’ Lily even real? Did she actually just stab that person? Will she be standing there completely transformed into a swan? All these questions and more start running through your head placing you in Portman’s mind. This film is a trip into a different kind of horror that were not expecting.
Blu-ray for the Second Viewing:
As I mentioned before I saw the film in the theater. To watch it now on Blu-ray in 1080p is to truly see all the special effects in each transformation. To watch Portman’s skin transform both drastically and subtly is an experience unmatched on Blu-ray. No matter how good the theater projectors are, here it is breath taking. Another treat on Blu-ray, with watching it the second time, is playing back the different times Portman’s face morphs in and out of other characters. Not to mention the difference between her Black and White Swan personas.
Black Swan might have come out last week on Blu-ray and DVD but one thing is for certain. It is a film that all movie lovers will be watching for a very long time. And not just for “those scenes” either.
Top 5 Picks of the Week:
1. Tron: Legacy / Tron: The Original Classic (Five-Disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy)
2. Batman Beyond: Return of Joker [Blu-ray]
3. Taxi Driver [Blu-ray]
4. Much Ado About Nothing [Blu-ray]
5. A.I.: Artificial Intelligence [Blu-ray]
Arabesque Starring Gregory Peck, Alan Badel, Kieron Moore and Carl Duering
...And Justice for All [Blu-ray] Starring Al Pacino, Jack Warden, John Forsythe and Lee Strassberg
Captain Newman MD Starring Gregory Peck, Tony Curtis, Eddie Albert and James Gregory
Casino Jack Starring Kevin Spacey, Barry Pepper, Jon Lovitz and Ruth Marshall
The Cove [Blu-ray] Starring Richard O'Barry, Brook Aitken, Joe Chisholm
Desert Son Starring John Bain, Erica Curtis and Nathan Halliday
The Heroes of Telemark Starring Kirk Douglas, Richard Harris, Ulla Jacobsson
Mirage Starring Gregory Peck, Walter Matthau, Kevin McCarthy
The Night of the Generals Starring Peter O'Toole, Omar Sharif, Tom Courtenay
Roger Corman's Action-Packed Collection [Georgia Peaches, The Great Texas Dynamite Chase, Smokey Bites The Dust] Starring Dirk Benedict, Tanya Tucker and Claudia Jennings
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Part 4 [Blu-ray] Starring Rie Kugimiya, Romi Park, Iemasa Kayumi and Megumi Takamoto
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Part 4
Hero Tales: Part Two Starring John Burgmeier, Brian Mathis and Newton Pittman
Batman Beyond: Return of Joker [Blu-ray]
Kung Fu Panda (Two Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring Jack Black, Ian McShane, Angelina Jolie and Dustin Hoffman
Scooby Doo: Aloha Scooby Doo [Blu-ray]
Scooby Doo & Cyber Chase [Blu-ray]
Tom & Jerry: Fast & The Furry [Blu-ray]
Taxi Driver [Blu-ray] Starring Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd
TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Legends - Marlon Brando (A Streetcar Named Desire / Julius Caesar / The Teahouse of the August Moon / Reflections in a Golden Eye) Starring Marlon Brando
Tcm Greatest Films: Johnny Weissmuller As Tarzan 1 Starring Johnny Weissmuller
Tcm Greatest Films: Johnny Weissmuller As Tarzan 2 Starring Johnny Weissmuller
The World in His Arms Starring Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn, John McIntire and Carl Esmond
Arthur / Arthur 2: On the Rocks (2-Movie Collection) [Blu-ray] Starring Dudley Moore
Casino Jack [Blu-ray] Starring Kevin Spacey and Graham Greene
I Love You Phillip Morris [Blu-ray] Starring Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor
Little Fockers [Blu-ray] Starring Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller
Still Waiting [Blu-ray] Starring Adam Carolla, John Michael Higgins, Rob Benedict
Criterion Collection
Eclipse Series 26: Silent Naruse (Flunky, Work Hard / No Blood Relation / Apart from You / Every-Night Dreams / Street Without End) (Criterion Collection) Starring Shizue Akiyama, Seiichi Kato, Tomoko Naniwa and Tokio Seki
Behemoth Starring Ed Quinn and Cindy Busby
Dead on Site Starring Christopher Burnham
Disasters at Sea Starring Luke Perry, Dan Cortese, Malcolm McDowell and Michael Pare
Horrid Starring Kevin Kiser, Kyle Berg and Liz Ribarchek
Babe [Blu-ray]
Benny & Joon [Blu-ray] Starring Johnny Depp and Aidan Quinn
Much Ado About Nothing [Blu-ray] Starring Richard Briers
A.I.: Artificial Intelligence [Blu-ray] Starring Haley Joel Osment, Frances O'Connor, Sam Robards
Beauty and the Beast: A Dark Tale Starring Estella Warren, Rhett Giles and Vanessa Gray
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader [Blu-ray] Starring Ben Barnes and Skandar Keynes
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Two-Disc Edition)
Peter Pan [Blu-ray] Starring Jason Isaacs
Tron: The Original Classic (Special Edition) Starring Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleitner, Cindy Morgan
Tron: The Original Classic (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
Tron: Legacy / Tron: The Original Classic (Five-Disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy) Starring Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde
Tron: Legacy
Tron: Legacy (Four-Disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy)
Tron: Legacy / Tron: The Original Classic (Five-Disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy in Identity Disc Collectible Packaging)
Babylon 5: Complete Series With Movies
Lark Rise to Candleford: Season Four Starring Ben Aldridge, Linda Bassett, Ruby Bentall
Life Unexpected: The Complete First and Second Seasons Starring Shiri Appleby, Kerr Smith, Brittany Robertson
Friday Night Lights: The Fifth Season Starring Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton and Taylor Kitsch
Robert Trate writes two weekly columns for Mania the DVD Shopping Bag and the Toy Maniac. Robert also participates in a pod cast that reviews movies, comics and celebrates all things geek. Check it out at You’ve Got Geek on You.com.


Showing items 1 - 4 of 4
TigerPrime 4/5/2011 6:22:34 AM

A complete Babylon 5 Series?!? Yes please!!!

lusiphur 4/5/2011 10:18:50 AM

 B5 complete?  I wonder how much that'll be.

There's a LOT of Gregory Peck on this list.  Oh, it's his birthday today, that's probably why.

redhairs99 4/5/2011 4:51:13 PM

Portman's performance was good.  I thought Cassel's was better.  Overall, it was good watch, but I think it's highly over-rated.  Not a bad film, just highly, highly over-rated.

EagleManiac 4/5/2011 7:27:43 PM

 Never saw the movie, but I think Natalie Portman has gotten SOOOO hot looking! She's all grown up and lookin' fine!



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