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DVD Shopping Bag: The Road Blu-ray

On the Road again...

By Robert T. Trate     May 18, 2010


Viggo Mortensen is on The Road on DVD and Blu-ray May 25th.
© Sony Pictures/Bob Trate

 

I would like a show of hands (or at least a comment) for each of you that actually saw The Road. Adapted from the original novel by Cormac McCarthy and directed by John Hillcoat it hits DVD and Blu-ray next week. Forgive me, I am a week early but instead of getting bogged down in this week’s multiple Lorenzo Lamas and C. Thomas Howell titles I went with a film actually worth watching. All right, back to my original question: who saw The Road in a theater? I live outside of Philadelphia, a major metropolitan city, and within a 100 mile radius it was only playing on one screen! After all, this movie has a post apocalyptic story, the lead from Lord of the Rings and is based on a Pulitzer Prize winning novel. It still boggles my mind. Then again if we look back to any film that went through reshoots and additional post production work they usually turn out to be turds. Were the theater owners playing it safe? The Ritz in Philly had a packed house, so at least one theater owner had the balls to take a chance. In a week’s time those that didn’t see it will finally have a chance to see The Road.
 
I won’t lie to you and say The Road isn’t tough to watch. Then again what movie about the apocalypse isn’t? Call me an end of the world enthusiast but I love these movies. If done right these films often show us what mankind is truly made of; that we are capable of both amazing feats of good and evil. The Road rightfully takes its place as one of the best post apocalyptic movies ever. True, it doesn’t have talking apes. Suped up cars don’t battle each other on an open highway nor is there a Thunderdome. The Road, in its simplistic glory, is about the love between a father and a son. Sure it sounds kind of mushy, but with Viggo Mortensen playing the father it is a must see.
 
“On the road again…”
The second time watching The Road actually felt like the third. Having read the novel I knew that there really weren’t going to be any surprises. There are several gems tucked away here and one man’s visualization of the destruction after “the event” thankfully matched my own. One scene in particular from the novel lingered with me. Oddly enough it is absent from the film. However the poetry of Cormac McCarthy’s words never rang truer than when they were said by Aragorn himself. The film is and forever will be a gut wrenching tale. Yet I could easily sit through all again to marvel at the performances, Hillcoat’s directing or even just the brutal landscape.
 
Commentary
Directors’ commentary can be a mixed bag of treats. Hearing Peter Jackson talk about the Lord of the Rings is a great way to fill your mind with trivia, fun facts and truly grasp the extraordinary bit of film making those films were. Then again sitting through William Friedkin’s commentary is probably one of the most boring things I have ever done in my life. Hillcoat thankfully, despite this being his first time, is a pleasure to listen to as he describes actual locations, Viggo and Kodi Smit-McPhee bonding as well as how Cormac McCarthy reacted to seeing the film. Hillcoat holds nothing back as he discusses the pseudo science of test screenings and how he shot the Coca-Cola scene five different ways.
 
Blu-ray/ Special Features
There is a short “making of” (13:47) which serves as a quick profile on the actors as well as what went into the movie. Fans of the film will appreciate the commentary most of all as Hillcoat easily divulges how the destroyed city scenes were accomplished as well as which one was shot in 70mm IMAX. If you are looking for that scene I felt was missing earlier, you won’t find it in the deleted scenes. Nothing here will really be missed. The scenes are great to watch (6 minutes worth) just to see the depth of Mortensen and Smit-McPhee’s perfromances.
 
The Road hits stores next week!
 
ACTION / ADVENTURE / KUNG FU/ THRILLERS / WESTERNS
 
2012: Doomsday [Blu-ray] ~ Dale Midkiff
 
Allan Quatermain & The Temple of Skulls ~ Sean Cameron Michael, Christopher Adamson, and Natalie Stone
 
American Bandits: Frank & Jesse James ~ Peter Fonda
 
Apocalypse Now: Redux ~ Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, and Dennis Hopper
 
Carlito's Way [Blu-ray] ~ Al Pacino, Sean Penn, and John Leguizamo
Countdown: Armageddon [Blu-ray] ~ Clint Browning
 
Defiance & Enemy at the Gates [Blu-ray]
 
Dick Tracy: Saga of a Crimefighter ~ Chester Gould, Ralph Byrd, and Morgan Conway
 
The Disappeared (2008) ~ Harry Treadaway
 
Enemies Among Us ~ Billy Zane, Eric Roberts, Steven Bauer, and Robin Givens
 
Everyman's War ~ Cole Carson
 
Exploitation Cinema: Wacky Taxi / Superagro ~ John Astin, Jackie Gayle, Marie Pohji, and Allan Sherman
 
The Five ~ Dan Lauria, Ben Larned, and Ry Feder Pruett
 
Four Brothers & Warriors [Blu-ray] ~ Mark Wahlberg, Tyrese Gibson, and Andre Benjamin
 
I Am Omega ~ Mark Dacascos
 
Iscariot ~ Michael Nyqvist, Helena af Sandeberg, Jacob Ericksson Gustaf Skarsgård
 
The Last Madness ~ Eduardo Moscovis, Milena Toscano, and Vanessa Gerbelli
 
Murder in Fashion ~ Jonathon Trent
 
The New Daughter ~ Kevin Costner
 
The New Daughter [Blu-ray]
 
Once Upon a Time in the West ~ Charles Bronson, Henry Fonda, Jason Robards, and Gabriele Ferzetti
 
Sherlock Holmes: Great Mysteries
 
Speed Racer [Blu-ray] ~ Emile Hirsch, Nicholas Elia, John Goodman, and Matthew Fox
Tokyo Gore Police 1.5 (2pc) (Dub Sub) ~ Eihi Shiina
 
ANIME
 
Air TV: The Complete Series S.A.V.E. ~ Vic Mignogna, Luci Christian, and Monica Rial
 
Appleseed [Blu-ray]
 
Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan Special Dubbed Edition
 
Dragon Ball Z Kai: Season One, Part One [Blu-ray] ~ Sean Schemmel, Christopher R. Sabat, Justin Cook, and Mike McFarland
 
Dragon Ball Z Kai: Season One, Part One
 
Dragon Ball Z Kai: Season One, Part One ~ Sean Schemmel, Christopher R. Sabat, Justin Cook, and Mike McFarland
 
Eyeshield 21: Collection 1 (2pc) (Ws Sub Dol)
 
Mobile Suit Gundam Trilogy Anime Legends ~ Tôru Furuya
 
Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas ~ Brad Pitt
 
Spirit: Stallion of Cimarron
 
Tropic Thunder & We Were Soldiers [Blu-ray] ~ Jeff Kahn, Robert Jr. Downey, and Jack Black
 
xxxHoLiC: Complete First Season ~ Cherami Leigh, J. Michael Tatum, Colleen Clinkenbeard, and Todd Haberkorn
 
CARTOONS
 
Defenders of the Earth - The Complete 65 Episode Series ~ Adam Carl, Ron Feinberg, Buster Jones, and Loren Lester
 
Legend of Prince Valiant - The Complete 65 Episode Series ~ ROBBY BENSON, TIM CURRY, ALAN OPPENHEIMER, and JAMES AVERY
 
COMEDY AND LOVE Mania Style
 
The Spy Next Door ~ Jackie Chan
 
The Spy Next Door (Two-disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
 
Criterion Collection
 
Criterion Collection: Eclipse 21: Oshima's Outlaw Sixties ~ Katsuo Nakamura
 
Walkabout (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] ~ Jenny Agutter, David Gulpilil, Luc Roeg, and John Meillon
 
Walkabout (The Criterion Collection) ~ Jenny Agutter, David Gulpilil, Luc Roeg, and John Meillon
 
HORROR
 
The Day the Earth Stopped [Blu-ray] ~ C. Thomas Howell, Darren Dalton, Bug Hall, and Cameron Bender
 
Freakshow ~ Dane Rosselli, Christopher Adamson, Rebekah Kochan, and McKenna Geu
 
Haunting of Winchester House ~ Michael Holmes, Tomas Boykin, Lira Kellerman, and Patty Roberts
 
Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus [Blu-ray] ~ Lorenzo Lamas
 
Merlin & The War of the Dragons [Blu-ray] ~ Jurgen Prochnow, Simon Lloyd Roberts, and Joseph Stacey
 
Monster ~ Sarah Lynch
 
The Monster And The Ape ~ George Macready, Ralph Morgan, Carole Mathews Robert Lowery
 
The Navy vs. the Night Monsters ~ Anthony Eisley, Edward Faulkner, Billy Gray, and Pamela Mason
 
SCIENCE FICTION / FANTASY
 
30,000 Leagues Under the Sea [Blu-ray] ~ Lorenzo Lamas
 
30,000 Leagues Under the Sea with Bonus Digital Copy Included
 
100 Million Bc ~ Michael Gross, Christopher Atkins, and Greg Evigan
 
AVH: Alien vs. Hunter ~ William Katt, Randy Mulkey, and Dedee Pfeiffer
 
Dragonquest ~ Marc Singer, Jason Connery, Brian Thompson, and Daniel Bonjour
 
Gamera: The Giant Monster ~ Eiji Funakoshi, Harumi Kiritachi, and Junichir´ Yamashiko
 
Journey to the Center of the Earth ~ Greg Evigan
 
Invasion of the Pod People ~ Erica Roby, Jessica Bork, Danae Nason, and Amanda Ward
 
Land That Time Forgot (2009) ~ C. Thomas Howell
 
Merlin & The War of the Dragons ~ Jurgen Prochnow, Simon Lloyd Roberts, and Joseph Stacey
 
Outlander [Blu-ray] ~ Jim Caviezel, Ron Perlman, Sophia Myles, and John Hurt
 
Race ~ Terry Diab
 
Transmorphers: Fall of Man ~ Bruce Boxleitner
 
War of the Worlds 2: The Next Wave [Blu-ray] ~ Lorenzo Lamas
 
War of the Worlds 2: The Next Wave ~ C. Thomas Howell
 
TV LAND
 
21 Jump Street: Season Two ~ Johnny Depp
 
30 Days Season 3 ~ Morgan Spurlock
 
30 Days: The Complete Series (6pc) (Ws) ~ Morgan Spurlock
 
Damages: The Complete Seasons 1-2 ~ Glenn Close
 
Ghost Hunters: Military Investigations ~ Jason Hawes, Grant Wilson, Steve Gonsalves, and Dave Tango
Greatest American Hero: The Complete Series ~ William Katt, Robert Culp, and Connie Sellecca
 
Greatest American Hero: Season One ~ William Katt, Robert Culp, and Connie Sellecca
 
Hunter: Season Two ~ Fred Dryer
 
Law & Order: Criminal Intent - The Fifth Year ~ Vincent D'Onofrio, Courtney B. Vance, Jamey Sheridan, and Kathryn Erbe
 
Tales from the Three Stooges ~ Curly Howard, Moe Howard, Larry Fine, and Shemp Howard
 
Tamra Island ~ Seo Wu, Lim Juhwan, Pierre Deporte, and Lee Sun Ho
 
Whitest Kids U Know: Complete Third Season (2pc) ~ Sam Brown, Zach Cregger, Trevor Moore, and Darren Trumeter
 
UNDENIABLE CLASSICS on Blu-ray
 
Coming to America & Trading Places [Blu-ray] ~ Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, and James Earl Jones
 
BOX SETS
 
Guy Comedies: 4 Film Favorites (Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle / Semi-Pro / Beerfest / Mr. Woodcock) ~ Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, and Paul Soter
 
Survival: 4 Film Favorites (Twister / The Perfect Storm / Outbreak / Poseidon) ~ Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo, Morgan Freeman, and Helen Hunt
 
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.
 

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 6 of 6
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Chopsaki 5/18/2010 1:29:35 AM

I really need to sack up and see The Road. Good book just depressing as hell.

madmanic999 5/18/2010 2:31:36 AM

Some people just don't get it... CM wrote this based on what hw felt the REAL world would be like at the end.  No Robots or futuristic war lords, just people stripped to the bare animals they are.  The whole point is that with the world (and especially people) going to shit, this father focuses on what is good and right about the world, his son.  You can feel his pain, as he tries so hard to protect his son and find a better, safer place for him in this world.  The book was powerful and the movie captures it perfectly.  It is not the feel good ride of 2009, but I dare anyone to watch it and not walk away stunned by Viggo's performance, especially if you have read the novel.  MUST SEE.

Hobbs 5/18/2010 8:09:56 AM

Being one of the poeople who hated the book I would still be interested in redboxing this movie.  If they follow the book very close than it's probably going to be just as bad and more of you can join in my WTF moments (several of them which I had) I experienced throughout the novel. 

Betenoire 5/18/2010 11:32:43 AM

Off that list I will track down Gamera and think about Dick Tracy as I really enjoy many of the old serials.

jppintar326 5/18/2010 2:03:33 PM

You were right to talk about The Road, which I haven't seen, than a Lorenzo Lamas movie.  BTW, what is Lorenzo Lamas famous for?  I have no idea anymore.  At least I have heard of some C. Thomas Howell movies.  I don't remember any Lorenzo Lamas movies.

arycogre 5/18/2010 8:49:05 PM

I saw The Road and count it amongst my favorite films of all time. Mind you, Blade Runner holds spot #1. I read the book first and while I could easily spot the differences, they at least made sense to me and while things were missing the rest of the movie was so strong that I didn't mind.

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