New to DVD and Blu-ray: Cops, Sex and ‘Game of Thrones’
New on DVD, Blu-Ray and streaming this week, there's Woody Harrelson giiving an amazing performance as a cop on the streets of '90s L.A. in 'Rampart,' plus the romance of 'The Deep Blue Sea,' the epic majesty of 'Game of Thrones” and the edible art and philosophy of 'Jiro dreams of Sushi.'
'The Deep Blue Sea'
Speaking of the Oscars, lots of people are suggesting that this film -- a sensitive, smart and sexy drama from director Terence Davies -- deserves at least some Oscar attention for its acting. Tom Hiddleston -- Loki from 'The Avengers' -- is an ex-Air Force officer in Britain in the years after World War II. Rachel Weisz from 'About a Boy' and the upcoming 'The Bourne Legacy' is the woman happy to lose herself -- and forget her dead marriage -- in his arms. With a great score, brilliant performances and a superheated mix of sex, sin and social conformity, it's one of 2012's better and more cruelly overlooked films.
'Game of Thrones: Season One'
Wait, didn't this come to DVD and Blu-ray a while ago? Yeah, it did,. Then it didn't. They had to discontinue that edition because of what was in in one of this fantasy series' bloody brutal battleground backgrounds. Namely a replica severed head with a startling resemblance to ex-President George W. Bush. And that's just the crazy-talk around one episode of this diabolically overheated fantasy-world soap-opera, never mind in it. Like a mix of 'The Lord of the Rings' and 'The Sopranos,' 'Game of Thrones' is about power, showing alliances and struggles and battles where the hot blood of murderous rage meets ice-cold cruelty.
A nicely-shot smart variation on the kind of claustrophobic storytelling found in 'Cellular' or 'Buried,' 'Brake' starts with Secret Service hotshot Stephen Dorff locked in a trunk with a countdown clock as it drives through L. A. and mystery voices ask him to give the details on the secret presidential bunker 'Roulette' only he knows the location of for today … 'Brake' is a lot like stuff we've seen before, but there's something about Dorff here -- unwashed, scared and jammed into a small space -- that makes him magnetic.
'Jiro Dreams of Sushi'
One of the year's best documentaries is as precise and expressive and delicious as the sushi its 85-year-old subject makes. Almost. Chef Jiro Ono is 85, the owner and master of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a small restaurant in a busy Tokyo subway station. As director David Gelb's exquisite documentary makes clear, Ono doesn't have a lot of customers -- but his customers are eating what many people consider the best sushi on earth. Sukiyabashi Jiro has a year-plus waiting list and a perfect-score three Michelin stars, but Gelb's film isn't just about about food and fish. It's a mouth-watering, mind-provoking story about the pleasure of creation and the never-ending pursuit of excellence, a zen struggle with a side of fresh-grated wasabi.