On DVD & Blu-Ray, 5/31/11: ‘Biutiful,’ ‘Passion Play,’ More

BIUTIFUL (DVD/Blu-ray)

Biutiful is the most recent offering from Alejandro González Iñárritu, he of Amores Perros21 Grams, and Babel, all of which rank among my favorite films. Javier Bardem scored an Oscar nod as Uxbal, who, uh…actually, the synopses of this movie make it really hard to figure out what his deal is, though he’s described as a “tragic hero” and “a single father who struggles to reconcile fatherhood, love, spirituality, crime, guilt and mortality amid the dangerous underworld of modern Barcelona.” So there’s that. I meant to catch this in theaters, but in any case, I’m really looking forward to this one. Extras include a making-of doc and a theatrical trailer.

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Top 100 Characters in Modern Pop Culture: #100-91

On Friday’s show, Paul and I began our countdown of the Top 100 Characters in Modern Pop Culture. We’ve each got our own lists, and last night we revealed our respective #s 100-91. Be sure to listen to the show for our full run-down, but here are our picks with excerpts of what we said:

#100

PAUL: The Companion Cube (Portal)

Your weighted Companion Cube is very faithful, never talks back, and will never stab you, but sadly, it doesn’t really get a happy ending. The Companion Cube’s story is, I’m afraid, a tragedy.

AJ: Charlie Pace (Lost)

Charlie started as a one-hit wonder rock star with a heroin addiction, but along with his good friend Hurley, he quickly became the heart of the show.

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Movie Review: Iron Man 2 (2010)

Originally published on May 8, 2010

Director: Jon Favreau
Writer: Justin Theroux, based on the Marvel comic book by Stan Lee, Don Heck, Larry Lieber, and Jack Kirby

I attended a packed midnight screening of Iron Man 2, and directly beforehand, in the same auditorium, a considerably less packed screening of the original Iron Man. The first is every bit as great as it was two years ago; it is charming, rich with character, brilliantly acted and directed, and with not a wasted minute. It’s the perfect blend of comedy, drama, and action, a genuine crowdpleaser in every sense.

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