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New On DVD - July 6, 2010

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (DVD + Blu-ray Combo Pack) CityNews.ca Pick of the Week – After journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) is convicted of a libel charge, filed against him by a high-profile Swedish businessman, he retreats from the media spotlight in order to investigate a forty-year-old missing persons case involving a young woman named Harriet Vanger. Harriet’s aging uncle believes another member of his wealthy family is behind her disappearance and hires Blomkvist to look into the cold case, setting him up at his homestead in the country where his niece went missing. What Blomkvist doesn’t know is that he himself is being followed by a highly trained security expert and computer hacker named Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) who was hired to dig up dirt on him. She has become obsessed with Blomkvist and is now secretly helping him put the pieces of his investigation together. Based on the bestselling novel by Stieg Larsson, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo works on every level and is by far one of the best films of the year. In Swedish with English subtitles. Special features on the Blu-ray disc only include an interview with Noomi Rapace, a sneak peek at the sequel — The Girl Who Played with Fire, and more. Film **** DVD/Blu-ray **** (out of 5 stars).

Check out a CityNews.ca interview with the director of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Niels Arden Oplev.

A Single Man – After his partner Jim (Matthew Goode) dies in a car accident, George (Colin Firth) has a hard time carrying on with his own life. Set in Los Angeles during the ’60s and directed by fashion icon Tom Ford, A Single Man is a visually beautiful film with a standout performance by Firth that alone makes it worth watching. I found Julianne Moore’s character to be a bit of waste but Moore herself was outstanding as well. Film students should pay attention to the use of colour and lighting, especially when George’s mood changes. Special features include commentary with Ford and a making-of featurette. Also available on Blu-ray. Film **** DVD *** (out of 5 stars).

Brooklyn’s Finest (Blu-ray)Brooklyn’s Finest employs every cop cliche in the book in a bleak examination of life on the streets for three NYPD officers. Eddie (Richard Gere) is seven days away from retirement and doesn’t give a hoot about being a cop anymore. He’s a bit of joke among his peers and a scumbag in his personal life — sleeping with a hooker, drinking too much and contemplating suicide daily. Then there’s Sal (Ethan Hawke), a religious man with too many kids and not enough money to support them, now looking to pinch some extra cash during drug busts. And lastly there’s Tango (Don Cheadle), a world-weary undercover cop starting to question which side he’s really on. As I predicted in my theatrical review the films works a lot better on DVD but that still doesn’t excuse all the cliches. Directed by Antoine Fuqua. Special features on the Blu-ray include commentary deleted scenes, making of featurettes, and more. Film ** Blu-ray *** (out of 5 stars).

Iodine – When he hears his father has gone missing during a weekend at the family cottage, John (Michael Stasko) leaves the city to go to look for him. What follows is a bizarre trip into the mind of a mentally ill man off his medication. While being somewhat eerie, Iodine comes off as a pompous mess of an experimental film and never quite held my attention. Stasko wrote, directed, produced, and edited the film which could be part of the problem. Ray Wise also stars. Special features include commentary, a making of featurette, photo gallery, and more. Film ** DVD ** (out of 5 stars).

More New DVD releases this week: Film Noir: Classics II, Jason and the Argonauts (Blu-ray), Cooking With Stella, Practical Magic/The Witches of Eastwick Double Feature (Blu-ray), Dr. Giggles/Otis Double Feature (Blu-ray)


Top image: A scene from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Courtesy Alliance Films.