The Shelf: The Campaign, Hitchcock, and Safety Not Guaranteed
by Brian Walton on October 30, 2012
Welcome back to The Shelf, our weekly look at what’s new in the world of Blu-ray and home entertainment. This week, we’re reminded that Alfred Hitchcock is a master filmmaker, that politics can be funny as well as flawed, and that if you’re going to time travel, you take on all the risk.
We’re only a week away from the election that will decide our next President. It is often in these years of political warfare that studios will attempt to ride the wave of partisan bickering into a hit film. The Campaign joins the likes of election year comedies My Fellow Americans (1996: Also featuring Dan Aykroyd), Welcome to Mooseport (2004), and Fahrenheit 9/11 (kidding, breathe). The Campaign features Will Ferrell and Zack Galifianakis in a Congressional race in North Carolina that highlights both comedians’ abilities to channel truly memorable stupid people. By the end of the film, you realize you’d want neither person being your voice in government, but it doesn’t stop you from enjoying the ludicrous scenarios the film sets them in. And if you’re fans of Ferrell and Galifianakis, don’t forget to check out their episodes of the Nerdist Podcast and You Made It Weird, respectively.
Just in time for Halloween (or any other holiday you might like) is the release of Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection, a box set featuring a whopping 15 films from the undisputed Master of Suspense, many of which have never been on Blu-ray before. You’ve got your Rear Window, your Vertigo, your North By Northwest, your Psycho, but you’ve also got lesser-known gems like the pitch-black comedy The Trouble with Harry, and perhaps his last true masterpiece, Frenzy, in which a man murders women with a necktie. Hitch was a genius… a blonde-and-murder-obsessed genius.
Safety Not Guaranteed
It’s been the year of the quirky time-travel movie, from Looper‘s artsy take on the Terminator tale to Sound of My Voice‘s cult conspiracies, but Safety Not Guaranteed is the only one (loosely) based on a true story – an actual personal ad placed by someone who claimed to have traveled back in time once already and was seeking a companion for round two. This indie dramedy imagines that ad was placed by a wild-eyed Mark Duplass, stepping outside his acting comfort zone to play a paranoid survivalist type. When a cynical magazine intern (Aubrey Plaza) is hired to turn it all into a news story and bait the man into opening up to her, sparks fly and the extent of his craziness is cast in doubt when it appears he may actually be for real. Extras include two featurettes – one on the movie, the other on the truth behind the actual ad. We talked with the cast back in June for insight into the film and since you can’t go back in time, we’ll just put the link here.
Also Out this Week:
Ruby Sparks – The Pygmalion myth gets a fresh update for the new century as Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan play a writer and a creation of his own imagination. From Zoe Kazan’s script, the pair give memorable performances, made all the more memorable when the film takes a few unexpected turns.
Max Fleischer’s Superman: Collector’s Edition – The classic rotoscoped wonder that is/are Max Fleischer’s Superman cartoons still hold(s) a magic missing from many of the later incarnations of the Man of Steel.
Additional reporting by Luke Y. Thompson and Kyle Anderson