Summary: Fresh and modern, Sacha Guitry's small town black comedy 'La Poison' sparkles on Blu-ray defying its 60+ year age.
'La Poison' opens almost like a spoof as filmmaker Sacha Guitry approaches just about everyone involved in his film and thanks them for their participation from the lead actor (the wonderful Michel Simon) to the film editor for their talents. He even phones up some voice actors and tells them that, as good as they were, they won't be credit but thanks all the same.
After such a post-modern opening, 'La Poison' looks to go back in time for a small town tale of black comedy and deception but really this is a disguise that allows Guitry to get away with murder. This is a filmmaker who had the audacity to declare in the face of marriage, the church and the law that crime, temptation and deceit can pay.
Michel Simon (who was so great in 1932's similarly toned 'Boudu Saved from Drowning') plays an unhappily married man who plots to off his boozy wife, who also has her own eyes on murder as well. Set in the confines of a claustrophobic town where everyone knows everyone else, 'La Poison' sizzles under this prospect before Simon's character visits Paris and enlists the help of a crafty lawyer famed for getting guilty parties off the hook before the film culminates in a delicious courtroom farce.
Adding to the speed of the narrative's revelations, Guitry also filmed rapidly, rarely shooting alternate takes. Instead, it was done almost like a stage play as the director covered the action with multiple cameras and just let them roll, affording the film a genuine spark which ensures that the pace never drops (the finished product runs at less than an hour and a half anyway).
'La Poison' is a seemingly lightweight comedy anchored by a filmmaker's vision that was ahead of its time. Eureka's Blu-ray shows off a lovely crisp print and throws in an hour-long doc into the mix.
'Birdman' was the big winner at this year's Oscars, taking home three of the major wins: Best Picture, Best Director and Best (Original) Screenplay. It meant that writer, director and producer Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu walked away with three Oscars on the same night. The quirky film about actors also scooped Best Cinematography.
Following the roaring successes of 'The Da Vinci Code' and 'Angels and Demons', the character of Robert Langdon is returning to the big screen with Tom Hanks dusting off the hair straighteners once again for the lead role and Oscar winning director Ron Howard back in charge of the production.
The web of the 'Spider-Man' franchise has become increasingly tangled after mega studios Sony and Marvel agreed to a power sharing contract, effectively meaning that Spider-Man (aka Peter Parker) could enter Marvel's Cinematic Universe (with his Avengers pals) but Sony still retains control.The web of the 'Spider-Man' franchise has become increasingly tangled after mega studios Sony and Marvel agreed to a power sharing contract, effectively meaning that Spider-Man (aka Peter Parker) could enter Marvel's Cinematic Universe (with his Avengers pals) but Sony still retains control.
The BAFTAs have been awarded and 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' led the way after the quirky comedy racked up an incredible five gongs with 'Boyhood', 'The Theory of Everything' and 'Whiplash' following up with three a piece. 'Boyhood' scooped three of the biggest with Best Picture, Director and Supporting Actress going to Richard Linklater's 12 year labour of love.
The Oscar winning actor's easy-going persona evident over decades of film performances and chilled out concerts has won the Dude legions of abiders but now he's taken his trademark chilled out nature to a whole new level - he's recording an album of sleeping tapes to 'help you get a good night's rest'.
One of the biggest bits of casting news in the last few months was Tom Hardy's involvement in David Ayer's 'Suicide Squad' - the forthcoming superhero picture also starring Will Smith, Jared Leto, Jai Courtney, Cara Delevingne and 'The Wolf of Wall Street' breakout starlet Margot Robbie.
Another year, another set of Oscar nominations and another round of gasps of both joy and shock as the toast of Hollywood is picked by their peers. Leading the pack are two critical darlings each with nine nominations: Wes Anderson's wonderful dramedy 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' and the genre-bending breakthrough 'Birdman'. 'The Imitation Game' followed closely with eight including a surprise Best Director nod.
The recent leaks of Sony's email database are continuing to flow as more information comes to light, the latest being that studio chairman Amy Pascal is keen to see Daniel Craig's James Bond be replaced by Idris Elba.