by Richard Gould
Two new releases make it a Blu-ray weekend to savor: First, the Oscar-snubbed FOXCATCHER, Bennett Miller’s haunting and meditative story of the real-life tragedy surrounding the Schultz brothers’ wrestling team that made headlines twenty years ago. Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo play ambitious but damaged siblings who are eager to recapture Olympic gold, but who unwittingly get caught up in one man’s Olympics obsession–the fantastically rich weapons magnate-slash-wrestling nut John du Pont, who styles himself as coach and father figure to the pair. Ruffalo and Tatum’s performances make the film, but it’s Steve Carell’s ghostly star-turn as du Pont–basically he’s unrecognizable–that commands the attention. A tormented aristo used to having his way in everything, du Pont is misty and remote yet seething with destructive currents—money, military power, thwarted sexuality, fear for the country’s lost greatness and Mom. Then follow up with THE INTERVIEW for a chaser. To hear all the intrigue surrounding the Sony hack (digital fingerprints now point to everyone but North Korea) you’d never know the damn thing was funny–riotously so in parts. Seth Rogen and James Franco star–Franco as the celeb talk show host recruited by the CIA to do a hit on Kim Jong-un, who’s a fan. But with Jong-un being the charmer he is, seasoned newshound Dave Skylark (Franco) finds himself breaking the profession’s cardinal rule: Never get too close to your subject. A piece of dumb fluffery completely unequal to the place history has reserved for it–which itself is hilarious.