Blu-ray Review “The Book Thief”

Actors: Sophie Nélisse, Kelly Macdonald, Michael Shannon, Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson
Directed by Brian Percival
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: March 11, 2014
Run Time: 131 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

“The Book Thief” is a film that got lost in the sea of films that came out last Fall. It is best on the best-selling book by Markus Zusak. It takes place in Germany during WWII, which is a tough sell sometimes. But this film is really well-done and deserves some attention. The acting is amazing. Sophie Nélisse steals your heart, while Kelly Macdonald, Michael Shannon, Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson all give wonderful performances as well. The locations where the film are shot are stunning and it is topped off with another wonderful score from master composer John Williams. I would definitely recommend giving this unnoticed film a chance!

Official Premise: Based on the beloved best-selling book comes a story of a girl who transforms the lives of those around her during World War II, Germany. When her mother can no longer care for her, Liesel (Sophie Nélisse) is adopted by a German couple (OSCAR® Winner Geoffrey Rush and OSCAR® Nominee Emily Watson). Although she arrives illiterate, Liesel is encouraged to learn to read by her adoptive father. When the couple then takes in Max (Ben Schnetzer), a Jew hiding from Hitler’s army, Liesel befriends him. Ultimately, words and imagination provide the friends with an escape from the events unfolding around them in this extraordinary, acclaimed film directed by Brian Percival (Downton Abbey).

The Blu-ray from Fox comes as a combo pack including a Digital HD Ultraviolet copy as well. The 1080p transfer is solid and really works well with the backdrop of Germany. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is beautiful and hauting at the same time and really showcases Williams’ score very well.  In terms of special features, things are a little light there is one featurette looking into the behind-the-scenes “Hidden Truth: Bringing The Book Thief To Life”. Besides that there are only some Deleted Scenes and a Theatrical Trailer included. I would have loved to had a commentary track at least from the director…or even better the author.

Win a Track Jacket From the Film "Identity Thief" [ENDED]

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Media Mikes has teamed up with Universal Pictures to give (2) lucky readers an opportunity to win an official “Identity Thief” track jacket.

All you have to do is tell us you’re favorite comedy duo. Laurel and Hardy? Martin and Lewis? Jay and Silent Bob? (2) random entries will be picked from all comments left and those people will win the track jacket. This contest will run until midnight EST Sunday, February 24, 2013. Good luck!

Film Review "Identity Thief"

Starring: Jason Bateman, Melissa McCarthy and John Cho
Directed by: Seth Gordon
Rated: R
Running time: 1 hour 52 mins
Universal

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I can only imagine what it was like to go to a movie during the Golden Age of Hollywood. Long before television, home video and the internet you could go, uninformed, to see a movie and every now and then leave the theatre realizing you had just witnessed the birth of a star. I felt that way after seeing the movie “Bridesmaids.” In a supporting role Melissa McCarthy totally blew me away. Of course, it wasn’t just me she impressed since she earned an Oscar nomination for her performance – a very rare feat for a true comic performance. Though I don’t see another nomination coming here, McCarthy continues to shine in the new film “Identity Thief.”

Sandy Patterson (Bateman) is a mild mannered Colorado-based account executive who has had to suffer with a first name that makes strangers think he’s a woman (his father actually named him after baseball great Sandy Koufax). One morning the phone rings with terrible news. Sandy is informed that someone has tried to use one of his credit cards. The woman on the phone also tells him that if he can provide some information that she can stop the fraud from happening. Sandy shares his info, not knowing that the voice on the other end of the line belongs to Diana (McCarthy) a scam artist living in Florida. Soon Diana, as Sandy, is buying jet skis, a car and rounds of drinks for her friends. She also gets into a bar fight. When she doesn’t show up for court a warrant is issued for Sandy’s arrest. Understanding he’s in a tight situation from which the police can offer no help, Sandy decides to travel to the Sunshine State to confront his new self.

Packed with some great physical comedy by both stars, “Identity Thief” does a fine job of making a complete film out of a one-joke plot line. This is due to the chemestry between Bateman and McCarthy. Bateman, who was once “Teen Wolf” (or Teen Wolf 2 to be exact) has carved out a solid new career as the everyman that many in the audience can relate to. He has some great moments, especially at home with his wife (Amanda Peete) and daughters. Just as his life was getting good (new job, major raise) it begins to fall apart. His credit score is below 240, which isn’t a good thing to have when you work with other people’s money! While his idea to retrieve Diana may seem far fetched, it makes sense to a simple guy like Sandy.

McCarthy makes Diana believable as well. Even when she’s conspiring to get away from Sandy or complaining to anyone that will listen about her Fiber Myalga you feel a wee bit of sympathy for her situation. Of course the two leads have some great supporting characters to lend them a hand, including “Modern Family’s” Eric Stonestreet and “Terminator 2” bad guy Robert Patrick. When they show up on screen, in seperate moments, they breathe like into the film just as it appears it will stall. Some of the bits are included because they seem funny though aren’t really needed and add an extra 20 minutes or so to the film that it really doesn’t need.

That being said, I recommend you see “Identity Thief,” even if it’s just so you can witness the continued rise of a shooting star.

Complimentary Passes to the Orlando, FL Advance Screening for "Identity Thief" [ENDED]

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© 2012 Universal

If you would like to enter for a chance to win passes to the following advance screening, please leave a comment below which names your favorite buddy comedy. Winners will be chosen on a RANDOM BASIS on February 1st. ONLY ONE ENTRY PER PERSON PLEASE! OTHERWISE ALL ENTRIES WILL BE DISREGARDED. The winners will be will notified via email and will be instructed how to pick up the tickets. Good luck and hope to see you at the screening!

Tuesday, February 5th at 7:00pm
AMC Altamonte 18 – Altamonte Springs, FL
Passes are limited and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

http://www.identitythiefmovie.com
Release date: February 8, 2013
Genre: Comedy
Cast: Jason Bateman, Melissa McCarthy, Jon Favreau, Amanda Peet, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Genesis Rodriguez, Morris Chestnut, John Cho, Robert Patrick, Eric Stonestreet
Story by: Jerry Eeten and Craig Mazin
Screenplay by: Craig Mazin
Directed by: Seth Gordon
Produced by: Scott Stuber, Jason Bateman, Pam Abdy
Executive Producers: Peter Morgan, Dan Kolsrud

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Horrible Bosses’ Jason Bateman and Bridesmaids’ Melissa McCarthy lead the cast of Identity Thief, an all-star comedy in which a regular guy is forced to extreme measures to clear his name. With everything to lose after his identity is stolen, he’ll find out how crazed you can get trying to settle a bad credit score.

Unlimited funds have allowed Diana (McCarthy) to live it up on the outskirts of Miami, where the queen of retail buys whatever strikes her fancy. There’s only one glitch: The ID she’s using to finance these sprees reads “Sandy Bigelow Patterson”… and it belongs to an accounts rep (Bateman) who lives halfway across the U.S.

With only one week to hunt down the con artist before his world implodes, the real Sandy Bigelow Patterson heads south to confront the woman with an all-access pass to his life. And as he attempts to bribe, coax and wrangle her the 2,000 miles to Denver, one easy target will discover just how tough it is to get your name back.

Directed by Horrible Bosses’ Seth Gordon, Identity Thief is produced by Scott Stuber (Ted), Bateman and Pam Abdy (upcoming 47 Ronin). The comedy co-stars Jon Favreau, Amanda Peet, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Genesis Rodriguez, Morris Chestnut, John Cho, Robert Patrick and Eric Stonestreet.

Win Tickets to the Kansas City Advance Screening of "Identity Thief" [ENDED]

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Media Mikes has teamed with Universal Pictures to give you the chance to be one of the first people to see the new comedy “Identity Thief,” starring Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy. To qualify all you have to do is leave a comment below telling us your favorite line from your favorite comedy. (20) random entries will be selected and will be notified by email. The contest ends at Midnight, February 3, 2012. Screening information is as follows:

Date: February 5, 2013
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Place: Cinemark Merriam, Merriam, Kansas

Opening Date: Friday, February 8, 2013
Official Site: www.IdentityThiefMovie.com
Rating: Rated R for sexual content and language.

Synopsis: Unlimited funds have allowed Diana (McCarthy) to live it up on the outskirts of Miami, where the queen of retail buys whatever strikes her fancy. There’s only one glitch: The ID she’s using to finance these sprees reads “Sandy Bigelow Patterson”… and it belongs to an accounts rep (Bateman) who lives halfway across the U.S. With only one week to hunt down the con artist before his world implodes, the real Sandy Bigelow Patterson heads south to confront the woman with an all-access pass to his life. And as he attempts to bribe, coax and wrangle her the 2,000 miles to Denver, one easy target will discover just how tough it is to get your name back.