This Week In Home Entertainment: Blue Jasmine, Machete Kills And More

By Jessica Rawden 2014-01-21 19:18:13discussion comments
Blue Jasmine box
Blue Jasmine Blu-ray
If you were to have (or do have) a stack of Woody Allen films in your home and you were about to watch one with a group of friends, Blue Jasmine would not be at the top of the pile. In fact, it probably would be at or very near the body of the pile. Not because it lacks humor. Not because it lacks a decent cast or a well-written script. Blue Jasmine is a fine movie, with all of the necessary elements to earn it a few Oscar nods, but it's also an uncomfortable one.

Blue Jasmine refers to Jasmine, a former socialite who paints herself as a jilted woman who is in a bad situation and is just beginning to work through it. In reality, she is a monster of her own making, despised or, at best, tolerated by those who can see beyond her socialite faÁade. The role wasnít written with Cate Blanchett in mind, but she does perfectly embody the character, who wears last seasonís bags on her thin arms and uses a constant frown to convey her displeasure at her life post-money.

Through all of this, Allen gives us plenty of flashbacks to Jasmineís former life, flashbacks that convey how a woman who used to have plenty has come to live with her sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins). Flashbacks that explain how she has no other family or friends to lean on or support her and that explain her slippery former husband, Hal (Alec Baldwin). He putzes around a world that is filled with prime real estate and plenty of fashion expeditions and then juxtaposes it with a new world featuring bad food joints and boxy apartments. Itís masterful work, but itís rarely pleasant, even when the comedy seeps in.

Even if the film might not be the one to pull out during social gatherings, there are few female characters on film that are as deftly written and as visually acted as Jasmine, and if you get the opportunity to engage with the film, we highly suggest doing so.

You can order Blue Jasmine over at Amazon.

Best Special Feature: As far as extras go, the Blue Jasmine disc is unremarkable. Somehow, I canít imagine Woody Allen sitting around and patiently explaining his process during a "Making of" featurette, but the disc is still fairly lackluster. The cast does pop up in both of the extras on the disc, so if you want to hear about the actorís experience or how they felt about working with Allen, you are pretty good to go. Thereís not really a best extra on the disc, but both bonus features are worth a perusal if you enjoyed the movie.

Other Special Features:
"Notes from the Red Carpet"
Blue Jasmine Cast Press Conference
Theatrical Trailer
discussion
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