New On DVD: The Blind Side And Oh-So-Classic James Brown
Well, everyone survived the frenzy of last Friday's release of The Twilight Saga: New Moon pretty much unscathed (the second installment of the Twilight series earned a cool $295.6 million at the box office and will no doubt earn another huge heap of money of DVD sales).
If you're still in the mood for more DVD bliss, this is a good week. The big earner of today's releases is Sandra Bullock's The Blind Side. Based on the true story of homeless 15-year-old Michael Oher, who happens to be a 6'6", 300-pound African-American, and the Touhy family, who happen to be white, who adopt him,
The Blind Side earned Bullock an Oscar for Best Actress for her portrayal of Leigh Anne Touhy, a tough, no-nonsense Memphis mom who takes Oher into her brood and treats him like one of her own, eventually helps him start playing football.
Most reviews mentioned Bullock not only transforming herself physically into the real Touhy but somehow channeling her feisty "can-do" spirit. Tim McGraw plays Touhy's husband, and does a decent job of it, while Quinton Aaron plays Michael Oher and does a good job playing a hulking giant who is nearly silent who slowly blossoms into an hulking giant who mumbles from time to time -- oh, and who flattens any opposing player on the football field.
The Blind Side has been criticized for being yet another story about whites pulling a black kid out of the ghetto and help him to fulfill some great destiny (in Oher's case it's eventually joining the NFL). (Vanessa Williams added her objections recently on The View, which Barbara Walters tried to clean up as well as she could.) Here's what Hair Balls has to say to that: Shut up, haters. This is based on a true story, so it's not like Hollywood sat around and said, "Hey, how can we make white people seem saintly and black people seem downtrodden?"
Are there films that have rich whites rescuing disadvantaged minority kids? Yes. (Saving Isaiah comes to mind.) Do most of them stink? Yes. (Another vote for Saving Isaiah.) But here's the big news, The Blind Side isn't one of them.
Also released Tuesday is the epic, long-lost, legendary 1964 concert film The T.A.M.I Show. For decades its rights have been tied up in court, but now it's finally free and clear.
It's most famous for James Brown reveling in all his cant-go-on, will-go-on cape-draping glory, but there are also seminal performances by the Rolling Stones, Marvin Gaye, the Beach Boys, Chuck Berry and Smokey Robinson.
It's not to be missed.
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