Eric Melin sez:
Solid Rock Fist Up
Solid Rock Fist Up

Warped Comedy and Gritty Family Drama on Blu-ray

by Eric Melin on November 8, 2012

in Blu-ray/DVD Reviews,Reviews

A quirky romantic comedy and a hard-hitting family drama are two new releases out on Blu-ray and DVD this week.

safety-not-guaranteed-blu-ray-reviewSafety Not Guaranteed (2012)

In Safety Not Guaranteed, a trio of employees at a Seattle magazine investigate a mysterious classified ad that reads:

WANTED: Someone to back in time with me. This is not a joke. You’ll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. I have only done this once before. SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED.

What follows is a lighthearted tale starring Aubrey Plaza from TV’s Parks and Recreation that deftly mixes absurdist humor with touching moments and a real feeling of loneliness.

Mark Duplass plays the guy who claims to have a time machine without a hint of self-awareness and his passion for time-travel charms and disarms Plaza. When the movie stays on them, which is most of the time, it’s great fun.

The extras unfortunately are pretty paltry, featuring a 2-minute discussion of the original ad that inspied the film and a 15-minute making-of featurette.

criterion-the-forgiveness-of-blood-blu-ray-reviewThe Forgiveness of Blood (2011)

The Forgiveness of Blood, on the other hand, is a realistically portrayed drama from Joshua Marston, the director of the award-winning Maria Full of Grace, that may take you by surprise.

Essentially a coming-of-age story about a contemporary Albanian teenager (Refet Abazi), the movie explores what happens when age-old traditions and family loyalties get in the way.

A land dispute turns into a murder and the boy is caught in the middle of a blood feud, suddenly thrust into the spotlight as a target for murder himself, and unable to live a normal life. It’s a searing portrait of a dangerous generational divide that ruins lives, told with a gentle touch.

The Forgiveness of a Blood is a powerful movie with a gritty feel that deserves a wider audience. It had a very limited release earlier this year, but hopefully more people will discover it now on DVD and Blu-ray.

Included on this excellent Criterion Blu-ray is Joshua Marston’s director’s commentary, two 20-minute featurettes, and some tapes of auditions and rehearsals with the film’s unknown young actors.

Eric is the Editor-in-Chief of Scene-Stealers and regular critic for KCTV5. He’s a member of the BFCA, VP of the KCFCC, and drummer for The Dead Girls and Ultimate Fakebook. He is also the current 2013 Air Guitar World Champion Mean Melin. Eric goes to 11. Follow him at:

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