Tag Archives: suicide

Monsieur Lazhar: Canadian filmmaking at its finest

Oscar nominated Monsieur Lazhar is available to own on August 14, 2012. Courtesy of eOne Media


Canada has produced some of Hollywood’s finest actors over the last half century. Canadian director Philippe Falardeau’s Oscar nominated film, Monsieur Lazhar, shows that we can produce high quality films as well.

After suffering a tragic loss at an elementary school in Montreal, Bachir Lazhar takes on the unwanted job of substitute teacher to a class dealing with uninvited grief.

It’s an absolute delight to review a film so original, thought provoking and well scripted after being bombarded with tired, unoriginal ideas for the past few months. Philippe Falardeau adapted Évelyne de la Chenelière’s one character play, Bashir Lazhar to perfection. As a writer and director, he was unafraid to look at real world issues and make valid social commentary on the state of the current education regulations.

On top of all the accolades from the production, you’ll find equal brilliance from the cast. Mohamed Fellag and Sophie Nélisse both deliver captivating performances, showcasing their ability to produce every ounce of emotional nuance demanded by their characters.

This DVD presents the film beautifully from both an audio and visual standpoint. Unfortunately, being a French film has limited the special features to only those who understand the language. When you consider the high quality of the movie, it’s tragic that only French speaking audiences will be able to dive deeper into the making of it.

Bottom Line: Even with the lack of special features, this movie is still well worth owning on DVD just for the incredible viewing experience of the film itself.

Movie Grade A
Blu Ray Grade B

Runtime: 95 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1


Man on a Ledge: Blu Ray + DVD Review

Sam Worthington and Elizabeth Banks star in Man on a Ledge. Courtesy of eOne Entertainment


If you were wrongly accused of a crime and sentenced to 25 years in jail, how far would you go to prove your innocence and bring down the people who set you up? Nick Cassidy goes the ultimate distance venturing out onto a 21st storey ledge in order to prove his innocence.

Not without its faults, Man on a Ledge manages to provide a thrilling ride with its suspense and amazing cinematography.

With only a documentary under his belt, director Asger Leth alongside veteran cinematographer Paul Cameron (Man on Fire, Gone in Sixty Seconds) take us to dizzying heights and keep us on the edge of our seats for almost two hours as we watch the story unravel. The pace of the film is tight, but there are definitely a few unnecessary comedic relief moments that deserved a Karate chop in the editing room.

After years in the business, Australian born Sam Worthington’s acting is very hard to appreciate due to his very distracting and pitiful American accent. Elizabeth Banks, Ed Harris, Anthony Mackie and the rest of the cast range from decent to good.

In the Blu Ray + DVD combo pack, you get a solid presentation of the film both visually and orally. On top of that, there is an excellent “The Ledge” featurette that takes you behind the scenes to explain how they managed to film acrophobic (fear of heights) scenes. They’ve also included a feature length commentary with actress Elizabeth Banks.

Bottom Line: While not perfect, there’s still an adrenaline pumping ride worth experiencing in this home release.

Movie Grade B
Blu Ray Grade A

Runtime: Approx. 102 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1