Monday, August 16, 2010

Blu-ray Releases & Dinner Pairings: Week of August 16th, 2010

After a lackluster week of Blu-ray releases where the only highlight was Steve Carell and Tina Fey's only slightly-amusing comedy "Date Night," this week is no different but with two noteworthy films, one a must-see Showtime series and the other, a South Korean action adventure Western (if you can call it that) modeled after Indiana Jones and Q. Tarantino.

So may I present to you.....this week's dynamic duo of Blu-ray release highlights:

Dexter: The Fourth Season [Blu-ray] The Good, the Bad, the Weird [Blu-ray]

Anyone who is familiar with the amazing Showtime TV series, "Dexter," needs no further introduction into the world of  Dexter Morgan ("Six Feet Under"'s Michael C. Hall), who lives a, shall we say, unique dual life: Miami PD's blood analysis expert by day and bad guy serial killer by night. No, no, Dexter's not the bad guy here. His serial killing spree only involves killing the bad guys that manage to wriggle themselves out of the criminal justice system. Yes, Dexter's a serial killer who only kills bad guys. Those are his rules and he follows them to a T. In Season Three, things got a little complicated and the lines got muddied when Miami's high-flying District Attorney, Ramon Prado, played by Jimmy Smits, inexplicably got involved with Dexter's murderous activities and wanted in on the action! To add on to Dexter's mounting problems, his girlfriend Rita (Julie Benz) tells him that she's pregnant. While the third season wrapped itself up pretty neatly, the final scene where Dexter dances with Rita on their wedding day (as we see blood dripping from his hidden injured arm onto Rita's white wedding dress) only hints of any future bloodbath ahead.

So here's Season 4 and Dexter's now a family man, with a new addition to the family, his son, Harrison. Also new this season is Dexter's adversary, the Trinity Killer, a serial killer who kills 3 people at a time in a very specific sequence. How Dexter deftly reconciles his new family life and his old serial killer life is the new challenge for the season. And boy, what a season it is. Do not, I repeat, do not miss "Dexter: The Fourth Season" or you will regret it.

Food Pairing: While one may think to add the appropriately-themed blood sausage to their diet in honor of "Dexter"'s blood-filled adventures, may I suggest a more timid concoction: a Bloody Mary of course! This classic cocktail containing vodka, tomato juice, cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice should be the official drink of choice when watching "Dexter."

Next, we have, from South Korea, another in a long line of quality films from the peninsula. Following the excellent Hitchcockian mystery, "Mother," we now have a fun action-filled romp through the Mongolian desert with  "The Good, the Bad, the Weird," a play on the Sergio Leone classic title, "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly." Taking place some time in 1930's Manchuria, the film takes us on a giddy journey of unbridled greed and the violence it attracts, all centered around a mysterious treasure map. Here is my review of the film on DVD at the site DVDTown.

Food Pairing: For this action-packed adventure, may I suggest the Korean version of the Japanese sushi, gimbap or kimbap. It is steamed white rice (not vinegared) wrapped/rolled in seaweed paper (nori) together with other ingredients like crab meat, shrimp, omelette, roasted beef, vegetable, etc. Very much like sushi but without the vinegar in the rice. Here's a great site for healthy gimbap recipes. It is bite-sized and a pleasing appetizer for when watching fun action Korean flicks!

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