Monday 14 May 2012

The Good, the Bad and the Blu-rays

With a watchful eye veering wildly from Hollywood's finest to the bargain bin's lowest, The Good, the Bad and the Blu-rays is my attempt to chart this week's best and worst DVD and Blu-ray releases, looking at which ones to buy and which ones are best avoided.

The biggest release of the week is undoubtably Robert Downey Jr's return to the Sherlock Holmes role. Under more pressure now thanks to the massive popularity of the BBC version of the character, Bob and Jude thankfully manage to return with an installment that holds up against the first film. Released as a triple play with an 'Ultraviolet' digital copy (Really? did we need to create a brand for digital copies?), this one is a must buy.

Ugh, is this still a thing? Now in competition with Resident Evil to find the most drawn out rotting corpse of a franchise (now in 3D!), at least Underworld Awakening has original star Kate Beckinsale reclaiming her lead role in the skin tight leather. One for devotees of the franchise only.
Cruelly overlooked by Oscar voters, Shame is worth seeing for the performances of rising stars Carey Mulligan and Michael Fassbender alone. Re-teaming with his Hunger director Steve McQueen, this tale of addiction looks to be another star-making role for Fassbender. Are McQueen and Fassbender the modern day Scorcese and De Niro? Quite possibly.

Now that's a cool looking, slickly produced DVD cover. It's a shame the same can't be said for the film, which from the trailer (which starts with a man straining to take a shit) looks like it has horrendously low production values. When the biggest names in the cast are Leslie Grantham and Terry Christian, I suppose you must be on a tight budget. Still, if blood, boobs and bass guitars are your thing, this straight to DVD Brit horror might be able to offer you something.

Once upon a time David Gordon Green was one of the most highly regarded independent film-makers around, with the constant comparisons to Terrence Malick obviously putting a pressure on him he didn't feel he could manage. Instead, he's decided he wants to be a director of stoner comedies (ranging from the good Pineapple Express to the notsogood Your Highness), with The Sitter a drug-fuelled retelling of Adventures in Babysitting which, at the very least, sounds like an interesting but unremarkable premise. Quite what's been added to this 6 minute longer version of the film to make it "Totally Irresponsible", I'm not sure.

Now this is more like it. If you're into gory, messy horrors, the combination of director Stuart Gordon and star Jeffrey Combs in a film based on a HP Lovecraft story is hard to beat. This re-release of their 1995 collaboration may not quite reach the heights of Re-Animator, but there's still a lot of awesome gore to endure.

This is going to be a big year for Joseph Gordon-Levitt, his still hazy role in The Dark Knight Rises sure to bring his name to the attention of a lot more people. He's been quietly working away on these little American Indies for years now, and despite the DVD cover pushing the thriller aspect a bit too far, you can be certain the performances will be good.
Not in the same way as Robert Patrick is an 'ex' Terminator, this 1980 cult classic has more in common with Charles Bronson's Death Wish, with a vigilante seeking rough justice on 'the streets'. Released as part of the Arrowdrome strand of films, this will be worth checking out.

With a title like that, I don't really need to tell you the premise, do I? We get to kill Osama Bin Laden again? Great! Hardly likely to set the world alight with good reviews, Osombie looks like it might still be a lot of flag waving, jingoistic fun. I bet Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay are just pissed off they didn't think of it first. This film also provided me with one of the most worrying twitter alert messages I've ever received...

1 comment:

  1. Really? I'm worried that I haven't heard of half of these movies.