Monday, 28 May 2012

The Good, the Bad and the Blu-rays

Rifling through the bargain basements of online retailers so you don't have to, here's this week's selection of terrible and terri-brill home entertainment titles that make up The Good, the Bad and the Blu-rays.

With a concept that might be in danger of running out of steam before the end of the 89 minute running time, this low budget Nazi's on the moon action/sci-fi extravaganza is bound to be campy fun at least. It seemed to divide opinion during its brief cinema run last week, but I say it's worth giving a shot.

With Fast Five, GI Joe: Retaliation and now this, there seems to be a grand studio plan to replace all the original stars of action franchises with Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson. Well known for scene stealing, this might not be a bad thing. Aimed squarely at the kids market, the Journey franchise may have lost Brendan Fraser and gained the Rock and Sir Michael Caine, but if you're a fan of facts and figures, the biggest box office cast member this year is Josh Hutcherson, his appearance in this and Hunger Games meaning his total box office for the year is just shy of half a billion dollars in America alone.

When the teenage superhero movie Chronicle arrived in cinemas earlier this year, there was a huge amount of buzz about it, despite it being a little bit shit. My feelings on the film were mixed at best (I gave it three stars then), and it hardly redefines the genre in the way it was lauded to, but I'm willing to give it a second shot on Blu-ray. Why did it need an extended edition though?

Much more highly regarded is The Artist, the Jean Dujardin starring ode to the era of silent cinema. Of course, since its theatrical release the film has gone on to win a whole host of awards that it totally deserves, but the real test for the film now is how well it will perform on the home video market. There are some nice extras on the Blu-ray that delve into the making of the film, but I wouldn't be surprised to see a special edition before the end of the year.

Craftily released this week to capitalise on the success of The Artist, Lucky Luke is based on a classic comic book character that's hugely popular in Europe and dates back to the 1940's. To be honest, none of that matters to me, but after seeing Jean Dujardin as a bumbling spy, a silent movie star and the member of a rubbish europop boyband, I'd quite like to see him now as a Cowboy.

I admired the Anton Yelchin/Felicity Jones starring drama Like Crazy a lot on its theatrical release, and am keen to check it out again at home. Almost unbearably, tragically romantic with two great performances from its leads (not forgetting a memorable appearance from Jennifer Lawrence), is it this generation's Before Sunrise? I think so.

A film that sadly passed me by during its brief cinema run, the multi-tasking writer/director/actor Lena Dunham's Tiny Furniture seems to have hit a chord with indie movie fans who enjoy a dry sense of humour in their tales of relationship dramas. If you're wondering if this would be your sort of thing, I recommend checking out the trailer.


To be so highly regarded with a debut performance whilst having to contend with the stigma of being the baby sister of Mary-Kate and Ashley, says a lot about how talented Elizabeth Olsen is. The story of a lost girl reliving her time as part of a cult ruled by the always impressive John Hawkes, this is a star making performance by Olsen.

Never really a hit on this side of the pond, Mystery Science Theater 3000 is exactly the sort of programme I would have loved to have seen as a young impressionable teenager. Basically the story of one man abandoned on a space station who has robots for friends and likes to watch clips from old movies and make fun of them, it deserves a bigger following among those with a short attention span. The movie version decided to have them watch just one film (This Island Earth) and is less successful because of that, but it's still a whole lot of cheesy fun.

Zombies are up to all sorts of shenanigans again this week, always good at a combat ready occupation and not content to just wander around aimlessly anymore. Originally screened at Toronto's After Dark Film Festival, War of the Dead looks kind of okay, if not a teensy bit derivative.
I don't really need to tell you anything about this, do I? Possibly the worst trailer for a film I've seen all year, this type of low budget horror movie needs all the help it can get with internet word of mouth. Why then, would the makers do this Youtube graffiti crap to their own trailer so that no-one can watch it?



No, I don't think I will click to watch the NEW trailer, I think I'll just go watch War of the Dead instead.


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