Tuesday 12 June 2012

The Good, the Bad and the Blu-rays

Sometimes it's just clear why a particular film has been released on a certain week. With Father's day this weekend, there's some bizarre new releases out to tie in with it, including some inappropriately sentimental stories, some delightfully trashy films and some rather poorly photoshopped movie stars.

The most obviously timed but lowest profile of the bunch is the new Troma film, Father's Day. Celebrated masters of low budget cinema in all the ways The Asylum wish they could be, a new Troma is something that should be celebrated, particularly when it comes with the ludicrous premise of "a deranged killer and rapist is on the loose and has a taste for Daddy meat". If your dad appreciated the depraved madness of the recent grindhouse revival then this is perfect film to buy this week, in no small part thanks to the awesome Tom Hodge artwork on the DVD cover.

Safe House must be the biggest film out this week (for adults anyway), a thriller that should appeal to fans of Training Day. As well as Denzel's big old face, the cover for Safe House also finally explains to me what all this new "ultraviolet" stuff means. Not just an unnecessary branding for the digital copy as I first suspected, this is a version of the film stored in an accessible-via-the-internet cloud, meaning you can enjoy this film anywhere from your front room to... well, a safe house. There's also a nice steelbook available via Amazon.

Re-released on Arrowdrome's cult arena mini label, Frankenhooker is an absolute classic of 90's trash cinema. Although it isn't really the kind of film you can take seriously, it's good for a few cheap laughs with a cheeky and bizarre exploitation storyline. It's also available on a previously released blu-ray that might be worth investing in just for the cover and brilliant tagline.

If you haven't already seen the trailer for Metal Tornado, you're missing out. Almost a parody of the kind of ridiculous super-high concept, low budget crap former A-list stars are reduced to starring in to pay the bills, Metal Tornado looks beyond terrible. Poor Lou Diamond Phillips, this film might as well be called Dignity Tornado, as it's sucked the last remaining shreds of it away from him.

One question; what the hell is going on with Kevin Spacey's head? Clearly the victim of some cutting and pasting, he's leaning one way, looking another way and pointing a third way. Landing straight on DVD this week, surely the only reason Father of Invention was released now was just to confuse people in the supermarket into buying it, looking for last minute gifts for dad but not prepared to read much further than the word 'Father'.

Now this film has been released purely so everyone can keep up with their witty 'Extremely Something and Incredibly Something Else' jokes. Despite the heartwarming father/son bond we can see on the cover and in the start of the trailer, this is an awful film to release in time for father's day, considering that SPOILER ALERT Tom Hanks gets killed in the Twin Towers, leaving his emotionally traumatised son unable to move on and spending the rest of the film walking around the dangerous parts of New York looking for some way to fill the void. As a gift, it would be a heavy going experience to watch together on Sunday.

Continuing the traumatic family death theme this week, Grace is Gone (from 2007 but just getting a release now) sees John Cusack become a single father when his wife gets killed during a tour of duty in Iraq. This looks almost unbearably cheesy and melodramatic, and a similar story has been done better more recently with George Clooney in The Descendants. For me the most troubling aspect is what the hell they've done to John Cusack's face on the cover, some over-zealous marketing type seemingly attempting to airbrush his eyes out of existence. Hey, I don't know, maybe he's just a bit puffy from all the crying.

A nice classy arthouse thriller for all the intellectual dads out there, The Woman in the Fifth looks intriguing and a little bit sexy. Directed by My Summer of Love's Pawel Pawlikowski and starring Ethan Hawke and Kristin Scott Thomas, this should be a smart, tense, modern Parisian nightmare.

Another bloke orientated thriller, the appropriately titled Man on a Ledge sees Avatar's Sam Worthington step out on a ledge whilst a whole host of madness goes on around him. After seeing the trailer I'm less interested in seeing this film to find out why he's stepped out onto the ledge than I am to see whether Worthington is actually trying to do an American accent or not.

It was an absolutely joyous experience in the cinema, so The Muppets is a must own for any big or little kids out there with any funny feelings over fuzzy felt. Bringing the old gang back together for one last show (yes, again), let's not forget that this film is now the owner of a nice shiny Oscar statuette, thanks to Flight of the Conchord's Bret McKenzie's amazingly catchy tunes. See if you can resist this one.

All together now...

1 comment:

  1. SAFE HOUSE was passable, EXTREMELY LOUD was bad, MAN ON A LEDGE is one of the worst of this year (already), and METAL TORNADO is one of the worst ever (even by its low standars). Yep, a bad week for DVDs.