Tuesday 19 June 2012

The Good, the Bad and the Blu-rays

A painfully quiet week for new releases, there's still a selection of new and classic Hammer titles worth taking a look at, and a film where Vinnie Jones does his best to be the strong, silent type.

Pretty much the only home entertainment release anyone's really bothered about this week, The Woman in Black sees Daniel Radcliffe try to move on from that boy wizard he once played by working on his five o'clock shadow and getting himself all in a tizzy about some girl. Typical. Pulling in huge audiences during its theatrical release, this is sure to be an even bigger hit now it's available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Remember the time when people thought Katherine Heigl was the new Julia Roberts? If that's still true this looks to be her I Love Trouble. The trailer makes the film look like a gender reversal Bounty Hunter (even the 'guy' is a poor Gerard Butler clone) and the cover makes it look like she's just escaped from prison and won 'Rear of the Year' at the same time, and boy is she happy about it. You've got to love the irony of Heigl appearing in a film called One For The Money, as she's hardly doing it for the art, is she?

Seriously, how are The Asylum continually allowed to do this blatant intellectual copyright theft? Having bugger all to do with the already loosely connected Amityville franchise, The Amityville Haunting goes all 2010's on us, taking the increasingly over-used found footage route to our screens. I think my favourite of the three taglines on the cover is 'be warned, the footage is real' as it could be used on almost any of the increasingly crappy Asylum horrors.

 Continuing this week's Hammer domination is the release of these two classic horrors in fancy new triple play editions, with frankly amazing box art that can't help but immediately grab your attention. Plague of the Zombies and The Reptile (filmed back to back in 1966) look like classic Hammer in the best way imaginable.

I'd like to talk about something I call 'The Roman Polanski factor'. No, it's not the name of some new horrendously inappropriate talent show, but something that has been a dark cloud over his work ever since his (ahem) unfortunate incident. Putting that aside and judging this film on other merits, it has a great cast and the pedigree of being based on a highly regarded play. The film version looks like it struggles to escape its stage roots, but making a film in one confined setting isn't always a bad thing; add to that the opportunity to watch John C. Reilly take on three Oscar winners and I'm intrigued.

If my stance on the matter hasn't become completely clear yet, unlike books you can totally judge a DVD by its cover. In fact I whole-heartedly endorse it. Having said that, after watching the trailer for Zombie Hunters, I get the feeling that whoever designed the DVD cover hadn't seen the film yet, as they could be two completely different movies. They both look a bit shit, mind.

You could be forgiven for thinking that on the basis of the cover, what with his name and face slapped all over it, Vinnie Jones was the star of this movie. Well, you're wrong on an unfathomable level, one that can only become apparent from watching the trailer.

Not only does Vinnie not say one blinking word in the entire trailer (shushing someone doesn't count), neither does anyone else really, what with it being the most horrendously dubbed film this side of homemade hentai. Not only that, I didn't see him liquidise anyone once.

Hang on, I may have read the title wrong.

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