Monday 30 July 2012

The Good, the Bad and the Blu-rays

Get out of my dreams, get into my DVD collection; this week's selection contains one shining light of a re-release and the star of one of the biggest films of all time sharing the screen with an ex-Hollyoaks cast member.

An absolute gem from the 1980's that not enough people know about, let's ignore Heather Graham's name for a minute and focus on the real stars; Mssrs. Haim and Feldman AKA the two Coreys. The best of the numerous films they shared screen time in (yes, better than The Lost Boys), License to Drive is a brilliant ode to teen America's car culture that's worth giving a test drive. 

Surpassing the expectations of what could easily be just a special feature, word is that Never Sleep Again is quite an interesting documentary for anyone with a passing interest in the Nightmare On Elm Street franchise. They've certainly managed to dig up a lot of the former cast members to talk about the film's impact on the horror genre and their careers, although Johnny Depp is notable for his absence.

A case of 'nice cover, shame about the film', Remains uses its one bankable link to another marginally successful graphic novel/film to try and sell itself. To be fair, the effects work looks pretty solid, but it doesn't appear there's been enough budget left over to do the source material justice. The Walking Dead this ain't.

Owner of one of my favourite taglines of the year, Axed doesn't quite seem to have the same level of humour, showing a Michael Douglas in Falling Down type sociopath take his family to a remote farmhouse after losing his job. The horror genre seems to exist in a permanent recession, but there might be something quite cheap and cheerful about this Brit slasher.

The sort of European sex-comedy that rarely sees the light of day this side of the channel, The Players is getting more attention than it may deserve by not only featuring The Artist's Jean Dujardin in a lead role but giving him a stint in the director's chair. It's a collection of shorter films, you see? It's what the French like to call a portmanteau, because they usually star Natalie Portman. I think that's right, anyway.

Taking on the role of Edgar Allan Poe, general consensus in my household is that John Cusack can do no wrong, but now that I think about it I'm not sure he's made a bonafide great film since 2000's High Fidelity, or if he has I haven't seen it yet. I suppose the best thing going for The Raven right now is that, yes, I haven't seen it yet, and so it exists in some bizarre Schrodinger's Cat limbo in my mind. At the moment it is both a masterpiece and a terrible waste of time, but dare I watch it to find out the truth?

Made in 2006, based on an Elmore Leonard novel and starring Mickey Rourke, Diane Lane, Thomas Jane, Rosario Dawson and the 'so hot right now' Joseph Gordon-Levitt, it's rare that a film with such a high calibre cast sits on a shelf for so long, usually down to a very valid reason. Receiving mixed reviews from test audiences, this is the first time the film has been available for UK filmgoers. Personally, I'm intrigued, not only because of the cast but because it shares a screenwriter with Drive.

Never in my life did I anticipate seeing Gemma Atkinson's name next to Mark Hamill's on a cast list, and despite it being pretty clear that his role is nothing more than a cameo, it's still a cruel reminder that Mark Hamill's post Star Wars career hasn't gone so swimmingly. My guess is that Airborne is the Easyjet of plane based thrillers, but bonus points for having the sheer balls to use Hans Zimmer's Inception score in the trailer.


  1. THE RAVEN is awful. But you should watch it anyway.

  2. AXED is worth a watch if you missed it at the cinema.