Tuesday 23 October 2012

The Good, the Bad and the Blu-rays

Hardly a classic week for new releases, once again we have to rely on the back catalogue to offer up some interesting films and an absolute must buy.

 New on blu-ray to commemorate the film's 30th anniversary, Steven Spielberg's family favourite hits high definition with all the stupid changes he made to commemorate the 20th anniversary taken out. So long, walkie talkies! It's a bonafide classic that's long overdue on blu-ray. It's just a shame that Senor Spielberg still can't be bothered to make a commentary track, despite audiences massive desire for one.

My guess is that this latest Timur Bekmambetov vampire action spectacular has been released this week to coincide with both Halloween and American Presidential election fever, which must the first and only time that will ever happen. Screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith is the man responsible for most of the revisionist history books that have become so prevalent in recent years (take an old book and throw in some zombies/vampires/robots and you've got a winner), but word is that this take on Honest Abe's early years is neither as smart or as witty as it should have been.

If zombie hunting is more your thing, here we have Cockneys Vs Zombies. It may suffer from inevitable Shaun of the Dead comparisons and its appeal may be limited to anyone who lives outside the sound of the Bow bells, but kudos for having one of the best taglines of the year; "The Undead Are Brown Bread". Brilliant.

This aquatic thriller from the director of Blue Crush and Into The Blue is clearly most notable for the appearance of Halle Berry as some sort of sexy marine biologist. The trailer does little to persuade me that this straight to DVD sharkfest is worth watching for any reason other than to see how good Halle Berry still looks, coupled with the fact that Dark Tide sounds like it should be the title of a crappy horror movie.

I was a fan of A Fantastic Fear of Everything when it was in cinemas. Looking back now there's not an awful lot I can remember about this tale of a writer going slightly mad in a launderette, except for some great production design and a gloriously over the top performance from Pegg. It's perhaps one for Pegg fans only, although thanks to its under-whelming performance in cinemas, it's available for a more than reasonable price.

Re-released this week on Blu-ray and DVD is Basket Case, a gross '80s horror that has to be seen to be believed. Also celebrating its 30th anniversary, it's the perfect antidote to those who find ET a little bit too saccharine. Packaged in a nicely designed steelbook, instead of releasing them as separate films they've been bundled together as the trilogy; a potentially risky strategy for those like me who've only seen the first film and can't attest to the quality of the sequels. Still, at just over 25 quid for the blu-ray boxset and £20 for the DVD, it might be worth a punt. You could do worse than to pick this up if you're throwing a Halloween party and want to freak out your guests.


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