This week brings us some science that is quite weird indeed. Giant robots, deranged surgeons, slutty cyber-vixens, clones and teleportation all prominently feature in the latest batch of Blu-ray releases. My creation, is it real? It’s my creation, I do not know.
Guillermo del Toro’s gonzo ode to mecha anime and giant monster movies, ‘Pacific Rim‘, is like a 10-year-old boy’s favorite dream re-enacted with a gargantuan budget. Depending on whom you listen to, it’s either the most awesome thing in the history of awesomeness, or a shallow and pointless waste of time. At the very least, it’s sure to make some tremendous home theater eye candy, especially in 3D.
No, ‘The Heat‘ is not a remake of Michael Mann’s ‘Heat’, just in case you were confused on that point. ‘Bridesmaids’ director Paul Feig reteams with his star Melissa McCarthy for another extremely crass comedy. This one’s about a slovenly, abrasive Boston cop (McCarthy) and an uptight FBI agent (Sandra Bullock, essentially reprising her character from ‘Miss Congeniality’) forced to work together on a case. The movie is exactly what you’d expect from that description, and hits every single beat in the buddy-cop action-comedy manual, but I have to admit that it’s also really damned funny.
If ‘Captain Philips’ has left you hungering for more high-seas piracy adventure, the 2012 Danish thriller ‘A Hijacking‘ covers a lot of the same ground (or water, as the case may be). Reviews and word-of-mouth were quite strong.
In light of the new comedy concert special ‘Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain‘, perhaps someone can explain to me why Kevin Hart is considered funny. I’ve never quite understood that.
While in the midst of reissuing a lot of back catalog as part of the so-called “Best of the Decade Collection” (all of which are just repackagings of old discs), Universal also offers the Blu-ray debuts of the R-rated ’80s comedies ‘Weird Science‘ and ‘Slap Shot‘, as well as the Clint Eastwood Western ‘High Plains Drifter‘.
Bizarrely, although the 10th Anniversary Edition of the rom-com ‘Love Actually‘ promises an “all-new digital restoration” on the packaging, the disc inside actually looks identical (or at least virtually indistinguishable) from the prior Blu-ray released back in 2009. The supplements are the same too, except for the addition of a Christmas ornament in the box. The only actual difference is the replacement of two songs on the soundtrack. The 2009 Blu-ray represented the movie’s UK theatrical cut in this regard, while the new Blu-ray represents the North American theatrical cut.
If you’re already in a Halloween frame of mind, you might want to check out Robert Wise’s classic ghost house thriller ‘The Haunting‘, Criterion’s issue of Georges Franju’s surreal French shocker ‘Eyes Without a Face‘, or John Carpenter’s Lovecraft homage ‘In the Mouth of Madness‘.
Orson Welles reportedly stated that his film noir ‘The Stranger‘ was his least favorite of the movies he directed. Ironically, it’s also the only movie he directed that was a box office hit during its original release.
Elsewhere, Shout! Factory gives us a Collector’s Edition of John Sturges’ final film, the WWII thriller ‘The Eagle Has Landed‘.
Desperately trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, Fox has reissued Doug Liman’s sci-fi flop ‘Jumper‘ in a new quickie 3D conversion. Sadly, the 3D software can’t retroactively rewrite the lousy script or recast Hayden Christensen with a better star.
After acquiring LucasFilm, one of the first things that the new owners at Disney did was to cancel all outstanding projects with other studios, including the hit animated series ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars‘. As a result, Warner Bros. (the distributor) is now releasing that show’s fifth season in conjunction with a Complete Series box set. However, before that can even hit the streets, ‘Clone Wars’ producer Dave Filoni has announced that at least a partial sixth season has been completed and should be released sometime in 2014, making this week’s “Complete Series” box a lot less complete.
Other notable TV offerings this week include the first seasons respectively of Syfy’s dopey ‘Defiance‘ and the History Channel’s ‘Vikings‘ (which I didn’t even know existed until now), plus the second season of Charlie Sheen’s wretchedly awful FX sitcom ‘Anger Management‘. I believe I reported that last release a month ago, but apparently it was delayed.
Nickelodeon also has a ‘SpongeBob SquarePants‘ Christmas special for the very young children and/or stoners in your life who still watch that show.
This is a pretty busy week. I didn’t catch ‘Pacific Rim’ in theaters, but will do so on Blu-ray. I’m in the processing of reviewing the new release of ‘Love Actually’ as I write this. I will also add ‘The Haunting’, ‘Eyes Without a Face’, ‘High Plains Drifter’, ‘The Stranger’ and ‘The Eagle Has Landed’ to my wish list for later purchase.
What grabs your attention this week?