With the long holiday weekend now sadly over, it’s time to get back to laboring. However, it seems that the home video studios prefer to ease back into the work cycle slowly. This week’s new Blu-ray releases offer mostly slim pickings.
‘Draft Day‘ – Kevin Costner keeps struggling to get his career comeback underway, but has had a pretty terrible run of luck at it. In his latest box office disappointment, Costner teams with director Ivan Reitman (also in need of a comeback) for this behind-the-curtain sports drama about the NFL draft. I can hardly think of any subject matter I’d care less to see in a movie. (I should probably be more open-minded, because I thought ‘The Damned United‘ somehow made professional sports management very dramatic and compelling.) Most critics and audiences called the movie tepid and dull.
‘Night Moves‘ – The latest film from director Kelly Reichardt (‘Meek’s Cutoff’, ‘Wendy and Lucy’) is a thriller about crazy environmentalists who try to blow up a hydroelectric dam. Despite the title, the movie has nothing to do with the famous Gene Hackman detective mystery from the ’70s (which could really use its own Blu-ray release).
‘They Came Together‘ – Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd star in director David Wain’s parody of dumb rom-com movies. (The title is intended to be a really groan-worthy pun.) Wain’s brand of humor can be an acquired taste. Personally, I’ve never understood the cult following for ‘Wet Hot American Summer’. On the other hand, I did enjoy ‘Role Models’. Even fans of his other movies didn’t seem too impressed by this one, though our reviewer Phil liked it.
‘Cabin Fever: Patient Zero‘ – When a horror franchise is so crappy that even Eli Roth steps away from it, that should really give anyone pause. Proceed at your own risk.
‘Moms’ Night Out‘ – Does the world really need a family-friendly, PG-rated, Christian-values-espousing remake of ‘Superbad’ substituting middle-aged mothers instead of foul-mouthed high school kids? No, the world really doesn’t. This is an unnecessary and unwanted thing.
Halloween may still be nearly two months away, but Universal has decided that early September is a great time to start dropping a lot of horror titles on the market. The studio gets the ball rolling with individual reissues of the classics ‘The Mummy‘ and ‘The Wolf Man‘ – now finally broken out from 2012’s ‘Classic Monsters Essential Collection‘ box set – plus the 1979 remake of ‘Dracula‘ with Frank Langella. Far less prestigious (though possibly with some cult following) are the crummy Stephen King adaptation ‘Firestarter‘ and Wes Craven’s goofy ‘The People Under the Stairs‘. I suppose I wouldn’t call ‘Casper‘ a horror movie, but it has a ghost in it, and that’s close enough, right? Also available are some throwaway titles like ‘The Watcher‘, ‘The Return‘ and ‘White Noise‘.
[Note: It appears that individual copies of ‘Dracula’ (1931), ‘Frankenstein’, ‘Bride of Frankenstein’, ‘The Creature from the Black Lagoon’, ‘The Invisible Man’ and ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ (1943) are also available this week, but were not reflected in our listings at the time I prepared this poll.]
How have I never heard of (much less seen) the cheapie 1983 kiddie sci-fi flick ‘Space Raiders‘ until now? The plot synopsis calls it: “A futuristic, sensitive tale of adventure and confrontation when a 10-year-old boy is accidentally kidnapped by a spaceship filled with a motley crew of space pirates.” And Dick Miller is in it! Sold!
When MGM released Oscar-winner ‘Rain Man‘ on Blu-ray back in 2011, the disc received some criticism for a middling video transfer. Apparently, the studio took those complaints to heart and is now offering a remastered version.
If you’re in the mood for some TV binge viewing, possibilities this week include the ninth season of ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia‘, the third season of ‘Person of Interest‘ and the first season of the ‘Vampire Diaries’ spin-off ‘The Originals‘.
As much as I want to check out that ‘Space Raiders’ movie, my wallet is demanding that I take a break this week. Does anything draw your attention?