So few new titles are being released this week, I feel like it’s barely worth the effort to write a new Blu-ray roundup post. What’s with this sudden drought? It’s not a holiday week or anything, so the studios can’t even use that as an excuse.
‘What We Do in the Shadows‘ – Jemaine Clement from ‘Flight of the Conchords’ and his friend Taika Waititi (who directed him in ‘Eagle vs. Shark’ as well as some ‘Conchords’ episodes) mash up the vampire and mockumentary genres for a horror spoof that was very popular on the festival circuit last year. If you’re a fan of their very particular brand of surreal, deadpan humor, this could be a winner.
‘Wild Horses‘ – When I first skimmed over the release list, I mistook this for the 1988 Molly Ringwald romance flick ‘Fresh Horses’. Whoops. Instead, it’s the latest directorial effort from the now 84-year-old Robert Duvall, a modern-day Western co-starring himself with James Franco and Josh Hartnett as his sons. Most of the reviews and word-of-mouth on this were not very kind, unfortunately. Common complaints include its sluggish pacing, meandering plot, and a poor performance from Duvall’s wife Luciana Pedraza.
New from the Criterion Collection is ‘My Beautiful Laundrette‘, the 1985 feature that helped to launch Stephen Frears as a major director and Daniel Day-Lewis as a star to watch.
When he decided that we wanted to try his hand at directing, Kevin Spacey kept his ambitions small with the modest crime thriller ‘Albino Alligator‘, which takes some obvious cues from ‘Reservoir Dogs’ (even the title is kind of reminiscent) by mostly confining its action to a single location (in this case, a bar) while letting a bunch of talented actors bounce off each other. As a director, Spacey is no Tarantino, but he was smart enough to put together a good cast – including the likes of Gary Sinise, William Fichtner, Viggo Mortensen, Matt Dillon and Faye Dunaway.
Can a movie still be called a Spaghetti Western if it was shot in Spain and directed by a Frenchman? Arrow Video attempts to answer that question with ‘Cemetery Without Crosses‘ (a.k.a. ‘The Rope and the Colt’). Strangely, the film credits Dario Argento as screenwriter, but the director disputes that he ever wrote a word of it.
In other cult properties, the Warner Archive pits Dolph Lundgren and the ill-fated Brandon Lee against each other in a ‘Showdown in Little Tokyo‘.
Your TV offerings for the week include the second season of HBO’s ‘Looking‘ or a complete collection of Showtime’s political action documentary series ‘Years of Living Dangerously‘.
‘My Beautiful Laundrette’ is an excellent addition to the Criterion Collection and well worth a purchase. I’d also definitely like to rent ‘What We Do in the Shadows’. Otherwise, however, this is a dreary week.
Does anything catch your eye that I missed, or will you sit this week out?