Jigsaw and Hoffman are back, torturing the wicked in the alleged FINAL installment of the torture porn SAW series – this one in guts splattering 3D. This will be the last year you can say “If it’s Halloween, then it must be SAW!”. Our first on location review shot on the fly after the advanced screening of SAW 3D (so forgive the lighting issues).
Archive for October, 2010
If it bleeds, Arnie can kill it. Crandall & Mercy review the classic “Predator,” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Sonny Landham and Jesse “The Body” Ventura.
Robert Rodriguez writes a love letter to fans of the original 1987 “Predator” movie with “Predators,” starring badass extraordinaire…Adrien Brody?!!
Armchair Directors movie review: Karate Kid (2010) Blu-Ray
Does “Jacket on, Jacket off!” measure up to “Wax on, Wax off?” Crandall & Mercy take a look at the 2010 Karate Kid remake and see if Jaden Smith’s kung-fu is as strong as Ralph Macchio’s karate.
Crandall & Mercy’s status line is “Impressed!” thanks to David Fincher’s new Facebook movie, “The Social Network,” starring Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake and Armie Hammer². I’m CEO, BITCH!
Crandall & Mercy review the latest Disney-Bruckheimer meh-tastic action snoozer, “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,” starring absolutely no Persians, a beefed-up Donnie Darko and Ben Kingsley as the unsurprising surprise villain.
Crandall & Mercy stroke a furry wall during the outrageous hilarity of “Get Him To The Greek,” starring Jonah Hill and Russell Brand. So light up a Jeffrey and check out this review.
October is here! With the arrival of Fall the movie studios switch gears into HOLDIAY SHOPPING SEASON, which means we are getting a flood of great blu-ray product heading our way. With this column New To Blu switches to a MONTHLY format, so buckle up because I’m about to rundown a couple hundred dollars worth of must have titles!
The Karate Kid (2010) – October 5
One of the bigger hits of the summer was the remake of The Karate Kid starring Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan. It doesn’t quite have the charm of the original and overstays it’s welcome by about 20 minutes, but it definitely has moments. It is nice to see Jackie Chan get to stretch his acting chops a bit and Smith brings all the charisma that his dad is known for. Not amazing but well worth seeing.
How To Train Your Dragon – October 15
A charming little film about a boy and his dragon. It is nice to see Dreamworks animation make a film that has a lot of heart, very good action sequences and likeable characters, something Pixar does with more regularity. The high flying scenes looked amazing in 3D theatrically so I’m hoping they still have that sense of awe when viewed at home in 2D. Not the best animated movie of the year (Toy Story 3 still owns that crown) but a lot of fun for the whole family.
Beauty and the Beast – October 5
My favourite Disney film of all time arrives in a feature laden “Platinum” edition. Animation looks fantastic in high def and with lossless audio the songs will sound amazing. It takes Disney a long time to release the real gems of their collection, but when they take such care to clean them up, assemble great extras and give each release a sense of magic, it is worth the wait IMO. If you like Beauty and the Beast HALF as much as I do, this is a MUST OWN.
Grindhouse – October 5
Finally! When Grindhouse hit theatres in 2006, it was presented as two features back to back with fake trailers thrown into the mix for good measure. It was 3 hours of gore, profanity and awesome. When it came to the previous video releases, Planet Terror and Death Proof were only available as separate entities, extended and without the trailers… now the theatrical version of GRINDHOUSE is on blu-ray. This release is loaded with bonus features and despite having lossless audio, any Rodriguez/Tarantino fan will probably have to bite on this one.
Apocalypse Now – October 19
Francis Ford Coppolla’s masterful war drama Apocalypse Now is a film that really divides audiences. I know people who are obsessed with it, others who can’t stand it. I fall somewhere in between. I recognize it as a classic of 70’s cinema and think it has some great performances in it, but don’t revere it as ‘the best war film of all time’ or anything like that. It is presented here with the equally interesting Heart of Darkness doc, the original and Redux vesions and a ton of extras. If you love filmmaking and haven’t seen Heart of Darkness, now is the time to remedy that! A very great package has been put together here and I really can’t wait to see if it delivers.
Psycho – October 19
Being a Hitchcock nut, the arrival of Psycho on blu-ray makes me giddy. Older films look fantastic when cleaned up for HD and I’m sure that Universal will do this signature title proud. Any film major can tell you that the shower scene is a masterclass in editing and mise-en-scene, well worth revisiting again and again. I can’t wait to hear the score in lossless audio. Film geeks are getting a Halloween treat.
Moulin Rouge – October 19
I’ll admit it. The first time I saw Moulin Rouge at the theatre, I sat there wondering what the hell I had just seen. I couldn’t tell if I loved it or hated it. The frantic editing, the mishmash of song lyrics/dialogue and the elaborate costumes left my head spinning. A few days later when I saw it AGAIN, I realized that it was love. In University it was a film I’d revisit often and must have seen at least 10 times…but now I haven’t seen it for a few years, so I can’t wait for the blu-ray. If FOX does it right, it should be a new reference quality disc, with the lush visuals and aural diversity it brings. Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo & Juliet also arrives on the same day.
Back to the Future Trilogy – October 26
I grew up on Back to the Future. I remember watching the first film over and over again as a kid and the shock of “To Be Concluded” when I saw Part 2 in the theatre. The first film is the clear classic here but the sequels are a lot of fun and despite having seen each film more than a dozen times, I still find them charming. Bob Gale has been talking about how much work went into this release, loaded with features, new documentaries and of course the restored versions of the films. If Universal doesn’t botch this, I am sure BTTF will quickly become one of my “Most Watched” blu-rays of all time.
Alien Anthology – October 26
The Alien series has certainly had it’s fair share of highs and lows. The first Alien is a sci-fi classic. Dark, moody, claustrophobic and complex, it was something unique at the time. Thoughtful and thrilling in equal measure, it remains one of Ridley Scott’s best films. James Cameron stepped up the the plate and redefined the action sequel with Aliens, the most exhilarating of the series. Alien 3 ultimately falls short but started the career of David Fincher with lots of visual flair and a few really neat sequences. I like to pretend that Alien: Resurrection never happened, as it still stands as one of the worst movies I have ever seen (and the fact that Joss Whedon’s name is on it makes me feel sad inside). Unfortunately this set is ALL or NOTHING, with no single disc releases on the horizon at the moment. I love the first two but I’ll wait to see if this set brings anything new to the table before I drop the $100 on it.
Also of note:
October 5: The Exorcist, The Maltese Falcon, Mad Max
October 12: Dollhouse Season 2, The Darjeeling Limited, Three Kings
October 19: Predators, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Oceans
October 26: The Girl Who Played With Fire, Star Wars The Clone Wars: Season 2
-You can follow Matthew Crandall on Twitter but it may be hard to keep up because where he’s going they don’t need roads.