Our first ever TRAILER review. Yes, we’ve gone there. Will the sci-fi western box office curse finally be lifted? If anyone can do it, it’s the all-start team behind Cowboys & Aliens.
Archive for November, 2010
Megamind 3D is your standard, run of the mill Dreamworks animated feature. Take that as you will. Yawn.
Old fogies kick ass in “Red,” featuring the obligatory shipping yard showdown! Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren and Mary Louise Parker star in this offbeat action comedy.
After a hectic October spending spree full of great catalogue releases, November arrives chock full of New Releases. This column is late in arriving because I’ve been trying to get through half of the blu-rays I got in October. It’s nice to have a little break for November, but a lot of the great movies from the summer are arriving fast and furious!
Toy Story 3 – November 2
As shown in our glowing video review, Toy Story 3 is another Pixar home-run and the blu-ray is loaded with features and excellent video quality. I could go on and on about how great this movie is, but I think you’re better off just watching it for yourself. A MUST OWN.
Centurion – November 2
I really like Neil Marshall movies. His early work on a shoestring budget was excellent (Dog Soldiers, The Descent) and even the over-the-top craziness of Doomsday didn’t put me off like it did for some. Here Marshall takes us to the days of old, following a group of soldiers from the Roman Empire as they take on the deadly Pict tribe in gruesome combat. There are some great bloody battle sequences and a nice performance from Michael Fassbender. It’s not high art but if you like epic action flicks you will have a good time.
Scott Pilgrim Vs The World – November 9
Still my favourite movie of 2010 and despite tanking at the box office, Universal loaded the disc with tons of special features. If you haven’t seen it, now is the time to discover what you’re missing. Some movies I’ll skim the bonus stuff on the disc because I’m not that interested, but I’ll be watching every second of them on here – including a slew of audio commentaries that should be a blast. I think this disc will easily be one of my ‘most watched’ discs ever. Check out our video review here.
Disney’s A Christmas Carol – November 16
Robert Zemeckis has made a few of these 3D motion capture computer animated flicks and this one, despite the TIRED subject matter, is pretty good. Jim Carrey gives a great performance, the visuals are great (despite the dead-eyes the characters still seem to have) and there is some good action and fairly creepy sequences. This will be available in 2D and 3D versions, so those with a 3D TV can see it the way it was meant to be seen.
Avatar: Extended Edition – November 16
Technically this is a catalogue release but since it’s an all new version, I included it here. This is the REAL version of Avatar on video we’ve been waiting for. 3 discs, an extended cut and hours of special features. If anyone knows how to do an extended cut it’s Cameron. I saw the special edition in theatres and the additional footage added a lot more depth to the characters/situation and I’m sure this version, which is even longer, will be an improvement. Finally we can see Cameron tip his hand on how they created the groundbreaking effects. The only thing missing here is the 3D version, which is a Panasonic exclusive coming out in December for owners of Viera 3D televisions.
The Expendables – November 23
Mindless action and leathery faces. Stallone assembled a great cast for this action flick, which I really enjoyed in the theatre – however since then I’ve found it to be almost instantly forgettable. Nowhere near the classic film this should have been it’s probably worth watching if you’re bored on a Sunday afternoon or something. I’ll only pick it up if it’s cheap Check out our video review.
Knight & Day – November 30
Worth seeing for Tom Cruise alone, who gives a great manic performance as a spy on the run. Our video review can be found here.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – November 30
Along with Prince of Persia, Disney/Bruckheimer had TWO big budget misfires this summer. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is the better of the two and it’s a shame it didn’t find an audience. It is directed by Jon “National Treasure” Turtletaub and like those movies, it’s a mish-mash of other ideas, rolled together with a very loose semblance of a plot, and a TON of fun. Seriously. Watching Nic Cage chew the scenery in his over-the-top crazy mode is a blast, Jay Baruchel is a great everyman and the special effects are very cool. It does sag a bit in the middle but for pure fun, it really does the trick.
The Bridge on the River Kwai – November 2
Directed by David Lean starring William Holden and Alec Guinness, River Kwai is a bonified classic. Winner of Best Picture, Director and Actor (Guinness) this award winning masterpiece comes to us with a brand new transfer, a great digibook packaging complete with lobby cards, pages of info about the film and a dvd copy to boot – all for $20. If that’s not a steal, I don’t know what is. If you’ve never gotten around to seeing this one, now is the time! I can’t wait.
The Goonies – November 2
One of my all time favourites. Growing up I watched The Goonies on a weekly basis and it never gets old. Directed by Richard Donner, written by Chris Columbus and produced by Spielberg, the story follows a group of kids as they search for pirate treasure. It is goofy, scary and fun. This movie is from a time when kids movies were actually scary/intense (Gremlins) and they didn’t pander to the audience. It’s fun to see the gang 25 years later and in high-def the movie will feel new again. Unfortunately, this version is only available in a huge box that comes with a board game, magazine replica and some other trinkets that might be neat to look at once…but I just want the movie.
Tremors – November 9
The graboids are coming! The graboids are coming! Tremors spawned a series of mediocre direct-to-video sequels and a for fans only TV show, but the original is a blast. The story of Perfection, Texas – a small town ravaged by horrific giant killer ‘worms’ and the townsfolk banding together to blow them up good. Fun performances from Kevin Bacon and scene stealer Michael Gross make this one memorable. It’s just a fun creature feature that still holds up.
The Hunting Party – November 23
A hidden gem. Richard Sheppard’s black comedy about a discredited journalist (Richard Gere), a young journalist (Jesse Eisenberg) and a cameraman (Terrance Howard) who go searching for the number 1 war criminal and get mistaken for a CIA hit squad is extremely well done. Great performances are the core of the movie, and Sheppard knows how to write snappy dialogue that is loaded with zingers. A great mix of action, satire and pathos. It didn’t find an audience but I saw it twice in theatres and was hoping for an HD release, which is finally here.
The Pacific – November 2
From the creative team who brought us the classic mini-series Band of Brothers, comes The Pacific. The production value is extremely high, the action thrilling and the acting is dynamite. Brothers still stands as the superior series, but this one comes damn close. We don’t get to know the characters here as well and it takes a few episodes to become focused but it is well worth watching more than once. A great piece of work.
V: Season 1 – November 2
ABC’s remake of the classic sci-fi mini-series is surprisingly good. There are a few shoddy f/x and some cheesy dialogue but overall it’s fun. Lots of good twist and turns, decent action and interesting characters. The first season is 13 episodes and if you’re a sci-fi fan, it really delivers. Check your brain at the door though. It’s a shame ABC practically killed the show with horrible scheduling, airing 4 episodes in ’09 and waiting months before airing the back 9. This made the show hard to find for fans and many had lost interest and moved on – hopefully they’ll check out the blu-ray release of season 1 and tune in for season 2 when it starts up.
Deadwood: The Complete Series – November 23
One of the best westerns of all time comes to high definition. It still stings thinking that HBO cancelled Deadwood before the story had come to a full conclusion but the first two seasons are among the best I’ve ever seen. Timothy Olyphant and Ian McShane carry the series, and all the supporting characters are just as good – so many of these actors have gone on to great series since, you’ll recognize nearly everyone. The production value is excellent and David Milch’s dialogue is perfection. He turns swearing into Shakespearian high art. The third season isn’t as focused as the first two and it’s slow pace is made all the more painful knowing that the series ends there – with very little resolution at all. Had Milch known the third was to be the last, perhaps it’d have been a bit more exciting. Still, this is one set you have to pick up you motherf#&$ing c@#*sucker.
Also of note:
November 2: The Sound of Music, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
November 9: Grown Ups, Charlie St. Cloud
November 16: The Polar Express 3D, Mutiny on the Bounty, Lottery Ticket
November 23: Eat Pray Love, The Pillars of the Earth, Flipped, Metropolis
November 30: Fantasia/Fantasia 2000, Meet the Parents/Fockers, Vampires Suck
-You can follow Matthew Crandall on Twitter or find him having a drink at Al Swearengen’s saloon.
Crandall & Mercy check themselves before they wreck themselves as they check and wreck Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifinakis’s newest road trip comedy, “Due Date“….and ACTION!
Crandall & Mercy’s motion tracker is readin’ right, man: Aliens has finally made its way to blu-ray, as part of the Alien Anthology blu-ray set. How does the James Cameron sci-fi/horror/action classic hold up in high-def? Watch and find out!
Johnny Knoxville and the gang are back, this time in glorious 3D! So if you’re a Jackass fan and love gross-out humor, or if you just had a bad meal and want to get rid of whatever may be sitting in your stomach, check out Jackass 3D!