With so many Blu-Ray and DVD releases coming out these days – I’m serious when I say about twenty a day turn up at the moment, to both my office here and abroad; some come in handy when I’ve got an itch I can’t reach with my index finger – it makes sense to relaunch this mini-review assemblage. This way, we’ll be able to cover more stuff (stuff we mightn’t necessarily cover – due to time constraints), whilst having that little bit of extra time to spend on some of the reviews that deserve more than 100 words – like special edition’s, criterion releases, and so on.
Pushing Daisies : Season 2 (DVD)
â€œPushing Daisiesâ€ is essentially a cousin to the equally-quirky â€œWonderfallsâ€ â€“ only without hottie Caroline Dhavernas, and, well, the talking porcelain. But what it does have is rising star Lee Pace (who I hear may be up for a gig in the â€œMarmadukeâ€ movie), the ravishing Anna Friel (from cinematic turd â€œLand of the Lostâ€), and a rather original storyline â€“albeit one more twisted than an old-school phone chord.
Pace is perfectly cast as Ned, a chap who possesses the unique ability to bring things back from the dead (kinda like Joe Jackson). When he resurrects his former love, he learns that if he ever touches her, she’ll die all over again without the possibility to be brought back to life. Barry Sonnenfeld is one of the suits on it â€“ no surprise, right?
Thereâ€™s talk of a telemovie to tie up the loose ends â€“ and thereâ€™s a boatload of unanswered questions! _ but Iâ€™d say thatâ€™s about as likely as a â€œFuturamaâ€ renewalâ€¦.oh, wait. Well, give me another exampleâ€¦. Um, â€œFireflyâ€!?
G.I Joe : Season 1.1 (DVD)
Timed to coincide with the release of the new (apparently-not-as-shitty-as-it-looks) movie, â€œG.I Joe : Season 1.1â€ is a four-disc set thatâ€™ll, if anything, remind us just how goddamn far animation has advanced since the 80s. Thereâ€™s less detail here than a painting, and god I love how impossible it was for vintage cartoon characters to keep up with their human counterpartsâ€™ voices. Just hilarious! (and whatâ€™s with the recycled backgrounds!? Kinda screws with continuity!)
Still, this is a fun blast-from-the-past. This new 4-disc DVD set collects the first three G.I. Joe mini-series and the first 7 episodes of the animated series. Yeah, most of the episodes are pretty much exactly the same as the one that came before it, as are the mini-series events, but if you were a fan of the show as a kidâ€¦ youâ€™ll likely still get wood over the DVD. Me, I was more of a â€œSpeed Buggyâ€ guy.
The new Paramount/Shout Factory release, delivered on two thinpack cases, is accompanied by a booklet of episode details, a sheet of tattoos (only temporary, sorry Pink!), and some commercials for the latest G.I Joe merchandise (tell me, can you buy a Brendan Fraser doll!? And if so, does its head come off?!). Thereâ€™s also interviews, and other bits-and-pieces, spread out over the discs.
Friday the 13th : The Extended Cut (DVD)
If Amanda Righetti wasnâ€™t wearing tight shorts, I likely wouldâ€™ve walked out of this way inane, very dull remake at the theatre. Itâ€™s about as lifeless as Apollo Creed mid-way through â€œRocky IVâ€!
Producer Michael â€˜Yells a lotâ€™ Bay reworks Sean S.Cunninghamâ€™s classic for a new, probably-unaware-that-its-a-reboot audience. It centres on a group of mischievous (why, of course!) teenagers who decide to head down to the infamous Camp Crystal Lake for their vacation. And yes, theyâ€™re quite aware this is the same campsite where a group of teenagers, not unlike themselves, were slaughtered some years before. Unfortunately for them, the son-of-the-original-killer, a maniac named Jason Voorhees (Derek Mears) is still lurking aboutâ€¦ and heâ€™s in need of some new trophies! Talking of trophies, thereâ€™s hardly a chick in the thing that keeps her top on for five minutes! (So yes, there is a reason to see the film).
Jared Padalecki brings, I guess, some sort of credibility to the movie, playing a distressed young man whose sister (Righetti) disappeared in the area months before. Since her body was never recovered (because Jason has her trapped in his lair!), heâ€™s convinced thereâ€™s a chance sheâ€™s still alive.
The extended version includes a few more gory bits, plus a fairly large-ish batch of extras. Sure to interest someone – – – probably the same guy that bought â€œTexas Chainsaw Massacre : The Beginningâ€ on DVD.
Battlestar Galactica : Season 4 â€“ Part 2 (DVD)
I just about went bye-bye in my jeans when this arrived on my desk! Love this show more than life itselfâ€¦ and will never quite be able to say goodbye to it (or Starbuck).
Alas, these last episodes of Ron Mooreâ€™s once-controversial (Starbuck is a girl!? The Cylons have skin!? Al from â€œQuantum Leapâ€ is a clone!?) series are absolute gold. There wonâ€™t be a dry eye in the house, and I dare you not to holler at least once during a dog-fight!
As most know, the showâ€™s all about the survivors of the now-gone-boom planet of Caprica trying to find Earth (somewhat of a legend). This season they find itâ€¦ well, kindaâ€¦ but not before a few bottles of scotch are consumed, a couple of crew-mates meet their makers, and Richard Hatch gets sucked into space.
Typical of the â€œBattlestarâ€ DVD releases, there are some great extras on here. Couldnâ€™t recommend this disc anymoreâ€¦
Watchmen : The Complete Motion Comic (DVD)
Kinda defeats the purpose of having the book out there, right? Are we really that lazy that we canâ€™t read a short graphic novel now â€“ we actually have to have someone motorise the pictures, and speak the words for us? Seriously!?
Look, I love â€œWatchmenâ€ â€“ the comic, and the movie (I know a lot of you didnâ€™t, but I truly went gaga for it!) â€“ so I was keen to watch this too, but I have to say, thereâ€™s something about reading the story, rather than watching it this way, thatâ€™s much more effective. I actually found it hard to watch this thing in one full goâ€¦ just because of the way itâ€™s concocted, and the fact that there are 12 episodes all up here. A bit much.
Still, if youâ€™re a fanâ€¦ or you donâ€™t think you could manage to read the inked offeringsâ€¦ maybe pick it up.
Kill Switch (DVD)
I believe it was only a month or two ago that I was singing Steven Seagalâ€™s praises againâ€¦ confident he was on his way back. Think â€œKill Switchâ€ just proved me wrong.
Jacob Stillwell is one of the most renowned homicide detectives in the country. His unruly delivery of street justice is legendary among the men and women of law enforcement. But on this latest case, he may have finally met his match – Lazerus, a sly and obstinately violent killer who is on the loose and terrorizing the inner city.
This one features the penultimate screen appearance (the last being the recently released â€˜â€™Soul Menâ€™â€™) of â€˜â€™South Parkâ€™â€™ fave, Isaac Hayes (and I never thought Iâ€™d say it, but â€œthank god for Soul Menâ€!).
There are a couple of different Seagal movies on release here this month â€“ the other is â€œRuslanâ€, in which the big guy plays. Thatâ€™s actually a better flick. In fact, significantly better. Donâ€™t know who or how Seagal found his way into â€œKill Switchâ€ but he might want to choose the other door next time.
Righteous Kill (DVD)
The promotional material attached to the review disc included a quote from someone-whose-name-and-outlet escapes me along the lines of â€œDe Niro and Pacino bring the Heatâ€. More like, â€œDe Niro and Pacino bring the shit!â€ â€“ this long-awaited reunion is about as sickening to watch as witnessing your grandmother have cancer cells removed from her bottom. Itâ€™s the pits!
I want to kill someone. I want to press my cold hands against their thick neck and squeeze until something pops. I want to hear their last gasp. I want them to suffer real pain…. Just like I did.
De Niro and Pacino play â€˜Turk’ and â€˜Rooster’, two NY coppers on the case to find a killer. As all the victims are scumbags, someone puts two and two together and comes to the conclusion that it’s a cop doing the killing. The film starts with De Niro’s character reading a grainy confession – stressing how many people he has killed – into a video tape. That’s a red-herring is it? Shit.
Letâ€™s try and forget this happened â€“ kinda like Eddie Murphyâ€™s music career.