Blu-ray Invasion – Week of February 7th
Pinocchio (The Signature Collection)
On a magical starlit night , a blue fairy brings Geppetto’s beloved marionette Pinocchio to life, beginning a fantastic adventure that will test the puppet’s bravery, loyalty and honesty – virtues he must learn to become a real boy. Despite the warnings of his wise friend, Jimmy Cricket, Pinocchio gets entangled in one humorous predicament after another, leading to his valiant quest to save Geppetto, who’s trapped inside Monstro the whale!
This is a classic film obviously, and if you’ve never owned it on blu-ray, this is the one to own. But if you bought the 70th Anniversary blu-ray edition a few years ago, there isn’t much else here that is going to entice you to purchase. It gets a BUY rating on the condition this isn’t currently sitting on your shelf.
Meet the Laemles, Dad’s (Randy Quaid) got a great job, Mom (Mary Beth Hurt) has all the modern conveniences a happy homemaker could ask for, and ten-year-old Michael (Brian Madorsky) has neat new friends and two parents that kill him with kindness. They’re the all-American family of 1954…with one small exception….the parents are cannibals.
Lionsgate is giving Scream Factory a run for their money with their new Vestron series. Their lineup of movies isn’t as iconic as Scream Factory, but it certainly is an interesting lineup with a flair for the eccentric while demonstrating a true love for the ’80s. Parents isn’t your typical horror movie, but there is some visceral imagery provided to go along with some pretty good doses of humor. Early Randy Quaid delivers in a way that only he can, and this disc is loaded with extras that take you further than you might have wanted to go, but this is an interesting enough movie to warrant that level of fascination. Queue It
Lair of the White Worm
James D’Ampton (Grant) returns to his country castle in England. Legend has it that James’ distant ancestor once slayed the local dragon- a monstrous white worm with a fondness for the sweet flesh of virgins. The young Lord dismisses the legend as folklore, until archaeology student, Angus Flint, unearths a massive reptilian skull and the ancient worship site of a pagan snake god on James’ property. When James’ virtuous girlfriend, Eve (Oxenburg), suddenly disappears, he and Angus set out to investigate the foreboding cavern said to be the worm’s lair where a centuries-old mystery begins to uncoil.
This one is a little harder to digest and you really have to understand what it is that Lionsgate is trying to accomplish with this Vestron series. There are moments here that are great, and a young Hugh Grant is an interesting sight for sure, but this might only be worth a QUEUE. Having a loaded extras portion will certainly help address the need to purchase this movie if you are indeed trying to get all of the numbered Vestron movies.
Poltergeist II / Poltergeist III Collector’s Editions
Poltergeist II: The Otherside
The Freeling family move in with Diane’s mother in an effort to escape the trauma and aftermath of Carol Anne’s abduction by the Beast. But the Beast is not to be put off so easily and appears in a ghostly apparition as the Reverend Kane, a religeous zealot responsible for the deaths of his many followers. His goal is simple – he wants the angelic Carol Anne; but the love of her family and the power of psychic Tangina once again unite, along with an elderly native American, to fight for her life.
Carol Anne has been sent to live with her Aunt and Uncle in an effort to hide her from the clutches of the ghostly Reverend Kane, but he tracks her down and terrorises her in her relatives’ appartment in a tall glass building. Will he finally achieve his target and capture Carol Anne again, or will Tangina be able, yet again, to thwart him?
Scream Factory always delivers, and these two films are no exception. It would have been nice if they could have gotten their hands on the first film, but this set has tons of new extras material that has never been seen. Among these extras are even featurettes that examine H.R. Giger’s influence on the films. BUY IT
Idris Elba (Star Trek Beyond) stars as Sean Briar, a rogue CIA agent who isn’t afraid to step on a few toes to solve a case. While roaming the streets of Paris, a pickpocket (Richard Madden, TV’s Game of Thrones) swipes a bag containing a bomb and inadvertently ruins a bank heist attempt by corrupt French government officials. Now labeled as a terrorist threat and running for his life, the only person who can save him is Sean. This unlikely duo joins to solve the case before they become victims in a devious plot of international conspiracy.
There’s a little known secret about an action movie that hasn’t been blessed with huge budgets or a summer blockbuster timeslot, and that secret is they’re usually really fun to watch. They tend to be shot really well in a way that showcases the action really beautifully, and the A-list star that’s somehow managed to find himself into a movie like this really gives it his all. This isn’t always the case, but The Take is one of those rare gems that’s a blast to take in. It’s a little low on extras, but Idris Elba fans will appreciate this simple and straight up action flick. QUEUE IT
The story of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple, whose challenge of their anti-miscegenation arrest for their marriage in Virginia led to a legal battle that would end at the US Supreme Court.
A much differently executed film than Jeff Nichols has usually put together, but just as beautiful and heartbreaking. This movie could have taken easier steps to create a more dramatic story, but instead chose to focus solely on the love of the two characters. It’s one of the best acted films of the past year, and absolutely worth your time. The extras here are nice, but there is a documentary about The Lovings that is really all you’d need to see regarding this story in addition to this movie. BUY IT
A group of people trying to cross the border from Mexico into the United States encounter a man who has taken border patrol duties into his own racist hands.
This had all the signs of being a poorly executed direct to video actioner, but instead is an extremely well done drama backed by two incredible performances from immensely talented actors. It’s kind of a shallow story, and it doesn’t do much to address how to solve the problem it highlights, but it’s still a fantastic way to spend 94 minutes if you’re looking for a good action movie. QUEUE IT