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This Week in Blu-ray / DVD Releases: 300: Rise of an Empire, Masters of Sex

Jun. 24, 2014by:

This week: Back to the hostile lands of Wolf Creek and 300, and loving me some Lizzy in Masters of Sex.

► As ridiculous as it was, the original ‘300’ had style thanks to Zack Snyder’s CGI gluttony. Seven years later, 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE fills the plate again but it’s far less satisfying. Snyder writes and produces, but Noam Murro – who did some nifty Halo commercials – was tabbed to direct. Without a Frank Miller graphic novel to abide by, the story doesn’t have the same wallop, either. It’s both a prequel and sequel, as the Greeks and Persians take their battle to the sea. Eva Green steals the show as the Persian naval commander. Expect lots of shouting, fudged history and abs forged by the Gods of LA Fitness.

► Showtime’s MASTERS OF SEX brings the ‘Mad Men’ vibe to the ‘50s for this fact-based series on the groundbreaking work of sexologist William Masters (Michael Sheen) and partner Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan), who overcome the decade’s straightlaced values to launch the sexual revolution with their research. Stood out from the pack of last fall’s new cable dramas, and even if the plots veer into melodrama near the end of the season, Caplan and Sheen are a weirdly wonderful couple. Season 2 starts July 13.

► With all the crap horror sequels they crank out, it’s surprising it took so long for WOLF CREEK 2. The 2005 original was one of the decade’s superior horror films (a genuine Texas Chainsaw throwback). That vast Australian outback is damn creepy, and John Jarrett was unforgettable as psychopath Mick Taylor - the evil flipside to Crocodile Dundee. For Part 2, he still hates tourists, this time squaring off against a British exchange student who plays a deranged game with him after getting dragged into his lair. A good sign is that original writer/director Greg McLean returns for the sequel.

► The Mindbending Canadian flick ENEMY has Jake Gylenhall in the duel roles of a reclusive college professor and the doppelganger he sees while watching a film one day. Tracking the actor down, he grows so obsessed their lives eventually intertwine. What a giant spider, naked models and a pregnant wife have to do with this is up to you to decipher. Isabella Rossellini as the professor’s mother adds to the David Lynch feel of it all.

► The second-to-last season of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION comes to blu-ray with the new three-part documentary ‘Beyond the Five Year Mission’ and some new commentary on select episodes. But what really matters is the high-def remastering of all 26 episodes, including the classic two-parter ‘Chain of Command’ in which Picard hands over command of the ship while he goes on a covert mission to destroy a Cardassian bio weapons plant, only to be captured and tortured in an intense, politically charged second hour. Among the all-time great Star Trek story arcs, it also gets its own blu-ray release with a making of doc, commentary, and deleted scenes.

► Longtime screenwriter Akiva Goldsman makes his directorial debut with WINTER’S TALE, a supernatural romance based on Mark Helprin’s 1983 book. Colin Farrell is an orphan raised by a demon (Russell Crowe) posing as a gangster. When he flees the nest, he’s joined by a mysterious white horse as thugs are sent to hunt him down. A hugely difficult movie to market – there’s a reason Martin Scorsese turned it down in 2002 as “unfilmable.” As expected, it had a rough reception at the box office, though it’s notable for one thing: The ‘A Beautiful Mind’ reunion of Crowe and Jennifer Connelly.

► Based on the Danish/Swedish TV show, FX’s THE BRIDGE follows the joint effort of two detectives, one Mexican and one American, to nail a serial killer stalking the Texas/Chihuhua border. Corrupt border officials and drug cartels don’t make things easier. Diane Kruger and Demian Bichir are the cops, with Ted Levine, Annabeth Gish and Matthew Lillard among the supporting cast. The new one from ‘Homeland’ executive producer Meredith Stiehm.

► In 1979, Roger Corman took a hacksaw to Sergio Martino’s monster flick ‘Island of the Fish Men,’ chopping half an hour, adding some gore and renaming it SCREAMERS. Survivors of a shipwreck are washed ashore a Caribbean island where a scientist is transforming humans into amphibious creatures and using them to plunder the underwater city of Atlantis, which he has discovered nearby. This was the stuff Joseph Cotton was making near the end of his career.

Also out this week:

 

CLICK HERE FOR A FULL LISTING OF ALL THE COOLEST DVD RELEASES OF THIS WEEK AND THE REST OF THE YEAR!

SO WHAT DVD/BLU-RAYS ARE YOU GUYS STOKED ABOUT THIS WEEK?!

Source: JoBlo.com

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10:53AM on 06/24/2014

"300": R.O.A.E. - 3/10; WINTER'S TALE - 1/10

I first I thought ""300" was a fun and simplistic action movie, so why try to expand the story of something that was never meant to be deep in the 1st place?". However, I still watched RISE OF AN EMPIRE objectively. And you know what? It's not fun and simplistic; it's boring and brainless! There's no sense of "Be proud to be a macho warrior!". Eva Green is good, so she makes ARTEMISIA kind of interesting but not enough. And THEMISTOCLES isn't interesting at all. But I blame the script and not
I first I thought ""300" was a fun and simplistic action movie, so why try to expand the story of something that was never meant to be deep in the 1st place?". However, I still watched RISE OF AN EMPIRE objectively. And you know what? It's not fun and simplistic; it's boring and brainless! There's no sense of "Be proud to be a macho warrior!". Eva Green is good, so she makes ARTEMISIA kind of interesting but not enough. And THEMISTOCLES isn't interesting at all. But I blame the script and not Sullivan Stapleton. The biggest problem is the timing. You see, after "300" came out in 2007, there was a wave of movies that copied its style. A sequel was never going to feel fresh but because this one is coming out now in 2014 it feels like another one of the bunch. And WINTER'S TALE is even worse.

There were certain factors that made me not include MASTERS OF SEX in my "Best Shows of the Year" list, including a weak cliffhanger in the finale. But it's still great. Michael Sheen deserves the accolades. Lizzy Caplan has received all the praise but I think that Caitlin Fitzgerald is the one that shines. Demin Bichir and Matthew Lillard shine in THE BRIDGE, a dissapointing show that switched sub-genres every 2 weeks or so. The last 2 episodes are pure filler.

I want to watch ENEMY.
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7:33AM on 06/24/2014
300: Rise of an Empire, Blood Ties, Enemy, and Masters of Sex: Season One.
300: Rise of an Empire, Blood Ties, Enemy, and Masters of Sex: Season One.
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7:20AM on 06/24/2014
Enemy. After Prisoners, I'll watch anything from Denis Vileneuve. Nine hour mayonnaise commercial? I'll be first in line to watch that shit.
Enemy. After Prisoners, I'll watch anything from Denis Vileneuve. Nine hour mayonnaise commercial? I'll be first in line to watch that shit.
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4:29AM on 06/24/2014

enemy

Is well worth a watch, sems too have slipped under evetybodys radar.
Is well worth a watch, sems too have slipped under evetybodys radar.
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3:53AM on 06/24/2014
300: Rise of An Empire and Screamers for me.
300: Rise of An Empire and Screamers for me.
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3:37AM on 06/24/2014
Holy fuck, there's really FIVE seasons of Duck Dynasty?
Holy fuck, there's really FIVE seasons of Duck Dynasty?
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3:06AM on 06/24/2014
300
Star Trek (these blu ray remasters are phenomenal)
Enemy
300
Star Trek (these blu ray remasters are phenomenal)
Enemy
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2:47AM on 06/24/2014
I received 300 Rise of an Empire early. I've already watched it a couple of times in 3D. Love this movie.
I received 300 Rise of an Empire early. I've already watched it a couple of times in 3D. Love this movie.
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2:51AM on 06/24/2014
John Law. Agree to disagree. The movie was great in my opinion.
John Law. Agree to disagree. The movie was great in my opinion.
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