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


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:




Source: JoBlo.com



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