This Week in Blu-ray / DVD Releases: Amazing Spider-man, Rec 3, They Live ...
This week: Spider-man gets redeemed, They Live lives again, and those bastards have wrecked Rec.
► After ‘Spider-man 3’ crapped the bed in epic fashion, Sony had no choice but to wipe the slate clean. Would you have cared about another Raimi/Maguire movie? Didn’t think so. So while plenty of folks moaned “too soon” at THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, it was just what the franchise needed – a new (and better) Peter Parker in Andrew Garfield, and a director in Marc Webb who got back to the core of the character. Even if it’s not a reboot the caliber of ‘Batman Begins,’ it’s still the best Spider-man movie yet. In a summer without ‘The Avengers,’ this would have been a much bigger deal.
► THEY LIVE is hardly John Carpenter’s finest, but it’s fondly remembered as the last movie of his golden era. And like so many of his classics, it has endured and gained more fans through the years, because Carpenter in the ‘80s was plugged into something that still resonates. In his only great film role, Rowdy Roddy Piper is a drifter who stumbles across sunglasses which allow him to see aliens controlling society around us … which of course leads to an awesome, over-the-top street fight with Keith David. Carpenter and Piper do commentary for the blu-ray.
► If you loved the intensity and no-nonsense scares of the Spanish-made ‘Rec’ 1 & 2 … you’re going to wonder what the hell happened with REC 3: GENESIS. Rather than continue the intriguing storyline laid out in the original films, director Diego Martin makes the bizarre decision to turn this one into a semi-comedy set at a wedding. If the fourth film sets things right, this’ll be the ‘Halloween III’ of its time.
► You know when you and your buddies fire up some Halo after a few too many and crack jokes instead of really playing the game? That’s pretty much RED vs. BLUE, a web series that resembles Halo as directed by Kevin Smith. It has somehow lasted ten years, and this boxed set collects every smarmy episode. As goofy as it is, you’ll still get caught up in the storylines and characters.
► There are few Hollywood hatchet jobs as scathing as Billy Wilder’s SUNSET BOULEVARD, which plucked former silent movie star Gloria Swanson and cast her as … a former silent movie star. Bashing the movie industry’s shallowness was hardly fashionable in 1950, and legend goes producer Louis B. Mayer even berated Wilder after a screening, telling him “you have disgraced the industry that made and fed you!” Wilder’s response? “Go fuck yourself.” The iconic line from the film is Swanson’s “I’m ready for my close up,” but I’ve always preferred “I am big, it’s the pictures that got small.” Blu-ray includes a making-of, and script of the film’s original prologue set inside a morgue.
► It was painful how ENTOURAGE ended, but man there was some great stuff along the way. From James Cameron’s ‘Aquaman,’ to Vince flaming out with a Pablo Escobar biopic, to the iconic Ari Gold, the show was more than just an Inside Hollywood for guys. Hokey as it could be at times, it was, right to the end, a show about friendship in a make believe world. If it had ended after the fifth season, it would be a near-perfect show.
► ‘City of God’ director Fernando Meirelles’ 360 debuted on Video-on-Demand in June before it even hit U.S. theatres in August. Rachel Weisz, Anthony Hopkins, Jude Law and Ben Foster star in intertwining stories about doomed relationships spanning Vienna, Paris, London and Colorado.
► There isn’t much rhyme or reason for the UNIVERSAL 100TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION. Plucking 25 classics from the vault is fine, but they don’t have much in common (right after ‘The Fast and the Furious’ you can pop in … ‘Pillow Talk!’) and it’s bit pricey (nearly $250) for movies most fans own already anyway. The main selling point here is the extras, with eight featurettes on Universal’s legacy and 14 vintage cartoons.
Also out this week:
SO WHAT DVD/BLU-RAYS ARE YOU GUYS STOKED ABOUT THIS WEEK?!