This Week in Blu-ray / DVD Releases: Breaking Bad, Jobs, Red 2 ...
This week: One last cook with Breaking Bad, Kutcher gets his Mac on, and did someone order a Red 2?
► Eight episodes to end a masterpiece. For a lot of us, the biggest entertainment event of 2013 wasn't a movie or video game ... it was the final eight episodes of BREAKING BAD, which we both dreaded and insanely anticipated for a year. The fear, as always, was that a great show would stumble down the stretch - the bitching over the finales to 'Lost,' 'Battlestar Galactica' and 'The Sopranos' continues to this day. But the surefire way show creator Vince Gilligan set up the first half of this final season erased all doubts - we were treated to one of the greatest stories ever told on television, and it was best to just hang on and savor it while we could. The home stretch was shocking, painful, but most important satisfying – 'Breaking Bad' was never meant to have a happy ending, but the way Gilligan pulled it off gave appropriate closure to all involved. No one, not a single character, was better off than when the show began, hammering home the tragedy of Walter White's five-season transformation. It was grueling to watch at times – many of these final episodes were hardly 'entertaining,' which is what great writing sometimes does. The death of a major character near the end was one of the worst kicks in the gut my TV ever inflicted. But it made for an amazing, communal experience. 'Just a TV show' my ass, this was a pop culture event we all shared, debated and obsessed over for eight glorious weeks. We'll be saying its name for a long time. Also out today is the COMPLETE SERIES, stored in a replica money barrel, with 55 hours of extras and a new two-hour documentary. It’ll make an A1 Christmas gift.
► RED 2 isn’t too much of a good thing, it’s prolonging an already mediocre thing. The gang of retired CIA agents try to find a nuclear bomb smuggled into Russia during the Cold War, for which agents Marvin (John Malkovich) and Frank (Bruce Willis) have been framed. If you saw Willis’ laughably listless interviews promoting this, you’ll see why – it’s like he has completely disengaged himself from movies like this, save for the pay check. Possibly the most needless sequel in a year full of them.
► I've tried, but every time I read "Ashton Kutcher is Steve Jobs," the laughter starts. Aside from the factual inaccuracies and gigantic omissions, JOBS felt doomed from the start because Kutcher is tough to get past. But this would have been a tough movie to pull off no matter who starred – he may be one of the world's most influential figures of the past 30 years, but it's basically a story about gadgets and boardroom politics. Basically, Jobs co-founded Apple, got fired, then came back to clean house. It's 'The Social Network' without a visionary like David Fincher directing.
► Shout! Factory marks 25 years of MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 with another stacked boxed set, containing the classic clunkers ‘Gorgo,’ ‘The Leech Woman,’ ‘The Day the Earth Froze’ and ‘Moon Zero.’ You also get two bonus flicks long out of print: ‘Mitchell’ and ‘The Brain That Wouldn’t Die.’ There’s also a three-part documentary on the show, a visit with former writer Mary Jo Pehl, mini posters and a riff on the making of ‘Gorgo.’
► You don’t even have to be a sports buff to dig ESPN’s documentary series 30 FOR 30. These are fascinating stories, period, with the best of them so good they could play in theatres. Season 2 (Vol. 1) doesn’t have anything quite as good as Season 1’s incredible ‘The Two Escobars,’ but most all of them are fascinating. ‘You Don’t Know Bo’ looks at the career of possibly the greatest pure athlete of all time, ‘No Mas’ revisits the Roberto Duran/Sugar Ray Leonard rivalry of ‘80s, and ‘9.79’ is especially painful for Canadians as it probes sprinter Ben Johnson’s tainted victory at the 1988 Olympics. The best of the bunch may be Kevin Connolly’s ‘Big Shot,’ the unbelievable story of how a scammer named John Spano bought the New York Islanders with basically no money.
► Ethan Hawke sure had an interesting year. A fluke hit (‘The Purge’), one of the most acclaimed movies of 2013 (‘Before Midnight’) and finally GETAWAY, one of the worst. It’s basically ‘Drive for Dummies,’ with Hawke as a former race car driver forced to follows the orders of an unseen man who has kidnapped his wife. Selena Gomez is the hacker he picks up along the way. Endless crashes and chase scenes filmed like a jumpy Need for Speed game.
► There’s the Paul Schrader who wrote the Martin Scorsese classics ‘Taxi Driver’ and ‘Raging Bull.’ Then there’s the Paul Schrader who directs disasters like ‘Dominion: Prequel to The Exorcist’ and this year’s THE CANYONS. Written by Bret Easton Ellis, who naturally hated Schrader by the end, it has pretty boy porn star James Deen as a trust fund baby whose girlfriend (Lindsay Lohan) is banging the star of a horror movie he’s financing. He doesn’t take the news well. Rejected by Sundance, this currently sits as the year’s 346th biggest money maker ($51,135).
Also out this week:
SO WHAT DVD/BLU-RAYS ARE YOU GUYS STOKED ABOUT THIS WEEK?!
|Extra Tidbit:||this week in blu-ray and dvd releases, Red 2, Jobs, The Canyons, Breaking Bad, 30 for 30|