This Week in Blu-ray / DVD Releases: Dark Skies, The Numbers Station, Covert Affairs ...
This week: No big releases this week, unless you really love prehistoric shark movies. It's a chance to try out some new TV shows (Covert Affairs, Longmire), prime '70s pulp (Rolling Thunder) and Liz Hurley at her hottie peak (Bedazzled).
► We can add DARK SKIES to the long list of recent sci fi/horror flicks I don’t even remember playing in theatres. They are made and marketed with such generic blandness, nothing stands out. This one has Keri Russell and Josh Hamilton (no, not the ball player, though it would be awesome if it was) all freaked out by alien hijinx. It doesn’t help that a ‘specialist’ (J.K. Simmons) tells them they’ve been targeted by extraterrestrials and their son will inevitably be abducted.
► An early gem from Mike Leigh, LIFE IS SWEET gets the deluxe treatment from Criterion with high-def restoration, new commentary from Leigh, and an essay from critic David Sterritt. The film is one of Leigh’s best, about a London chef (Jim Broadbent) who tries going it alone by purchasing a dilapidated food truck. But it’s really about his eccentric family dealing with middle class British life in their own snarky way.
► And here’s another flick drawing a big blank. THE NUMBERS STATION, anyone? John Cusack, Malin Ackerman … ring a bell at all? Well here’s what you missed: A CIA black ops agent (Cusack) screws up bad but gets a chance to redeem himself by guarding a code operator (Ackerman) at a bunker. If no one attacked her, this would be a boring movie no one would have heard of. Wait a sec, that happened anyway.
► It’s late at night, you’re bored as hell, and you come across a movie called ATTACK OF THE JURASSIC SHARK. Do you change the channel? If you do, you’re a stronger man than I because I’m watching this ridiculous shit to the bitter end. Whether I’d pay $18 for the DVD is another matter. Anyhow, oil drillers release a prehistoric shark, who ends up stranding art thieves (?) and a hot co-ed on a secluded island.
► Co-written by Paul Schrader, ROLLING THUNDER is one of those bad-ass ‘70s flicks Quentin Tarantino should remake, pronto. William Devane plays a Vietnam POW vet who comes home to a life of shit, and it gets worse when outlaws kill his wife and kid. With a newly mangled hand he equips with a prosthetic hook, he reunites with an old war buddy (Tommy Lee Jones) to preach peace and forgiveness, the end. Actually, he goes Travis Bickle on some bad guys.
► Look, there’s no denying BEDAZZLED is a pretty awful movie. It was made during a strange, scary time when Brendan Fraser was considered a major star (2000). There is one – and only one – reason to watch it: Elizabeth Hurley has never, ever been hotter than she was in this movie. This is her peak, and it’s enough to endure this dismal remake about a geek (Fraser) given seven wishes by the devil (Hurley), in exchange for his soul. Hurley cashed her ticket into the Hottie Hall of Fame with this one.
► While no one was looking, USA Network’s COVERT AFFAIRS has quietly built a nice little following. Not as goofy as ’24,’ not as awesome as ‘Homeland,’ its charms lay somewhere in the middle. For Season 3, CIA operative Annie Walker (Piper Perabo) is re-assigned to a more dangerous division, with her personal life crumbling at the same time. Sixteen episodes, Season 4 starts July 16.
► Based on the Craig Johnson series of novels, A&E’s LONGMIRE stars Robert Taylor as the sheriff of a Wyoming town returning to work after the death of his wife. As he prepares to run for a re-election, a young deputy starts gunning for his job. A modern western with some stunning scenery. A&E is still looking for one of its scripted shows to match the success of its reality fare like ‘Storage Wars.’
Also out this week:
SO WHAT DVD/BLU-RAYS ARE YOU GUYS STOKED ABOUT THIS WEEK?!