This Week in Blu-ray / DVD Releases: Game of Thrones, Nurse Jackie ...
This week: Ah, the Red Wedding...good times.
► Even without that episode, the third season of GAME OF THRONES was phenomenal – appointment television and a Sunday night ritual for ten glorious, unforgettable weeks. Following a mostly sedate Season 2 (save for the epic Blackwater episode), Season 3 piled on the intrigue and betrayals with gusto. Daenerys gets her army, Jamie Lannister loses a hand, and all of us lost our shit at the now-legendary Red Wedding episode, The Rains of Castamere, which warrants its own special ‘in depth’ look on the blu-ray. The third season was the second most-watched season of any HBO show, behind only Season 5 of The Sopranos. I’m betting Season 4, starting April 6, steals the crown. For the hardcore Throne-heads, HBO isn’t delaying its LIMITED EDITION version of Season 3. For $90, you get everything packaged in a sculpture of one of Daenerys’ dragons. A complete pain in the ass to store, but come on – dragon! Don’t be heading to the mall for this baby on Tuesday, it’s an Amazon exclusive.
► Kathryn Hahn is in rut, so she takes her man to a strip club in AFTERNOON DELIGHT. That always has wacky ramifications, and sure enough she grows so obsessed with stripper Juno Temple, she adopts her as a live-in nanny. Not the raunchy sex comedy you’re expecting, as director Jill Soloway is more concerned with the drastic measures some women take to escape their drab lives.
► From the start, NURSE JACKIE has felt like a consolation prize: We need Edie Falco back on cable, I just wish it wasn’t in a show veering dangerously close to ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ country. The problem isn’t with Falco, brilliant as always, it’s with the lame subplots and aggravating cast around her. Season 5 finds Jackie fresh out of rehab but hospitalized after an accident. With her marriage collapsing, she starts falling for a New York cop. Season 6 of this never-ending saga starts April 13.
► Back when Sam Raimi made nothing but cult films, 1990's DARKMAN wasn't just a wild homage to classic Universal horror movies, it was a blueprint on how to do a modern comic book movie. A nightmare to make, but its offbeat charm and gonzo spirit has made it a modern favorite, especially if you love seeing practical effects and stunts instead of endless CGI. Weird as it is, this was Raimi's first dabble in the mainstream (actual movie stars!) and cashed his ticket for 'Spider-man' 12 years later. Slick new Shout! Factory blu-ray includes interviews with Liam Neeson and Frances McDormand and a vintage 'making of' featurette.
► “A ghost story, about people living in a house where something bad happened, and evil forces are conjured up. We shall it ‘The Conjur… er, THE INVOKING. Yes, our lawyer says that’s a better title.” First effort from director Jeremy Berg nabbed a couple of positive reviews, and even if it isn’t a complete rip-off of James Wan’s hit from last year, the promotion is doing it no favors (it used to be called ‘Sader Ridge,’ but I guess that sounds too western).
► Back in the mid ‘70s, THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN was the closest thing we had to a cool superhero show. Which meant things inevitably started to suck by the fifth season, because while the ‘70s had many awesome things, TV shows weren’t one of them. In the final season, Steve Austin squares off against sharks and Bigfoot again (ya!) along with aliens and an evil scientist on the moon (ugh). There’s also roller derby, time travel and Suzanne Somers as Steve’s new hottie now that The Bionic Woman isn’t in the picture (she was on another network by this point). They’d be reunited in a TV movie nearly ten years later.
► Rarely has the distinction between ‘original’ and ‘reboot’ been more important to establish than with BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. If you are buying that special someone the reboot, you are giving them one of the greatest shows of all time and you’re cool beans. If you, by mistake, buy them this - the complete original series – your relationship may not survive the weekend. An insipidly stupid show which has become about 20 times worse with age, this 1978 dud now rides the coattails of its far, FAR superior offspring. It doesn’t even include the sequel season ‘Galactica 1980,’ making it just another confusing repackaging.
Also out this week:
SO WHAT DVD/BLU-RAYS ARE YOU GUYS STOKED ABOUT THIS WEEK?!