This Week in Blu-ray / DVD Releases: G.I. Joe: Retaliation, On the Road, Banshee ...
This week: G.I. Joe gets Rock Bottomed, a collector's edition of classic Carpenter, and the gonzo first season of Banshee.
► The Rock is having one of those years like Phil Collins in ’85 – you can’t avoid him no matter where you turn. In G.I. JOE: RETALIATION, one of five bloody movies he has already released this year (not to mention Wrestlemania), he’s one of three ‘Joes’ left over after an airstrike. Even worse, Cobra has infiltrated the White House and make themselves America’s new protectors. The Rock gets some help from a slumming Bruce Willis. If you’re watching this for Channing Tatum, he isn’t around long.
► Otherwise known as ‘The Movie Bella Shows the Goods,’ ON THE ROAD is based on the classic 1957 Jack Kerouac book everyone pretends they’ve read to look cool at parties. After the death of his father, a young writer named Sal (Sam Riley) joins some impulsive friends for a cross-country drive across America. They run across Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and Amy Adams along the way.
► The worst thing BANSHEE can do is put “from the creator of True Blood” on the blu-ray cover. We may never get the smart, nuanced Alan Ball of ‘Six Feet Under’ again, but if he’s going to go balls out, this’ll do just fine. Anthony Starr plays an ex-con who through assorted violent shit assumes the identity of the town’s incoming sheriff. In essence, he’s a bad guy playing a good guy taking on the town’s real bad guys, led by the fantastic Ulrich Thomsen. Solid first season earned Cinemax its biggest ratings ever for an original series.
► Christ, not to bemoan the state of modern cinema again, but how sad is it when you look up the director of an obscure horror flick like TWIXT and see Francis Ford Coppola’s name. That means Francis Ford Coppola – who has merely made some of the greatest films in history – is now making shit no one’s heard of. Val Kilmer stars as a has-been writer who starts investigating a murder for his next novel and is visited by the ghost of a young girl (Dakota Fanning).
► With its fourth season, STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION officially surpassed the original series in both quantity and possibly quality. After turning the corner in Season 3, the show really found its footing with several classic episodes, including the second part of the third season cliffhanger, ‘The Best of Both Worlds’ with Picard assimilated by The Borg. Seven episodes this season combined for eight Emmy nominations. Blu-ray extras include Mission Overview: Year Four, which celebrates the show’s 100th episode.
► In-between his classics ‘Halloween’ and ‘Escape From New York,’ John Carpenter made the old-fashioned ghost story THE FOG. A dud upon its release, it has - like most all of Carpenter’s ‘80s stuff - earned some pedigree over the years. For starters, it’s genuinely scary, and boasts a killer cast of Jamie Lee Curtis, her mom Janet Leigh and a smoking hot Adrienne Barbeau. This was Carpenter’s ‘statement’ movie that he wasn’t going to make slasher flicks to capitalize on ‘Halloween.’ The horrible 2005 remake was worse in every conceivable way.
► A dash of ‘Deliverance’ and a pinch of ‘The Descent’ goes into BLACK ROCK. Kate Bosworth, Katie Aselton and Lake Bell are three chicks with issues who head out for some private time on an empty island off the coast of Maine. In the history of cinema, has that ever been a good idea? Sure enough, they cross paths with three hunters and things go dueling banjos.
► When it comes to bad ‘70s horror, THE INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN has VIP seating. Porn quality directing and acting grace this tale of an astronaut (Alex Rebar) exposed to radiation who finds his flesh melting when he returns to Earth. Of course, the only way to slow the process is to eat other people. Rick Baker’s gooey make-up effects are the real star, but this one’s so bad it couldn’t even cut it at the drive-in.
Also out this week:
SO WHAT DVD/BLU-RAYS ARE YOU GUYS STOKED ABOUT THIS WEEK?!