This Week in Blu-ray / DVD Releases: Muppets Most Wanted, Locke, Filth
This week: Did anyone order more Muppets? Also: Tom Hardy gets his motor runnin', and James Spader's 'Blacklist' gives the networks reason to smile.
► Well, this seems familiar: The Muppets come out with a movie everyone seems to love, but the sequel? Not so much. That was the case the first time around back in 1981, when 'The Great Muppet Caper' was met with shrugs. Now, after the 2011 reboot tweaked everyone's nostalgia, MUPPETS MOST WANTED was an underwhelming follow-up. Despite being loaded with surprise appearances and fun puppet shenanigans, it just followed the pattern of the sequels. Lesson? Release a Muppet movie every 30 years or so. For this one, the gang heads overseas where they get caught up in a crime syndicate run by shady frog Constantin, who is a dead ringer for Kermit. Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey and Ty Burrell star. Lady GaGa, Salma Hayek and Christoph Waltz play themselves in cameos.
► Before Tom Hardy does a whole lot of stressful driving in ‘Mad Max: Fury,’ he’s behind the wheel in LOCKE for the entire movie. He’s a construction foreman about to begin the biggest job of his career when he hears the woman he had a one-night affair with is about to go into delivery. He hits the road and, over the course of 80 minutes, breaks the news to his wife, deals with his boss, and watches his life change forever. Hardy carries the entire movie – everyone else are just voices on the phone.
► James McAvoy plays just about the biggest asshole ever in FILTH as an Edinburgh Detective Sergeant who dabbles in drugs, booze and sexual abuse while tormenting his coworkers with a series of cruel schemes he calls ‘the games.’ But as he works his way up to Inspector, he starts suffering hallucinations while working the case of a murdered Japanese student. Based on the seedy Irvine Welsh book, which is basically like a full-length version of the withdrawal scene from ‘Trainspotting.’
► This week’s special delivery from Shout! Factory is an amazing new edition of MOTEL HELL, complete with new commentary from director Kevin Connor and a new making-of doc. This cult fave from 1980 has Rory Calhoun as a deranged farmer who also operates a motel on his property. With his younger sister Ida (Nancy Parsons…who I’m just realizing now was also Balbricker in ‘Porky’s!’), they trap their visitors and plant them in the ground until it’s time to make their popular smoked meat. This one’s way more funny than scary, and the chainsaw duel at the end is some kind of classic.
► Seriously, just look at that cover to RAGE. You couldn’t make a better parody of the modern Nicolas Cage movie. Until the inevitable Travolta-esque comeback, he’ll keep sleepwalking through generic action crap like this, playing a businessman with a ‘violent past’ who rounds up the old gang to go after the Russians who took his daughter. Ugh. Nic, I know you’re in there. Come back to us. It’s like you’re the last person in the world to realize you’re better than this.
► Narrated by John C. Reilly, Disney’s nature documentary BEARS follows a family of grizzlies as they emerge from hibernation at Katmai National Park in Alaska. Momma Bear has to protect her cubs from an aggressive male, bad weather, a grey wolf, and a salmon shortage. Unlike Disney’s previous nature docs, ‘Chimpanzee’ and ‘African Cats,’ your kids won’t have to deal with any traumatizing death scenes.
► James Spader rocks it in NBC’s THE BLACKLIST, giving network drama a much-needed jolt last year. He plays one of the FBI’s most wanted fugitives who surrenders on the condition he deals with a rookie FBI profiler (Megan Boone) to take down other elusive criminals. A hit right out of the gate, finishing #6 for the season. Season 2 starts Sept. 22.
► I still find it bizarre to see a Best Actor and Best Actress winner in a movie pretty much no one heard of. Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman do the honors in THE RAILWAY MAN, with Firth playing an ex-POW who decides to confront one of his captors years later in order to let go of the baggage. Kidman is the wife who gets the ball rolling. Based on the autobiography by British Army officer Eric Lomax.
Also out this week:
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SO WHAT DVD/BLU-RAYS ARE YOU GUYS STOKED ABOUT THIS WEEK?!