This Week in Blu-ray / DVD Releases: Now You See Me, Sharknado, The Iceman ...
This week: Now You See Me pulls off a neat trick, Rob Zombie gets supernatural with The Lords of Salem, and a tornado ... made of sharks. Sigh.
► Hands up anyone who thought NOW YOU SEE ME would be a bigger hit than ‘The Hangover Part III’? Oh put your hands down you bullshitters – no one saw that coming. Just goes to show, a fun movie and good word of mouth can still do the trick. Director Louis Leterrier atones for that ‘Clash of the Titans’ remake with this breezy caper about Vegas magicians who rob banks, and the FBI agents trying to figure out how they do it. Unfortunately, success has prompted an unnecessary sequel.
► Look, what else can be said about SHARKNADO at this point? You can’t mock it in case it looks like you don’t ‘get’ it. You can’t condone it for fear they’ll just keep making the shitty things. It’s just an obnoxious joke that started with ‘Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus’ reaching its painfully stupid peak. There are bad movies by accident, which I can appreciate, then there are movies specifically made to be bad, which is a waste of time. We get it … you combine sharks with some other animal or natural disaster. It was amusing the first few times. Now you’re like the asshole guest who won’t take the hint and leave. And really, John Heard … has it come to this?
► Rob Zombie sticks it to horror fans again with THE LORDS OF SALEM. They keep waiting for him to get his ‘Devil’s Rejects’ groove back, and he keeps on proving that flick was a fluke. This one stars his wife Sherrie Moon as a rock station DJ who plays a weird record sent to her which sends all of the women in town into a trance. Before long she’s having visions of a coven of witches who used to roam the area. Zombie’s ugly imagery just gets depressing after awhile, even for a horror film.
► ‘Man of Steel’ wasn’t Michael Shannon at his most bad-ass this year. Not even close. In THE ICEMAN, he plays real-life mafia hitman Richard Kuklinski, who whacked at least 100 people (maybe as many as 250) between 1948 and 1986. He earned his nickname by freezing many of his victims to disguise the time of death. He claims to have killed Jimmy Hoffa, and … well, there’s a gruesome reason the body was never found. When he was finally arrested, Kuklinski’s wife (played by Winona Ryder) and kids had no idea about his profession.
► If we can stop griping about those last few seasons for a second, let’s give THE OFFICE its due as one of the best comedy shows in TV history. At its peak - which Season 9 isn’t, alas – it was as sharp, funny and well-written as the all-time greats, and had the show ended when Steve Carrell left it would be even more highly regarded. Season 9 at least feels like an ending, as the characters wrap up their time with us in satisfying fashion. The final boxed set includes a retrospective, the finale table read, and audition tapes from back in 2003.
► While everyone kept waiting for it to get cancelled, PARKS AND RECREATION somehow made it to five seasons. Even if the plug gets pulled soon, that’s five years of great comedy on network TV – a rare commodity. Actually, Season 5 is when the show may have matched ‘The Office’ at its peak, the ensemble is that good. After the brilliant election-themed Season 4, we rejoin Leslie as a new elected city councilor, juggling politics while planning for a wedding. Ron Swanson also finds something he likes better than bacon – Lucy Lawless.
► Seriously, Rock. Enough. Are you trying to set a record? Because I can’t recall a non-porn star making as many movies as The Great One this year. EMPIRE STATE is his fifth movie of the year, and third to hit blu-ray in the past six weeks. He’s back in Fast & Furious mode here as a New York detective trailing two friends (Chris Hemsworth, Michael Angarano) who rob an armored truck company. This one didn’t go to theatres, FYI.
► CRIMINAL MINDS is like ol’ reliable for CBS – never as big as ‘CSI’ back in the day, but a consistent Top 20 show. In fact, Season 8 beat ‘CSI’ in the ratings, as it continues to do better with Joe Mantegna in the lead than it did with the great Mandy Patinkon its first three seasons. Jeanne Tripplehorn replaces the departing Paget Brewster. The two-part season finale has Mark Hamill as the gang’s season-long nemesis The Replicator, and marks the end for a longtime recurring character (last season ended with a wedding, this one ends with a funeral).
Also out this week:
SO WHAT DVD/BLU-RAYS ARE YOU GUYS STOKED ABOUT THIS WEEK?!