This Week in Blu-ray / DVD Releases: Star Trek Into Darkness, Homeland, Luther ...
This week: Boldly defending Star Trek: Into Darkness, wondering what happened to Homeland, and stumped over yet another Friday the 13th collection.
► What will it take for people to love a Star Trek movie again? Just wondering, because I walked out of STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS convinced it was the best Trek film since II only to hear from the ‘fanbase’ that no, it was actually the worst of the entire series. Are you kidding me? Anything too cerebral elicits yawns, while anything too action-oriented isn’t real Trek, apparently. Whatever, you grumps – J.J. Abrams nailed this one even better than his first, respecting the mythology while re-imagining just enough of this universe to keep the mold away. The sequel’s big weapon is Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan, but even his character had many fans howling (the back cover gives it away, so no more cries of ‘spoiler’ please). I’m starting to wonder if they even want new movies. For everyone else, this is first-rate sci-fi and one of the few summer movies that poked the brain while dazzling the eye.
► Week after week, the second season of HOMELAND was shaping up to be one of the year’s biggest TV disappointments. The neurosis of Carrie (Claire Danes) was getting to be a drag, the convenient plot holes allowing Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) to rise up the political ladder, the ridiculous love story that defies all logic. The writers thankfully brought their A-game to the stunning season finale, but this season had it tough trying to match the brilliance of Season 1, and it never got there. Some tinkering is in order for Season 3 before this show falls down the ‘24’ rabbit hole.
► BBC One’s LUTHER seems like it’s loved everywhere except Britain, where it gets mediocre reviews and muddles along in four-episode seasons. But what’s not to love here? Idris Elba, in his best show not called ‘The Wire,’ stars as a moody detective whose talent in catching killers is topped only by his talent for screwing his life up. Season 3 finds him tracking a vigilante who may have turned into a serial killer, while his own department builds a case against him.
► What’s that, you say? You need yet another FRIDAY THE 13th boxed set? Make room, Warner Bros. is exhuming the franchise yet again, getting all 12 films onto nine blu-rays. At least this one includes ‘Freddy vs. Jason,’ making this the first truly complete collection. Bonus disc includes a lot of features from previous DVDs, and what’s here is pretty thorough. It’s just nothing new, and you don’t even get Part III in 3-D.
► Even if you don’t give a crap about fantasy football (re: World of Warcraft for jocks), THE LEAGUE is one of the funniest shows on TV. It helps to be enamored in the world of football and all the stupidity/heartbreak/ trash talking that goes with it, but the best jokes usually involve the real world intruding on the gang’s insulated sports world. Season 4 kicks off with Kevin and Jenny’s baby, which leads to betting on circumcision, breast-a-lyzers, and a horrible tailgating party in Chicago.
► If you count his recurring role on ‘Friends,’ BLUE BLOODS is Tom Selleck’s fifth network TV series, putting the mustachioed one in rare company. This one beat some major odds – it premiered in the dead zone of Friday night, 10 p.m., and in its third season finished #14 in the ratings. Family-friendly procedural follows an Irish-American family of New York police officers, also starring Donnie Whalberg and Jennifer Esposito. Season 4 starts Sept. 27.
► A little tidbit to make you feel old: The remake of THE FLY came out 28 years after the original. This year marks 27 years since the remake. Until the inevitable reboot, here’s the Vincent Price classic from 1958, which admittedly falls far short of Cronenberg’s version but has plenty of campy charm and a creepy moment or two (the spider at the end always gave me the willies). Blu-ray extras include the retrospective Fly Trap: Catching a Classic and a biography of Price.
► Season 8 of SUPERNATURAL reunites our boy toys after Dean finally escapes purgatory with the help of a vampire. Problem is, Sam likes the normal life and isn’t eager to go hunting monsters again. And really, once you’ve prevented the Apocalypse, it’s hard to get motivated about anything. Another 23 episodes of The CW’s longest running show.
Also out this week:
SO WHAT DVD/BLU-RAYS ARE YOU GUYS STOKED ABOUT THIS WEEK?!