This Week in Blu-ray / DVD Releases: The Host, Spring Breakers, Admission ...
This week: No hospitality for 'The Host,' it's white boy day for James Franco in 'Spring Breakers,' and who'd you rather - Tina Fey or Sasha Grey?
► With everyone clamoring for the next ‘Twilight,’ you think ‘Twilight’ author Stephanie Meyer isn’t going to get in on that? She wrote and co-produced THE HOST, the next perfectly awful attempt to replace Bella and Edward. And it’s just as bad as the rest. Aliens replace the vampires for this one, with Saoirse Ronan trying to save her family from space parasites who are assimilating the human race. Thankfully, no sequel is looming because Meyer hasn’t written one yet (and this was a bust at theatres). Weird fact: This was the second-to-last movie Roger Ebert ever reviewed. Second weird fact: There’s another movie called ‘The Host’ that’s completely awesome. Watch that one instead.
► The James Franco 2013 Tour continues with Harmony Korine’s SPRING BREAKERS, where he plays a Florida drug dealer named Alien who bails out four college friends in town for spring break. The friends, including Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens, are then caught up in his bizarre, dangerous lifestyle. Franco’s gonzo performance and Korine’s usual weirdness will give this one a long shelf life.
► If you’re going to watch a rom-com, it may as well be one with Tina Fey in it. For ADMISSION, she plays a Princeton admissions officer who visits an alternative high school to recruit applicants. The school is overseen by a college colleague (Paul Rudd), who tells her the self-taught genius student (Nat Wolff) she’s intrigued by is actually the son she gave up for adoption 18 years ago.
► Take one of the supporting guys from ‘Mad Men’ (Charlie Hofheimer), add horror icon Jeffrey Combs (‘Re-Animator’) and just for kicks throw in porn star Sasha Grey (‘Cum Fart Cocktails 5’) and you get WOULD YOU RATHER. Hoping to score some quick cash after a family tragedy, Brittany Snow accepts a millionaire’s challenge to play a twisted game at his mansion with other desperate players. I’m sure the producers will insist this isn’t a ‘Saw’ rip-off at all.
► UNFORGETTABLE is like Exhibit A for everything wrong with network TV these days. Generic, repetitive premise trying to squeeze a few more drops out of the ‘crime of the week’ format has Poppy Montgomery as a detective who can literally remember everything in her life (a condition called hyperthymesia) except what happened the day her sister was murdered. Cancelled by CBS, but realizing the cupboard was bare, they brought it back for a second season starting July 28.
► Here’s why I despise Marvel’s animated comics series: If you need a blu-ray to spoonfeed you the same text and artwork you’d get from just picking up the bloody comic, how big a fan are you? WOLVERINE: ORIGIN is more of the same, not so much an animated version of the classic Paul Jenkins/Andy Kubert story as the same panels with slightly moving details. Good story, but what’s the point to this?
► Another Japanese classic gets the deluxe treatment from Criterion with Kenji Mizoguchi’s emotional epic THE LIFE OF OHARU (1952). Set during the Edo Period, it follows the fall from grace of a woman born into nobility whose affair with an underling makes her a family outcast, leading her to a life of prostitution. Blu-ray includes an audio essay and commentary by scholar Dudley Andrew.
► Two years removed from being the #1 show on TV, DYNASTY was in freefall by Season 7. After yet another season finale in which it looks like everyone dies, including Alexis (Joan Collins) being strangled by Blake (John Forsythe), the old codger regains his wealth but loses his memory (has amnesia ever been used in soaps before?). Goofiness ensues, capped by still another apparent death of Alexis. And they wondered why viewers were tuning out? Season 7 is annoyingly released in two separate boxed sets, because the Carringtons gotta eat.
Also out this week:
SO WHAT DVD/BLU-RAYS ARE YOU GUYS STOKED ABOUT THIS WEEK?!