This Week in Blu-ray / DVD Releases: Spectre, Crimson Peak, The Leftovers

This Week: Spectre comes up short, Del Toro gives up the ghost, and The Leftovers is even better the second time.

► If it didn’t come after the impeccable ‘Skyfall,’ SPECTRE might have been better embraced by Bond fans. But as the follow-up to that instant classic, there’s an air of disappointment that takes hold about 20 minutes in that’s hard to shake the rest of the way. Much is self-inflicted - some of the dialogue is painful, the plot meandering – but it generally falls short in every way to what came before it, considering it’s the one which ties together the three previous Daniel Craig movies. The biggest letdown has to be Christoph Waltz as the long-awaited Blofeld – his lack of screen time only makes sense if he has bigger things waiting in the next movie. On the plus side, the opening in Mexico is riveting, and Craig’s fight with Dave Bautista on board a train is old school Bond fisticuffs. Still, this is closer to ‘Quantum of Solace’s league than Craig’s other two chapters. Let’s hope he doesn’t walk away from the series on this. Fairly lightweight extras include video blogs and a closer look at that boffo opening.

► Guillermo Del Toro’s gothic ghost story CRIMSON PEAK has Mia Wasikowska as a novelist who shacks up with an English baronet (Tom Hiddleston) in his ancestral castle, along with his icy sister (Jessica Chastain). When a series of hostile ghosts start appearing, she digs into the family history to see what’s up, and it ain’t good. Del Toro throws his visual muscle behind a mundane plot, making an old fashioned ghost story more in line with ‘The Shining’ than recent timewasters. Classy and creepy, with production design that never fails to dazzle. Includes deleted scenes and Del Toro commentary.

► Gave up on THE LEFTOVERS after its morose first season? You missed a superior second season, which went its own weird way from Tom Perrotta’s original book. Kevin (Justin Theroux) and the family movie to a town which suffered no losses on ‘Departure’ day, and is swarmed by tourists who believe it’s holy land. Of course, it has its own problems, and Kevin’s arrival is shortly followed by the disappearance of his new neighbor’s daughter. It all leads to an explosive last episode when the psychotic Guilty Remnant - now led by Liv Tyler – arrive with bad intentions. Season 2 is much more ‘Lost,’ nudging its way to become one of HBO’s best shows. Unfortunately the third season will be its last.

► The gloriously over-the-top FREAKS OF NATURE is a horror comedy that empties every drawer. In the town of Dillford, vampires, zombies and humans have an understanding and co-exist peacefully. Throw aliens into the mix, however, and it’s all-out war. Robbie Pickering’s horror comedy gets appearances from Vanessa Hudgens, Denis Leary, Bob Odenkirk and Patton Oswalt.

► There’s at least one big ensemble comedy every Christmas. And more often than not, it’ll star Diane Keaton. For LOVE THE COOPERS she’s joined by John Goodman, Olivia Wilde, Alan Arkin, Marisa Tomei, Amanda Seyfried and narrator Steve Martin for the usual family gathering at the holidays with unexpected visitors and life lessons. Did I mention Steve Martin is the dog? At least there’s that.

► Lily Tomlin never stopped making movies, but it’s kind of mind-boggling to realize GRANDMA is her first leading role since ‘Big Business’ 28 years ago. She plays a lesbian poet who goes on a road trip with her pregnant granddaughter (Julia Garner) to come up with the cash for an abortion. Marcia Gay Harden, Laverne Cox and Sam Elliott drop by this Paul Weitz comedy. Also the last movie for Elizabeth Pena.

HANGMAN finds a family returning from vacation to find their home broken into. They clean up, not realizing the intruder is now living in the house, watching them with the surveillance cameras he installed. High-tech version of the ‘70s fave ‘Bad Ronald’ stars Jeremy Sisto and Kate Ashfield.

► Mondo Macabro serves up a slick new version of Lucio Fulci’s deranged 1971 thriller A LIZARD IN A WOMAN’S SKIN, perhaps best known for the court case in which special effects artist Carlo Rombaldi had to prove a bloody scene with disemboweled dogs was fake. Brazilian hottie Florinda Bolkan is a London lawyer having twisted dreams about her carefree neighbor. She dreams she kills her one night, then wakes up to find the police questioning her for murder. Full of Fulci’s usual sex and gore. Includes the documentary ‘Shedding the Skin’ and interview with Fulci, who died in 1996.

Also out this week:




Source: JoBlo.com



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