Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Marc Forster’s summer hit WORLD WAR Z heads the crop of Blu ray and DVD releases this week, available in a 2-disc Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy package or a single disc DVD. The film, which as the front cover art displays, features Brad Pitt single-handedly saving the world from a global outbreak of zombies. After months of hype leading up to its theatrical release, the film was pretty disappointing (read my review from last June), but maybe it will have more of an impact on the small screen. Special Features: a couple of featurettes (“Origins” and “Looking to Science”), and a four part “Making of” documentary that explores in detail how such money shots as the masses of zombies scaling the tall fortress walls in Israel were pulled off.
Another film to which I gave a lukewarm review, Sofia Coppola’s THE BLING RING, also comes out today on both Blu ray and DVD. Coppola’s satirical true crime film, her fifth as director, is based on the story of a group of fame-obsessed teens who broke into the Los Angeles houses of celebrities such as Paris Hilton (who has a brief cameo), and stole millions of dollars worth of clothing, jewelry, cash, and swag. It’s interesting for about a third of it, but there’s not much substantial takeaway as you can read in my review: “THE BLING RING: As Superficial And Empty-Headed As The Girls It Depicts” (6/21/13). For folks that find it more fascinating than I, there are a few substantial Special Features including the almost 23 minute featurette “Making THE BLING RING: On Set with Sofia, the Cast and Crew,” the almost 24 minute “Behind the real ‘Bling Ring’,” and the over 10 minute “Scene of the Crime with Paris Hilton.”
A film I missed in its brief theatrical run (not even sure if it came to my area), Henry Alex Rubin’s 2012 thriller DISCONNECT is out this week in single disc Blu ray and DVD editions. A sold ensemble including Jason Bateman, Hope Davis, Frank Grillo, Andrea Riseborough, Paula Patton, Michael Nyqvist, and Alexander Skarsgård star in what IMDb tells me is about “searching for human connections in today's wired world.” Special Features: Commentary with Direct Rubin, an almost 30-minute documentary “Making the Connections: Behind the Scenes of DISCONNECT,” a 4-minute featurette “Recording Session of “On the Nature of Daylight,” and the theatrical trailer.
Steven Soderberg’s terrific HBO telefilm from earlier this year, BEHIND THE CANDELABRA, starring Michael Douglas as Liberace and Matt Damon as his young lover Scott Thorson, is out today in single disc Blu ray and DVD editions. The glitzy biopic (well, not really a biopic as it only covers a few years of Liberace’s life), which was rejected by every major movie studio because it was “too gay,” has been nominated for 15 Emmy Awards, including nominations for Douglas and Damon, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes home a bunch of them this coming Sunday night. There’s only one Special Feature, a 13 minute “Making of” featurette, but it’s an entertaining mix of interview snippets, archival footage of the real Liberace, and insights into how the costume and set designers were able to so convincingly pull off all the lavish surroundings of late ‘70s Las Vegas.
Also releasing today is Zal Batmanglij’s THE EAST, starring Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgård (man, he gets around!), and Ellen Page as eco-terrorists. It’s a pretty decent thriller that’s at least worth a rental. A few other new films out today: Kyle Killen’s psychological thriller SCENIC ROUTE, Morgan O'Neill’s Australian surfing drama DRIFT, and Uwe Boll's thriller SUDDENLY, starring Ray Liotta, Dominic Purcell, and Michael Paré. That last title, a remake of Lewis Allen’s 1954 film noir thriller of the same name, is actually dumb fun, which is something, considering it’s, you know, a Uwe Boll production.
On the older film new to Blu ray front there’s a nice handful of horror and classic monster movies such as George A. Romero’s 1985 zombie classic DAY OF THE DEAD (Collector’s Edition), the 1931 Bela Lugosi classic DRACULA, Hammer Film’s 1966 Christopher Lee classic DRACULA: PRINCE OF DARKNESS, the 1935 Boris Karloff classic THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, and the 1941 Lon Chaney Jr. classic THE WOLF MAN. I also can’t leave out the TREMORS Attack Pack which contains all 4 TREMORS movies (there were 4 of them?). Now, that’s a lot of scary classics that are now all Blu rayed-up!
TV season sets releasing today: Nashville: The Complete First Season, Leverage: The Fifth Season, The Mentalist: The Complete Fifth Season, Grimm: Season Two, Arrow: The Complete First Season, Bates Motel: Season One, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - The 13th Season, and Golgo 13: Complete Collection.