New Blu's On the Block - September 4, 2012


Rating: Various

Distributor: Various

Released: September 4, 2012


Written by Sara Michelle Fetters



New Blu's On the Block
Blu-ray and DVD Releases for September 4, 2012

There are some interesting releases today, including a spectacular Italian classic courtesy of the folks over at the Criterion Collection and the return of one of the all-time H.P. Lovecraft inspired gloriously gory greats. But other than that? Not a ton to talk about, as even the stuff I like isnít so amazing that Iíd urge anyone pick up copies for the personal libraries.


On a side note, I do realize that Titanic technically should be talked about and discussed in this weekís column as itís hitting store shelves on Monday, Sept. 10. Be that as it may, Iím leaving it until next week. So there.




If all you want to talk about in regards to Stuart Gordonís 1985 cult classic Re-Animator is the gore, more power to you as it is definitely your right to do so. Admittedly, the groundbreaking unrelenting nature of the gross-out dynamics are worthy of discussion, debate and countless dissertations. The movie, along with Sam Raimiís Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn, did change everything in a way, both positively and negatively, and for fantastic of practical effects the movie is a treasure trove of awesomeness that hasnít lost an ounce of its appeal. 

Thing is, if thatís all you focus on, if thatís all you want to talk about, youíre missing out on just how superbly written, directed, shot and acted this movie is. Gordon and companyís whip-smart script balances comedy and terror, drama and pathos, tragedy and fear with shocking confidence, changing speeds and directions with so much confidence itís almost impossible to believe that this was the directorís first time behind the camera. The reason Re-Animator continues to hold up and resonate over the decades is because it is flat-out a great movie. Not a great B-movie. Not a great genre movie. Not a great horror movie. A great movie, period, end of sentence, nothing more to say. Watch it for yourself and youíll see what I mean.


Umberto D. Ė Criterion Collection

Speaking of great movies, Vittorio De Sicaís unimpeachable classic of a retired bureaucrat living off his meager pension in Rome is every bit as powerful and poignant today as it must have been when first screened for audiences back in 1952. A sensation in every sense of the word, this is a title every cinephile worth their salt owes it to themselves to both see as well as add to their personal collection.



Safe (2012)

From my theatrical review (read it here): ď[Safe]is fun, a ton of it, and for those eager to eat this sort of stuff up Iím hard-pressed to believe they wonít have a blast of a time watching it all unfold. [Writer/director Boaz] Yakin has crafted the type of B-movie extravaganza John Woo used to be able to pull off his during his Hong Kong days, and for those in the know if that isnít high-praise Iím not entirely sure what else I could say would be.Ē



The Five-Year Engagement

From my theatrical review (read it here): ď[I] canít erase my frustrations caused by Segel and Stollerís seeming inability to maintain focus or completely trust their audience. As courtships go, [The Five-Year Engagment] doesnít have enough oomph to get me to the alter, making returning the ring far easier to do than Iíd ever have expected it to be.Ē



Piranha 3DD

Iím not saying the 2010 remake/reimagining of Piranha was anything great, but Alexandre Ajaís feature had both a sense of humor and new how to set a standard for gross-out gore effects that few recent films have even come close to equaling. For fanatics of this sort of thing, itís hugely re-watchable, and when screened with a group of friends the hooting and hollering tends to be rather on the extreme side.


Whatís this have to do with the barely released sequel, Piranha 3DD? Nothing, nothing at all, which is not so incidentally all I have to say about the film here, i.e. nothing, nothing at all.



Hocus Pocus

There are those that adore this Disney family comedy revolving around a trio of witches (played by Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy) doing Very Bad Things to a trio of kids (played by Omri Katz, Thora Birch and Vinessa Shaw) on Halloween night. There are those who donít understand what they heck they see in the darn thing. Color me in that second group.



Motherís Day (1980)

Speaking of B-movie cult horror favorites, 1980ís Motherís Day, a work of Ďartí (thereís a reason that word is in quotes) from the folks at Troma, makes itís Blu-ray debut today. Why? Probably because the remake just came out a month or so ago, but also because it does have a fairly substantial following who enjoy waxing poetic about it. Deserved? Probably not, but there is some nasty grotesque unhinged charm to be found here if youíre in the mood for that sort of thing, and I certainly donít feel even a wee bit embarrassed or bad that I tend to be in said mood more often than not.



High School

Pot comedy revolving around a school valedictorian who decides to experience the effects of marijuana for the first time who suddenly finds himself the target of a random drug test, the movie is notable more for its unhinged supporting cast (including a borderline brilliant Adrien Brody) than it is for either its central storyline or the young cast of unknowns the majority of the narrative focuses upon. There are laughs here, a lot of them, but not enough to make up for the choppy nature of the script or the haphazard way the whole thing feels thrown together.




2 Broke Girls: The Complete First Season

Bored to Death: The Complete Third Season

Fringe: The Complete Fourth Season

Haven: The Complete Second Season

How to Make It in America: The Complete Second Season

Hung: The Complete Third Season

The Office: Season Eight

Person of Interest: The Complete First Season

Thought there were a ton of television Blu-ray releases last week? Wait until you get a look at what is hitting shelves today. Itís a diverse group, each with their own following and shouts of support. Of the eight, the only one Iíve gotten a hard look at is Person of Interest (Iíll have a Blu-ray review up shortly). As for the rest, Haven and Fringe never did it for me, same goes for The Office. As for the rest, havenít seen an episode of any of them, so I canít make a statement towards quality (or lack thereof) so the decision whether to buy, rent or skip is totally up to you.



Mad Monster Party

The Rankin-Bass stop-motion animated cult favorite, long thought lost due to the original negative being damaged beyond repair, is given the best Blu-ray treatment possible considering all that Lionsgate was able to work with while preparing this release. Definitely worthy of a look, especially those with a fondness for Rankin-Bass classics like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and are curious to see the studio go into rather weird territory a bit outside their comfort zone.



My Sucky Teen Romance

Watched this during the 2012 Seattle International Film Festival. I shouldnít have. Read into that what you will.



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         Blindness (Read Saraís Theatrical Review)

         Childís Play (1972)

         Cold Creek Manor

         The Hand that Rocks the Cradle

         Harry Potter Wizardís Collection (Item releases on Sept 7, 2012)

         Man on a Swing

         The Navigator

         A New Leaf


         Secret Beyond the Door


         White Vengeance

         Woman Thou Art Loosed: On the 7th Day




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What theÖ? Is this for real? Megaforce is getting a DVD release? How is it not getting a Blu-ray release as well? Seriously, this piece of 1980ís sci-fi cheese is a total hoot in a so-bad-it-almost-good sort of way, and even though I was a kid the last time I saw it part of me is so enthused Iím almost tempted to buy this disc sight unseen (emphasis on Ďalmostí).




To save the only child of the Zhao Family, whose whole clan is massacred at the hands of a nefarious minister, a doctor sacrifices his own son, and later becomes intent on seeking vengeance against the minister after the child grows up. (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)



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         Criminal Minds: Season 7

         The Good Wife: The Third Season

         Greyís Anatomy: The Complete Eighth Season

         Parks and Recreation: Season Four







         Arachnophobia (DATE CHANGE: Sept 25, 2012)

         The Great Mouse Detective (DATE CHANGE: Oct. 9, 2012)

         Magic Mike (Oct 23, 2012)

         Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines (Oct 23, 2012)

         Excision (Oct 30, 2012)

         Your Sisterís Sister (Nov 6, 2012)

         Step Up 4: Revolution (Nov 27, 2012)

         Shameless: The Complete Second Season (Dec 18, 2012)



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