New out on DVD/Blu-ray this week
May 22, 2012 / 10:00 am
New out on DVD/Blu-ray for Tuesday May 22.
In The Grey, Liam Neeson leads an unruly group of oil-rig roughnecks when their plane crashes into the remote Alaskan wilderness. Battling mortal injuries and merciless weather, the survivors have only a few days to escape the icy elements - and a vicious pack of rogue wolves on the hunt - before their time runs out.
This wasn't quite what I expected. I thought it would be a little more action oriented, but it's in fact a more psychological and philosophical film about survival and the nature of life and death. Sure it has some exciting and intense moments but if you are looking for non-stop action you won't find it here. The performances are really solid though, especially Neeson, and I would recommend it if you're in the mood for a powerful drama rather than an action film.
The Woman in Black
A young lawyer, struggling with work after the death of his wife, is sent to a remote village to settle the estate of a deceased eccentric woman who owns an English manor. The village residents want him to leave as they are trying to conceal a deadly secret. But he refuses, and soon discovers that the house of his client is haunted by the vengeful ghost of a woman dressed in black.
Starring a post- Harry Potter Daniel Radcliffe, The Woman in Black is an old- fashioned haunted house tale full of spooky and creepy atmosphere, and plenty of make-you-jump scares to keep you on the edge of your seat. I love these kind of throwback Gothic horror films that take their time to build and provide you with eerie imagery to creep you out.
It's much better than most of the crappy horrors that come out now that are all about gore rather than creating a sense of foreboding. I highly recommend this one if you want the pants scared off of you.
This Means War
In this rom-com actioner, Chris Pine and Tom Hardy play the world's deadliest CIA operatives who are inseparable partners and best friends, until they fall in love with the same woman (Reese Witherspoon). Having once helped bring down entire enemy nations, they are now employing their incomparable skills and an endless array of high-tech gadgetry against their greatest nemesis ever - each other.
I am going to keep this short and sweet. This movie is an absolute piece of trash. Clearly just a paycheck for the talented cast involved, it's predictable, formulaic, loud and just plain stupid.
Easily one of the worst movies of the year so far. Rent this at your own risk.
Italy, 1944. As the war takes its toll on Allied forces in Europe, a squadron of black pilots known as the Tuskegee Airmen are finally given the chance to prove themselves in the sky - even as they battle discrimination on the ground. Starring Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrence Howard and produced by George Lucas, Red Tails has some spectacular aerial battle sequences but the plot and character development are thin and we're not given much insight into the plight of the Tuskegee Airmen.
It's not a terrible movie at all, just could have been much better. Check out HBO's 1995 film The Tuskegee Airmen with Laurence Fishburne for a much better take on this subject matter.
Blast From the Past
Continuing where I left off last week, I now present you with my top 10 films of 1979.
10. Phantasm - A low-budget horror that's totally bizarre and scary, it introduced one of the more creepy villains in the Tall Man who could kill you with a silver spiky sphere.
9. The Muppet Movie - I was always a huge Muppet Show fan so to have a feature length film come out was great when I was a kid. It's a lot of fun.
8. The Warriors - This cult classic directed by Walter Hill is still cool to watch. The story of gang warfare in New York might be a bit dated today but it has memorable characters and action. Plus, who can forget the line "Waaaaarriors, come out to plaaaay"
7. Escape from Alcatraz - Clint Eastwood stars in this great movie that dramatizes possibly the only successful escape attempt from Alcatraz prison. If you are an Eastwood fan or a fan of prison break films then you need to check this one out.
6. Mad Max - The film that introduced us to Mel Gibson long before he found religion and went bat%&*# insane. Set in a dystopian future, this Australian film has become a cult classic and spawned two sequels. It's a super action packed film with Mel playing one of his most memorable characters ever.
5. Manhattan - This open love letter to New York City and Gershwin music is funny and charming, and easily one of Woody Allen's best films of his amazing career. I know not everyone likes Woody Allen, but I'm a huge fan - especially of his earlier work. It's brilliant.
4. The China Syndrome - Starring Jack Lemmon, Jane Fonda and Michael Douglas this film tells the story of a reporter and her cameraman who discover safety coverups at a nuclear power plant. It is a really taut thriller that features some great performances, especially by Jack Lemmon. It's very scary to think that something like this could actually happen. Amazing film!
3. Monty Python's Life of Brian - I absolutely love Monty Python's zany brand of humour and this hilarious film is religious satire at its best. It ranks up there with The Holy Grail as Python's best work, and is one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. You either love Python or you don't. Which side do you fall on?
2. Apocalypse Now - Francis Ford Coppola's nightmarish vision of the Vietnam War is an incredible masterpiece. There are so many haunting and unforgettable scenes in the film and if you are any kind of true cinema junkie then this is mandatory viewing. It is a descent into hell that is truly epic.
1. Alien - "In space no one can hear you scream". This is one of my all-time favorite science fiction/horror films. Directed by Ridley Scott, Alien kicked off what would end up being a massive franchise consisting not only of sequels but of novels, comic books, toys and video games. It's scary, exciting and just flat out awesome. I can't wait to see the upcoming film Prometheus which is reportedly a prequel to this film. I guess it will soon be time for another Alien marathon to get ready for it.
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