New out on DVD/Blu-ray this week
Jun 12, 2012 / 10:00 am
New out on DVD/Blu-ray for Tuesday June 12.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and his longtime trusted associate, Dr. Watson (Jude Law), take on their arch-nemesis, Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris), with the help of Holmes' older brother Mycroft Holmes (Stephen Fry) and a gypsy named Simza (Noomi Rapace).
This sequel to the 2009 film is once again directed by Guy Ritchie and if you were a big fan of the original then you should once again enjoy this one. I found it to be a hyperactive and noisy film that to me just didn't capture the essence of what Sherlock Holmes should be.
I'm not really a fan of this franchise but for action lovers, there's plenty of it to be had here so I'm sure it will appeal to you.
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
Nicolas Cage reprises his role as Johnny Blaze in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. In this gritty new vision for the character, directed by Neveldine/Taylor (Crank), Johnny is still struggling with his curse as the devil's bounty hunter - but he may risk everything as he teams up with the leader of a group of rebel monks (Idris Elba) to save a young boy from the devil... and possibly rid himself of his curse forever.
I can not in good conscience recommend this piece of B-movie schlock. It's a special effects laden romp that failed to elicit any kind of excitement from me whatsoever. At times there are frenetically paced action sequences but they are followed be long stretches of pure tedium and a plot that is illogical at best.
I know it's a comic book based film but there have been so many amazing ones over the last several years, and this one makes no effort at all. It's a stinker!
In Darkness tells the story of Leopold Socha, who risks his own life to save a dozen people from certain death. Initially only interested in his own good, the thief and burglar hides Jewish refugees for 14 months in the sewers of the Nazi-occupied town of Lvov (former Poland).
Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Agnieszka Holland, this true story was nominated for the best foreign language film Oscar this past year. Unfortunately I haven't had a chance to see it yet but this is one that I am looking forward to as I've heard it is just a wonderfully powerful and stark film. I'm sure the material will be dark since it deals once again with the Holocaust, but for fans of foreign cinema this will definitely be worth checking out.
Also out this week is the latest dramedy from Tyler Perry called Good Deeds, the film United, which tells the true story of Manchester United's legendary "Busby Babes" who were involved in a 1958 plane crash, and the Cantonese mystery thriller Accident.
Blast From the Past
Continuing on with my top ten lists, here's my top ten films of 1982.
10. Creepshow - This horror anthology film which was written by Stephen King and directed by George A. Romero is a ton of fun. It contains five different short stories of twisted macabre goodness. I love the fact that it's an homage to the E.C. horror comic books from the 1950's that drove parents crazy like The Vault of Horror and Tales from the Crypt.
9. The Verdict - This is an excellent courtroom drama directed by the brilliant Sidney Lumet and written by master wordsmith David Mamet. Paul Newman gives a great performance as an alcoholic lawyer involved in a medical malpractice case.
The film received five Academy Awards nominations. It's a riveting drama well worth seeking out.
8. Fast Times at Ridgemont High - All I have to say is Phoebe Cates emerging from the pool... and you would know why any guy would want this on their list. But seriously, this is the ultimate coming-of-age high school teen comedy from the eighties. It's hilarious and it launched the careers of stars such as Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Nicholas Cage, Forest Whitaker, Eric Stoltz and Judge Reinhold. Very fond memories of this film growing up.
7. Deathtrap - This brilliantly clever thriller stars Michael Caine and Christopher Reeve as writers who constantly double cross one another with murderous results. It keeps you guessing and is quite amusing at times as well. Once again Sidney Lumet directs this underrated gem.
6. First Blood - One of the best action movies of the eighties, it introduced us to the iconic character of Rambo, played of course by Sylvester Stallone. Besides Rocky, this remains one of the greatest roles of his career. I love this taut, exciting thriller that is far less over-the-top than its sequels were. Plus it was filmed in Hope. Cool!
5. Poltergeist - "They're heeeere". Man this movie scared the pants off me as a kid. It still remains one of the most spooky and eerie films ever made and even though he didn't technically direct it, Steven Spielberg had massive influence on the making of this picture. If your kids ever ask to watch a scary movie, sit them down in front of Poltergeist and see what happens. This is great fun.
4. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan - I'm not a full blown Trekkie since I grew up more of a Star Wars kid but I love the original 60's series and its characters. This is arguably the best of the Trek films since it's fast paced, exciting and features a great villain in Ricardo Montalbán's Khan. I loved it 30 years ago as an 8-year-old and I still love it today.
3. Blade Runner - This visionary science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott is one of the best of all-time. Harrison Ford and Rutger Hauer are great in what is essentially a film noir thriller with incredibly imaginative ideas. It's one of the most influential films of its genre and I just love everything about it from its look and feel to the style and pacing. A masterpiece by Sir Ridley Scott.
2. The Thing - John Carpenter's terrifying science fiction horror film is right up there with Alien as one of my favourite creature features. Kurt Russell stars in this film about a group of Antarctic researchers that must battle a nasty parasitic alien lifeform. It's scary, super gory and incredibly awesome. This is one of the best of its genre.
1. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial - When I saw this film in the theatre in the summer of 82 I stared at the screen in awe and wonder. It remains one of the most magical and heartwarming science fiction films ever made and one that I love dearly. Director Steven Spielberg has stated that E.T. is his personal favourite film and the one that is nearest to his heart. I can see why. It truly stands the test of time and will go down as one of the best and most beloved family films ever. Every child needs to be raised on E.T. It will do them a world of good.
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