Blu-ray/DVD Picks of the Week: October 5, 2010

I know when I wrote my August 31st entry I said I would continue to do it. Clearly I did not. Other things have gotten in the way, including my laziness. So let me try this again, starting with the first week in my favorite month.

Grindhouse [Blu-ray]

Would you believe me if I told you that I’ve had this on pre-order since July? Well I have. And I got it in the email today thanks to Amazon’s amazing shipping. Finally it’s arrived! The original Grindhouse theatrical version (not the previously released extended cuts), including the trailers placed in between Planet Terror and Death Proof, on one Blu-ray disc. Grindhouse is a beast of an experience. Those seeing it for the first time will have missed out on the theatrical experience, but if you’re keen on getting any kind of exploitation and grindhouse-like fix then this film will work for you, so long as you understand it’s roots. The two very different films reach at very different areas of the grindhouse world, with Robert Rodriguez’s over-the-top Planet Terror being a sloppy, gooey and darkly funny zombie-like outbreak film and Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof tapping into the beloved road genre with a slasher twist, all done to the tone of a Tarantino film. These films are both brilliant in my eyes, with the one mistake being that Rodriguez and Tarantino used too large of a budget creating homages to films that used budgets that must have been peanuts compared to the millions spent here. Regardless, this Blu-ray release is monumental and absolutely welcome, especially this time of the year.

The Maltese Falcon [Blu-ray]

If you ask me what Blu-ray is missing, I’ll answer with film noir. It’s sad that there isn’t more high definition film noir out there. You’ve got a few, but not enough. And is any genre more perfectly befitting of the absolute brilliance in blacks and whites that Blu-ray can bring out? I think not. Hopefully this Bogart film is only the beginning of an influx of film noir on Blu-ray. Getting to the film, The Maltese Falcon is a seminal film of the genre, and a must-see for beginners to the style. Bogart is on point in one of his greatest and most iconic roles ever and the film features awesome performances from the others, such as Peter Lorre. This is a must buy.

The Exorcist [Blu-ray – Director’s Cut and Theatrical]

Don’t you love it when classic films finally hit Blu-ray? It’s the best thing about a new home entertainment format. In a perfect October placement, The Exorcist finally hits Blu-ray, in what should be one of the hottest selling horror discs of the month. I know I’ll be in. Not much more can be said for the film, so I won’t taint it’s legacy with my amateurish prose.

The Last of the Mohicans [Blu-ray – Director’s Cut]

Whenever I walk by Fort William Henry in my beloved vacation spot of Lake George, N.Y., I can’t help but think about how it was the real life setting for the battles portrayed in this Daniel Day-Lewis led film. And then I can’t help but joke about the fact that there is now mini golf, pink-roofed ice cream stands and metered parking lots surrounding it. Anyways, the film is above average, and certainly worth watching.

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre [Blu-ray]

Let’s go back to Bogie, shall we? Humphrey Bogart starred in this pretty epic adventure film and the conclusion is very much worthy of this Blu-ray release. While I’m not sure I would rebuy it (I already own the 2-disc DVD), I can’t help but recommend the film and this release to anyone interested in more classic and quintessential Bogart films. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is the early American dream adventure film of perfection, one of the best of it’s kind. Simple as that.

The Human Centipede [DVD][Blu-ray]

This is a tongue-in-cheek film about a tongue-in-ass topic. Here, a lunatic doctor wants to create a human centipede, which can only be envisioned in one way. If you want to see a filmabout a doctor whose owns the dream of sewing humans together at the behind and mouth, then this is your special day. The rest of you can hold your vomit.

Splice [DVD][Blu-ray]

Splice intrigued the hell out of me when I first saw the trailer this past year, but I never got to the theater to see it. I’ve admittedly been waiting a long time to see this. Here’s a trailer to get you more accustomed, because my words can’t describe what I haven’t seen.

Mad Max [Blu-ray]

Ah, Mad Max, one of the most perfect post-apocalyptic ozploitation films out there. This is Mel Gibson on-screen crazy before Mel Gibson was known for being off-screen crazy. This release has been noted as a barebones release, with no new extras, but it does feature the old DVD version along with the upgraded Blu-ray copy, in case you ever have the urge to watch the film but can only access one of those old fashioned DVD players.

The Slumber Party Massacre Collection [DVD]

Shout! Factory handling this collection should mean only one thing: beautiful restorations. If their recent Blu-ray and DVD releases of other Roger Corman-produced films is any indication of their quality of work, then this collection of The Slumber Party Massacre trilogy will be worth looking into for fans and other interested parties. I am pleasantly surprised to see this among this week’s releases.

Troll 2 [Blu-ray]

Yes, this film is on Blu-ray, and it’s image quality is supposedly above average.

Yes, this film:

Also available this week: Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy, Beauty and the Beast (Blu-ray), The Karate Kid, Baseball: The Tenth Inning, A Nightmare on Elm Street [Blu-ray], Caprica: Season 1.0, 30 Days of Night: Dark Days, The Secret of Kells, Ugly Americans 1.

Special note: The previously available only at Best Buy Blu-rays of Bad Liuetenant, Hard Candy, Open Water, High Tension, and Wonderland are now available on Amazon and at other retailers.

What to stay away from: Delgo. This is that animated film that had a budget $40 million but managed to gross less than $1 million. If an animated film can’t attract at least $10 million worth of kids then it isn’t going to be worth looking at.

So long.

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