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This Week on DVD & Blu-ray (09-10-13 thru 09-13-13)

September 14, 2013


“Star Trek Into Darkness” is out this week. It’s the first of a handful of big summer blockbusters that did well at the box office, despite the mixed reaction from fans. I enjoyed it thoroughly, yet completely understood most of the issues people had with director J. J. Abrams sequel. I had such a good time with it that I don’t care.  Now, for those who purchase Blu-rays for Special Features – well, Paramount doesn’t care about you. They’ve managed to scatter them throughout many platforms (iTunes has a commentary, Best Buy and Wal-Mart has some others as well), so keep that in mind when you’re considering picking up “Star Trek Into Darkness”.  There’s also “Peeples”, which is a “Tyler Perry Presents” comedy starring Craig Robinson who decides to crash his girlfriend’s (Kerry Washington) family reunion in the Hamptons in order to ask for her hand in marriage. Awkwardness and familial dysfunction ensues. I haven’t seen it, but Robinson is always a hoot, so maybe. Disney is releasing a 20th Anniversary of “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas” (even though Burton didn’t direct it, Henry Selick did) with Halloween just around the corner, just in case you don’t have a copy in your collection. What else is out this week….

Speaking of Halloween, this week Paramount and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment are releasing a complete Blu-ray collection of all the “Friday the 13th” movies – from the 1980 original to the 2009 remake. It all comes in a tin box with an assortment of goodies, including an extra disc called “Crystal Lake Memories – The Complete History of Friday the 13th”, a Camp Crystal Lake counselor patch, and two sets of 3D glasses for the third film (for those who have a 3D television). However you view these movies, there’s no doubt of their influence on the horror genre and in popular culture. Let’s face it: there’s Michael, Freddy and Jason, in the slasher thriller genre – everyone else pales in comparison.

Paramount is also releasing a handful of films from the 90s, directing by filmmakers that usually earn the attention of cinefiles. First, there’s the late Anthony Minghella’s “The Talented Mr. Ripley” from 1999, an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s suspense novel. Set in the 1950s, it stars Matt Damon as the titular character (he’s been played before by Alain Delon and later by John Malkovich), an ambitious young man who is determined to rise to the top of the aristocratic elite and he’ll do it, even if it kills….other people.  John Seale’s cinematography is striking and the you’ll find some solid work from Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett and Phillip Seymour Hoffman, in their younger years. It’s a complex and rich film that some have forgotten about, but still holds up quite well. Then there’s director Brian DePalma’s suspense thriller “Snake Eyes”, released in 1998, which didn’t do so well with critics, and rightly so – it’s a bad movie.  It’s not just because it’s Nicolas Cage, camera-mugging as usual, but mainly because there’s actually potential here. It has quite an intriguing start, but it really fizzles out in the end.

Two other mysteries from the early 90s finally make it to Blu-ray.  1992’s “Jennifer 8” which stars Andy Garcia as an L.A. detective hunting down a serial killer, whose latest victim is the roommate of a blind student played by Uma Thurman. As for as B-movie thrillers go, this one, directed by Bruce Robinson (“Withnail and I”), isn’t bad and also has some good performances by Lance Henrikson and Kathy Baker. And then there’s 1995’s “Sliver”, directed by Phillip Noyce (“Clear and Present Danger”), an abysmal dud that tried to capitalize on the hotness of Sharon Stone (at the time) after “Basic Instinct”. It didn’t work. This wanna-be sleezy thriller has William Baldwin as a voyeuristic landlord who peeps on all his tenant’s apartments (those of Stone, Tom Berenger and Polly Walker, using planted video cameras. All this movie had in common with “Basic Instinct” was screenwriter Joe Eszterhas and that’s not saying much.

The latest documentary from Oscar-nominated director Alex Gibney, “We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks”, is also out this week. Back in 2006, an Iceland-based outfit called The Sunshine Press launched Run by Australian internet activist Julian Assange, the site’s mandate involved regularly publishing top-secret documents and covert information, often regarding governments and their respective military operations.  Of course, this set off a storm of controversy for those who admired the organization’s bravado and resourcefulness, and those who argued that the release of data regarding such events as the U.S. war in Afghanistan could put untold numbers of lives at risk. Gibney tells the story of the website, from the inside, and digs deeper to expose a complex network of activity guided by courage and idealism but also allegedly guilty of ethical insensitivity and hypocrisy. It’s one of those subjects that didn’t hold much interest to me, until I read more about it. I’m now interested to see Gibney’s approach to Assange and the phenomena of Wikileaks.

That’s it for this week. Previous reviews are highlighted below. Enjoy the Rundown!



  • An American Hippie in Israel (Blu-ray) 
  • Army Wives: The Complete Seventh Season (DVD) 
  • Big Bang Theory: The Complete Sixth Season (DVD/Blu-ray) 
  • The Black Waters of Echo’s Pond (DVD/Blu-ray) 
  • Blood (DVD/Blu-ray) 
  • Castle: The Complete Fifth Season (DVD) 
  • Chasing Ice (DVD/Blu-ray) 
  • Chicago Fire: Season One (DVD) 
  • Delete (DVD/Blu-ray) 
  • Desperate Acts of Magic (DVD) 
  • Drawing Flies: Anniversary Edition (DVD/Blu-ray) 
  • The Fly (Blu-ray) 
  • Frankenstein’s Army (DVD/Blu-ray) 
  • Friday the 13th: The Complete Collection (Blu-ray) 
  • Homeland: The Complete Second Season (DVD/Blu-ray) 
  • It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: The Complete Season 8 (DVD/Blu-ray) 
  • Jennifer 8 (Blu-ray) 
  • Jesus Christ Superstar Live Arena Tour (DVD/Blu-ray) 
  • The Last Keepers (DVD) 
  • The League: The Complete Season Four (DVD/Blu-ray) 
  • Love Is All You Need (DVD/Blu-ray) 
  • MDNA Tour (DVD/Blu-ray) 
  • The Mole Man of Belmont Avenue (DVD) 
  • Peeples (DVD/Blu-ray) 
  • Radio Unnameable (DVD) 
  • Redemption (DVD/Blu-ray) 
  • Scanners II: The New Order/Scanners III: The Takeover (Blu-ray) 
  • Secret Millionaire’s Club: Volume 2 (DVD) 
  • Sesame Street: C is for Cooking (DVD) 
  • Sisters & Brothers (DVD/Blu-ray) 
  • Sliver (Blu-ray) 
  • The Smurfs: The Legend of Smurfy Hollow (DVD/Blu-ray) 
  • Snake Eyes (Blu-ray) 
  • Star Trek Into Darkness (DVD/Blu-ray) 
  • Star Trek: Stardate Collection (DVD/Blu-ray) 
  • Star Trek: The Original Series – Origins (Blu-ray) 
  • Supernatural: The Complete Eighth Season (DVD/Blu-ray) 
  • The Talented Mr. Ripley (Blu-ray)
  • Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas – 20th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray)
  • We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks (DVD) 
  • wish you were here. (DVD) 






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