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This Week on DVD & Blu-ray (10/15/13)

October 15, 2013
Two successful summer movies lead the long list of new releases this week. While not everyone saw the buddy cop comedy “The Heat” or the giant robots versus giant monsters action fest “Pacific Rim”, those who enjoy their respective genres (or subgenres) were pleasantly entertained. Many critics panned these two summer releases, but there’s no denying the enjoyment factor they had for moviegoers. As far as big summer blockbusters go, “Pacific Rim” was the best.  Also, with Pul Greengrass’ “Captain Phillips” in theaters right now, it’s timely that “A Hijacking” is now available to buy or rent. Danish writer/director Tobias Lindholm’s film covers the same ground, that of a group of Somali pirates that attack a cargo ship, a Danish crew in this thriller, but covers the tense situation by focusing on the escalating negotiations with the suits behind the crew. I look forward to comparing the two. But, what else is out this week?
Prolific director Johnnie To’s latest Hong Kong thriller is the police procedural “Drug War”.  It’s a film that has all the elements that make movies like “Heat” and “The Departed” classics, with its conflicted characters who are in too deep or beyond redemption. The focus is on a drug dealer Choi, who takes a job as an informant to a police Captain (who wants Choi’s suppliers) instead of the death sentence. Makes sense.  To is messing around with genre conventions here to suit his own style. One could look at “Drug War” as a buffy-cop flick to the kind of detailed labor involved in working a drug bust we’d see from Michael Mann or David Fincher.  Still, he’s not opposed to provided us with a chaotic car chase sequence or a kinetic shootout.

And then there’s Franck Khalfoun’s remake of “Maniac”, which offers nothing new or different to the genre and one miscast Elijah Wood. If you’re longing for a bug-eyed weasely Frodo maintaining mannequins while slashing chicks amid the empty (?) streets of L.A. – well, you’re in for a treat. If you’re looking for a remake that can add layered depth to a damaged and twisted psyche, well – this is the wrong movie for you. Wood’s awful performance lives up to his last name. This movie was needless and bad and not even bad in a good way that you wanna revisit somewhere down the road. You just wanna warn others to avoid it.

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

  • A Hijacking (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Abducted (DVD)
  • Anger Management: Volume Two (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • At Any Price (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • The Best of Jack Hanna (DVD)
  • Bewitched: The Complete Series (DVD)
  • The Colony (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Come Dance with Me (DVD)
  • Counting Cars: Season 2 – Volume 1 (DVD)
  • Defiance: Season One (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Embrace of the Vampire (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Eyes Without a Face (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray)
  • Exploding Sun (DVD)
  • Gentle Ben: Season One (DVD)
  • Hart of Dixie: The Complete Second Season (DVD)
  • The Haunting (1963) (Blu-ray)
  • The Heat (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • The Hitch-Hiker: Kino Classics Remastered Edition (1953) (DVD)
  • Hitched for the Holidays (DVD)
  • Home for Christmas: A Golden Christmas 3 (DVD)
  • The Honeymooners: Classic 39 Episodes (DVD)
  • I Dream of Jeannie: The Complete Series (DVD)
  • In the Mouth of Madness (Blu-ray)
  • Ingenious (DVD)
  • Jug Face (DVD)
  • Jumper 3D (Blu-ray)
  • Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness – The Scorpion Sting (DVD)
  • Last Will & Testament (DVD)
  • Lifetime Holiday 4-Film Collection (DVD)
  • Lost and Found (DVD)
  • Love Actually: 10th Anniversary Edition (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Maniac (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Merry In-Laws (DVD)
  • Monsters vs. Aliens: Cloning Around (DVD)
  • The New Three Stooges: Complete Cartoon Collection (DVD)
  • Night Tide: Remastered Edition (Blu-ray)
  • Notting Hill (Blu-ray)
  • Orson Welles’ The Stranger: Kino Classics Remastered Edition (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • The Partridge Family: The Complete Series (DVD)
  • Plush (DVD)
  • Prayers for Bobby (DVD)
  • Shrek The Musical (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Slap Shot (1977) (Blu-ray)
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars – The Complete Season Five (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Seasons 1-5 Collector’s Edition (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Superheroes: Never-Ending Battle (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (Blu-ray)
  • Thankskilling 3 (DVD) \
  • The Untold History of the United States (Blu-ray)
  • Vikings: Season One (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Weird Science (Blu-ray)
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