The other day, Disney floated the idea that sometime soon the original versions of the original Star Wars trilogy might be released, unmolested by special edition tinkering, would be issued in the high-def Blu-ray format. Now fans are not often known for their patience, and considering that George Lucas spent years saying that those first cuts of A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi are gone, and that they weren’t coming back, it should come as no surprise that many weren’t holding their breath for Lucas to change his mind. So one group of techie savvy and dedicated fans said “F**k It! We’ll do our own original version release! With Black Jack! And hookers! (Okay, maybe not those last two.)
If you’re coming down from the high of Guardians of the Galaxy, but are looking for new Marvel Studios something, then here you go. Captain America: The Winter Soldier will arrive on home video in just over a month, and if you want a reason aside from the obvious to buy the disc when it comes out, maybe the following videos will sweeten the deal. Now like a lot of deleted scenes, we’re not shown anything substantive or necessary to the story, but they do also offer some insight into how the film shook out in the editing room. Plus, we’re all completest obsessive compulsive types here, am I right? (more…)
Welcome back to our newly revamped “Retro Reviews” column, where we explore both the movies you know and love, as well as the oft overlooked gems you should be spending more time with. Our ninth entry is the coming-of-age Canadian werewolf nightmare, Ginger Snaps (2000)…
There’s a simple fact that needs to be stated at the front of this article: horror movies revolving around women are certainly more engaging than those centered around men. From the earliest days of my film-watching “career”, hidden beneath my parents’ bed while Halloween blared on basic cable*, I was always infinitely more interested in movies that focused on the horrors of femininity. Whether it was Michael Myers stalking Laurie Strode through the streets of Haddonfield or young mother Rosemary finding out that her baby was sold to her Satan worshipping neighbors, the tribulations women faced in my favorite genre always seemed to represent more complex societal issues (the pervasive invasion of evil, the possession and control of a woman’s body) than those of their male counterparts. Add on the fact that women are simply much more emotionally complex creatures (thus making for drama almost equal to their psychological complexity), and you have a perfectly logical argument for my favoring of female-starring terror pictures.
Unfortunately, many of the lesser cinematic shock jocks throughout history extracted the wrong lessons from their superiors. Many took John Carpenter pitting three beautiful best friends against a Shatner-masked maniac at mere face value, thinking that it was the boobs and violence that solely led to the picture becoming “the most successful independent film of all time”. At its worst, horror descends into misogynistic mayhem, utilizing female leads as nothing more than titillation lightning rods, whether they were being bedded by a jock or beheaded by some dime-store Myers knock-off (or his slow witted cousin, Jason Voorhees). However, one of the true under-seen gems of the genre not only molds two of the best female characters horror has ever seen, it uses them as universal icons for a girl’s ascension into full-blown womanhood. Nearly fifteen years after it first hit Canadian theaters, Ginger Snaps is still not only the best werewolf movie since Joe Dante’s The Howling, but also a testament to the power strong female characters bring to any cinematic endeavor, genre or otherwise. (more…)
2014 is halfway over.
For many film fans, this realization will be met with the usual impatient reaction of “can’t we just get to Fall and the good stuff already?” However, if I’m being completely honest, it’s somewhat surprising that it isn’t September by now. My year has been a blur; a frightening reminder that, though it may have moments of interminability, existence is ultimately finite and perpetually chugging toward oblivion, no matter how much I might’ve been entertained along the way.
But you didn’t click on this article to read my existential ramblings. What you really want to know is: what made up the best of the best of the first six months of 2014? Like every year, there was gold to be mined at the local cineplex, art house, on TV, VOD and via the numerous repertory lines established by studios to release their respective back catalogues. Sometimes the gifts are so great that an EOY list just will not suffice. You need a guide to the riches you might’ve missed during the first part of the calendar year as well. Thankfully, I’m looking out for your interests and have compiled the Bastards Guide to Entertainment — a fifteen slot list that details the superlative pieces of cinematic and televised entertainment this year has offered thus far. (more…)
Brand Spanking New ‘Ghostbusters’ Blu-Ray Coming Later This Year (Along With a Theatrical Re-Release!)
In three days, Ghostbusters turns thirty (it was originally released June 8, 1984). To celebrate this momentous occasion, a new blu-ray package of the second highest grossing film of that year (it was beaten out by Beverly Hills Cop!) will be arriving this September, following a 700 screen theatrical release of a digitally re-mastered DCP in late August. That’s right, there’s a solid chance you’ll get the opportunity to revisit Ivan Reitman’s horror/comedy masterpiece on the big screen in a theater near you! (more…)
Welcome back to our newly revamped “Retro Reviews” column, where we explore both the movies you know and love, as well as the oft overlooked gems you should be spending more time with. Our sixth entry is Antonia Bird’s underrated cannibal Western, Ravenous (1999)…
Ravenous is an extremely potent horror picture.
Yet to only view the film through the narrow prism of a single genre ignores what truly makes it special. Like Alex Cox before her, Antonia Bird has cobbled together a singular Western whose deepest roots reach back to its “spaghetti” precursors from Spain and Italy in the 1960s and 70s. It’s an amalgamation of particular influence; pulling from deep cut directors like Joaquin Romero Marchent while also tipping its Calvary cap toward Sergio Corbucci. So while the viscera may remain in the cave of the viewer’s mind much more vividly than the vistas, Bird has undoubtedly crafted an examination of manifest destiny that ranks with Major Dundee and Heaven’s Gate as a touchstone of widescreen Western filmmaking. (more…)
2014 has been kind of a dud for cinema as a whole, but one movie I definitely would place in my Top 10 (were the year ending tomorrow) is Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Brimming with great performances and kick-ass action set pieces, The Winter Solider delivered everything I wanted in a comic book film. Now details on the blu-ray have been finally released and it looks like this disc (just like most other Marvel home video releases) is jam-packed with awesome sounding bonus features. (more…)
Welcome back to our newly revamped “Retro Reviews” column, where we explore both the movies you know and love, as well as the oft overlooked gems you should be spending more time with. Our fourth entry is the ultimate “revenge of the nerd” film, Evilspeak (1981)…
There was no shortage of vengeful nerds in 1980s horror cinema. Movies like Vernon Zimmerman’s Fade to Black, Frank LaLoggia’s Fear No Evil, and Robert Englund’s 976-Evil provided picked-on geeks with characters they could identify with, while also simultaneously indulging in the revenge fantasies they probably harbored in the darkest regions of their soul. In a post-Columbine world, these movies are somewhat of a rarity, as Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris showed us all how ugly the vengeance of those oppressed and bullied by the jocks and the prom queens could be when it wasn’t limited to innocuous fantasy.
But before their horrifying rampage (not to mention the epidemic of terrifying school shootings that arrived in the wake of Littleton), horror films were unafraid to be completely un-PC, allowing their often sniveling-yet-sympathetic leads to lay waste to those who caused them to live in fear every day. And none were as gleefully bonkers as Eric Weston’s Evilspeak, a somewhat inept yet totally entertaining film that helped birth the cinematic career of one of the ultimate avatars for persecuted nebbishes, Clint Howard.
And no, I don’t mean Thor the film (though it was for that movie), I’m talking about Thor the character. Yes, before Tom Hiddleston was considered for the role of the trickster god, Loki, he auditioned for the god of thunder himself. His original screen test will be a bonus feature on the upcoming DVD/Blu-ray release of Thor: The Dark World, coming February 25th, but you can get a tease of it in GIF form below. (more…)
It may not have been everyone’s favorite this past summer, but soon Star Trek Into Darkness will available to own on Blu-ray and DVD. Now no one expects you to change your mind about the film when you see it on your TV or computer screen, but maybe the special features will shed some light on the production process and give the fans some new and/or greater insight into the filmmakers’ intentions with the film.
Not so fast.
Apparently, Into Darkness will come with a paltry 40 minutes of additional material made up entirely of the following seven featurettes: Creating the Red Planet, Attack on Starfleet, The Klingon Home World, The Enemy of My Enemy, Ship to Ship, Brawl by the Bay and Continuing the Mission. That’s it. No deleted scenes, no filmmakers commentary, no games, or Easter eggs, or any other extras that might sweeten the bitter taste of the actual movie.
Interestingly though, those seven featurettes won’t be the only bonus materials available, they just won’t be available when you buy the physical disc. Want the director’s commentary? You’ll have to download it on iTunes. As well, there will be other exclusives on versions of the movie sold as VUDU or CinemaNow downloads, or on the physical discs sold at retail outlets like Best Buy and Target.
Feeling screwed yet? Certainly the normally soft-spoken, slow to anger sci-fi fans will be okay with it… (Seriously, I’m totally being sarcastic right now, and I’m practically daring you not to comment below. A shiny new donkey goes to the first nerd to blame Damon Lindelof for this.)
Star Trek Into Darkness will be available to buy on September 10.