Blu in Your Face: Feb. 12th, 2013

By Luke Y. Thompson in DVDs, zombies
Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 10:00 am

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Skyfall - I wasn't the biggest fan of the last Bond movie - it felt more like a Sam Mendes movie than a Bond film, and I don't particularly like Sam Mendes' "people are isolated" shtick - but I'll be buying it anyway, most likely, because I got the box set for Christmas, it has a slot vacant in anticipation of this disc, and now I feel like I need to be a completist. Blofeld could not have come up with a more sinister marketing scheme. On the plus side, Craig is still a fine Bond, and his supporting cast nicely help to segue into an ending that brings our hero full-circle. On the downside, Roger Deakins' over-acclaimed cinematography may contain some beautiful shots, but it isn't always in service of the story. And Adele really should have said no to the back-up chorus on that last verse. Ah well. Doesn't matter what I say; it's forever a part of 007 lore now. The Blu-ray includes one commentary track by Mendes, and another with producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson with production designer Dennis Gassner.

In addition to Skyfall, other Bonds being rereleased on Blu-ray today include Diamonds Are Forever, Octopussy, GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, the Living Daylights and You Only Live Twice.

Rise of the Zombies/Mimesis: Night of the Living Dead - Imagine how different the face of modern horror might have been if George A. Romero's original Night of the Living Dead hadn't fallen into the public domain. Among others, we wouldn't have these two new releases. The former sees Danny Trejo fighting zombies in Alcatraz, while the latter features Sid Haig and involves a group of horror fans who find themselves in a scarily real simulation of their favorite classic zombie flick. Meanwhile, The Walking Dead is free on basic cable, and probably better than both.

Sherlock Holmes - If you wonder why I get cynical about Robert Downey Jr. sometimes, this new-to-Blu movie is why. Apparently unable to find any English actors for the quintessentially English role, Guy Ritchie got Downey to do his usual hyperactive routine, and I don't care how many people say it's truer to the book - it's still just boilerplate Downey with an accent, doing generic action heroics, figuring everything out by finding clues we couldn't possibly have known before. Holmes deserved better, and got it in Benedict Cumberbatch. That said, this was the first big baddie role for Mark Strong that I can remember, and he's been a welcome addition to the silver screen.

A Liar's Autobiography - Not sure this one is really coming out today, but if it is, it seems the most worthy of checking out; an animated film based on the audio-autobio by Monty Python's late Graham Chapman, featuring the voices of the other surviving members of the troupe as well. In theaters it was 3D, and didn't get great reviews, with many complaining that it focuses primarily on Chapman's mano-e-mano sexcapades. Nonetheless, how can you not be curious?

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