Blu in Your Face: May 21st, 2013

By Luke Y. Thompson in DVDs
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 8:00 am

Top picks from today's Blu-ray haul...

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The Last Stand - About half of this movie has the Arnold Schwarzenegger you remember: profane, terse, hammy and incongruously cast as a small-town American sheriff. The other half is a boring-ass heist movie in Las Vegas with Forest Whitaker as the FBI guy who you know isn't going to catch the bad guy, because obviously our Ahnuld has to do that. Is it worth a rental for only fifty per cent of it being fun? You decide. Or make somebody else pay for it.

Captain America (1990) - Legendarily bad, but sometimes you have to see for yourself. Years before Chris Evans was a star, hack director Albert Pyun directed J.D. Salinger's kid as a Cap who barely dons the costume. This was the same era of the Fantastic Four movie that was never released, David Hasselhoff as Nick Fury and Dolph Lundgren as the Punisher (even these were great achievements compared to the versions of Daredevil and Thor who sullied a couple of Hulk TV movies). Kevin Feige should reunite them all for a Marvel Zombies feature, IMO.

True Blood: The Complete Fifth Season - I don't watch it. Are they lame vampires or cool vampires? I do like it at Comic-Con when they sponsor a press lounge and serve alcoholic energy drinks.

Howl's Moving Castle and My Neighbor Totoro - Totoro's a classic and Howl is one of my least favorite Miyazakis (that could just be the dub I saw - Christian Bale's Howl voice was as annoying to me then as his Bat-voice is to some now), but these still belong in your collection as gateway drugs for people who hold outdated stereotypes about anime in their heads. Debuting in Disney Blu-ray, both feature new HD transfers and original language tracks.

Parker - Jason Statham plays Donald Westlake's pulp antihero the same way he plays pretty much every role - he's a tough dude with an honor code doing one last heist. Things go fabulously well and the plans are all followed to a tee...KIDDING! Of course he gets double-crossed and it all goes south, but Jennifer Lopez arguably gets the worst of it, playing an ostensible female lead who gets turned down by the Stath in favor of a younger girl. In Hollywood, that's a fate worse than death.

The ABCs of Death - 26 short films, most of them twistedly funny (the one super-serious one is an unfortunate tonal misstep) and all involving death and a different letter. If you've ever seen Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation, this is basically the live-action version. Perfect for attention spans that have been impaired by alcohol; as such, it's ideal for a TR giveaway I'm going to have for four copies later in the week.

There's more, but those are my highlights. What are yours?


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