Blu in Your Face: July 16th, 2013

By Luke Y. Thompson in DVDs
Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at 8:00 am

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Evil Dead - Like 2009's Star Trek, this Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell produced "remake" was both sequel and reboot, as the post-credits tease made clear. Now let's just hope they don't kill the goodwill by casting David Tennant in the sequel as "Tom Jones," only to reveal 2/3 of the way through that he's actually Ash's possessed hand. The plans are to build to an Avengers-style climax in three more movies, but even if they never get there, this delivers the kind of blood-soaked catharsis any gorehound could want. The disc features cast and crew commentary and several featurettes, but no unrated cut, in case you were holding out hope.

Solomon Kane - This thing's finally out? It's been three years since I saw it and I barely remember the experience, so please indulge me as I quote liberally from something I wrote three years ago:

Set in 1600, which means both swords and pistols, it's a tale concocted originally by Conan creator Robert E. Howard, and onscreen gives James Purefoy a chance to make like Hugh Jackman in VAN HELSING, which in turn was largely inspire by Japanese hero Vampire Hunter D.

What we're talking is basically a new-century revamp of the kind of cheesy R-rated fantasy films that dominated secondary markets in the '80s. Some Conan, some Willow, some Highlander...you might say that this is the movie Uwe Boll's been trying to make a few times now, and would have succeeded at if he were remotely as good as he thinks he is. Don't misunderstand - this is no masterpiece akin to Orson Welles' similarly named Citizen, but it's entertaining pulp, cheesy but not campy, with modern CG enhancements that occasionally reminded me of the DEVIL MAY CRY videogames.

Solomon Kane inhabits a historical England in which Satan's minions rather freely walk the land killing and enslaving, all in the service of Jason Flemyng, who has dreadlocks, and a book written on half of his face. Due to some kind of unwitting deal with the devil that isn't fully explained until the end of the movie, Kane - a warrior-priest with religious scars and tattoos covering his gym-worn torso - will be damned to hell if he ever once strays from the path of total pacifism.

Needless to say, we wouldn't have a movie if our hero spent the entire time refusing to fight. And his principal foe is a doozy, a hybrid of Jason, Leatherface, and Kurgan, who goes around in a skin-mask possessing Cockney assholes and making them do his bidding.


Sound like fun? Then go for it.

Orphan Black: Season 1 - Yet another show I need to catch up on because my friend Brian who has two kids somehow manages to see everything on TV ever, and this is one of about fifteen things he keeps telling me is great.

Regular Show: Seasons 1 & 2 - After taunting fans with random selections of episodes on previous discs, Cartoon Network finally got comprehensive. Dear Mike Judge - please learn from this, bunghole.

Black Sabbath - Uh, huh-huh...

No, not that Black Sabbath - this Boris Karloff anthology horror flick is what inspired Ozzy and co. to choose their band name. Directed by Mario Bava, this is the original Italian-language version, not that that makes a ton of difference in giallo films where the dialogue was mostly dubbed anyway.

Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes - Whoa whoa whoa. Hold up. Did this not already come out in April? What the hell, y'all?

Patlabor TV: Collection 1 - Presumably timed to the release of Pacific Rim, the popular anime series about giant police robots versus giant criminal robots is arguably the next logical step if your interested has been piqued in that sort of thing.

Heavy Traffic - Ralph Bakshi's second X-rated animated film, this one about urban life in the early '70s. Often crude, ever controversial but always distinctive, the man is an acquired taste, but I'm glad he expanded the notion of what "cartoons" could be, and wish we hadn't regressed on that issue so much when it comes to American films.

Dishonorable Mention: Sony's releasing a bunch more titles in 4K remastering, and as I understand it they're not technically true 4K, though most people don't really understand what that is anyway so it's all fairly premature.

Got more picks today? Post 'em below.

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