Blu in Your Face: July 9th, 2013

By Luke Y. Thompson in DVDs
Tuesday, July 9, 2013 at 8:00 am

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Would You Rather - Jeffrey Combs stars in - and makes totally worthwhile - this riff on the same basic idea that fueled the Saw series. Desperate for money, a group of dinner guests is forced to play a game in which they must choose which of two unpalatable, potentially lethal options they'd prefer to take...until such time as only one of them is left. The man who was the Re-Animator is a hoot and a half as the deranged aristocrat host, and there's probably a metaphor in there for capitalism preying on the weak that you can find if you really have too much time on your hands. The other apparent themes aren't much more novel - be careful what you wish for because there can be ironic twists, abandoning your humanity isn't worth it, run the fuck out the door when the crazy guy gives you one last chance to back out...but seeing Combs relish in his demented dominion over the likes of Sasha Grey and Eddie Steeples is worth the price of at least a rental.

Gattaca - this appears to just be a re-release, but I bring it up again to wonder just what the hell happened to Loren Dean? Once billed as an equal co-header with Ethan Hawke and Jude Law, he seems to have totally vanished from the scene, and certainly does not appear on the Blu-ray cover even in name. Still, see it if you haven't - though it was considered a bomb at the time, the futuristic thriller about genetic perfection has rightly gained in esteem over the years.

A Turtle's Tale 2: Sammy's Escape From Paradise - What, you never saw A Turtle's Tale 1: Cheap-Ass Animation That Escaped From Post-Production? Um...your loss?

Robot Chicken: DC Comics Special - Seems like a bit of a rip-off when it'll probably ultimately be on a season set anyway. Still, if you have that one friend who loves stop-motion animated toys that sound like the cast of That '70s Show, but hates when they're Marvel or Image-based, it's your lucky day to find him/her a gift. (If it's a "her" who's that specific in hatreds I'll be surprised, but 'tis possible.)

The Legend of Korra Book One: Air - You all tell me this is good and I believe you. When I learn how to bend time I'l catch up on it.

Hands of the Ripper - Dubiously "classic" Hammer horror in which Jack the Ripper's daughter, remembering how dad killed mom, starts going crazy and prepares to do some ripping of her own.

Dead Man Down - Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace take on WWE's Wade Barrett, because this is a WWE-produced movie. Most notable for the terrible tie-in feud involving Sheamus - who claimed to be best friends with Farrell - that briefly happened on Smackdown.

Dishonorable Mentions: for those who can't possibly enjoy a movie without packaging that caricatures it as representative of its generation, Universal is repackaging a whole bunch of movies this week with Best of the Decade logos, including entries as diverse as Spartacus ('60s), Smokey and the Bandit ('70s) and Knocked Up (2000s). Whose mind does this change as far as purchasing themgoes? I guess we'll find out.

Oh, The Host came out too. And it wasn't the good Asian one about a pollution monster. Just Twilight with aliens.

And those are my highlights of the day. Now it's time to tell me yours.

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