Blu-ray Today: Pointless Collections and Weird Re-Releases?

By Luke Y. Thompson in DVDs
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 12:00 pm

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Well, we got delayed a bit today, didn't we? There are a couple of new releases you'll probably want to check out this week. We'll get to them in a moment.

First, though, let's cover this week's really odd trend: rereleases of things probably none of you knew were even discontinued, and collections you'd probably be better off not wasting your money on at this time. In the latter category is the Mortal Kombat collection pictured on the left, which includes the first semi-decent movie which wowed U.S. audiences not yet savvy to the Hong Kong tricks it was cribbing, the second utterly terrible movie that cut the production value and tried to cram in double the characters, and the first season of the live-action web series that takes place in an entirely different continuity. Why is this a waste? Because if you're like most people, you don't want all three, and if you're a completist, it's missing a few things, like the short-lived live-action TV series.

Then there's the Fast and Furious six movie collection, being released in advance of the seventh movie, which seems likely to be the last one due to Paul Walker's untimely death. Why would you not simply wait for the inevitable set that will have that one extra movie (and possibly, finally, number them in chronological order, putting Tokyo Drift after Furious 6)? You wouldn't. You shouldn't.



As for rereleases: Sin City (theatrical and uncut extended) is coming out today again, along with Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader and Terminator 3. I daresay if you were interested in owning any of these, you would by now.

Now for the actual new releases:

Her - In a flying leap of science fiction, Joaquin Phoenix plays an LA-based writer who can somehow afford a spacious skyscraper apartment downtown. This is how we know that we're seeing a fictional future; Scarlett Johansson as his empathetic computer voice is no stretch compared to that. Anyway, like so many other males obsessed with Scar-Jo, he becomes more and more of a shut-in as he falls in love with her voice - it's a bit like so many of those children's books where the child discovers a mysterious magical friend, and at the end the friend goes away but the kid realizes he or she has learned valuable coping skills. Only, y'know, with more masturbation. Joaquin's and probably yours.

I, Frankenstein - Most people were none too fond of Aaron Eckhart as a buff Frankenstein's monster caught in the crossfire of a gargoyle-demon war. The major exception was our own Christian Lindke, a tabletop gamer who loved the movie, saying it was "Like the Greatest RPG Campaign Ever GM'd." If that sounds like your jam, maybe it'll spark some life into your evening.

Stalingrad - Russia's major entry for the foreign-language Oscar last year was this 3D Imax war movie about their pivotal WWII battle. Will it work as well on the small screen? Probably not, but if you have a 3D TV it might be worth a shot.

Eastbound and Down: Season 4 - Either you like Danny McBride's passive-aggressive redneck shtick or you don't; as a fellow former resident of western North Carolina, I find him to be way more authentic to the region than so many other actors to try their hand at playing Southern attitude. Not having HBO, I've missed more of the adventures of Kenny Powers than I'd like, but I will watch McBride in anything and have no doubt it'll appeal to me. You, I'm less sure of. There's something suspicious about you.

Evilspeak - Ah, the '80s, when we thought computers were magic and could do anything. Believe it or not, Clint Howard was a teenager once, and stars in this as a bullied military cadet who uses a computer program to conjure demons and get revenge. Sounds fantastic.

Final Exam - A fairly generic '80s slasher with no big names and a killer loose on campus. Probably somebody's favorite cult classic, somewhere.

Sleeping Beauty - Never hesitant to jump on a trend, our friends at The Asylum preempt Maleficent with their take on the fairy tale, directed by and starring Starship Troopers' Casper Van Dien, who naturally has cast his daughter Grace in the lead role, and wife Catherine Oxenberg as either the evil or good queen - the synopsis isn't clear and I'm not sure I care to find out.

And those are my picks for the week. Anything to add?

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