Blu-ray Today: Explodey Heads, Unclothey Scarlett Johansson and Black Dynamite

By Luke Y. Thompson in Anime, DVDs
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at 8:00 am

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Scanners (Criterion Collection) - Scanners is one of those movies that is doomed to disappoint many who see it, simply because all most casual viewers know about it is the exploding head scene (which, to be fair, is generally used to market the movie). Well, that happens, quite early on...and then never happens again. What's left is a more cerebral, less effects-heavy tale of battling telekenetics, in factions led by Cameron Vale and Michael Ironside.

While the Criterion Blu-ray features a new transfer and several new documentary featurettes, a significant part of the appeal here is the inclusion of director David Cronenberg's 1969 debut feature Stereo, in which volunteer lab subjects are encouraged to try to increase their psychic powers via sexual experimentation. Do you think the researchers are too hard on them?



Deadly Eyes - Super-loose adaptation of James Herbert's novel The Rats, in which a sexy (for the '70s) teacher must deal with an attack of killer rodents. Not bad for a cheesy night of fun, but it lacks the social commentary and weird-ass extremes (sex scene up a telephone pole, two-headed albino boss rat) Herbert took it to.

Under the Skin - Naked Scarlett Johansson alien behaves a bit like an artsier version of Sil from Species. You could win a copy from us.

Orphan Black Season 2 - Clones, conspiracies, and no connection whatsoever to Jango Fett and Master Sifo-Dyas.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Bonds Beyond Time - I have to be honest: I don't know, and I don't wanna know. It's a cartoon designed to make you buy playing cards, yes?

Black Dynamite Season 1 - As best I can tell this is the animated series, and not the Nerdist Channel shorts featuring a giant action figure interacting with wrestlers.

Hercules Reborn - Getting a jump on The Rock by a week, John "Morrison" Hennigan makes for a particularly pretty Herc in The Asylum's fast-tracked knockoff. And yet with Dwayne Johnson's take opening opposite Comic-Con (like R.I.P.D. before it), is it likely to do a whole lot better?

Deadman Wonderland Complete Series - A teenager is falsely accused of massacring his classmates, and sent to a prison with an amusement-park theme, in this anime series that aired on Toonami. Sounds like fun.

Fairy Tail Part 11 - All I need to know about this anime series is that it features characters known as "the infamous Butt Jiggle Gang."

Road to Paloma - WWE Studios is distributing Jason Momoa's feature directorial debut, in which he plays a vengeful Indian named Wolf, out to get revenge on a non-Native rapist who's immune to tribal prosecution. Not especially nerdy, but given the participants I figured it might be worth a mention.

Those are my picks for this week - I am NOT endorsing Rio 2. What would you add?

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