Blu-ray Today: A New Nightbreed, and Pony People in the House Get Hyped

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 at 8:00 am

nightbreeddc.jpg
Nightbreed: The Director's Cut - I haven't seen the theatrical cut of Clive Barker's Cabal adaptation since it was first on HBO, but I remember thinking it felt like huge chunks were missing that might have clarified the story some. Now restored with some 20 old minutes taken out and 45 put back in, its point couldn't be clearer - Barker's basically doing a grotesque take on the X-Men, with homophobia/AIDS metaphors cranked to 11. In a new introduction, he says studio executives at the time couldn't understand monsters being the good guys, but I think he's being euphemistic.

Dig: Boone (pretty/dumb Craig Sheffer) has a good job and a nice girlfriend, but he dreams about being a monster and running wild in a crazy underground world. His psychiatrist, the coldly detached Dr. Decker (David Cronenberg, behaving exactly the way you'd hope David Cronenberg would behave), is curious about these fantasies, as he has some of his own about murdering families, which he promptly enacts and pins the blame on self-loathing freak Boone. Boone dies and is reborn among the monsters, who have varying levels of weirdness but all accept each other, as finally the man who walks in both worlds (bisexual, in other words) must defend against an uncaring medical profession and a whole host of dumb redneck gun nuts (in a slight twist, they're Canadian rather than Appalachian).

It's a bit on the nose, and I wish the non-Cronenberg villains weren't quite such caricatures. It's still a ballsy allegory for the late '80s (it was released in 1990 originally) and full of imaginative designs; it may be hard to take fully seriously today, but it remains a defiantly unique vision even if the hair and makeup have not aged well. Hate to say this, but a remake could work. (Note that this is different from the Cabal Cut that played a limited theatrical run with deteriorated elements; the Blu-ray cut is fully restored and not as long.)

More >>

The 14 Coolest Things from the My Little Pony: Equestria Girls - Rainbow Rocks DVD Commentary

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 6:00 am

SC_13_RainbowRocks.jpg

After brief and rather scattershot theatrical run in late September and early October, My Little Pony: Equestria Girls - Rainbow Rocks is being released in a DVD/Blu-ray combo from Shout! Factory, and for streaming on Amazon Instant and elsewhere. Taking place directly after the events of Friendship Is Magic's fourth season finale "Twilight's Kingdom" while also picking up the threads from the My Little Pony: Equestria Girls, it's terrific on its own, and even more importantly, the Shout! Factory discs have an entertaining and informative commentary track featuring key members of the production team. Here are some of the highlights of that commentary!

Spoilers abound, of course.


More >>

Blu-ray Today: Pee-wee! Snowpiercer! Vincent Price!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 8:00 am

peeweeplayhouse.jpg
Pee-wee's Playhouse - Before the late teens kicked in and I became pathologically unable to wake up before noon on weekends, Pee-wee Herman was the reason I was always up by 10 a.m. (and Ernest P. Worrell at 11) on Saturday. To this day I can still cite all the lyrics of the theme tune, name every member of the Playhouse gang, and vividly recall the day Paul Reubens essentially self-destructed, masturbating in a porn theater while sporting a hairstyle cribbed from Twin Peaks' killer Bob. As he had already stopped filming new episodes, it feels in hindsight like a deliberate move...though one that has been thankfully reversed over the years, as fans have forgiven and Reubens has re-embraced the role.

There aren't any commentaries on the new Blu-ray set, but there are multiple featurettes, and they even got the now-ultra-serious Laurence Fishburne to come back and discuss his Cowboy Curtis days. Today's secret word is..."BUY!" AAAAHHHHH! HAA-HAA! Heh heh heh.

Now, Pee-wee, make that goddamn Judd Apatow movie already.

More >>

10 Reasons Why VCRs Are Better Than What We Have Now

Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 6:00 am

splash.jpg

I am often accused of being a Luddite. This is because I think I am. I have always been - even as a child - largely suspicious of new technologies, especially those that come trumpeted as the "next great thing." If everyone is using it, my prejudiced and backward-thinking mind immediately dismisses it. This is probably why I don't own a smart phone. It's also why I still own numerous VHS tapes and have two working VCRs in my home.


More >>

The 18 Strangest Versions of Dracula

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at 6:00 am

nosferatu4.jpg

Could Bram Stoker ever have imagined, back in 1897, that the character he created would one day be used for everything from pornography to breakfast cereal? It's hard to imagine that even Bela Lugosi could have guessed that the accent he gave Dracula would still be in use, more than 80 years later, spoofed by George Hamilton, or teaching kids to count, or marketing everything from car insurance to debt-consolidation loans ("because debt sucks!") to throat lozenges. Thus Dracula Untold, the title of the Drac movie that opened this past weekend, seems almost impertinent. Can there be a variation on the Dracula tale left untold?

Here are 18 strong contenders for the most peculiar takes on Count Dracula in popular culture. Note: These aren't just vampires in the Dracula mode; all of them had, at minimum, to have either the title "Count" or the prefix "Drac-" or the suffix "-ula" somewhere in their name.


More >>

TR Readers' Best Stormtrooper Memes (and Stormtrooper/Sharknado Contest Winners)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 4:00 pm

senorpuddin-runnerup.jpg
senorpuddin

It's time to name some winners. For the Stormtrooper costume, we asked you to create a meme based in some way on a Stormtrooper.

One of the honorable mentions is above; the rest (and the Sharknado winner, chosen by random number generation) follow...

More >>

Blu-ray Today: Days of Future Past, Ways of Making Young Dracula Better

Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 8:00 am

xmendfopblu-ray.jpg
X-Men: Days of Future Past - I admit, I was hoping for more of a mind-trip with this movie, like something more complex than "Hey, we hit the reset button back to the '70s" that would explain discrepancies between First Class and the prior films.

However, I also think I was expecting the impossible. Downsized for appropriate expectations, this is still a fun X-flick, even if the shocking opening sequence does almost instantly retcon the "surprise" deaths. Individual scenes like the one where Mystique becomes Trask can get wonderfully weird (David Lynch, Peter Dinklage - you need each other. Please work together on Twin Peaks). Wew all thought Quicksilver would be a lowlight, but his showcase moment is awesomely playful and fun - why the characters then ignore him for the rest of the movie is a plot weakness they ought to have tried to better fix.

The disc set features a handful of extras, but if you wanbt the deleted Rogue rescue sequence, you're going to have to wait till next year. Can you hold out for the inevitable 2.5 edition?

More >>

Blu-ray Today: Alien Lives, Tom Cruise Dies, Sharknado Repeats

Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 12:00 pm

alien_35th.jpg
Alien: 35th Anniversary Edition - All right, reader, level with me. Are you seriously a sci-fi fan who does not already own a version of Alien that has the director's and theatrical cut on the same disc? Does owning a comic book and trading cards make all the difference?

Look, if you genuinely don't have it yet in your collection, this set is the best reason yet to bring it in. But if you don't, why the hell are you reading this? And what will finally persuade you at this point? "Yo, Prometheus fans - this happens next"?



More >>

9 Interesting Ways Edge of Tomorrow/Live. Die. Repeat. Differs from its Source Material

Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 8:00 am

aynik-title.jpg

Today is a day which I fondly refer to as All You Need is Kills-mas, the day that Edge of Tomorrow comes out on DVD and Blu-ray. You know: Edge of Tomorrow, the Tom Cruise-Emily Blount science fiction spectacle that skidded hard at the box office, despite delighting both critics and the audiences who actually got out and saw it. Edge of Tomorrow, which plays like a sadistic Groundhog Day, as Cruise's character dies over and over again, caught in a time loop, trying to somehow win a seemingly impossible battle. Edge of Tomorrow, inexplicably retitled Live Die Repeat after already being inexplicably retitled from its original moniker, the fabulous, can't-forget-it-once-you've-heard-it All You Need is Kill. Edge of Tomorrow is notable for being an adaptation of a Japanese science fiction novel by Hiroshi Sakurazawa - Japanese SF isn't something that's commonly been mined for Hollywood blockbusters.


More >>

GIVEAWAY: Sharknado 2 Blu-ray and Autographed Shark Fin!

Thursday, October 2, 2014 at 2:30 pm

SHARKNADO2_BLU.jpg

Actually, the headline doesn't tell the whole story, but we can only fit so much into it. This prize package is almost as stuffed with goodness as a mass of swirling air filled with carnivores. One of you lucky suckers will take home:

-An actual shark fin used in the first Sharknado (yes, apparently some of them weren't CGI) signed by Tara Reid, Ian Ziering, Cassie Scerbo, Jaason Simmons and Anthony Ferrante.

-A Sharknado 2 poster signed by the cast.

-A Sharknado T-shirt.

-A Blu-ray of Sharknado 2: Extended Version (I asked - there's no nudity in the added footage. Except maybe nekkid sharks).

More >>