Blu-ray Today: Disney, The Devil, Triple H and Lon Chaney

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 at 8:00 am

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Frozen - I remember when Disney movies didn't have to resort to jokes about farts and nose-picking, but those minor missteps aside, Frozen is a reasonably fun time and has that one good song by that Dazeem chick who got the Oscar, as well as a somewhat disturbing number in which the snowman obliviously wishes for summer without realizing he will die horribly if it ever comes.

It's also a movie that can bring everybody together - both our own Eric Diaz and some conservative Mormon grandma who blogs agree that it's Disney's gayest feature yet. And I'm not sure which of them has seen it more times.

Saving Mr. Banks - Weird of Disney to put out two of their big Oscar-bait movies on the same day, but this one's more for the parents - a slightly sanitized tale of the arguments between Walt Disney and P.L. Travers en route to making Mary Poppins. Whether it is or is not accurate - as far as I can tell, it's as "mostly true" as any Hollywood biopic - the culture-clash between the American big kid archetype of Walt and the prim, mannered English decorum of Travers is pitch-perfect. As the child of parents who were so very similar to these onscreen portrayals, I found it endlessly amusing in that regard. Also notable for being the first movie I've seen in forever that portrays an alcoholic fuck-up of a parent (Colin Farrell) without dismissing his better qualities too.

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Blu-ray Today: Crap, Crap, Stuff I Didn't See and JCVD

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at 8:00 am

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This is officially, the worst week for nerdy/geeky Blu-ray releases since I started doing this. I mean, there have been some weak ones before, but usually there's at least one in there I wouldn't mind owning if someone gave it to me.

Today, though, the best I can say is that some of this momentarily raise an eyebrow of interest, and if you gave me one I'd put it on The Stack, to be looked at once if I ever find the time. But no rush.

Now, in genres that are outside our wheelhouse, you get Inside Llewyn Davis and some James Dean and John Wayne classics. But as far as the stuff we cover, well, consider that I thought the best choice to lead off was, in fact...

Enemies Closer - In which Jean-Claude Van Damme reunites with his favorite director Peter Hyams to play a wacky, evil environmentalist nutjob who squares off against park ranger Tom Everett Scott. Yes, the guy from That Thing You Do is now considered a worthy opponent for JCVD, but no longer worthier of anything better than DTV action stuff. Seems a bit of a comedown for Mr. Scott, but for Van Damme, it's...wait, what day of the week is it again?

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Dean Cain Has Had It With These Motherf***in' Volcanoes on This Motherf***in' Plane

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 12:31 pm

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Yes. This is a thing now.

You'll (probably not) believe a man can fly...through lava!

Airplane vs. Volcano. Whoever loses, we win. And the biggest loser already is Dean Cain's agent.

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Blu-ray Today: Matt Smith's Doctor Who Farewell, Oldboy Remade, Liev Schreiber on Mars

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 8:00 am

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Doctor Who: The Time of the Doctor - Come to wish the "eleventh" Doctor a "fuckity-bye" as he morphs into Peter Capaldi, stay for the Christmas drama that involves a wooden cyberman, multiple silly jokes about nudity in church, and Matt Smith donning a ton of latex as the man who thinks he's the last regeneration settles down into space retirement, to protect Planet Trenzalore from pretty much every foe he's ever had. Though it was an inevitable comedown from "The Day of the Doctor," which ended in a Tom Baker cameo that couldn't be beat, this episode invariably sets the stage for what's to follow - the quest to restore Gallifrey.

Honestly, though, the episode's just an hour long and there are hardly any extras. Wait for it to appear again on a future set if you're that determined to own it.

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The 10 Worst Movies Made by 2013's Oscar Nominees

Friday, February 28, 2014 at 6:00 am

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It's worth remembering that even those who have scaled such showbiz heights that their hot sweaty palms are within grabbing distance of the Little Golden Man have often paid their dues in the grungy trenches of exploitation, or made missteps even after they became stars. So on the occasion of the 86th annual Oscars this coming Sunday, let's pause to remind ourselves of the stinkers from earlier in the careers of this year's crop of nominees.


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Blu-ray Today: Oscar Wannabes Nebraska, Gravity, Jared Leto, Plus Thor's Back With Ben Kingsley

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 8:00 am

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Thor: The Dark World - Who you tryin' to get crazy with, Asgard? Don't you know he's Loki?
To da one wit' the flamboyant temper
I drop my hammer on your hand
Mjolnir, it's goin' when you come too near
Damn, I feel I'm'a hurt my bro here
Don't let Malekith get
his bit, down on the Earth
Get his universe a new dark re-birth
My Natalie's smokin', I'm hopin'
to come outta here doin' some pokin'
Dang! I'm skippin' Kat Dennings!
Cuz thunder god don't mess with the underage things
Guys, I keep it unfurled
Cuz a Thor like me is in the Dark World.

Thor's hurled in the Dark World
Thor's spun and he's twirled!
Thor's hurled in the Dark World
Freaky hair swirled, outta this world!
Thor's hurled in the Dark World
Missin' his girl, knittin' in purl
Thor's hurled in the Dark World
On Blu in this world!

(Also that Ben Kingsley mini-movie is on this disc).

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Meet H-Man, A Completely Insane-Looking French Superhero Show With Fiona Apple

Friday, February 21, 2014 at 1:18 pm

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EU Dr. Manhattan... [I'm imagining a Weezer theme song here: "E.U., I look just like Billy Crudup/Oh oh, and you're Laurie Jupi-TUR...]

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Limp-wristed Gay Caricature Man...

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..and is that the Spanish Inquisition? I certainly did not expect them.

Also featured in this thing: Matthieu Amalric, the award-winning actor best known for The Diving Bell & The Butterfly and Quantum of Solace; and Fiona Apple as some kind of Poison Ivy wannabe. I have no idea what the hell is going on, but I want to see more.

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New R-Rated Cut of Anchorman 2 to Hit Theaters for One Mother#$%#in' Week

Friday, February 21, 2014 at 5:00 am

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It may be because I saw it at a time of personal tragedy and I laughed my ass off, but I loved Anchorman 2, from the whole fried bats routine to the RV crash with scorpions and bowling balls. It actually never occurred to me that it wasn't R-rated, I guess because I don't care if Ron Burgundy says "fuck" or not. It never felt like anything was held back.

I guess it was, though, because Paramount is actually releasing this newer, less-censored cut into theaters rather than as a DVD bonus (though I'd lay down money there'll be a Blu-ray "unrated" cut too), with, allegedly, 763 new jokes. Based on a new clip they're promoting right now, it seems like some of the MPAA's objections were silly technicalities, like, "You can joke about smoking crack, but don't belabor it!" Like all news anchors aren't on crack already.

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Blu-ray Today: Game of Thrones, Darkman and a Foxy Feast

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 10:00 am

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Darkman - When I was a kid on vacation with my aunt down in Florida, I once asked her to buy me a "Who Is Darkman?" T-shirt. She agreed, but only after I responded in the negative to her query, "That's not onea them racial things, is it?" Indeed it was not; it was Sam Raimi's attempt to springboard off the Batman movie phenomenon and create his own version with full-on horror-movie makeup. Darkman never quite captured the zeitgeist the way Ash did, but it predicted Liam Neeson's evolution into a movie badass long before that image really took hold, and made Frances McDormand a female lead before she hooked up with became perennial awards-bait with the Coens. New interviews with both of them and villain Larry Drake are highlights of this new Blu, which apparently doesn't have the best picture sharpening, but the movie always looked a little cheesy anyhow. As long as the sound is top-notch when Neeson yells "GIVE ME THE FUCKING ELEPHANT!," I'm good.

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Final Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season Will Debut on Netflix

Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 3:42 am

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Given Disney's embrace of Netflix, this makes sense. They'll also be premiering exclusive director's cuts of previous episodes, and be the exclusive streaming service for the entire series.

Via a press release at AICN:

The Galactic Republic, Disney/ABC Television Group, Lucasfilm and Netflix Inc. today announced the highly anticipated debut of the sixth and final season of the Emmy® Award-winning series Star Wars: The Clone Wars exclusively to Netflix members in the U.S. and Canada on Friday, March 7. Accompanying the 13-episode new season dubbed "The Lost Missions" will be the entire Star Wars: The Clone Wars saga, which includes several director's cut episodes never seen on TV, as well as the feature film. This multi-year agreement also makes Netflix the exclusive subscription service for the entire Star Wars: The Clone Wars series...

Star Wars: The Clone Wars is the first time any Star Wars content has been available for Netflix streaming members. The deal follows a recent announcement from Netflix and The Walt Disney Company to bring multiple original series based on Marvel characters to the service in 2015. Netflix will be the exclusive U.S. subscription television service for first-run, live-action and animated movies from the Walt Disney Studios, including titles from Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, Disneynature and Lucasfilm beginning in 2016. Netflix members can currently enjoy a wide range of Disney, ABC Entertainment Group and Disney Channel films and shows across the 41 countries where Netflix operates.

It was inevitable we'd see them eventually.