Oz the Great and Powerful – Sam Raimi’s “Not a Prequel but it Really Is” to The Wizard of Oz starts off wonderfully, but descends into tedium the more beholden to the MGM musical it eventually becomes. Mila Kunis may give more than a few viewers a witch fetish, which someone like Axel Braun is undoubtedly capitalizing on as we speak. I’m still waiting for a movie to do Oz right, but in the meantime, if you want to imagine Glinda and the Wizard gettin’ it on, this is the movie for you. Bruce Campbell shows up as a Winkie guard.
Wrong – For fans of his movie about an evil tire, Quentin Dupieux is back with an equally weird comedy about a zen master (William Fichtner) of indeterminate national origin who kidnaps people’s dogs so that absence may make the owner’s heart grow fonder. But when he loses one of the dogs, it becomes a problem – though maybe not as much of a problem as the pizza parlor employee who wants to get married and have kids immediately, or the office where it’s always raining indoors, or the groundskeeper who drops dead after failing to adequately deal with a tree that has changed species overnight. If you like your movies to make sense, avoid; if random weirdness amuses more than it annoys, this is a must-have.
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (Unrated Cut) – They never screened this one for press, and tried to lure in viewers with an extended G.I. Joe trailer. Looked like vaguely dumb fun, and the sort of thing Jeremy Renner probably signed on for prior to Avengers.
Enter the Dragon: 40th Anniversary Edition – Pretty much every video game you’ve ever played about a fighting tournament on a remote island can be traced back to this movie, the last fully completed Bruce Lee feature prior to his death, and the quintessential one, costarring Jim Kelly and John Saxon. The highlight of the new disc seems to be a new documentary entitled Bruce Lee in His Own Words, but basically this is an action movie that belongs in anybody’s collection, special edition or not.
The Philadelphia Experiment – No, not the ’80s cult time-travel film starring Michael Pare, but the 2013 remake starring…Malcolm McDowell. What, you never heard of it? Perhaps it slipped through a time hole after production wrapped and is just showing up now.
Running Scared – The best thing about this misbegotten urban nightmare loosely based on fairy tales is that if you can hang in there for the finale, you get to see Paul Walker’s face smashed in with hockey pucks. It’s only fair given that we had to watch him go down on Vera Farmiga earlier.
Those are my Blu-ray highlights of the week. What are yours?