Lordy, I thought last week was sparse for Blu-rays, but unless you’re a fan of second-tier Pixar, today’s a bit of a loss too. I didn’t care for Monsters University much…I didn’t hate it, but simply couldn’t be arsed to actually care about anything in it. To the extent that I liked the first one (which isn’t a lot), it was mainly due to Boo, the cute and fearless toddler who spoke gibberish. By necessity, she’s not in this prequel, and the origin of the animosity between Mike and Randall is astonishingly non-interesting (he joins a popular frat full of jerks. That’s it). The weirdest thing about this movie is that it’s a college flick marketed to audiences way too young to understand college jokes, yet so judiciously family friendly that it isn’t interesting for those who are old enough. Starring late middle-age men.
And then there’s Cars, which is being newly released in 3D, and features one of my least-favorite Hollywood tropes of all time: the celebrity leading a great life who winds up in a small town where – by virtue of falling for the local hottie, who is inexplicably unmarried – he learns that in fact he was never happy before, and small-town life is where it’s at. With that said, after a week at Disneyland and California Adventure, my appreciation for Cars as ancillary product has gone way up. With the exception of a disappointing tire ride, the attractions based upon the movie are incredibly fun, from the tractor-pull spin to Radiator Springs Racers, an epically huge “wild ride” through Radiator Springs followed by a roller-coaster style race. Sure, the movie’s merchandised to death, but some of that merchandise is truly “ka-chow” worthy.
R.I.P.D. – Or rather, RU-MIB? I’d be lying if I said I had no desire to see Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds aping Tommy Lee Jones/Will Smith and teaming up as undead cops, but the truly dismal word of mouth on this has kept me away so far. That, and the fact that it was released the week of Comic Con, guaranteeing that those most disposed to like it (in theory) wouldn’t have the time to see it first. The lack of faith in even the base makes me think there’s ultimately not much to see here – though I like Ryan Reynolds in even all those movies you – yes, you – hate him in. You know the ones.
Byzantium – A new vampire movie from the director of Interview With the Vampire? That disappeared from theaters so fast I barely remembered it existed? I want to say “yes please!” but I can’t, remembering full well that Neil Jordan and horror don’t always mix (In Dreams, High Spirits), though they can be amazing when they do (The Company of Wolves).
WWE Straight to the Top: The Money in the Bank Ladder Match Anthology – Even for casual wrestling fans, these multiple-participant matches with no rules and lots of falling off ladders are a highlight, and this Blu-ray supposedly has every one to date (it’s one of a very few wrestling discs I actually want to own). Notably, this includes the first, in which subsequent double-murderer Chris Benoit competed. WWE has struggled mightily over how to acknowledge his career given the way it ended; it’s a tough one, but on the whole I’m in favor of not erasing history.
Bounty Killer – I’m just going to print this synopsis verbatim as it was sent to me: “It’s been 20 years since the corporations took over the world’s governments. Their thirst for power and profits led to the corporate wars, a fierce global battle that laid waste to society as we know it. Born from the ash, the Council of Nine rose as a new law and order for this dark age. To avenge the corporations’ reckless destruction, the Council issues death warrants for all white collar criminals. Their hunter’s – the BOUNTY KILLER. From amateur savage to graceful assassin, the BOUNTY KILLER’S now compete for body count, fame and a fat stack of cash. They’re ending the plague of corporate greed by exterminating the self serving CEO and providing the survivors of the apocalypse with retribution. These are the new heroes. This is the age of the BOUNTY KILLER.”
That’s all I’ve got for you this week. What can you add?