Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues – Well, it doesn’t look like they’re holding back on this one. Ron Burgundy and Co.’s latest (and purportedly last) cinematic outing includes three versions if the film – original PG-13 cut, rerelease R-rated cut, and a new unrated cut – plus a ton of extras. For my money, this is Ferrell’s most satisfying film series, as he not only spreads the wealth and allows everyone in the movies to be weird, funny characters with their own beats, but he and director Adam McKay also go off on bizarre tangents that lead wherever the star’s improvisations take him…somehow offering up pitch-perfect surreal satire in the process.
It’s not for everyone – if you like your parody more straightforward, by all means watch a classic like Network. But maybe it’s just because I watched it in the midst of tragedy and it swept me away – I had a whole bunch of fun with this film. Though, to be honest, as in most things, I did find the “ironic” racism scenes a tad tedious.
King Kong Escapes/King Kong vs. Godzilla – Before Peter Jackson got overly reverent with his revival of the big ape, Japan had a couple of gos at it, which worked out about as awesomely badly as you’d imagine. Groundbreaking stop-motion was replaced by cheesy man-in-suit antics, as Kong took on, respectively, a terrorist named “Dr. Who” and his giant Robot Kong, and the king of all Kaiju. I imagine these are being rereleased now in advance of a flood of Godzilla titles to come later in the year.
Fargo: Remastered Edition – There’s not a lot of info out there on how exactly this version will be different from prior releases. It may just be a way to promote the upcoming TV series spin-off, but if you don’t already own this snowbound black comedy from the Coen brothers, it is one of their very finest and funniest, and is arguably the only reason you know who William H. Macy is today.
War of the Worlds: Goliath – Steampunk animated film that three of you are going to win from me sometime this week (yeah, yeah, I’m getting to it!) in which the Martians return circa World War I, only to find we’re readier than ever,having co-opted their technology.
47 Ronin – Keanu Reeves stars in a deadly dull samurai flick that promises monsters and delivers only a bunch of generic swordfights featuring no-name actors you don’t care about. Reeves plays a half-demon who never does anything significant with his demon powers, and the history is, to put it mildly, way off. Also, about 50% of what you see on the cover is barely in the movie.
No Holds Barred – A few years before the UFC took off, this WWE movie imagined the tale of how an evil promoter (Kurt Fuller) would come up with a company that puts on shoot fights in an octagon, and challenge World Wrestling Federation champion “Rip” (Hulk Hogan) to compete in one such match against the cinderblock-punching Zeus (Tiny Lister). A young Dana White was clearly inspired, though the only thing it’s likely to induce in you is laughter, especially when Hogan tries to do love scenes with Joan Severance. The Blu-ray also includes both wrestling matches featuring Hogan and Brutus Beefcake against Zeus and Randy Savage (mercifully, it ignores their WCW rematches in which Zeus was renamed “Z-Gangsta”).
Behind Enemy Lines: Seal Team 8 – If you thought this “franchise” reached its nadir when Ken “Mr. Kennedy” Anderson starred in a prior sequel, here’s Tom Sizemore to prove you wrong. I know he was in Saving Private Ryan, but he didn’t look much like a soldier then, and he sure doesn’t now.
Knights of Badassdom – The long-delayed LARP movie starring Peter Dinklage is finally widely available. I’m sure his newly hot career appreciates it.
The Pirate Fairy – Disney’s animated Peter Pan prequel centered on Tinkerbell features Tom Hiddleston as a pre-Captain James Hook. That’s probably enough for some of you.
The Ultimate Warrior: The Ultimate Collection – The face-painted, wild-eyed, cartoonish ’80s wrestling superstar Ultimate Warrior was never one for particularly great matches, but the last WWE DVD on him was a hatchet job portraying him as widely disliked and impossible to work with; in order to get him in the Hall of Fame, they had to step back and make a slightly more flattering one, this time featuring Warrior’s cooperation. To save face for everyone, it omits his embarrassingly bad final WCW match with its botched fireball, though sadly it does not include his non-WWE owned comeback match in Spain from a few years back.
Those are my picks for today. What are yours?