Captain America: The Winter Soldier – I don’t know if you heard, but Marvel’s most recent sequel is exactly like a ’70s political thriller! You probably heard that because Marvel coached everybody well to say “’70s political thriller,” knowing as they do that critics have a Pavlovian reaction to that favored genre of theirs…the ’70s political thriller. Why, it almost feels like a conspiracy…straight out of a ’70s political thriller!
I kid. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie just as much as everyone else, despite the fact that unlike in the era and genre to which we compare, there was never any doubt in my mind whatsoever that the important character we thought dead was actually not. Still, easily my favorite of the two Captain America movies, and the decision to totally undermine SHIELD was as ballsy as Marvel movies get (i.e. not the ballsiest thing ever, but still unexpected).
The Blu-ray includes commentary tracks by the directors and the writers. The Blu-ray cover, surprisingly, does not include Anthony Mackie as the Falcon, which seems an odd call given the current comics storyline.
Borgman – After delivering the Mass, a priest leads some of the locals out to the woods to attack a group of strange, disheveled individuals living underground. One escapes, finds an opulent house and rings the doorbell, claiming to know the woman of the house and requesting a bath. Her husband responds with violence, but she offers the man sanctuary. Big mistake. Gradually he insinuates himself more and more into their lives, secretly replacing the house help with his own allies and somehow inducing realistic nightmares that cause the family members to turn on each other. Equally artsy and creepy, this Dutch thriller is another unusual hybrid from Drafthouse releasing, with a thick full-color booklet full of interviews that clarify things a little. My only complaint is that the subtitles also include descriptions of ambient sounds, and I couldn’t find any way to turn that part off.
The Addams Family/Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events – a.k.a. how to do creepy humor for kids, and how not to. Brad Silberling, whose filmography mostly features titles about dealing with grief, like Moonlight Mile and City of Angels, lacks the morbid snickers needed to find the Edward Gorey-esque tone the Lemony Snicket books cry out for. Jim Carrey is a hoot as the evil Count Olaf and all his various secret identities, and the disc comes loaded with all the extras from previous DVD editions…but you’re still better going for the bare-bones Addams Family, with its graveyard humor that helped launch the directorial career of Barry Sonnenfeld and the cult-icon status of Christina Ricci.
And since it stars Raul Julia, well, today is the most important day of your morbid family comedy selecting life. But for me, it’s Tuesday.
Young Frankenstein: 40th Anniversary Edition – Love young Fronken-steen, but containing one disc and retailing for $9.99, this somehow doesn’t seem like much of an anniversary edition.
Godzilla 2000/Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla/Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack/Rebirth of Mothra/Rebirth of Mothra II/Rebirth of Mothra III – I have no idea what these movies are about. None. If only their titles were more descriptive somehow.
Star Trek: The Compendium – Here’s the good news: this 4-disc set, featuring both JJ Abrams films, collects all the different extras that infuriated fans by being exclusives to various separate retailers, and finally puts them in one place.
Here’s the bad news: Star Trek Into Darkness is still included.
Brick Mansions – Paul Walker’s poorly reviewed, loose remake of the French parkour movie District B13 is, from what everyone tells me, strictly for Paul Walker fans who want to see the late, blandly likable hunk onscreen one more time. Listen, by all accounts he was a great guy and a humanitarian, but you aren’t required to see everything he did because of it.
Doctor Who: Deep Breath – Seriously? The season premiere from two weeks ago is out already as a single-episode disc? You can still see it on BBC America. Save your money for the inevitable box set.
Prom Night – The original female-led slasher starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Leslie Nielsen hits Blu with the promise of never-before-seen outtakes. Time for me to actually watch it.
Pumpkinhead – Pissed-off farmer Lance Henriksen conjures up one of director Stan Winston’s greatest monsters, a corpse-monster who looks like the spawn of Jack Skellington and the Toxic Avenger (but way cooler than either). In a rare horror-movie instance of revenge not solving things, the farmer eventually realizes his mistake and must try to defeat the thing he resurrected. One of the many movies that made me a lifelong Henriksen fan, and I really hope it holds up.
Willow Creek – A found-footage Bigfoot horror movie directed by…Bobcat Goldthwait?
Bermuda Tentacles – Jamie Kennedy and Linda Hamilton fight a giant octopus in this Syfy movie that isn’t Sharknado.
There are a few other horror movies getting repackaged/repriced, like Lifeforce and Jennifer’s Body, but the discs themselves aren’t new. So that makes up my picks for today – what else should be included?