Having recently reviewed and torn apart the lame duck slasher outing The Driller Killer, I felt like I should make amends to Director Abel Ferrara, whom I’m actually a fan of, by recommending one of his five-star masterworks as a critical counterbalance to the condemnation – welcome to Forgotten Friday Flick! This week I’m going back to 1990 for a little crime drama with a very big cast. It’s the tale of a drug lord who gets released from prison and picks up right where he left off. Guns at the ready, gals galore and drugs a plenty, this one pits gangsters with attitude vs. a gaggle of cops eager to get even and all vying to be the one and only…King Of New York!
Fox Home Entertainment announces this morning the home release of its wildly imaginative fantasy adventure, “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” arriving just in time for the holidays on December 13th. The arrival includes availability on Digital HD, Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD & DVD and will be fully loaded with two hours of immersive content to delight fans. The Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD versions of the film include a variety of special features, and a limited edition DVD is available with a unique collectible “Stay Peculiar” bracelet while supplies last.
I didn’t use to be the biggest Ben Affleck fan around, but The Town was definitely one of the movies I could not wait to see after viewing its initial theatrical trailer. Maybe it was those devilish looking bank robbing masks (click here to see what I am talking about) that reminded me so much of Point Break‘s creepy presidential masks or maybe it was the simple fact that this film blatantly looked so bad-a$$. I don’t know what it was. But I did know this. I was pumped and primed for it. I love me a good Boston crime drama any day of the week. Little did I also know back then, but Ben Affleck was about to light the world on fire, not to mention Jeremy Renner too. With an impressive cast, an intriguing storyline and a trailer that made me instantly want to plop my hard earned cash down on there was little chance that The Town was ever going to be anything less than crowd pleasing. Looking back six years now I definitely was not disappointed at all with the end product.
Continue reading ‘The Town (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)’
I’m taking a pause in between a gaggle of end of year ‘must sees’ (whew!) to pick off five more indie films that may provide some cinematic satisfaction. (Or may not!) Grim tales of horror, dramatic stories of second chances, criminal activities, almighty homicide and gun battles done in a noble fashion – what a group! Check out the Encapsulated Movie Reviews of The Eyes of My Mother, Run The Tide, Anonymous, Blood Brothers and The Duelist all provided below!
Like many children’s stories, A Monster Calls is about death. Think about that. For all the joy that often comes from films intended for children or a family audience, death is a key ingredient. That’s not necessarily bad, as death is a part of life, but interesting. Obviously some of these stories place death further in the background, but others embrace it as a crucial plot point. A Monster Calls deals with the concept head on through the workings of visual wonder and emotional performances.
Here’s a true fact for you. Never in a million, zillion years would I ever have believed that I could experience unhappiness while watching my favorite film of 2015, Mad Max Fury Road. Before we go there I want to take a step back. Last year the rumor was that the Blu-ray release of Mad Max Fury Road would also include the film in black and white (or as Warner Bros. now dubs Black & Chrome). That obviously never happened, which is why we’re here now over a year later with an unmistakable cash grab at getting whatever left that they can out of this phenomenal picture. However, if you already own the first Blu-ray release (see my review of it here), then you’re getting less here in my opinion. Sure you’re getting the film on Blu-ray in “black and chrome.” Big stinking deal! They don’t even give you a Digital HD file of it all. Boo! To top it all off watching this film in “black and chrome” was an absolute chore for me. When I first heard about this I was like wow that is going to look so cool. Not the case at all! Half the film’s appeal for me was the harsh, scorching , burn-your-eyes-out colors employed throughout and I hate to be the naysayer here but without said colors you lose A LOT of the detail. I didn’t think this was possible, but I hated every single minute of my viewing of Mad Max Fury Road Black & Chrome. Continue reading ‘Mad Max Fury Road BLACK & CHROME Edition (Blu-ray Review)’
Finding the right focus and exploring a character in interesting ways is what I enjoy when it comes to biopics. Jackie has the right idea. This is not a film about the life of Jackie Kennedy. It also doesn’t place her in a supporting role, so we can follow someone else around and observe her from afar. What this film does is much more effective. Jackie holds focus on the time surrounding the worst day of her life and what her state of mind was. The result is a dreamy, yet engaging feature.
The awesome and truly indie inspired Park City festival known for being self governed ‘By Filmmakers, For Filmmakers’ known as the Slamdance Film Festival will once again be taking place in Utah this January 20-26, 2017 for the 23rd Edition and we here at WhySoBlu.com are very excited. The fest has a history of discovering some of the best filmmakers in the business (see Christopher Nolan, Jared Hess and Oren Peli to name a few!) and embodies the spirit of originality in film – a feat that deserves be recognized and celebrated. We’re going to have announcements soon about our involvement in the upcoming fest (we’re so excited!), but needless to say we will be there to document and dissect cinematic pictures of all shapes and sizes in Park City for your movie pleasure. For now we’re revealing the upcoming slate of films in the two main fest competition categories – Documentary and Narrative features. (And with a whopping 19 films overall there’s no shortage of amazing flicks!) So check out 2017’s selected films below and then head over to www.Slamdance.com and get your tickets and passes now – see you there movie fans! Continue reading ‘Slamdance Film Festival Announces 2017 Competition Lineup’
The blood runs in rivers and the drilling keeps tearing through flesh and bone…now all on Blu-ray! In career that has encompassed such controversial classics as Ms. 45, Bad Lieutenant and King of New York, none of Abel Ferrara’s films have quite managed to match the shock, extremity and downright notorious nature of The Driller Killer and now the infamous drill-in-head sleeve cover flick is hitting shelves with a special 2-Disc Edition from Arrow Video on Dec. 13. Ferrara plays struggling artist Reno, a man pushed to the edge by the economic realities of New York living in the late seventies and the No Wave band practicing in the apartment below. His grip on reality soon begins to slip and he takes to stalking the streets with his power tool in search of prey…Forget Taxi Driver, The Warriors and The New York Ripper, The Driller Killer is the definitive look at NYC’s underbelly – a slasher that is as much at home in the arthouse as it is the grindhouse. This new 2 Disc-Special Edition Blu-ray features a brand new 4K restoration from the original camera negative and includes both a presentation of the never-before-seen Pre-Release Version and the Original Theatrical Cut both with uncompressed PCM Mono Audio. Extras include an Audio Commentary by director and star Abel Ferrara moderated by Brad Stevens (author of Abel Ferrara: The Moral Vision), also the featurettes Laine and Abel: An Interview with the Driller Killer with a brand-new interview with Ferrara, Willing and Abel: Ferraraology 101, a new visual essay guide to the films and career of Ferrara by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, author of Cultographies: Ms. 45, Mulberry St., Ferrara’s feature-length 2010 documentary portrait of the New York location that has played a key role in his life and work and an Original Trailer. Continue reading ‘The Driller Killer 2-Disc Special Edition (Blu-ray Review)’
Jason Bourne needs no trailer to sell it. Let’s be honest of that fact. When Bourne Identity dropped in 2002 it rejuvenated the stale international spy franchises out there. Just look at the style of what came next in the Bond series, Casino Royale, as living proof. Suddenly Bourne-like movies infected our screens everywhere from the mainstream Mission Impossible franchise to even television series like 24. Yes, technically 24 came out first, but surely you can see the influence of the Bourne films. Ha ha. Whatevs! What I want to know is what’s up with these “character name” movie titles? Stallone resurrected two dead franchises like that. Now I guess it’s Greengrass’ turn, eh? Continue reading ‘Jason Bourne (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)’
They’re not staying down there, anymore! Finally making its long-awaited debut on Blu-ray, director Douglas Cheek’s cult ’80s favorite C.H.U.D. (available now on Blu-ray from Arrow Video!) is the ultimate underground movie experience. In downtown Manhattan, a police captain’s hunt for his missing wife leads to the discovery of a series of mysterious disappearances in the area. Extending his search into the tunnels and sewers below the city streets, it soon becomes clear that something monstrous is lurking in that subterranean world. Starring John Heard (Cat People), Daniel Stern (Home Alone), Kim Greist (Manhunter) and Christopher Curry (Starship Troopers) alongside an early appearance from John Goodman, C.H.U.D. has justifiably built up a huge cult following in the years since its release in 1984, with one of the most iconic creature designs of the period. This new 2 Disc-Special Edition Blu-ray features a brand new restoration from the original film elements and includes both a presentation of the Integral Cut from a new 2K film transfer and a High-Def presentation of the Original Theatrical Cut both with uncompressed PCM Mono Audio. Extras include an Audio Commentary with director Douglas Cheek, writer Shepard Abbott, and actors John Heard, Daniel Stern and Christopher Curry, plus featurettes A Dirty Look with an interview with production designer William Bilowit, Dweller Designs with an interview with special make-up effects and creature creator John Caglione, Jr., the featurette Notes from Above Ground: The NYC Locations of C.H.U.D. hosted by journalist Michael Gingold and filmmaker Ted Geoghegan, plus a brand new Audio Track featuring isolated score selections and an interview with composers Martin Cooper and David A. Hughes, a Behind-the-Scenes Gallery, an Extended Shower Scene and Original Theatrical Trailer. Continue reading ‘C.H.U.D. 2-Disc Special Edition (Blu-ray Review)’
This December, baseball fans can bring home this year’s Fall Classic with a Blu-ray release commemorating the Chicago Cubs champion run: 2016 World Series Champions: Chicago Cubs (available December 6th). All droughts end with rain. And when the Chicago Cubs ended their 108-year World Series drought with an improbable three game run – including a dramatic Game 7 rain delay – to capture the championship, generations of Cubs fans washed away decades of disappointment, curses and superstitions. Fly the W! The Cubs are 2016 World Series champions! This December, fly the W and celebrate the Cubs history-making run to the championship with these two ultimate mementos from one of the most exciting postseasons in a generation. Continue reading ‘2016 World Series Champions: Chicago Cubs (Blu-ray Review)’
IFC Midnight and Scream Factory continue their hellish bond in bringing some of the best and unwatched in the indie horror scene to Blu-ray with The Devil’s Dolls. This is the second feature film from director Padraig Reynolds, following his other horror/thriller The Rites of Spring (Which, I’ve not seen, but has a really cool throwback retro poster). The disc isn’t just a bare bones one like some of these can be, it does come with a nice little grouping of bonus features (Including a commentary). It can be yours to own, or maybe to rent or borrow from that friend who snatches these up, on December 6th.
Dreamscape is now seeing its first double dip on Blu-ray after a rather lackluster and a bit reviled release the first time around. This time, though, we’re all lucky that the folks over at Scream Factory are the ones handling it. They seem to have heard all of the complaints from the other version and have set out to correct them. First off, they’ve got a brand new 2K transfer for the film as well as their normal slew of extras which are par for the course on their highly coveted “Collector’s Edition” series. This hopefully will please the fans as well as maybe make some new ones and possibly give some people a better second look at the film as it looks better than it has before. You can get your pre-order in for the release now, as it comes out December 13th.
Continue reading ‘Dreamscape – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)’
The BFG, a big time collaborative effort to bring Roald Dahl’s classic story to the big screen in live action form seems like it would be a big deal, but maybe it was just past the time for excitement. Maybe its not something for this current generation. Its got a lot going for it with Steven Spielberg helming and reteaming himself with the writer from ET. A couple of great trailers as well as very good reviews couldn’t help get people to plop down the money for it or make it their choice over Finding Dory. Every summer we get more and more tentpoles and tentpoles against tentpoles in an almost weekly showdown, things get lost among the fold. The BFG was one of those, one of the biggest let downs and bombs. Critically, Spielberg is still on his run, but box office-wise its now come to a screeching halt. Continue reading ‘The BFG (Blu-ray Review)’
They pledge themselves to be young, stay young and die young – and all now on Blu-ray! Marking TV star Daphne Zuniga’s debut in a leading role, The Initiation (now available on Blu-ray from Arrow Video) ranks amongst the finest of the college-based stalk-and-slash flicks – now finally restored in glorious High-Definition! Arriving in 1984, The Initiation might have been late to the slasher party, but, alongside the likes of The House on Sorority Row and The Mutilator, it remains one of the stronger entries to emerge in the latter days of the slice-and-dice boom. The new Blu-ray features a brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative with uncompressed PCM Mono Audio and has extras that include a new Audio Commentary by The Hysteria Continues, the featurettes Sorority Saga with a brand new interview with writer Charles Pratt, Jr., Pledge Night with brand new interview with actor Christopher Bradley, Dream Job with a brand new interview with actress Joy Jones, plus an Extended Scene and the Original Theatrical Trailer. Continue reading ‘The Initiation (Blu-ray Review)’
Black Christmas is a film that I’ve spent many years referring to as underrated, underseen, underappreciated, forgotten, unknown…you know the drill. But, as I review this Blu-ray and I look back at it, I wonder if it really is any more. If you’ll look at the bonus material, you’ll see there are a TON of interviews and retrospective documentaries on the film. You don’t get that if people aren’t interested in seeing that sort of thing. There was also a remake of the film. You also will see many articles on it throughout the given year as a part of lists for horror things and seasonal tidings. The film has also been remade, which is saying something too. In 42 years since it’s release, I think its finally crossed the boundary and IS the great horror classic it has always been. And for me, I’ve always called it one of my favorite slasher films, one of my favorite horror films, one of my favorite Christmas movies. But, its time I cross a boundary and just say its one of my all time favorite films. And its always exciting when one of my favorite films gets such a definitive release like this one. Continue reading ‘Black Christmas – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)’
Hot on the heels of the original came the obvious sequel to The Hunger Games, Catching Fire. Since there’s, you know, multiple books in the series, anybody and everybody was expecting regardless of “how big” the first film would do. With the sequel came a changing of the guard as Gary Ross stepped away from the director role and Francis Lawrence would fill his shoes and finish out the series. Along with Lawrence came some hard hitters filling in the supporting character roles with the likes of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright and Amanda Plummer. It was another huge success for the franchise, which is making a full on 4K UHD Blu-ray appearance, just a year after finishing its run. This thrilling second chapter, er book…or sequel will be making its Blu-ray debut on November 8th. Continue reading ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)’