They Call Him Chad's Pick: SUPER (Region 1 Blu-Ray & DVD; IFC/MPI)
Rightly or wrongly, James Gunn has been labeled something of a cinematic imitator amongst genre fans with his feature film offerings to date. This began with his debut horror comedy feature, Slither, which drew natural and obvious Night of the Creeps comparisons due to the usage of similar slug-like aliens and zombiefied victims. For the record, I loved Slither and have long anticipated Gunn's sophomore effort. Well, Gunn's no budget superhero follow-up, Super, will do nothing to dispel notions of film thievery with a plot line evocative of Kick-Ass that encompasses a regular joe who transforms himself into a costumed avenger to fight real world crime (in Gunn's defense, Super was seemingly in development long before Kick-Ass was even created as a comic book series).
It would be a mistake to overlook Super purely out of Kick-Ass similarities as it is a high-charged, action-packed and hilarious picture. And for those that faulted Kick-Ass for deviating from the marketed "this is what would really happen" thesis, you might find Super more successful and satisfying by sticking to the real world consequences applied to the central characters. Further to this, it's great to see the principal cast play against type -- Rainn Wilson plays it straight and dreary as cook-turned-vigilante Crimson Bolt, Kevin Bacon taps into his inner-baddie and Ellen Page cuts loose as the bloodthirsty and maniacal sidekick. Michael Rooker even shelves his standard rugged and outspoken routine to play a quiet and subdued goon albeit in a minor role. Maybe this is the start of a no budget hero sub-genre to superhero films. Highly recommended.
Amazon Blu-Ray and DVD
Samurai's Pick: FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH (Region 1 Blu-Ray; Universal)
Arguably the "Citizen Kane" of 80s teen sex comedies...Fast Times has a great cast and it hits all of its notes perfectly. It seems dated now but at the time this film was an amazing break through and a film that shaped a young Sammy's life in wonderful ways....Whoa Hamilton!!!
High-Def Digest Review
Large William's Pick: CAMERAMAN: THE LIFE & WORK OF JACK CARDIFF (Region 1 Blu-Ray & DVD; Strand Releasing)
Jack Cardiff is one of the most respected cinematographers film has ever been blessed with. He worked with everyone from Powell/Pressburger to Lewis Teague. In saying that, this doco looks at the man, his work, the influence he's had and does so through speaking to Marty Scorsese and a myriad of others. Check it out gang!
Amazon Blu-Ray and DVD