Tuesday, September 6, 2011

DVD/Blu-Ray Picks Of The Week - 9/6/11

They Call Him Chad's Pick: X-MEN: FIRST CLASS (Region 1 DVD & Blu-Ray; 20th Century Fox)
Technically, X-Men: First Class arrives this Friday rather than tomorrow for some strange. Hey, it's a few days for your wallet to recover as this is one particularly loaded week of releases as I'm sure my GGTMC cohorts will display. I want to see someone have the stones to recommend that $700 Scarface special edition Blu-ray packaged in a humidor, by the way. As for X-Men: First Class, I was stunned that this film turned out so well. It's a further testament that Matthew Vaughn is the real deal and is certainly the go-to-guy for comic book adaptations. It all works, somehow -- the prequel harness, the period setting, the rushed production, the lack of Wolverine, the interwoven Cuban Missile Crisis, the less familiar cast and characters -- it all works. Well, except for January Jones as White Queen maybe. Michael Fassbender adds a whole new dimension to Magneto, deepening empathy for this character and layering it with a significant amount of badassery. I'll be shocked if this doesn't stand as one of the best performances of the year when the dust settles. I'm probably alone in saying that I'm far from weary of superheroes films, and it's entries such as this that keep my enthusiasm high.

Amazon DVD and Blu-Ray

They Call Him Chad's Bonus Pick: SCREAM TRILOGY - 5 FILM SET (Region 1 Blu-Ray; Miramax/Lionsgate)
Alright, since my other pick isn't actually released today, I'm taking the liberty of recommending something you can swipe off the shelf immediately.

I know this pick might make some cringe, and I understand Scream hate based on the far inferior sequels and gamut of knockoffs that polluted the horror scene for so many years afterward. That said, I'm always surprised to hear so much backlash against the original Scream. It features the best slasher heroine in Sidney Prescott since Halloween's Laurie Strode. The film challenges the genre, even if it is largely through self-referential gimmicks. There's an earnest attempt to develop all the focal characters and their relationships, which is uncommon to the genre. It has a couple of nice twists, and Wes Craven brings the terror when it's needed. And I admire that this is a rare mainstream slasher film where you're not really rooting for the killer. Scream is one of my favorite horror films ever, easily in Top 10 Horror territory for me.
For those counting at home, the five film set does not include Scream 4 (a.k.a SCRE4M) because the distribution rights are owned by two separate companies (Miramax owns Scream 1-3 and The Weinstein Co. owns Scream 4). The extra two films are the supposedly well-made and insightful documentaries Still Screaming and the Biography Channel produced Scream: The Inside Story. For the record, while I'm okay with the subsequent sequels despite their diminishing returns (and I don't think they're nearly as bad as advertised), the current price point of this set is about the cost of purchasing the original by itself. At that cost, I'll gladly fork over the dough and happily take on the sequels plus two hopefully great docs.

Amazon Blu-Ray

Sammy's Pick: DRESSED TO KILL (Region 1 Blu-Ray; MGM/20th Century Fox)
De Palma is a film maker not unlike Tarantino who takes his influences and wears them on his sleeve. He has never stated that I know of anyway, that he was much of a giallo fan but if you have seen this film you know he must have seen a few at the very least. Dressed to Kill is pure cinematic gold, like a lot of De Palma films they depend on if you like his style or not but there is a sequence in this film that is possibly one of the best De Palm ever shot. It involves a museum and very little if any dialogue. If you are going to buy a De Palma this week, make it Dressed to Kill...Scarface has become a parody of itself and this is the De Palma to get this week!!!

Amazon Blu-Ray
Blu-Ray.com Review


  1. hmmm, i guess I'm just one of those Scream haters - didn't mind the first one, but it didn't blow me away, hated the second and didn't bother with the third.
    My pick for this week is the region A blu-ray of A Horrible Way To Die. That film slayed me.

  2. I've been wondering about A Horrible Way To Die so thanks for the tip. I'll check it out.

    Hey, everyone's entitled to hate Scream even if I don't get it...I feel like I'm in the minority of those that love it these days.

    I can't really defend the sequels...they're all in the 6/10 range for me probably, but there's things I enjoy about them all. They took a wrong turn, I think, by not just going the obvious route with those that could assume the Ghostface role and trying overly hard for a big ass twist.