Welcome back to This Week In Discs!
As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it.
Justified: The Complete Third Season
Deputy US Marshall Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) is a patient man, but even he has his limits. His feuds with Boyd (Walton Goggins) and Dickie (Jeremy Davies) are still going strong when two more men enter the fray in the form of a Detroit mobster (Neal McDonaugh) and a local butcher named Limehouse (Mykelti Williamson). Not everyone will be standing by the end of these thrilling and entertaining as hell thirteen episodes. Three seasons in this FX series continues to shine thanks to sharp writing, a colorful cast of characters and the absolute coolness that Olyphant brings to Givens. Fun stuff, perfect length, highly recommended.
Also available on DVD. [Extras: Commentaries, outtakes, deleted scenes, featurettes, interviews]
Pitch: Time to die… again…
Why Buy? Joe’s (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) job involves shooting people sent back in time by futuristic mobsters, but when his older self (Bruce Willis) appears before him and promptly escapes, both Joes find themselves fighting for very different futures. Trust me, it makes a bit more sense when you watch it.
Writer/director Rian Johnson follows up Brick and The Brothers Bloom with one of the most original and thrilling American sci-fi films in years. Seeing as it involves time travel there’s bound to be some logic wonkiness, but they’re easily forgivable in light of the story’s varied and surprisingly dark turns. Emily Blunt, Jeff Daniels, Piper Perabo and Garret Dillahunt also join in the fun. Also available on DVD (but the Blu-ray features a whopping additional 17 deleted scenes). [Extras: Commentary, featurettes, deleted scenes]
Pitch: The most misunderstood limo-based film since My Chauffeur…
Why Rent? A young, wealthy, finance manager (Robert Pattinson) heads out for a haircut, but what should have been a simple drive across town in his limousine becomes a day-long nightmare of wackos, business concerns, sexual shenanigans and Occupy Wall Street protests.
David Cronenberg’s latest film struck a very divisive chord with critics, and it’s easy to see why with its sketchy pacing, stage-like performances and fragmented script. For its many faults though there’s something strangely engaging about the revolving door of oddball visitors including Jay Baruchel, Paul Giamatti, Juliette Binoche, Samantha Morton and Mathieu Amalric. It’s not really a likable film, but it’s a somewhat interesting one. Whether or not that’s enough of a reason to watch the movie I can’t say. Also available on DVD. [Extras: Featurette, commentary, interviews]
Pitch: As far as family feuds go this is more Louie Anderson than Richard Dawson…
Why Avoid? The youngest member of a family of vampire-like beings is injured so the clan heads off to Europe in the hopes of finding elders who can heal the boy. What they discover instead is a vampire family even more annoying than the Cullens.
This is apparently a sequel to The Butcher Brothers’ earlier film, The Hamiltons, but I’m in no rush to seek it out for comparison. The problem isn’t simply that vampires are boring either. (To be fair, these folks are kind of like vampires but without many of the trappings.) The narrator (and lead actor), Cory Knaupf, offers up the worst voice over work since Blake Lively savaged Savages, the script jumps around for no good reason and the action is inconsistent. Worse than both of those though is the excessive and obvious reliance on CGI blood. [Extras: Featurettes]
Skip it and watch Near Dark instead.
War of the Dead
Pitch: It’s time to give this particular horror sub-genre a break. Maybe we can get some movies with mime zombies instead…
Why Avoid? It’s 1941 and the Nazis have been at it again, performing experiments that lead to unholy abominations that keep moving and fighting after they’re dead. A squad of US soldiers joins forces with their Finnish counterparts to infiltrate and destroy the Nazi’s bunker, but the undead are a resilient bunch.
Once upon a time Nazi zombies were cool just by their very nature. Nazis. Zombies. Awesome. But what started with Shock Waves and was reinvigorated by Dead Snow has since become a redundant series of low budget affairs high on dimly lit locations and low on scares, tension and originality. Characters, good and bad, blend into each other as charisma-free meat puppets waiting to be put down with mediocre special effects. [Extras: None]
Skip it and watch Outpost: Black Sun instead.
Also out this week, but I haven’t seen the movie/TV show, review material was unavailable, and I have no blind opinion:
Being Human: The Second Season