DVD Reviews: Monsters, Dark Shadows and more…
Happy October, GeekNation movie fanatics. Below are the first week’s best home video bets. Oooh, and if you want to do October right, take a look at this amazingly nerdy “Required Viewing” calendar I cooked up for the whole month.
For now, here’s the new stuff.
Universal Monsters Mega-Creepy Massive Eight-Movie Blu-Ray Blissful Awesomeness Collection — I just made that up, but this set looks simply amazing. Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), The Mummy (1932), The Invisible Man (1933), The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), The Wolf Man (1941), The Phantom of the Opera (1943), and The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954). Digital transfers. New audio. Commentary tracks from film historians and some featurettes and archival goodies! (I just passed out.)
Dark Shadows — Tim Burton has a new movie coming out called Frankenweenie. Based on an old short film he made in the 1980s, it’s very sweet and charming and funny. Let us focus on Frankenweenie and not Dark Shadows, which is one truly desperate and witless piece of pop-culture detritus that should have never been made. (Here’s my FEARnet review.)
Red Lights — Sigourney Weaver, Robert De Niro, and Cillian Murphy in a thriller about a mysterious psychic who may actually possess dark powers? Sounds interesting, right? Yeah, right up until you watch it. Not terrible, but in no way good.
Cinderella (1950) — Yes, I’m a huge horror fanatic but I also love animated features, especially all the old “vaulted” classics from Disney. (The Sleeping Beauty blu-ray is probably the most beautiful digital transfer I’ve ever seen.) This package looks like a no-brainer for animation buffs and smart parents alike: a lovely, old-school Disney masterpiece, an eye-popping (and ear-caressing!) new audio-visual experience, and supplemental goodies that are split into kid stuff and legitimate archival awesomeness.
Sound of My Voice — A clever indie thriller (of sorts) about a filmmaker who digs into a cult and discovers strange things. (It’s quite good. Just give the flick a shot without reading up on it too much.)
Iron Sky — Just your typical German/Finnish sci-fi film about Nazis who plan to return from the moon in 2018 to take over the world with spaceships. I’m getting a little tired of this plot device.
The Hole — The geek hero Joe Dante (Piranha, Gremlins, Innerspace, etc.) is back with a horror flick that’s family-friendly, but also clever and fun. It’s about three kids who discover a bottomless hole in their basement, so it has some of that Goonies charm to it. Click here to read the full review.
Chained — This week’s DARK horror pick is about a vile psycho who keeps a young boy captive as he brings women home to slaughter. Yeah, don’t put this one in by accident if you’re planning to watch The Hole with your 13-year-old. Click here to read the full review.
Catalogs new to Blu: Pet Sematary, The Princess Bride, Masters of the Universe, Annie, and Dark Star! Now that’s one weird marathon!
Next week: three sci-fi films! Prometheus, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, and Rock of Ages!