DVD Reviews: Safe, Titanic, Piranha 3DD and more!
Looking for some quality home entertainment this weekend? Here are a few ideas…
Safe — Surely home video is the perfect way to enjoy yet another simplistic yet stylish Jason Statham action flick. His newest is kinda plot-heavy, which isn’t great, but it does feature some smash-mouth action scenes, which is good, and the movie certainly does embrace its R rating. The plot is a whole lot of hooey about Russian mobsters, Asian mobsters, dirty cops, and a lost little girl. Feel free to tune out when the blather gets too dense; Statham eventually solved everything with fists, feet, knees, and guns. Lots of guns.
Titanic — You’d probably expect me to be one of the many Titanic-bashers, but I actually do like this silly but old-school entertaining sorta movie. It’s a bit too long, and some of the dialogue is sort of clunky, but there’s also a lot to admire in James Cameron’s award-winning, mega-smash juggernaut of a disaster flick. And if you’re a big fan, you’ll definitely want to explore the new 4-disc set, which offers the lovely film in digital format (obviously), plus almost three hours of all-new stuff. Dozens of deleted scenes, documentaries, featurettes, etc.
And if you’re a super-duper Titanic junkie, check out the Amazon-exclusive edition, which comes with some books, lobby cards, and various geeky pieces of minutiae.
Piranha 3DD — I’m known as a guy who likes (and often praises) junky monster movies, but even I have my limits. Semi-sequel to the silly Piranha remake from a few years back, this thing looks like it was conceived, shot, and slapped together over the course of a drunken weekend. It sounds fun on paper — mutant piranha invade water park! — but the painfully cheap presentation and the aggressively puerile sexuality sucks all the fun out of the affair.
The Five-Year Engagement – Confession time: I haven’t actually seen this one yet. (I’m slow on rom-coms; sue me!) But the flick does come from filmmakers I trust, including Judd Apatow, Nick Stoller, Seth Rogen, and Emily Blunt, so like many of you, I’ll be renting it this weekend.
High School – A funny stoner farce that I saw at Sundance two years ago. Fun premise: a straight-laced kid smokes his first joint, but the school announces a drug test, so he and a pal hatch a scheme to get EVERYONE baked. Solid cast helps a lot.
Re-Animator – The 1980s were pretty great for youthful horror geeks like myself, and I’d absolutely rank Stuart Gordon’s Re-Animator as one of the best of the decade. Inspired by an H.P. Lovecraft story, but expanded in ways that only fans could pull off, this is a remarkably weird, funny, gory, creepy horror film, and while it certainly ranks highly among “cult” film fans, I say it’s just a damn good horror film. And it’s FINALLY available on Blu-ray. None of the extra goodies are new (they’ve been recycled from the DVD special edition), but the cast interviews and audio commentary are both very good, so that’s a minor complaint.
Digital purchase (non-rental) only: The Cabin in the Woods (which is so much damn fun), Snow White and the Huntsman, and What to Expect When You’re Expecting.
In the VOD department I (once again) recommend the bad-ass horror anthology V/H/S, the profanely funny Bridesmaid, and other scary flicks like [REC] 3, Rites of Spring, The Tall Man, and The Good Doctor. Sue me, I like indie horror films.
Random catalog blu-rays: Hocus Pocus (Disney), The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (Disney), A New Leaf (Olive Films), Sleepwalkers (Image), Mad Monster Party (Lionsgate)!