These last couple of weeks have been real tough on the wallet, but damn it's never felt this good to spend so much money. This week, not only do we have the blu ray release of my favorite film of 2012 so far (and I seriously doubt it's going to be toppled by anything coming this fall), but we've also been granted two superb Criterions, a stunning animated adaptation of a Batman classic, the gory gonzo samurai bonanza of the Lone Wolf & Cub series, and a beastly 007 box set compiling 50 years of super slick espionage. And oh yeah, then there's a certain rolling president on the hunt for devious werewolf Nazis.
MUST BUY DVD OF THE WEEK!
The Avengers: What more can I say about The Avengers that the internet hasn't already expounded upon ad nauseum? It's a great Summer action film that the mainstream can enjoy. But for life long comic book nerds like myself, The Avengers was a revelation. I remember being a kid seeing Tim Burton's Batman - Wow! The Dark Knight kicking Joker ass on the big screen, that sure is something. Then came Bryan Singer's X-Men with Magneto & Professor X battling mutant philosophies. Who'd a thunk it. Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins also knocked me on my ass, Batman's origin told with gut wrenching emotional weight that never quite hit me in the comics until I saw Bale on screen. But The Avengers? Joss Whedon is the first to put a comic book on screen. The rest have just been adaptions, this is the closest we've come to experiencing the unadulterated heroics of stapled comics. And I'm just counting the seconds until my copy is in my hands.
The Game (Criterion Collection): Not my favorite Fincher film. In fact, when I first saw it on the heels of Seven I kinda hated it. But upon repeat viewings it's grown on me. Michael Douglas is in fine form as the pathetic business man grotesque, and my heart palpitates watching his life torn apart by Sean Penn's birthday present. Really curious to check out the special features on this one, I know this is one of those Criterion discs that's going to reveal all kinds of hidden love for a generally under appreciated flick.
Eating Raoul (Criterion Collection): I'm ashamed to admit that I've never seen Eating Raoul. It was always one of those flicks I saw in the video store but never rented. Which is weird when you consider that Paul Bartel has directed some of my absolutely favorite Roger Corman flicks (Death Race 2000, Cannonball!). Criterion has also included a couple of his short films "The Secret Cinema" & "Naughty Nurse" that I'm eager to experience.
James Bond Blu Ray Box Set: I already own all these. But not in HD. From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Live and Let Die, The Man With The Golden Gun, The Living Daylights, Goldeneye, Casino Royale. I love these films so damn much. And I'd love to crank through these flicks before Skyfall hits in November. But can I afford this right now? Probably not.
Lone Wolf & Cub Blu Ray Set: If you think Samurai films are beautiful arty meditations directed by Akira Kurosawa than you seriously need to dip into the exploitation nightmare that is this series. As the shogun executioner Ogami Itto, actor Tomisaburo Wakayama is a brutish beast of a killer. Maybe on Clint Eastwood in the Dollars trilogy can match his unflinching stare as he dispatches bladed villains with the aid of his infant son's baby cart. This is weird wild stuff and it's essential to anyone even remotely interested in the genre.
FDR - American Badass: What can you say? Nothing. Just watch the trailer and know that you have to see it even if it's most certainly utter garbage. "I'm a motorcycle of death, I've got no side car!"
The Tall Man: Um, this is not the latest Phantasm film. And I'm sorely offended by the title Ms. Biel. Where's Angus Scrimm!?!?!?!? Ok. Got that out of the way. This looks like every other post-90s horror flick to hit the direct-to-dvd market. Part of me has always wanted Biel to succeed - I guess cuz she's pretty and stuff, and she managed to break outta the WB dungeon that was 7th Heaven. But she keeps making garbage. Too bad.