The Blu-ray Crypt – July 9

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Spring Breakers blu art

Spring Breakers

I missed this while it was in theaters.  The trailer didn’t really get me all that excited for a Spring Break centric crime movie but the response to the film, which has been a bit divisive, makes the movie seem rather intriguing from both the positive and negative points of view surrounding the film.  It sounds like Spring Breakers is worth watching for Franco’s performance alone and I’m curious to find out what my stance is on the film.  I’ve never seen anything by director Harmony Korine but he has a reputation for pushing the envelope.  I’ll be adding this one to my Netflix queue.

Sleepless in Seattle blu art

Sleepless in Seattle

One of my favorite romantic comedies hits high-def in this limited edition Blu-ray from Twilight Time.  Sleepless in Seattle, in addition to You’ve Got Mail, is Nora Ephron at her best and Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan might just be my favorite on-screen romantic comedy duo of all time so the movie is pretty much essential viewing as far as I’m concerned.  The limited edition Blu-ray features an isolated score track, audio commentary with Nora and Delia Ephron, Love in the Movies featurette, the “When I Fall In Love” music video and the theatrical trailer.  While this disc is priced a little high at $29.95 (a common price for Twilight Time releases), you may want to act quickly if this Blu-ray interests you as there are only 3,000 units and once it sells out, you won’t be able to get it anymore (unless you pay a premium on ebay) for about 3-5 years since Twilight Time has exclusivity on the title until then.  I hope that when my budget allows me to purchase the movie that it’s still in stock.  Fingers crossed.

Dead Man Down blu art

Dead Man Down

I actually dug Dead Man Down despite its lackluster critical reception.  Sure it’s not perfect but I found it to be rather entertaining.  The movie can be deemed unoriginal or routine by some but I like Colin Farrell and love Noomi Rapace, who I’ve been a fan of since I saw her in the original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, so between their chemistry and the dark, moody tone of the film, I was able to get past some of its flaws and take it for what it is.  Niels Arden Oplev (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) reteams with Rapace here and makes a very technically proficient and eye-pleasing movie.  The Blu-ray seems to replicate the film’s visuals just fine, with Oplev’s dark imagery intact, and offers three behind-the-scenes featurettes as supplements.  I’d say rent the movie if you’re unsure about it but I liked it enough that I think I’m going to be adding this one to my collection.

The Host blu art

The Host

A sci-fi movie written and directed by Andrew Niccol starring the extremely talented Saoirse Ronan?  I’m absolutely interested!  Oh, wait, it’s based off of a Stephanie Meyer book?  Well, there goes my enthusiasm.  Niccol has made a couple pretty damn good movies over the years, Gattaca and Lord of War namely, and I hope he’s got another couple greats in him, but between In Time and this one, I don’t think he’s aiming too high at the moment.  Despite the talent involved, this looks predictably generic and uber-boring.  Even so, I still have some very minor curiosity towards it and I’m sure at some point in time, I’ll give it a try on Netflix.  I guess I must be a glutton for punishment.

Street Trash blu art

Street Trash

In the sleazy, foreboding world of winos, derelicts and drifters in lower Manhattan, two young runaways – eighteen-year-old Fred and his younger brother, Kevin – live in a tire hut in the back of an auto wrecking yard. Life is hard, but the most lethal threat to the boys is the mysterious case of “Tenafly Viper” wine in Ed’s liquor store window. The stuff is forty years old… and it’s gone bad. REAL bad! Anyone who drinks it melts in seconds, and it’s only a dollar a bottle.

Synapse Films brings this cult classic splatter comedy to Blu-ray in a Special Meltdown Edition. I’m not familiar with the movie but based on the cover art and the premise, I really want to see this.  Plus, Synapse is a great independent distributor of cult movies that do a phenomenal job with their releases.  I’ve no doubt that all the care and quality that they’ve put into their previous releases is present here in this new edition of Street Trash.  I mean, just listen to this list of special features they’ve listed for this release: a high-definition transfer from the original camera negative, a new 5.1 surround remix created specifically for home theatre environments, two audio commentaries featuring producer Roy Frumkes and director James Muro, The Meltdown Memoirs – a feature length documentary on the history and making of Street Trash, the original Street Trash 16mm short film that inspired the movie, the original Street Trash promotional teaser, the original theatrical trailer, Jane Arakawa video interview and deleted scenes that are exclusive to this new Blu-ray and finally a fun little feature, you can create your own bottle of “Tenafly Viper” wine with an enclosed label sticker.  Damn if that doesn’t sound like an awesome list of special features.  Synapse has outdone themselves again and I will be happily purchasing this from them.  If you have have a love for cult genre movies, you may want to pick this one up too.


Cohen & Tate

Shout! Factory’s latest release features Roy Scheider and Firefly‘s Adam Baldwin in this team-up/face-off movie I never even knew existed until Shout announced its release a little while ago. Since then, I’ve been dying to see it.  On top of the awesome cast pairing, the movie is directed by Eric Red, the writer of such films as Near Dark and The Hitcher.  The movie follows two mafia hit men who don’t exactly hit get along. Cohen (Scheider) is an old pro, a cold-blooded killer who is all business. Tate (Baldwin) is a young hothead who kills for fun. Together they kidnap nine-year-old Travis Knight, an eyewitness to a recent mob rub-out and they’ve got 24 hours to deliver him to Houston for interrogation and elimination. Realizing their mutual hatred is his only hope, Travis plays this lethal odd couple against one another. But when their volatile words explode into a fiery gun battle, he’s caught in the crossfire.

Admission blu art


Year in and year out, Princeton admissions officer Portia Nathan has lived her life by the book. But during her annual recruiting trip, she finds herself reconnecting with a former college classmate, free-spirited teacher John Pressman. As she bends the entrance rules for one of his very unconventional students, Portia puts at risk the future she thought she always wanted and finds her way to a surprising and exhilarating life she never dreamed of having.  Despite the lukewarm reviews surrounding Admission, I still want to see this.  I’d watch just about anything that Tina Fey and Paul Rudd are in.

Would You Rather blu art

Would You Rather

What would you do if a millionaire offered you a chance to solve all your life’s problems? After the tragic death of her parents, Iris is desperate to make ends meet while caring for her terminally ill younger brother. When seemingly philanthropic aristocrat Shepard Lambrick expresses an interest in helping them by inviting her to an exclusive dinner party that offers the chance at untold riches, Iris finds herself in a group of similarly desperate individuals all looking to make some easy money. But the guests soon find themselves trapped in Lambrick’s mansion and forced to play a sadistic game of Would You Rather, where only the winner will get out alive. As the game progresses, Iris must decide how far she will go to save her brother… and herself. This horror thriller from IFC looks like it could be a bit of Saw-inspired fun, though perhaps less elaborate and grotesque.  I’m all for watching it especially since Jeffrey Combs (Re-animator) and Enver Gjokaj (Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse) are in it.

Hands of the Ripper blu art

Hands of the Ripper

Another Synapse release this week?! Christmas in July does exist! Directed by Peter Sasdy, the film stars Angharad Rees as Anna, the daughter of Jack the Ripper who witnessed him murdering her mother when she was a child. When new bloodshed occurs, psychiatrist John Pritchard (Porter) suspects Anna is responsible and uses Freudian techniques to plumb her psyche, discovering that she may be possessed by Jack’s spirit.  This Hammer horror release is one I haven’t seen, and I have to shamefully admit I’ve only seen a handful of Hammer films (I’m working on it though), but I hear it’s one of the more gorier Hammer films.  The Blu-ray sports a pretty decent amount of special features including: The Devil’s Bloody Plaything: Possessed by Hands of the Ripper featurette, Slaughter of Innocence: The Evolution of Hammer Gore motion still gallery, a U.S. television introduction, the original theatrical trailer and TV spots as well as an isolated music and effects audio track.

More titles released this week:

The Power of Few

Portlandia: Season 3

Tyler Perry’s Temptation

Robot Chicken: DC Comics Spectacular

The Gatekeepers

Visible Scars

The Jerk

Animal House

The Blues Brothers

Liar Liar

The Life of Oharu (Criterion)

Sixteen Candles

The Breakfast Club

Smokey and the Bandit

The Sting



Knocked Up

Mamma Mia! The Movie

Mr. Hockey


Punk Vacation

Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing

A Turtle’s Tale 2: Sammy’s Escape From Paradise 3D


Blood and Sand

The Legend of Korra – Book One: Air

by Ben McBride

Follow Ben on Twitter @monsterpopcorn


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