The Blu-ray Crypt – Sept. 24

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Iron Man 3 blu art

Iron Man 3

The third Iron Man movie had a lot going for it, especially with writer/director Shane Black in control behind the scenes, but the result was something that I equally enjoyed and found perplexing (you can read the dual review here on Monster Popcorn). Regardless, I’m still really anxious to watch the movie again and delve into the special features, specifically the audio commentary with Black and co-writer Drew Pearce, to hear their insight into the movie. I’m also really intrigued by the new Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter, which follows Steve Rogers’ WWII flame Peggy Carter, with Hayley Atwell reprising the role, as she goes on a solo mission without authorization. The One-Shot is particularly interesting because of the news/rumors that Marvel is looking to continue with their TV domination (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premieres tonight on ABC) and is looking at a TV show that would follow Peggy Carter, again with Atwell potentially playing the character.

The release of Iron Man 3 comes in three flavors: Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy, Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy and a Blu-ray + DVD edition. While the 3D release has the better cover art, it doesn’t sound like it’s worth the extra money to get the 3D since the movie wasn’t shot in 3D and the post-conversion is a bit underwhelming.

Halloween 35th Anniversary blu art

Halloween: 35th Anniversary Edition

One of my favorite movies of all time hits Blu-ray once again, but this time in a 35th Anniversary edition from Anchor Bay. The release comes in a special Digibook packaging that is lightly textured on the front and contains pages full of detailed and insightful text on the inside along with various black and white photos. The disc sports a brand new transfer that was supervised and approved by the film’s director of photography, Dean Cundey, as well as a newly recorded commentary track featuring director John Carpenter and actress Jamie Lee Curtis. The disc also features the hour-long The Night She Came Home!!, which follows Curtis as she meets fans and talks with the franchise’s cast and crew, as well as a featurette that visits the neighborhood of South Pasadena looking at the various locations from the movie as they exist today.

While I’m sure everyone is a little weary of the multiple releases of Halloween over the years, this new edition from Anchor Bay looks like it is a worthy purchase and essential for die-hard Halloween fans. I know I want it.

VHS 2 blu art


I haven’t seen this sequel to VHS yet, even though I’ve been dying to watch this horror anthology movie for awhile now. I’m waiting to watch it though until my annual horror movie marathon at the end of October where VHS 2 is one of the featured titles in the line-up. I thoroughly enjoyed the first one and I’ve heard good things about its sequel. The movie comes with both an unrated cut as well as the theatrical edition in either a standard Blu-ray, Blu-ray + DVD combo pack and, to add a little themed fun, a Blu-ray + DVD + VHS combo (which you can find here).

The Kings of Summer blu art

The Kings of Summer

Proclaimed by many to be one of the best movies of the summer (and even the year), this unique coming-of-age comedy about three teenage friends — Joe, Patrick and the eccentric and unpredictable Biaggio – who, in the ultimate act of independence, decide to spend their summer building a house in the woods and living off the land. Free from their parents’ rules, their idyllic summer quickly becomes a test of friendship as each boy learns to appreciate the fact that family – whether it is the one you’re born into or the one you create — is something you can’t run away from. Featuring a supporting cast of Nick Offerman, Alison Brie and Megan Mullally, I’m quite eager to watch this and see if it lives up to all the hype that surrounds it.

Prince of Darkness blu art

Prince of Darkness

A group of graduate students and scientists uncover an ancient canister in an abandoned church, but when they open it, they inadvertently unleash a strange liquid and an evil force on all of humanity. As the liquid turns their co-workers into zombies, the remaining members realize they have released the most unspeakable horror of them all. Terror mounts as the team must fight to save the world from a devilish fury that has been contained for over seven million years.

If there is one John Carpenter film that I’m still on the fence about, it’s Prince of Darkness. I’m not even totally sure I’ve sat through it all the way through but I plan on correcting that with Scream Factory’s latest Collector’s Edition of the movie. The special features include an audio commentary with John Carpenter, interviews with Carpenter, Alice Cooper, actor/special visual effects supervisor Robert Grasmere and co-composer Alan Howarth. The alternate opening from the TV edit of the movie and an episode of Horror’s Hallowed Grounds are also included. Scream Factory also commissioned newly created artwork for this release, which looks pretty damn awesome if you ask me. Carpenter completists, Scream Factory fans and horror nuts should be pleased with this new edition.

Hannibal S1 blu art

Hannibal: Season One

FBI Agent Will Graham hunts the most notorious serial killers. Graham is both gifted and cursed with an extraordinary ability: he can think like his prey, seeing what they see and feeling what they feel. What he doesn’t know is that his new partner is the most notorious serial killer of all. While pursuing an especially troubling, cannibalistic murderer, Special Agent Jack Crawford teams Graham with a highly respected psychiatrist – a man with a taste for the criminally minded: Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Dr. Lecter tests Graham every step of the way, toying with him and playing a game all his own, while they work to unravel the mystery and catch the killer. Like only Lecter can, he twists Graham’s mind, daring him to question everything he knows about others…and himself.

I like Hannibal. It’s atmospheric and intriguing but I’m not sure I’m a huge fan of Hugh Dancy as Will Graham yet. I think he’s fine but I don’t quite latch onto him as the character. However, he’s surrounded by an excellent ensemble of actors that includes Laurence Fishburne, Caroline Dhavernas and Mads Mikkelsen. Mikkelsen’s Lecter is pretty darn good even though I’ll always think of Anthony Hopkins as the character. I’m looking forward to seeing what showrunner Bryan Fuller and his crew do with the characters on the second season. This first season set contains all 13 episodes of the show, including one episode that was never aired on TV.

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Doctor Who: The Complete Seventh Series

Matt Smith returns as the Eleventh Doctor faces new monsters and familiar foes like you’ve never seen them before. The first part of this series sees the Ponds (Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill) in their final voyage with The Doctor. They save a spaceship full of dinosaurs, don Stetsons in the Wild West and are even kidnapped by the Doctor’s oldest foe. But when they arrive in Manhattan, the Weeping Angels are waiting.

Christmas brings with it a new companion for The Doctor named Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman). But how, where and when will he meet her again? And how does this Impossible Girl defy death? The final eight episodes of Series Seven finds The Doctor and his new companion battling monsters on distant alien planets, trapped on a Russian submarine with a deadly passenger, chasing terrifying ghosts, and coming face to face with an army of upgraded Cybermen, all while The Doctor’s oldest secret threatens to be revealed.

I’m still working my way through the Doctor Who series and am only on season four. I’m looking forward to getting to see Matt Smith as the Doctor in season five but I think season seven will have to wait a little while.

Redemption blu art


Joey Jones comes home from the Afghan war a shattered man. Broke, homeless and lost in a haze of drugs and alcohol, he attempts to piece his life back together with the help of Sister Cristina, a nun who works at an inner-city parish. Joey’s expert training as a soldier marks him as a valuable asset to the mob and he soon finds himself employed with the dark web of London’s criminal underworld. When Joey finds out his girlfriend was brutally murdered by ruthless kingpins he seeks revenge, even if the path promises to destroy him completely.

While I like Jason Statham for his action-oriented movies, I’m all for seeing him mix it up and this drama from the writer of Eastern Promises looks.. promising. I’m definitely adding this one to my Netflix queue.

Room 237 blu art

Room 237

After the box office failure of Barry Lyndon, Stanley Kubrick decided to embark on a project that might have more commercial appeal. The Shining, Stephen King’s biggest critical and commercial success yet, seemed like a perfect vehicle. After an arduous production, Kubrick’s film received a wide release in the summer of 1980; the reviews were mixed, but the box office, after a slow start, eventually picked up. End of story? Hardly. In the 30 years since the film’s release, a considerable cult of Shining devotees has emerged, fans who claim to have decoded the film’s secret messages addressing everything from the genocide of Native Americans to a range of government conspiracies. Rodney Ascher’s wry and provocative Room 237 fuses fact and fiction through interviews with cultists and scholars, creating a kaleidoscopic deconstruction of Kubrick’s still-controversial classic.

Psycho II blu art

Psycho II

Anthony Perkins makes a terrifying homecoming in his role as the infamous Norman Bates, who after years of treatment in a mental institution for the criminally insane, has come home to run the Bates Motel. Vera Miles returns as the woman who is still haunted by her sister’s brutal murder and the ominous motel where it all occurred many years ago. Scream Factory has released the sequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho in a Collector’s Edition that features an all-new commentary with writer Tom Holland, vintage interviews with Anthony Perkins and director Richard Franklin, vintage audio interviews with cast and crew, TV spots and the original theatrical trailer.

I’ve always lazily written off the Psycho sequels since I didn’t really think you could do much to follow such an influential film and they always seemed like cash grabs. However, it looks like my assumption is wrong as the reviews of the movies actually seem to be rather positive, more so with Psycho II than Psycho III. So I’m actually really looking forward to checking out this movie and see what I’ve been missing all these years.

Psycho III blu art

Psycho III

The Bates Motel is once again the site of something evil as the rehabilitated Norman attempts to help a disturbed young woman, Maureen Coyle, who has left the convent because she can’t find any proof that God exists. Maureen bears a striking resemblance to one-time Bates Motel guest Marion Crane which puts Norman on edge. At the same time, a nosy reporter is snooping around town looking into Norman’s past. Suspense, terror and black comedy worthy of the master himself are in hearty supply in the most shocking Psycho of them all!

Psycho III gets the Collector’s Edition treatment from Scream Factory as well. The disc features an audio commentary with screenwriter Charles Edward Pogue, new interviews with actors Jeff Fahey and Katt Shea, as well as interviews with special make-up effects creator Michael Westmore and actress Brinke Stevens. I’m intrigued by Psycho III as it was helmed by Norman Bates himself, Anthony Perkins. I think I’ve seen bits and pieces of the movie on TV over the years but not enough to really give an opinion on it. I’m also interested to see some of the work from Face Off‘s drop-in special make-up effects guru, Michael Westmore.

More titles released today:

I Spit On Your Grave 2

South Park: The Complete Sixteenth Season

Modern Family: The Complete Fourth Season

Hawaii Five-O: The Third Season

The Dark Knight Trilogy: Ultimate Collector’s Edition

An Unfinished Life

3 Films by Roberto Rossellini Starring Ingrid Bergman (Criterion) (Stromboli, Europe ’51, Journey to Italy)

The Matrix: 10th Anniversary

Paid in Full

In the House


Born & Raised

Foyle’s War: Set 7

Hunter’s Bride

Cody the Robosapien

My Tutor

Voyage of the Damned

The Big Combo

Plunder Road

Shack Out on 101

The Fighting Kentuckian

Ambush at Cimarron Pass

Guest Wife

Tam Lin

The Americano

Betty Boop: The Essential Collection, Volume 2

Blood of Redemption

Grand Canyon 3D

by Ben McBride

Follow Ben on @monsterpopcorn


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