October 20, 2009

DVD Pick of the Week: The Tournament

Welcome back! Well, to some of you, anyway. To the rest of you, glad you decided to stop by and I hope this humble column helps you navigate the stacks of new releases each week. My goal is to point you toward titles of interest and warn you away from those films that seek to do nothing but leech away your time and give you nothing in return.

Full disclosure: I have not seen many of these titles, and what follows are not necessarily reviews, but opinions based upon what I know of the titles I pluck from the new release lists I peruse. The opinions I give based on the new releases are my own, and my recommendations are based on my personal interest. In any case, I hope you enjoy and perhaps find something you like or a title to point me towards.

The Tournament. This week's top pick is a movie had never heard of before a day ago. I saw a couple of clips and quickly moved up the food chain. No, I do not expect it to be a great, game-changing sort of movie, but it looks like a wild action film. The movie is the story of a tournament that is held every seven years that pits thirty top assassins against each other in a battle to the death. The clips promise a boatload of action involving both bullets and fists. The cast includes the likes of Robert Carlysle, Kelly Hu, and Ving Rhames. It looks like it may be good enough to have deserved a theatrical run.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (also Blu-ray). This is a movie with some fantastic effects and action work, but other than that it is devoid of any characters, much less character development. Then there is the fact the story makes little to no sense. Still, I found myself enjoying it on some dumb level, but aside from its technical achievements, this is not a good film at all. I would rather be watching the GI Joe movie.

Waterworld (Blu-ray). Kevin Costner's Road Warrior on water arrives in the high definition format. I remember how maligned this film was when it was released with its high budget and reports of Costner's out of control ego. In retrospect, the movie is not all that bad, although I am not sure I really need to buy it on Blu-ray.

Blood: The Last Vampire (also Blu-ray). This live action adaptation of the anime does not look all that good. On the other hand, it is hard not to want to see schoolgirls battling evil vampires with samurai swords, right? Come on, who's with me? All right, you can get back to me on that.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: Those Aren't Pillows Edition. Classic Thanksgiving cinema is back with a new release. Steve Martin and John Candy make strange bedfellows on a very funny road trip. The only bad thing I see, so far, with this release is the stupid edition tag. I never liked the stupid names they tag on special editions.

The William Castle Film Collection (13 Frightened Girls / 13 Ghosts / Homicidal / Strait-Jacket / The Old Dark House / Mr. Sardonicus / The Tingler / Zotz!). William Castle made some fun films back in the day and this set collects a whole bunch of them, including a few I've never seen. If you like old school horror movies you are likely going to enjoy this collection.

Transformers: 25th Anniversary Matrix Of Leadership Edition (The Complete Series). The animated series arrives on DVD in one big package. I would love to get my hands on this, although I suspect it will be some time before it is in the cards. This would make a good alternative to Revenge of the Fallen.

30-Second Bunnies Theater Collection. Have you ever seen these bunnies? They are 30-second remakes of feature films with casts made entirely of bunnies! This Amazon exclusive collects them all in one package. Here is a timely example: Saw.

Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead (also Blu-ray). The first film was fun, the second was halfway decent, but a third? Are they pushing the franchise one step too far? Probably. I am sure they will make their money back on it. This third film finds a group of friends lost in the woods of West Virginia while being chased by inbred cannibals.


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