A selection of new blu-ray and DVD releases. This time around:
Rediscover Tom Holland’s ’80s horror Fright Night, see Pedro Almodovar turn life into a Hitchcockian thriller in Julieta, get rigged with Mark Wahlberg and Kurt Russell in Deepwater Horizon, understand how Gemma Arterton is The Girl With All The Gifts, prepare to cover SCARS, escape humanity in Humans Series 2 and go undercover with Bryan Cranston in The Infiltrator
Blu-ray Review: FRIGHT NIGHT
Tom Holland’s ‘1985 vampire flick is still a blast over 30 years after it was first released. On a tonal level this is very similar to Joel Schumacher’s fellow stylish ‘80s bite pic The Lost Boys. It’s not quite as good as that film, but Chris Sarandon is great as the Nosfertau living next door to a young film fan. Roddy Mc Dowell is also good value as the horror show presenter who aids our young hero (William Ragsdale) in his battle against the undead.
This Masters of Cinema release gives this cult favourite a major upgrade You get a wonderful documentary and a selection of interviews with Tom Holland and everyone else involved. Great stuff indeed.
Blu-ray Review: JULIETA
Only Pedro Almodovar could take a family drama and turn it into a thriller with a strong hint of Hitchcock. Emma Suárez and Adriana Ugarte both star as the titular Julieta as she recounts her life through different time periods. We learn how she met and lost her husband and how a schism saw the relationship with her daughter break down. Intriguing visuals and a strong score augment the great performances.
An interesting if short making of. It’s okay, but you’ll be left wanting more.
Blu-ray Review: DEEPWATER HORIZON
Mark Wahlberg and Kurt Russell get all blue collar in Peter Berg’s true-life tale. Showing the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster, this is a solid enough flick with good effects and performances. However, at 107 minutes, it’s a little light on development, with a lot of the characterisation drawn in broad strokes. This gets a bonus point for having a good cast, with Kate Hudson and John Malkovich joining Wahlberg and Russell.
Deepwater Horizon comes with a great selection of interviews and other odds and ends. They might be a little ‘puff’, but they’re very good.
Blu-ray Review: THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS
Very much in the mould of 28 Days Later, The Girl With All The Gifts is an engaging zombie movie that works despite of an ending that misses the mark. Gemma Arterton, Paddy Considine and Glenn Close star in Colm McCarthy’s film about the last stand between the human race and a fungal zombie virus. Sennia Nanua makes a solid debut as the humanity’s last hope: a zombie-human hybrid. Arterton and Nanus’ relationship has echoes between the one between Ripley and Newt in Aliens, but this lacks the originality of James Cameron’s classic.
The blu-ray has an good making that covers a lot of the production.
DVD Review: SCARS
A low budget thriller from writer-director Sean K. Robb, Scars stars Danielle Cole and Neale Kimmel as Scar and Scarlett, two women who go on a killing spree, taking revenge against the abusive men in their lives. Think Thelma and Louise meets American Psycho, violent but surprisingly well acted considering its a low budget flick. The plot is a bit ponderous and it lacks focus, but it’s not bad considering.
DVD Review: HUMANS SERIES 2
The second season of Humans doesn’t quite reach the heights of the first. This futuristic drama has some good ideas but it doesn’t quite have the budget or resources to achieve them. The acting isn’t bad, but at times this feels more like a kids TV drama than a prime-time adult show. Asimov and Kubrick are the clears touchstones as the machines struggle to find humanity in a world amongst society.
Blu-ray Review: THE INFILTRATOR
Bryan Cranston goes undercover to fight Colombian drug dealers in Brad Furman’s thriller. It’s quick paced and well executed but you’ve seen this type of thing a million times before. Cranston is good, showing that he can’t get away from drug-fueled antics, while Diane Kruger, John Leguizamo and Benjamin Bratt fill-out the supporting roles. Average.
You get a good commentary from Furman and Cranston, deleted scenes and a pair of featurettes. Strong.