Your time is short. We know this. So in order to expedite your buying and Netflix decision making, we provide you with a list of the cool and not-so-cool titles coming out for movies, television and everything in-between. So put your feet up, grab some popcorn and check out this week’s selections.
BROKEN CITY – An OK crime story about a disgraced police officer played by Mark Wahlberg that gets a gig tracking the mayor’s wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) who the mayor (Russell Crowe) believes is cheating on him. Of course, this not really the motive of the mayor and he has alternative intentions but Wahlberg’s character now is on the rope for a crime that he had no part in. He must now not only find the truth but also the killer in order to avoid jail or even death. BROKEN CITY has a lot of star power going for it and that’s a good thing because the film itself is pretty run-of-the-mill. In fact, if it weren’t for such good actors involved it probably wouldn’t be worth a viewing. There are some decent twists and turns but right from the start you know what’s going on and you’d think that Wahlberg would be more attentive to this fact.
The other issue is the pacing. It drags so much at times you want to just read a book between something actually happening. And knowing what is going to happen because this is a dime-a-dozen when it comes to plotline makes it that much worse. Still, good acting, good looking movie that if you have nothing to do on a weekend or a night might be worth a whirl but don’t expect the greatness of the cast to live up to the hype.
MANBORG – Props to the title alone here but the movie is actually really good fun. It is a throwback (which is common these days) to the old, cheeseball science fiction films with low rent special effects, superbly bad acting (intentional by the way) and out-of-place dialogue. Obviously, with the title as it is and a premise of the armies of Hell attacking the Earth, everything you see is made-to-be silly and over-the-top including a knife-wielding hot chick, a punk rock dude and a kung-fu master that tag along Manborg’s side to fight the evil Count Draculon. Calling Arnold Schwarzenegger, you missed the boat not being in this one. Anyway, don’t expect much and you will find yourself enjoying the hell out of this intentionally terrible film.
VAMPIRE LOVERS – Classic 1970s “erotic” horror from Scream Factory that continues to deliver the goods by releasing classic horror films in stunning high definition for the first time. This one is your typical lots of chicks getting their boobs out while a murderous undead goes around either seducing the population of a small town or just killing people because they get in her way. However, this one has Peter Cushing – yes, Grand Moff Tarkin himself – as a father who has his daughter killed by the vampire chick and sets out to recruit a famous vampire killer in order to dispatch the creature from his town. His town, naturally, filled with hot chicks that are willing to kiss other girls and get naked without much effort. My kind of movie. Sure, the gore and scares are nonexistent and the actual chick on chick action is rather tame but still good fun.
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD: RESURRECTION – While the title may get a few people excited, it may also have many people rolling their eyes at yet another attempt to cash on the classic movie’s name in delivering what would have to be a far inferior movie. As is this case, the latter is especially true here. To even call this horrible zombie movie anything close to NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD is an insult to bad zombie movies out there. The entire first part of the film shows the travels of a young black man only to dispatch him in the most asinine way possible and focus on a family that has already had a run in with the living dead. Throw in a random pack of horrible teens that for some reason in the face of the walking dead have decided to kill the living for fun, it really just insults much of what has come before it. As with many of the films that have adopted the NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD moniker in the title, avoid it.
THE WICKED – A decent witch horror about a group of teens (naturally) that take a trip out to a deserted house that supposedly is haunted by an ancient evil. Believing that story to be bunk, they venture out anyway and are caught in a trap where a witch performs a pseudo Elizabeth Bathory on them in order to make herself young and vital again. While predictable, it has some decent moments of frights and gore that will make those willing to watch pretty happy. The storyline also has some good moments involving family and a dead grandfather whose old magic tricks end up being one of the keys to defeating the nasty chick – even if at first they appear to be more filler than anything. Check it out on Netflix or other rental when you get a chance.
New to Blu:
- BEN HUR – This is not the classic, this is the remake that pales in comparison but it is being offered for the first time on Blu-ray if you are interested.
- FUNNY GIRL – The string of Barbara Streisand films to Blu-ray continues with FUNNY GIRL in its 45th anniversary edition.
THE SYNDICATE: SERIES 1 – A group of grocery employees buy lottery tickets in bulk in order to hit it big. When it happens, their immediate wealth has a series of unfortunate circumstances for five of the SYNDICATE. The show is a character study where you learn all about the five main characters and the problems and tribulations each of them are enduring even after winning millions of dollars. Money can’t buy happiness and this definitely a showcase in that the saying is correct, especially when you have done something in the past that you can’t take back. At only five episodes it may seem like a just a few for a series but in England this is pretty commonplace and with a second season coming soon, this is a good chance to catch up on a pretty good show.
THE LORD PETER WIMSEY MYSTERIES: COMPLETE COLLECTION – This includes all five of the original BBC series that was later broadcast in the states on MASTERPIECE THEATER. Ian Carmichael plays Lord Peter Wimsey, an aristocratic detective in the 1920s and 1930s with a masterful brain for solving crime and for that matter stumbling across dastardly deeds – think MURDER, SHE WROTE but British and in the past. The five mysteries – all movie length – include “Clouds of Witness,” “The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club,” “Murder Must Advertise,” “Five Red Herrings” and “The Nine Tailors.” As with many British mysteries there is plenty of lies, deception, affairs, twists and grandstanding but the cool thing is that these are real mysteries that keep you guessing, which is hard to do these days especially on TV. Check it out if you enjoy this type of programming, you won’t be sorry.
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Article: BROKEN CITY Highlights this week in Blu-ray and DVD Releases