Friday the 13th
Marcus Nispel directs a rebooted version of the venerable series, which borrows elements from the first four films and adds precious few of its own. I'm tempted to say "skip it," based on my own review, but those first 20-25 minutes are pretty ferocious, and the "Extended Killer Cut" promises more of everything. Also on Blu-ray. Rent it.
Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail
Tyler Perry has grown his beloved character Madea "into a larger-than-life force of nature that is genuinely funny," wrote Eric D. Snider. He noted the writer/director's "tendency toward oversimplification," however, and commented: "Maybe if someone would do a better job of making films targeted at a black, female Christian audience, Perry's half-baked didacticism would suffer in comparison. In the meantime, this is the best there is, so it's nice that Perry is improving, albeit in small increments." Rent it.
The comedy classic with Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, and Sigourney Weaver stands ready to imprint itself upon your memory once again, in a new Blu-ray edition. One word to keep in mind before buying, however: grain. "Surprisingly heavy," says DVD Beaver; "heavy wash of grain that never quite dissipates," per IGN; "features plenty of the swirly stuff in most every scene," according to Blu-ray.com. Other than that important factor, which is claimed to reflect the original source print, reviews have been positive. Rent it.
Also out: What Goes Up, Morning Light, Sword of the Stranger, and a boatload of TV series (a list of the latter at TV Squad).
After the jump: Indies on DVD, more Blu-ray, and Collector's Corner.
Rudi (Elmar Wepper) and Trudi (Hannelore Elsner) are a long-time married couple who are coming to grips with the reality of their situation: they're stayed together through thick and thin, but question whether they really know each other. When one of them unexpectedly dies, the other vows to fulfill a lifelong dream and visit a cherry blossom festival in Japan. Directed by Doris Dorrie.
Scott Walker: 30 Century Man
Stephen Kijak's documentary about a musician who was once "something of a teen sex symbol," wrote Jeffrey M. Anderson. "What works about this film is watching writers and other musicians talk about Walker and his music; best of all, Kijak films them listening to the music and commenting upon it (and, yes, negative comments are allowed). By actually playing the music and allowing this commentary, Kijak hits upon a kind of astute music criticism, and an argument for music as challenging as this."
My Breakfast With Blassie
The late great comedian Andy Kaufman sits down with professional wrestler Fred Blassie in a twisted parody of Louis Malle's My Dinner With Andre. "Probably the most painful viewing experience of Kaufman's video library," observed Sam Adams in the Philadelphia City Paper. The new, "Special Commemorative Edition" includes "Lost Footage: Andy in the Raw," a "making of" and other featurettes.
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned How to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Stanley Kubrick's brilliantly mordant film both frightened and thrilled me as a kid -- was I really supposed to be laughing as the world came to an end? Repeat viewings have only deepened my appreciation for the humor and for Kubrick's artistry, not to mention the spot-on performances by George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, and, especially Peter Sellers in three breathtakingly different roles. The new edition includes "all of the significant special features that appear on the 2001 SE DVD and the 2004 40th Anniversary Edition DVD," according to Blu-ray.com.
The Seventh Seal
Ingmar Bergman's masterpiece comes to Blu-ray, courtesy of the Criterion Collection. "Absolutely stunning," wrote Gary W. Tooze in his comparison review for DVD Beaver. "The film's textures are preserved so well - you can't help but wish all film's of this similar age could be reproduced so distinctly on digital for home theater enjoyment."
Also out: Spaceballs, Kickboxer, Miracle, Striking Distance, Fracture, Generation Kill, John Adams.
The Important Thing is to Love (Premium Signature Edition)
Directed by Andrzej Zulawski, L'important c'est d'aimer has been called "one of the most peculiar and affecting love stories I've ever seen" by no less an authority than Tim Lucas. He also called it a "masterpiece" and "the most spellbinding" work of the director's career. Romy Schneider stars as a B-movie actress fallen on hard times who gets involved with a paparazzi (Fabio Testi). With Klaus Kinski. The Premium Signature Edition is limited to 2,000 copies and includes a second disc with the film's score, plus a 48-page commemorative booklet, five color poster reproductions, and a certificate of authenticity.
Frank Sinatra stars in a presidential assassination plot. Oddly, this black-and-white film has received the colorization treatment in this Legend Films release, which also includes the original non-color transfer.
Oddity times two. Howard Hughes' scandalous 1943 Western is quite awful, notable only for the outrage over Jane Russell's breasts, which threatened to spill out of her costumes.Yet it too has been colorized in this Legend Films release. The original black-and-white version is included. Features video commentary by Russell and Terry Moore.