Blu-ray Reveiw “Nightbreed: The Director’s Cut”

Starring: Craig Sheffer, David Cronenberg, Anne Bobby, Charles Haid, Hugh Quarshie, Hugh Ross
Director: Clive Barker
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Shout! Factory
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Run Time: 120 minutes

Director’s Cut: 3 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“Nightbreed” is one of those movies that as a horror fan you can’t help but love. It is far from perfect in any sense but it is a cool little flick that has stuck around over the years. About 2 or so years ago, a new cut of the film emerged called “The Cabal Cut”, which ran about 160 minutes long put together with lost footage compiled over the years. Unfortunately, this is not “The Cabal Cut” that many fans have hoped for. What it is though is a new “Director’s Cut” of film which contains over 40 minutes of new and altered footage. So we get some new footage and at the same time loose some footage. The director’s cut is good but I feel like it is rather choppy and not as tight as I would have thought so. We do certainly get a completely different viewing experience if you think you know “Nightbreed”, so I will let horror fans see for themselves. Either way, “Nighbreed” is finally on Blu-ray”!

If you are wondering what director Clive Barker thinks about this, here is his office’s official statement: “The Nightbreed Director’s Cut is an entirely different film than the one which was released in theaters. Its 20 minutes longer than the theatrical cut, but it contains over 40 minutes of new and altered footage. Clive oversaw the reconstruction and edit himself, personally ensuring that, at long last, he was able to tell the story he always wanted to tell, but until now, had never been given the chance. Once the scenes were reordered, and the original film footage restored, the entire film received a brand new sound mix and color pass. It is, in every way, a different movie. It contains more story, more monsters, and there’s even a musical number. Ultimately, what we’ve delivered is a love story 25 years in the making”.

Official Premise: Boone (Craig Sheffer) may be a troubled young man, but his troubles are just beginning. Set up as the fall guy in a string of slasher murders, he decides he’ll hide by crossing the threshold that separates ’us’from ’them’and sneak into the forbidden subterranean realm of Midian. Boone will live among the monsters. Hellraiser creator Clive Barker writes (adapting his novel Cabal) and directs this vivid leap into horror that asks: in the battle of man vs. monster, who’s really the monster? The answer supplies flesh-crawling suspense, sudden fear, a colorful Danny Elfman score and a creepy array of shape-shifting beings. They are the Nightbreed, denizens of a world beyond death, beyond the imagination, perhaps beyond anything you’ve seen.

Shout Factory! is releasing this Director’s Cut as a combo pack with a Blu-ray + DVD included. They are also releasing a Limited-Edition 3-Disc release consists of only of 10,000 copies, which includes a collector’s book, a bonus disc of extras and the theatrical cut available on Blu-ray for the first time only in this release. I would certainly recommend that release over this one any day. The 1080p transfer has been said to been mastered in high definition from the original camera negative but there is some parts where the quality is very questionable. I understand it was taken from many different sources, I just expect a little more polish. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 works perfect though along with Danny Elfman’s amazing and memorable score.

The special features on this “Director’s Cut” release are good but not super outstanding. Like I mentioned the Limited Edition release has an entire Blu-ray for extras. Here we get an introduction by writer/director Clive Barker and restoration producer Mark Alan Miller, which goes into about the Director’s Cut…man does Barker look like shit BTW> There is a brand new audio commentary track with writer/director Clive Barker and restoration producer Mark Alan Miller. There is a new featurette called “Tribes of the Moon: The Making of Nightbreed”, which runs over 70 minutes and features interviews with Craig Sheffer, Anne Bobby, Doug Bradley and more, “Making Monsters” runs over 40 minutes with interviews with makeup effects artists Bob Keen, Martin Mercer and Paul Jones. “Fire! Fights! Stunts! 2nd Unit Shooting” is a 20 minute interview with Andy Armstrong. Lastly there is an Original Theatrical Trailer included.

 

Extended Director’s Cut of Cliver Barker’s “Nightbreed” Scheduled to Be Released in 2014 from Scream Factory

Shout! Factory and Morgan Creek Productions officially announced today a strategic distribution alliance to bring Clive Barker’s classic horror film “Nightbreed” extended director’s cut to the home entertainment marketplace in the U.S and Canada and on digital entertainment platforms next year. The announcement was made by Shout! Factory’s founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos along with and David Robinson, President of Morgan Creek Productions. The news initially broke at Comic-Con 2013, however the agreement formally reached by both parties occurred today.

For years rumors swirled about substantial missing footage from the film. A fan-driven movement was created (www.OccupyMidian.com) to see the full version of the film restored and re-released, which was not only a more faithful adaptation of Clive Barker’s book “Cabal,” but is what originally he intended “Nightbreed” to be.

Clive Barker said, “I had a dream about the tribes of the moon. They would live in a city called Midian and, though they were monsters of every shape and size, they would be the heroes of a movie called “Nightbreed.” However, when I made the movie, the studio was not comfortable with this inversion of the classic structure. They wanted the monsters to be simple-minded scare machines, while I wanted them to be the dark side of all of us, mysterious and misunderstood. Finally, with this new version of “Nightbreed,” which contains over forty five minutes of previously unseen material, my original vision has been realized. Come with me to Midian, the city of monsters. The tribes of the moon await us.”

“We are excited by this opportunity with Morgan Creek and are huge fans of Clive Barker. His cinematic works and brilliant storytelling continue to captivate fans worldwide,” stated Shout! Factory’s founders in a joint statement. “We look forward to working closely with Clive to bring his original vision to life.”

Shout!’s SCREAM FACTORY plans an aggressive rollout of “Nightbreed” extended director’s cut through physical home entertainment releases and a variety of digital entertainment distribution platforms sometimes next year.

“We’d also like to take this opportunity to thank the fans,” noted Robinson. “Without their hard work and persistence, this would have never become a reality. Clive Barker is one of the greats, and we are tremendously proud and excited to be working with him and Shout! Factory on this release.”

The original “Nightbreed” was released in 1990 by Morgan Creek Productions and Twentieth Century Fox. Directed by Clive Barker, the film starred Craig Sheffer, Anne Bobby and David Cronenberg and centered on a tribe of monsters and outcasts known as the Nightbreed that hide from humanity.

The official “Nightbreed” page can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/FansOfNightbreed

About Morgan Creek
For over twenty years, Morgan Creek Productions has produced numerous highly successful and critically acclaimed motion pictures including the Young Guns and Major League franchises; Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves starring Kevin Costner; and Ace Ventura, the hit comedy that established Jim Carrey as one of the leading comedians of our time. Morgan Creek recently released Dream House, starring Daniel Craig and Naomi Watts. Currently in production is the biopic Tupac which is scheduled to start production next year. For more information, visit MorganCreek.com.
Insert Morgan Creek Productions boiler plate

About Shout! Factory
Shout! Factory, LLC is a diversified multi-platform media company devoted to producing, uncovering, preserving and revitalizing the very best of pop culture. Founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos have spent their entire careers sharing their music, television and film favorites with discerning consumers the world over. Shout! Factory’s DVD and Blu-Ray™ offerings serve up feature films, classic and contemporary TV series, animation, live music and comedy specials in lavish packages crammed with extras. Shout’s audio division boasts GRAMMY®-nominated box sets, Broadway cast albums, new releases from storied artists, lovingly assembled album reissues and indispensable “best of” compilations. In addition, Shout! Factory maintains a vast digital distribution network which delivers video and audio content to all the leading digital service providers in North America. Shout! Factory also owns and operates Timeless Media Group, Biograph Records, Majordomo Records, HighTone Records and Video Time Machine. These riches are the result of a creative acquisition mandate that has established the company as a hotbed of cultural preservation and commercial reinvention. Shout! Factory is based in Santa Monica, California. For more on Shout! Factory, visit shoutfactory.co

Blu-ray Review “The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day (Director’s Cut)”

Actors: Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus, Billy Connolly, Clifton Collins Jr., Julie Benz
Director: Troy Duffy
Rated: R (Restricted) / Unrated
Studio: Sony Pictures
DVD Release Date: July 16, 2013
Run Time: 117 / 144 minutes

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

I remember I rented the first “The Boondock Saints” on VHS when it was a ‘Blockbuster Exclusive’ rental. This was almost 15 years ago and before it was this cult phenomenon. When there was word that “The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day” was being made 10 years after the first, I think it made every fan jump up and down (including myself). Well it’s been 4 years since this sequel was released and we can get excited again since Writer/Director Troy Duffy’s is releasing a new Director’s Cut which features 27 Minutes of Never-Before-Seen Extended Footage. There is a longer opening sequence, a lengthened fantasy sequence and an extended elevator sequence leading up to the Prudential shoot-out. So with the director’s cut the running time gets bumped up to 144 minutes and it is AMAZING!

“The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day” is a a rare feat where it actually tops the original. This sequel to back the original cast, Including Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus and Billy Connolly along with new additions including Clifton Collins Jr., Julie Benz, Peter Fonda and Judd Nelson. I do not remember a more explosive theatrical experience then when I saw this film in theaters. I know fans have been bugging writer/director Troy Duffy to do a third film and I really hope that happens one day. I am not sure why this release is coming now, if not to capitalize on Norman Reedus’ insane fandom from “The Walking Dead”, but either way I am excited and it is a must for any fan of this series!

Official Premise: From Troy Duffy, writer and director of The Boondock Saints, comes the much anticipated sequel to the tough, stylized cutting edge saga of the MacManus brothers (Norman Reedus, Sean Patrick Flanery). The two have been in deep hiding with their father, Il Duce (Billy Connolly), in the quiet valleys of Ireland, far removed from their former vigilante lives. When word comes that a beloved priest has been killed by sinister forces from deep within the mob, the brothers return to Boston to mount a violent and bloody crusade to bring justice to those responsible. With a new partner in crime (Clifton Collins Jr., Star Trek) and a sexy FBI operative (Julie Benz, TV’s Dexter) hot on their trail…the Saints are back!

The 1080p transfer still looks great like the past releases, especially with the new footage. The DTS-HD MA 5.1 track is killer as well with the non-stop action. The line “Ding Ding Motherfucka! Ding Dong!” is presented perfectly. The real catch for this release is that it comes as a two-Disc Blu-ray combo pack with both the Theatrical and Director’s Cut versions. This release is currently set as a Best Buy exclusive release, so fans need to be sure to pick this up for sure.

The special features are in-line with the past Blu-ray releases. We get a pair of audio commentary tracks from cast and crew. There are two short deleted scenes. Then there are seven featurettes including “Unprecedented Access: Behind the Scenes”, “Billy Connolly and Troy Duffy: Unedited”, “The Cast Confesses: Secrets From the Set”, “Inside the Vault: The Weapons”, “‘The Boondock Saints’ Hit Comic-Con”, “Saints Off Script” and “Back to Boondock”. All these special features are must see for any fan of the series but they are not anything new for this release. But don’t forget that this new release contains the pretty sweet director’s cut of the film, so that is enough for me!

 

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“The Exorcist” 40th Anniversary Extended Director’s Cut Blu-ray Streets October 8th

THE EXORCIST CELEBRATES 40THANNIVERSARY OCTOBER 8

Blu-ray Includes the Extended Director’s Cut, Theatrical Version  with New Special Features and Premiums

Burbank, Calif. June 20, 2013 – When The Exorcist was first released in 1973, viewers were frightened out of their wits – and literally out of their seats. Now Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Academy Award® winning director William Friedkin’s suspense masterpiece that haunted and intrigued the world, with a new Blu-ray release featuring the Extended Director’s Cut and Theatrical Version with new special features and premiums ($49.99 SRP). Available October 8, just ahead of Halloween, this 40th Anniversary Edition will include two new featurettes: “Beyond Comprehension: William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist” and “Talk of the Devil,” as well as an excerpt from Friedkin’s book The Friedkin Connection: A Memoir.

A true cinema landmark, the theological thriller is one of the top ten box-office performers of all time.* The Exorcist took 10 Academy Award® nominations[i], including Best Picture, and won two Oscars®[ii], for Best Adapted Screenplay, as well as winning for Best Sound. Subsequently, the film went on to become a multi-million dollar franchise. Directed by Friedkin (Oscar®-winner for The French Connection – Directing 1971) and written by William Peter Blatty, the film is based on his best-selling novel, which sold nearly 13 million copies domestically and was the #1 book on the New York Times Best Seller List for 57 weeks, 17 of them at #1.

Regarding the Extended Director’s Cut, Friedkin says, “After my initial cut, I took out 12 more minutes before we released it in theatres. Years later, Bill Blatty asked if I’d review some of that rejected footage (which he always felt should have remained) with an eye towards putting it back in a new version. In so doing I believe we strengthened the spiritual aspect of the film.”

Celebrated for his directorial role in this seminal film, Friedkin is still very much in the limelight. His new book, The Friedkin Connection: A Memoir,recently published by HarperCollins, extensively discusses the background and casting of The Exorcist. The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films will honor Friedkin this month with their Lifetime Achievement Award for his continually influential work in genre entertainment at this year’s Saturn Awards. In August, Friedkin will receive the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 70th Venice International Film Festival, where he will present the restored version of Warner Bros.’ Sorcerer. And Friedkin and author Blatty will attend a special 40th Anniversary screening of their film at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. on October 30. The film will also have an exclusive theatrical engagement October 31 through November 7th at the AMC Georgetown.

Synopsis

The Exorcist tells the now-famous story of a girl’s demonic possession, and a gripping fight between good and evil. Linda Blair, in a breakout role, plays Regan, a young girl who starts to exhibit strange, arcane behavior. Her mother (Ellen Burstyn, Oscarâ-winner for Best Actress Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore) calls upon a priest, Father Karras (Jason Miller) to investigate. But Karras, who has a spiritual crisis of his own, is suddenly confronted with the unimaginable evil of Regan’s possession. Father Lankester Merrin (Max Von Sydow), an archeologist-priest, is called to help, and a horrific battle for her soul begins.

Special Features:

  • Beyond Comprehension: William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist (NEW) 40 years after his novel was published, The Exorcist author, screenwriter and producer returns to where it all began. First stop is a cabin/guest house in the hills of Encino, California, where Blatty wrote the novel. The author visits the place for the first time in 40 years and shares not only memories of writing the book, but also discusses how it inspired him. We then meet Blatty in two key and iconic locations; Georgetown University where the film was shot, and at the now-famous Exorciststeps. Throughout, Blatty reads from his novel, including an excerpt from a chilling newly published passage.
  • Talk of the Devil (NEW) – While at Georgetown University, William Peter Blatty heard about a true case of possession from Father Eugene Gallagher. At the time the film came out, the priest talked at length about exorcism, the true story and about Blatty; this footage is now available for the first time in many years. It is as revealing as it is shocking.
  • Two Commentaries by William Friedkin
  • Commentary by William Peter Blatty
  • Introduction by William Friedkin
  • 1998 BBC Documentary “The Fear of God: 25 Years of the Exorcist”
  • Raising Hell: Filming the Exorcist Set footage produced and photographed by Owen Roizman, camera and makeup tests, and interviews with director William Friedkin, actress Linda Blair, author/screenwriter/producer William Peter Blatty and Owen Roizman.
  • The Exorcist Locations: Georgetown Then and Now — Featuring a tour of the iconic locations where the film was shot.
  • Faces of Evil: The Different Versions of The Exorcist — with director William Friedkin and author/screenwriter/producer William Peter Blatty discussing the different versions of the film and featuring outtakes from the film.
  • Original Ending
  • Interviews

o   The Original Cut

o   Stairway to Heaven

o   The Final Reckoning

  • Sketches & Storyboards
  • Radio Spots
  • TV Spots
  • Trailers

Premium:

Excerpt of The Friedkin Connection: A Memoir

 The Exorcist 40th Anniversary Extended Director’s Cut Blu-ray™

Street Date: October 8, 2013

Order Due Date: September 3, 2013

Rated R

Run Time: 132min (Extended Director’s Cut)

122 (Theatrical Version)

Pricing: $49.99 SRP

Megyn Price talks about getting behind the director’s chair on “Rules of Engagement”

Megyn Price is best known for her TV roles like Claudia Finnerty on “Grounded for Life” and currently Audrey Bingham on “Rules of Engagement”. “Rules of Engagement” is gearing up to end its seventh season and hit 100 episodes. Megyn is getting a chance to set behind the director’s chair this season to direct her first episode, “Timmy Quits”, which airs on April 29th. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Megyn about the episode and what we can expect.

Mike Gencarelli: Let’s talk about the episode “Timmy Quits”, what made you step behind the director’s chair?
Megyn Price: It was something I have wanted to do for several years now. It started looking into it a few years ago to see if it would be possible with our show. The thing is with acting, you can get a little tiny acting job to start out. But there are NO tiny directing jobs [laughs]. It is the big kahuna or nada! So I was backed by CBS, Sony, my bosses and it was fantastic that I got this episode to direct. Not many people get their first directing gig on a prime-time sitcom on a major network. It was huge.

MG: What was your biggest challenge directing and starring in the episode?
MP: I had done a ton of homework on the directing side. I had shadowed a lot of different TV comedy directors. I had seen a lot of different styles and I felt like I needed to learn how to do it. After working on over 200 episodes of television throughout my career in front of the camera, it is just so comfortable to me, like being on a bicycle. It makes total sense in my brain since I have lived on a TV set for 20 years of my life. That part of it, I kept waiting to feel nervous about the directing but it didn’t happen. I never felt nervous or out of control. The thing that was very challenging though was not being a crappy actor, when I was directing. That was not the problem that I expected. I can act with one eye open and two hours of sleep [laughs]. I found myself thinking about the set and the way it was being shot and that the opposite way to think to be a good actress. You need to just stay in moment when you are acting. So when I was in my director’s head and then trying to rehearse as an actor, I was the worst [laughs]. So I talked with one of my friends, who is a director, and he gave me this tip to make up some move or sentence that clicks your brain over back to acting mode before you step onto the set. When we were getting ready to shoot, I put our hand on our assistant director’s shoulder and I said “Ok Carlos, you are calling action and cut”. Just saying that to him made it easy for me just to focus on acting. I didn’t want to ruin the one episode I was directing by with crappy acting [laughs].

MG: No pranks or hijacks from the cast and crew?
MP: You know what, they were all so sweet. I think they thought that I was nervous, so they were all really nice to me. I showed up the first day with a riding crop and acted all bossy on purpose [laughs]. So they thought that was funny.

MG: How did it come about for you to direct this specific episode this season?
MP: It is always the producers who chooses. I felt very fortunate though. A lot of the episodes of “Rules” are just about being funny. This was a script has something actually real happens in it. This was a little scary for me having to go serious there for a minute, then pop back to being funny. It was really interesting for me since I am much more interested in doing comedy that has reality in it. You want to care about these characters each week. So I felt really lucky that I got one of the scripts that really has some sincerity in it along with being very funny and well written. It was very interesting experience…which is such a boring word but it was! I was so excited getting up and going to work every day.

MG: Any plans to direct more in other projects as well?
MP: Absolutely! Hopefully someone will let me [laughs]. This experience has really lit this fire for me. I felt like a million bucks and felt very creative again doing this. I have been on a couple of shows that have gone on for many years and it is almost impossible not to get a little complacent in your job over that time. You have this steady job for seven years and are doing the same thing over and over. So doing this took me out of that comfortable position and made me inspired. I swear to God, I started writing again. It just woke me up. I wrote a TV project and I am in the middle of writing a feature. So it really energized me in my career and I have felt since. Also I feel like having lit this fire right when the series was ending was so beneficial for me with what is happening next, which I have no clue what that may be.

MG: After seven seasons, what is your secret for keeping straight against Patrick Warburton?
MP: I don’t know. We have such a great relationship outside of work. He and I both love that couple so much and we love their fights. We don’t laugh because we are so in love with what we are saying. The interactions between them are just great. Sometimes I also do laugh at him on-screen though, which is something I had to fight for. My point is that when your husband is being funny you can laugh at him! I laugh at my real husband when he is being an idiot during fights. Actually we can’t even have fights since we just start laughing at each other. So it makes it a little more real.

MG: How was it shooting the 100th episode of the series?
MP: If everyone looks like them have been crying…that is because they had been [laughs]. It was a little rough, since as a cast and human beings we have gone through a lot in seven years. Most of it all was great. There have been babies being born, marriages, divorces, and more marriages. There has been a lot of life that has happened in seven years. So as a cast, we became incredibly close on a deep level. Oliver (Hudson) and I had our first kids within a month of each other. I remember I was holding my one month old baby and his wife was in my dressing room asking me how she would know if she was in labor [laughs]. When you go through stuff like that with your friends it changes you. So we were looking back on the past seven years and it was hard.

Blu-ray Review "Paranormal Activity 4: Unrated Director’s Cut"

Actors: Kathryn Newton, Katie Featherston, Alexondra Lee, Matt Shively, Stephen Dunham
Directors: Ariel Schulman, Henry Joost
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Paramount
Release Date: January 29, 2013
Run Time: 87 minutes (Theatrical) / 96 minutes (Unrated)

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

I am a big fan of the “Paranormal Activity” franchise. I was literally first in line with my sister and fellow fan for the fourth film. I have to say, I was a little bit disappointed. This film was fun and exciting but it didn’t pack the mystery and intrigue that the others had. This release includes both the unrated director’s cut and the theatrical cut of the film.  I watched the unrated cut and I really didn’t pick up on the difference. Also there are two new characters added according to the credits. Even though, the film does works a little better second time though, since I think my expectations were lower. Nonetheless, I still stand behind this franchise and look forward “Paranormal Activity 5” this October, as well as the spin-off “Paranormal Activity: The Oxnard Tapes” later this year. Bring it on Toby!

Official Synopsis: Fourth film in the found footage horror franchise which follows on from events in the first two films. Alice (Newton) and her mother were fine until their new neighbors moved in, but the creepy little kid next door, Robbie (Brady Allen) and his auntie Katie (Featherston) have brought more than just their belongings to the neighborhood. It seems that the demonic presence which has tormented them for years has followed them and is keen on getting to know the neighbors.

Paramount delivers a nice Blu-ray presentation in a combo back including a Blu-ray disc, DVD disc as well as an Utralviolet streaming digital copy.  I am a big fan of the UV digital copies and enjoy this being an added feature to this release.  When it comes to found footage, you have to give the quality of the transfer a big of room since it is shot on various formats.  But “PA4” really delivers a nice clean 1080p transfer with a sharp DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. The special features on this release are not that great in terms of quantity.  “The Recovered Files” is the only extra included but it does include about 30 minutes more additional ‘found footage’ (check the link below).  There are a great deal of pre-release footage for “PA4” that did not end up in the final film. So we get a chance to see that footage here and some of it really backs some decent content. If you are a fan of the franchise though, I did enjoy footage and I recommend you checking it out.

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Blu-ray Review “Killer Joe: Unrated Director’s Cut”

Actors: Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Thomas Haden Church, Juno Temple, Gina Gershon
Directors: William Friedkin
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Lionsgate
Release Date: December 21, 2012
Run Time: 102 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

“Killer Joe” received some controversy behind it when it was released in theaters with its NC-17 rating. But controversy is nothing new to the Academy Award-winning director, William Friedkin, known best for “The Exorcist” and “The French Connection”. This dark comedy is based on the play by Pulitzer and Tony Award winner Tracy Letts and it converts well to the screen. I wasn’t sure what to expect at first but “Killer Joe” is a real surprise hit of the year. It packs some amazing performance from Matthew McConaughey, which was both ferrous and yet funny. The genre of a dark comedy is always a hard line to walk well, “Killer Joe” may not be for everyone.  But if you enjoy Friedkin then I would definitely recommend checking this unique film out.

Official Synopsis: When 22-year-old Chris (Emile Hirsch) finds himself in debt to a drug lord, he hires a hit man to dispatch his mother, whose $50,000 life insurance policy benefits his sister Dottie (Juno Temple). Chris finds Joe Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), a creepy, crazy Dallas cop who moonlights as a contract killer. When Chris can’t pay Joe upfront, Jose sets his sight on Dottie as collateral for the job. The contract killer and his hostage develop an unusual bond. Like from a modern-day, twisted fairytale, “Killer Joe” Cooper becomes the prince to Dottie’s Cinderella.

The Blu-ray presentation comes with a sharp 1080p transfer and DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio track.  BOth not ground-breaking but very clear and sharp. Since this film was released NC-17 in theaters, the film arrives on Blu-ray in this Unrated Director’s Cut.  There will also be an R-rated DVD version released but I prefer the director’s vision of the film.  The Unrated Director’s Cut will also feature an exclusive audio commentary track from director William Friedkin, highly recommended. The rest of the special features are decent but not spectacular. There is a featurette called “Southern Fried Hospitality: From Stage to Screen”, takes us through from the beginning.  Besides that there is some footage from SXSW including a Q&A with Cast and an intro by William Friedkin.  Wrapping up, there is the Red Band Theatrical Trailer included.

Blu-ray Review “Total Recall: Extended Director’s Cut”

Actors: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston, Bokeem Woodbine
Directors: Len Wiseman
MPAA Rating: PG-13 / Not Rated
Studio: Sony
Release Date: December 18, 2012
Run Time: 118 / 130 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

Alright, we all love Paul Verhoeven’s “Total Recall” from 1990 with Arnold Schwarzenegger. This 2012 reboot there very hard to compare to that film, maybe a little too hard. It picks and chooses aspects of the original film, while trying to stand out on its own. I do have a bit weak spot for science ficiton. This film is very sly and sharp. It is a well-polished, very loud and colorful action/thriller. Colin Farrell is good in the role but does have that comedy angle that Schwarzenegger brought to the role in the original. If the amazing CG and visuals aren’t enough for you, Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel are great eye candy to look out. If you can get over the fact that this film is called “Total Recall”, there is a lot of action packed fun to be had here.

Official Synopsis: Prepare for non-stop excitement and pulse-pounding thrills in this “smart, sexy and action-packed” (Scott Mantz, Access Hollywood) action thriller. Colin Farrell stars as Douglas Quaid, a factory worker who visits Rekall, a revolutionary company that can turn his superspy fantasies into real memories. But when the procedure goes horribly wrong, the line between fantasy and reality blurs as Quaid becomes a man on the run and the fate of his world hangs in the balance. Costarring Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel and Bryan Cranston, Total Recall is bursting with mind-blowing action sequences and spectacular visual effects, the ultimate high-energy thrill-ride!

Whether you enjoyed this film or not Sony delivers an amazing three-disc release with with two Blu-rays’s and a DVD. There is also a Ultraviolet digital streaming copy included. There are two cuts of the film including the theatrical release (118 minutes) and the extended director’s cut (130 minutes). The DVD and Ultraviolet copies only packs the theatrical release. The extended director’s cut really improves the film quite a bit, instead of the play-it-safe PG-13 theatrical release. I really enjoyed the new story lines and alternate ending. This is the way the film was meant to been seen and the way that I would recommend watching. “Total Recall” delivers one of the years best high definition 1080p transfers. It is literally perfect and works so well with this very pretty looking film. The audio also delivers a perfectly balanced Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround sound track.

The special features are nothing short of amazing on this release. On the first Blu-ray, there is a great and very honest commentary track from director Len Wiseman. Highly recommend this track. ““Total Recall Insight Mode” is perfect to check out during a second viewing since it allows the viewers to watch behind-the-scenes clips through the film. On Disc two there is a multitude of featurettes, as well as a 8-minute gag reel. “Science Fiction vs. Science Fact” is a look into the reality behind the future with Michio Kaku, Professor of Theoretical Physics and Author of Physics of the Future. “Designing The Fall” looks into the visuals and set designs but runs way too short. “Total Action” is a seven-part feature focusing on the films actors Colin Farrell, Jessica Biel and Kate Beckinsale and the making of key scenes including the film’s climax.

The last feature on disc two is a collection of Pre-Visualization Sequences called “Stepping Into Recall”. It shows various scenes in different animated states includingt “Apartment Waterfront Chase”, “The Fall Fight”, “Flight and Tripping Den”, “Elevator Chase” and “Car Chase”. The DVD of the film contains the gag reel, “Total Recall Insight Mode,” and the “Science Fiction vs. Science Fact” and “Designing the Fall” featurettes. Also not sure how this is related to “Total Recall” but there is a playable game demo of “”God of War™: Ascension”” for Playstation 3, which is in advance of its March 12, 2013 release. But it is a nice treat for fans of the game’s franchise!

Blu-ray Review “Little Shop of Horrors: The Director’s Cut + Theatrical”

Starring: Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, Vincent Gardenia, Steve Martin
Director: Frank Oz
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: October 9, 2012
Run Time: 94 minutes

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“Little Shop of Horrors” is one of my favorite musical-comedy movies of all-time. This 1986 film is an adaptation of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken’s popular off-Broadway musical – which was also taken off from Roger Corman’s 1960 cult classic.  Warner Brothers is finally releasing this film on high def Blu-ray and are include two digitally remastered versions of the film on one disc – the theatrical edition and a director’s cut.  The director’s cut is the real draw here since it features the restored twenty-minute alternate ending.  Warner has restored and digitally remastered the ending in full color, which is a big deal if you are a fan of this film.  This is the first time that this has be available since it was only available prior in B&W. The release also comes packaged in a collectible forty-page digibook with some great content, including film trivia, actor and director bios and more.

Warner’s had taken the time to restore both versions of the film and they looks as good as ever. The 1080p transfers look really great, it is not a 4K restore but it is still very impressive. The music in the film is very important, the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is perfect.  You will find yourself blasting out your surround system and singing a-long. Speaking of that, I would have liked to seen a sing a-long track for those, who don’t know all the words.  There is an commentary track from Frank Oz on the theatrical version of the film. “Frank Oz and Little Shop of Horrors: The Director’s Cut,” is an introduction by Frank Oz with Richard Conway about the new feature. “A Story of Little Shop of Horrors”  is a fun and sharp behind-the-scenes documentary.  There are also a few outtakes and deleted scenes with optional commentary from Frank Oz, which are worth checking out also. Lastly, there are two theatrical trailers included.

Premise: A skid-row florist’s “mean green mother” of a monster plant is the center of “the looniest, nuttiest, most outrageous movie musical comedy in years” (Jeffrey Lyons, Sneak Preview). Rick Moranis, Steve Martin, Ellen Green, Billy Murray and other comedy greats star. “Little Shop of Horrors”, nominated for two Academy Awards® in 1986, including Best Music, Original Song and Best Effects, Visual Effects, debuts on Blu-ray Disc™ October 9, 2012 from Warner Home Video. The Blu-ray debut of the film, directed by the inimitable Frank Oz (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Dark Crystal, The Muppets Take Manhattan), includes two hi-def versions of the cult classic: the one shown in theaters and The Director’s Cut, featuring a newly restored 20-minute ending from the director’s first cut, now in color, that fans have been waiting to see.

Buy It 10/9 on Blu-ray™ http://bit.ly/LSOHDCBD
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Blu-ray Review “Devil’s Advocate: Unrated Director’s Cut”

Directed by: Taylor Hackford
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Al Pacino, Charlize Theron, Jeffrey Jones, Connie Nielson
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Distributed by: Warner Home Video
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Running Time: 144 minutes

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

“Vanity, definitely my favorite sin”. One of my favorite lines any film. Al Pacino gives one of his best roles to date. He is just so fucking evil in this film and yet you still are routing for him to rule. Keanu Reeves also does a great job prior to all his “The Matrix” slow-motion fighting. This film include the Unrated Director’s Cut of the film, though I never really noticed a major difference between the cuts. The film is a ripe 2 hours and 15 mins but it really owns every single minute. I remember sneaking into this film in theaters and running out of the theaters completely in love with it. Well 15 years have passed and I only love this film more. I highly recommend this Blu-ray release, completely worth the upgrade.

The 1080p transfer on the Blu-ray just looks amazing. Warner did up this film right and doesn’t disappoint at all. The audio includes an DTS-HD MA 5.1 track, which works perfectly with the film’s sharp dialogue and of course the amazing score, courtesy of James Newton Howard. Th special features are ports from the 1998 DVD but are still decent. There is a commentary by director Taylor Hackford, decent overall. There are twelve deleted scenes with optional commentary from Hackford (unlike the DVD where it was not optional). Overall, I enjoyed these quite a bit. Lastly there is a theatrical trailer included. I wish they would have done a little more to celebrate the film’s 15th anniversary but overall still a nice release.

Kevin Lomax (Reeves), an ambitious, talented young district attorney, joins a powerful New York law firm headed by the mysterious and charismatic John Milton (Pacino). as Lomax faces the intense seduction of success and money, he is increasingly tempted.

Buy It 9/18 on Blu-ray
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Blu-ray Review “Spawn: Director’s Cut”

Directed by: Mark A.Z. Dippé
Starring: Michael Jai White, John Leguizamo, Martin Sheen
MPAA Rating: R
Distributed by: Warner Home Video
Release Date: July 10, 2012
Running Time: 98 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I have always been a huge “Spawn” fan, even owning an original #1 comic. I always had a special place for this film in my heart even though it has a lot of flaws and some really terrible visual effects. As much as I love “Spawn”, I would have to really recommend this only to the biggest fans of the character. The film is fun but has not aged well at all. I would love to hopefully one day see McFarlane make a sequel/reboot that is a lot darker like the comic. Warner’s Blu-ray release is really a great upgrade from the last DVD release. The 1080p transfer is sharp and clear, especially since most of the film is very dark. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio track is also very impressive and sounds great with the film’s action. Nonetheless Warner’s delivers a great Blu-ray presentation and that is worth the purchase alone, especially for its low cost.

The special features included are nothing new for Blu-ray but still impressive. There is an audio commentary from Creator Todd McFarlane, director Mark A.Z. Dippe, producer Clint Goldman and visual effects supervisor Steve “Spaz” Williams. It is decent McFarlane’s track should have been included on its own track. There is a very extensive six-part behind-the-scenes looks into the production, running over 70 minutes. Including a 22-minute documentary called “Making of Spawn”, seven featurettes titled “Todd McFarlane: Chapter and Verse”, five “Scene to Storyboard Comparisons” and more. I’ve always loved this film’s soundtrack, included two music videos for “Trip Like I Do” with Filter & The Crystal Method and “Long Hard Road Out of Hell” with Marilyn Manson & the Sneaker Pimps. Lastly there is a Theatrical Trailer included.

Premise: A government assassin is brought back to life as a black superhero with supernatural How can you avenge betrayal and murder? How can you fight for right in a world so steeped in evil? How can you protect those you love most from all that can do them harm? No man living – or dead – can tell you. But one trapped between both is struggling for an answer that can save the lives of his most beloved, or plunge the world into eternal darkness. The cloak and chains of Spawn explode onto the screen in a deadly tornado of untapped, unwrapped, merciless power.

Buy It 7/10 on Blu-ray™
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