New DVD and Blu-Ray Releases (01/29/13)

New DVD and Blu-Ray releases this week includes gangsters, ghosts and a box set of a favorite action series that began in 1988.

The opening shot to Seven Psychopaths is the iconic Hollywood sign on the hill.  It not only tells us where we are but also acts as a chapter heading to the beginning of the film; this is not the real world we’re entering, it’s the parallel world of movies where everything looks real, but it’s not, not really.  We have guns, gangsters, and gangster’s girlfriends, and no one possessing anything remotely close to a moral compass.  The film  feels unfocused and, frankly, messy, but it’s also very funny, as strange as Christopher Walken’s inflection, and a cinematic shot in the arm that works, even if, in the real world, you would never want to know any one of these characters. Available in both DVD and Blu-Ray formats.


 The new, supernatural mystery from first time director Nick Murphy, The Awakening, is that rarity of today’s cinema; an adult ghost story that thrills, chills and doesn’t leave you hanging.  The film is all atmosphere; creepy corners, dark shadows and echoes of ghostly sounds, enough to force those who scare easily to watch the film through their fingers. Situations are never rushed and there are no ‘boo’ surprises, those annoying moments where horror films cheat by making you jump to the sound of a screeching violin for no apparent reason.  The film is deliberately slow, but hits its intended marks.  It supplies chills and satisfying scares in the tradition of some of the great ghost stories of the past, including The Uninvited, The Innocents, and more recently, Nicole Kidman in The Others. Available in both DVD and Blu-Ray Formats.


The 25th Anniversary collection of the Die Hard series contains all four films, and while there’s merit to all four, it’s still the first film released back in 1988 that remains the favorite.  The series spawned all kinds of other action films like Under Siege, that was nicknamed Die Hard on a ship, and even Under Siege 2, nicknamed Die Hard on a train, but nothing beats John McClane and his insanely psychotic villains, such as Alan Rickman in the first film, William Sadler in the second, and Jeremy Irons in the third.  Within a few weeks there will be a fifth Die Hard at the movies – A Good Day To Die Harder – but if you want to remind yourself how much fun Bruce Willis can be when saving the world, check out this special box collection.

 Look for more new DVD and Blu-Ray releases next week.


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