August 31, 2012

The Theatrical Trauma of August 31st

The August Box Office has been brutal this year, with most of the month's releases drawing little business. Bourne underperformed, Expendables 2 basically tanked, and Total Recall was a massive bust. August has long been one of Hollywood's dumping grounds for shitty flicks, and it looks like this year people are realizing that.

What about the horror flicks though?

Well, the awful The Apparition barely made back 3.5 million of its 17 million budget; Paranorman has made 30 million so far, and might end up close to 50 before the end. Maybe. Everything else genre had micro-limited releases, so not much news there...

And just what in the hell is an Oogielove?!?

This week, Lawless already opened to decent numbers on Wednesday, and hopefully it can have a decent showing through the weekend. For us, the big movie of the week is The Possession (aka The Dibbuk Box.) We're big Jeffrey Dean Morgan fans around here, so we're hoping that it will deliver. It looks good.

We do have to heartily recommend The Tall Man. If you haven't seen it on VOD already, try to catch it in its limited theatrical release. It was a solid flick that caught us by surprise, and we think you'll dig it. *Check the review on the side panel.

The Day looks interesting too, and The Good Doctor might be decent... we'll be waiting for those to hit DVD/BD though.

September had better be way better than August has been.

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August 29, 2012

Blu-ray Spotlight- Grindhouse (Collector's Edition)

When it comes to buying horror movies on Blu-ray, we have one issue; we already own so many horror movies on DVD, that upgrading them all to Blu-ray would cost a small fortune. There are some titles that we have to own in the best format available however, and so we open to you our Blu-ray Archives which consist of what we consider to be Must Own Horror Blu-ray's.

Grindhouse (2007)
Vivendi Entertainment
Price: $18.20+
Two-disc set
2 50 GB Discs
2.35:1 AR
Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 kbps)
French: Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Region Free

The real question is: Why would you not own this? Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino are two filmmakers that make movies that film geeks want to see. They make them fun, gritty, and they have no problems pushing the envelopes of taste or PC boundaries. They know what makes movies cool, and they know what we want to see, because it's what they want to see.

Grindhouse is a "double feature" collabo of two movies and some trailers that tips their collective hats back to the exploitation flicks of the 70's... flicks that were the foundations of the Grindhouse subculture. Planet Terror is a zombie/action flick that oozes machismo, and Death Proof is a character driven road revenge flick. Both films are bridged by fake trailers that boast other Grindhouse flicks that looks awesome. Machete was one of them, and now he's a franchise.

"They just fucked with the wrong Mexican!"
This is a BD set that is fun, interesting, and shamelessly self aware.It's also one of the most complete and immersive movie experiences we've had. If you love these movies, this BD set is your Holy Grail of Cool.

*Keep in mind that this set contains the theatrical versions of the Grindhouse flicks. If you already own the Extended cuts, I'd keep them. The extended cuts are cool.

Grindhouse is a film that is supposed to look old, scratched and badly damaged. Missing reels, missing frames, cigarette burns, cracks, scratches, color distortion, out of sync audio... this movie was carefully made to looks old and decrepit in post production, and it the deliberate flaws look great in HD. It wasn't supposed to be a pristine 1080p experience, but it still looks great for being intentionally "low grade."

What a stroke of b-grade genius.
No Lossless audio here. Grindhouse gives us only a standard Dolby Digital 5.1 sound mix, obviously in keeping with it's retro mission. The mix itself is impressive though, as it feels to me like it truly sounds how it would have in a grungy NY theater back in the 70's. It's perfectly imperfect, the way it was intended.

God I miss LOST...
This Blu-ray set is absolutely crazy packed with extra and special features, and on both discs. It almost feels endless...

Disc 1 - Theatrical Exhibition:
* Grindhouse Feature (Planet Terror)
* Intermission Cards
* Don't Trailer
* Werewolf Women of the S.S Trailer
* Thanksgiving Trailer
* Grindhouse Feature (Death Proof)

Disc 2
Planet Terror:
* Robert Rodriguez's 10-Minute Film School
* The Badass Babes of Planet Terror
* The Guys of Planet Terror
* Casting Rebel
* Sickos, Bullets, And Explosions: The Stunts of Planet Terror
* The Friend, The Doctor, and the Real Estate Agent
* Planet Terror Poster Gallery

Death Proof:

* Stunts On Wheels: The Legendary Drivers of Death Proof
* Quentin's Greatest Collaborator: Editor Sally Menke
* The Guys of Death Proof
* Kurt Russell as Stuntman Mike
* Finding Quentin's Gals
* The Uncut Version of "Baby, It's You" performed by Mary Elizabeth Winstead
* Introducing Zoe Bell
* Double Dare Trailer
* Death Proof Extended Music
* Death Proof Poster Gallery

Blu-Ray exclusive bonus features:
* Robert Rodriguez's 10-Minute Cooking School
* The Makeup Effects of Planet Terror
* The Hot Rods of Death Proof
* From Texas to Tennessee: The Production Design of Death Proof
* Trailers
* Extended Werewolf Women of The SS Trailer
* View Extended Cut Of Werewolf Women of the SS Trailer with Commentary by Director Rob Zombie
* The Making Of Werewolf Women of the SS Trailer
* Extended Don't Trailer
* View Extended Cut Of Don't Trailer with Commentary by Director Edgar Wright
* The Making of Don't Trailer
* Don't Storyboard/Trailer Comparison
* View Don't Storyboard/Trailer Comparison with Commentary by Director Edgar Wright
* Don't Storyboards Still Gallery
* Don't Poster
* The Making of Thanksgiving Trailer
* New York Times Talk with Quention Tarantino and Lynn Hirschberg at Comic Con 2006 Featuring the Directors and Cast of Grindhouse
* Grindhouse Trailer Contest Winner Hobo With A Shotgun

"You tell 'em I'm comin' and rape's comin' with me!"
I can see how a three hour love note -to a genre that never really had any mainstream popularity to begin with- wouldn't do so hot at the box office, and that is truly a shame. Grindhouse is a well crafted experience that is all kinds of awesome, and this BD version is a true gem to behold. It's an absolute must own.

Yes... YES!!!
Below is a small sampling (and I do mean small) of the bevy of hotness that El Hefe and QT have put on display for our enjoyment in Grindhouse. It's exploitation, so you know it's got to be full of scantily-clad Hotties who kick all sorts of ass and get naked, don't you?

August 27, 2012

The Digital Dread Report for August 27th

This is a huge week for releases, and a bad week for movie lovers' wallets.

What are we going to be blowing our money on this week? Well first and foremost, The Walking Dead Season 2 is a must own for us, and that's pretty much self explanatory. Best Buy has an exclusive Terminator Anthology set that we just found out about, which contains all of the Terminator movies plus some cool  extras, so... yeah, we need that one too.

We also need Scarface in HD, because, come on man, it's Scarface. Who doesn't love Al Pacino in crazy, ultra-violent Gangster mode? Homeland is one we'll be grabbing eventually too; it's a great TV show that has us chomping at the bit for season 2 to start in a few weeks.

Do we need to own Lovely Molly? I don't know. Maybe once it drops in price we'll consider adding it to our collection. Same goes for The Birds. It's a Hitchcock classic, but we're not buying it this week.

The worst bet of the week is a tie. It's hard to say which movie was worse; Battleship or Area 407. On one hand, Battleship was really shitty, but it will no doubt look great on Blu-ray. On the other,  Area 407 was really, really shitty, and probably won't look good. Both movies can suck it.

As for everything else, there's some great flicks and TV shows being released this week, but most of it we won't own. For the uninitiated, we'd recommend checking out Headhunters, Moth Diaries and Two Orphan Vampires; each is good in their way, if not something that we absolutely loved. Everything else looks like a rent and see.