New Blu-ray & DVD releases for the week include some television releases, some horror, action and suspense.
We’ll start with Bloodrunners. I really wanted to like this one. It sounded cool and overall I like Ice-T. It’s a vampire story set in the time of Prohibition. Speakeasies and jazz sound like a great time period for vampires. Unfortunately this one didn’t work for me. Ice-T is fine, but he doesn’t have enough screen time. The acting from the others isn’t very good and I just didn’t care about the characters. The effects for the vampires weren’t very good either. During a fight towards the end, one vampire moves so fast it was comical. That era should make for a great vampire flick. The dialogue could be good and vamps hiding out in dive bars away from the cops should work. Unfortunately it just doesn’t get to a quality film. I will give it credit for running blood like they did booze back then. At least that’s one positive.
Sticking with horror, second is Slasher.Com. The name makes it seem like technology would play a major role in the film, but it’s almost arbitrary. It opens with the news reporting on yet another murder. A killer is meeting women online and killing them. At this point the .Com is making sense. Then we meet Jack and Kristy. She arrives at his apartment for their first meeting and they go away for the weekend to the woods. First of all, whose first date when meeting someone from online is to go to the woods for the weekend? But I digress. Once they hit the road and end up in the woods, the .com part is pointless. It turns into your standard killers in the woods, can the couple escape movie. It does have a few twists that you should see coming. I don’t want to spoil those twists, but because of those twists the ending is just ridiculous. It’s almost like the filmmakers really liked the scene in Step Brothers when John C. Reilly and Will Ferrell became best friends and they wanted to do that in a slasher flick. Some of the killing isn’t bad, but the ending is just a cop-out to me.
Third is Resistance. This is an alternate history type film where the D-Day Invasion failed and Germany has taken over parts of Great Britain. Michael Sheen and Game of Thrones’ Iwan Rheon are in it, but don’t expect much from them. They are in it for like 3 scenes and really don’t serve a purpose despite Rheon being on the cover and looking important. It’s a few years old and they are really selling it on the Game of Thrones connection with Rheon and Tom Wlaschiha who is actually the lead in the film along with Andrea Riseborough. It’s not really about a resistance either. The men of a village leave and you expect them to come back and fight the Germans, but nothing like that really happens. It’s more of a love story between Wlaschiha and Riseborough that shouldn’t happen between two enemies. I was actually really disappointed in this one. I love history and war movies and like Michael Sheen a lot, but it’s mostly talking between a few soldiers and some local village women and that’s it. I can see why it’s taken 6 years to hit DVD and they hope people will see Game of Thrones actors in it and buy it.
Next is Suspects Series 5. The show continues to impress me with its style. I binge each season as they come my way. I’m so used to American cop shows like NYPD or Law & Order that feel so scripted and over produced. The season starts with a bang, literally. Martha Bellamy is killed in her own home and what follows next is blackmail, old cases being connected, rape and even more. There is a disappearance with Lucy, issues with her boyfriend, and a body of a woman missing for 8 years shows up. Everything seems interconnected especially when the final episode comes about. That is my one complaint about these types of British shows, you don’t get a lot of episodes. If you’ve liked the previous seasons I definitely recommend picking up the latest. They are easy enough to watch, but are also a good break from American procedurals.
Wentworth Season 2 is also out this week. I have to say, I do like this show more than Orange is the New Black. They are pretty much the same show, but this one doesn’t feel as over the top dramatic as the American version. Harry files for divorce from Brea, but she wants help getting revenge on Brayden first. Simmo returns and Franky immediately wants her dead. Franky gets a better supplier through a gardening project. Brea has a hit put on her. Liz gets released, but has a hard time adjusting outside of prison. Brea ultimately tries to take control from Franky. For some reason I find this show a lot more realistic than OitNB and I find it a lot more enjoyable. I know there are more seasons to watch as well and I look forward to them.
Also out this week is The Mama’s Family Favorites Collection. I always thought Mama’s Family was an underrated show. It spun off from The Carol Burnett Show and lasted many seasons, but I don’t think it ever got the respect of that show or others like All in the Family. Vicki Lawrence plays Mama and she was pretty much comedy cold. This collection features episodes from six season hand picked by Vicki herself. There are 37 episodes over 6 discs. You get some guest appearances from some of the biggest names of the day. From Burnett herself to Betty White and Imogene Coca, the set captures the essence of the show and is a great starter set for anyone not familiar with it. I first saw the show on reruns back in the day and I remembered quite a few episodes on this collection.
Last is A Place to Call Home Season 4. This technically came out last week, but I didn’t get it in time to watch it. Marta Dusseldorp is fantastic as Sarah in this Australian post-World War 2 drama. To me the show is a mix of a period drama like Downton Abbey with the family dynamic of a Dallas or 1980’s American prime time soap. There’s politics and love and marriage and drama. Lots of drama. Everyone seems to fight one another in this season. Sarah is still reeling and Carolyn seems to be falling apart. Elizabeth and Regina clash. Sarah, Elizabeth and Anna clash with Regina. James and Harry clash. Gordon thinks Milly was killed by Sarah. Anna and Gino clash. And by the end Sir Richard pretty much wants total revenge on the entire family. If you’ve been a fan from the beginning, I think you’ll definitely enjoy season 4. It seems to have amped up the drama, but not in an over the top/too much to handle way.