Scream 4 Criticize This! Pick of the Week – Scream 4 brings back the vibe from the first Scream and plays up on the whole remake craze Hollywood is going through (which includes three of director Wes Craven’s own films). It’s way more violent, references much more than just horror movies, and totally exceeded my expectations of what Craven and writer Kevin Williamson were capable of with the franchise after the abysmal Scream 3. Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, and David Arquette all reprise their previous roles, but it’s newcomers Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, Marley Shelton, Rory Culkin, and Toronto’s own Erik Knudsen that totally blew me away and made the movie work so well. If you’re a fan of the series you will not be disappointed. Special features on the DVD include deleted and extended scenes, a gag reel, audio commentary with director Wes Craven along with stars Hayden Panettiere, Emma Roberts, and Neve Campbell, a making-of featurette, and more. Film **** out of 5 stars DVD *** (out of 5 stars).
Fast Five (Blu-ray) – In the fifth and arguably best part of the Fast & Furious film franchise, Dom (Vin Diesel), Mia (Jordana Brewster), and Brian (Paul Walker) are in Rio up against the local drug cartel. They also have an FBI agent (Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson) and his team of super cops hot on their trail. Instead of running and hiding, Dom and Brian plan to steal all the money from the drug cartel so they can finally go live happily ever after. In order to pull this off they round up some guys from the previous films, including Tej (Ludacris), Han (Sung Kang), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Gisele (Gal Gadot), and Vince (Matt Schulze). From there on out the testosterone goes to manic levels and the movie becomes one giant, super fun, adrenaline rush. Fast Five is meant to be seen as big and loud as possible and it looks and sounds awesome on Blu-ray. Special features include the theatrical and extended cuts of the film, audio commentary with director Justin Lin, making-of featurettes, deleted scenes, a gag reel, and more. A regular DVD and digital copy of the film is also included. Film *** Blu-ray **** (out of 5 stars).
The Lion King (Blu-ray) - Yes, the 3-D re-release is still making big bucks in the theatres, but for people who love The Lion King for its original non-3-D beauty, seeing it on Blu-ray is absolutely stunning. The 1080p image is magnificent and shows the animation off perfectly, while the 7.1 DTS-HD sound mix will give you shivers. Without question, this is one title to upgrade to Blu-ray for. Special features are loaded and include never-before-seen deleted scenes, a deleted song, Disney Sing Along mode, a memoir with producer Don Hahn, and more. A regular DVD of the film is also included. Film **** Blu-ray ***** (out of 5 stars).
Friday the 13th DVD Collection – I’m a huge fan of the Friday the 13th film series, yet have never owned all eight original titles. So when I saw this new set, which also comes with a replica hockey mask like the one psycho-killer Jason Voorhees wears, I immediately wanted it. And boy am I glad I got this set. Besides the cool mask, each film is the deluxe edition DVD version and comes with tons of features (part three even comes with two pairs of old-school 3-D glasses). The DVDs are also stored in a neat 8-page booklet (the one downside to the booklet is that the DVDs tend to get scratched when you take them out so be careful). With Halloween just around the corner, this is a must-have set for any true horror buff. Set **** (out of 5 stars).
Submarine - Richard Ayoade’s adaptation of Joe Dunthorne’s novel about a 15-year-old boy (Craig Roberts) trying to lose his virginity and keep his dysfunctional parents together is the underrated gem of the year. With great performances and subtle comedy, it’s sure to become a cult hit over time. If you like films like Rushmore, you will enjoy Submarine. Special features include deleted scenes and a making-of featurette. Film *** DVD ** (out of 5 stars).
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Top image: A scene from Scream 4. Courtesy Alliance Films.