This Week in Home Video: This is the End, Downton Abbey, Magnum P.I., and Halloween at the Fox
This Week in Home Video previews all the latest Blu-ray, DVD and on-demand titles hitting the street this week, plus lost gems, crazed Cancon, outrageous cult titles and the best places to rent, buy or see great movies in Toronto.
This Is the End (Sony)
Post-modern vanity project from kings of vulgar comedy Seth Rogan, Jonah Hill, James Franco, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Jay Baruchel, Michael Cera, and some more of their mates. Mileage may vary depending on your appreciation of these actors and the inside baseball references to their "work", but the apocalyptic concept is novel, as is the concession that most of this was mostly improvised possibly under the influence of high grade medical marijuana.
Like a very special end-of-the-world episode of Entourage, the navel gazing spills over to the extras package: "Over 90 Minutes of Outrageous Special Features" include commentary from directors Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg, a short about directing your friends, gag reels, the original short film "Jay & Seth vs. The Apocalypse", and best of all "The Making of "The Making of Pineapple Express 2".
The Little Mermaid - Diamond Edition (Walt Disney)
Poor young mermaid Ariel can't choose between the human world or living under the sea. The greatest Disney movie of the 1980s has never looked better, with over 3 hours of extra content including sing-a-longs, cut scenes and characters, a Carly Rae Jepsen music video for "Part of Your World", and much more. Miserly Blu-ray hoarders Walt Disney release this 25 year old classic "for a limited time only", as per usual with all their crown jewels it's a buy it now or get hosed by eBay vultures later.
The Croods (Dreamworks)
Surprising poignant animated look at a stone-age family unit, which could have gone so horribly wrong with a title like that this film becomes a kind of revelation not doubt aided by the incredible vox talent of Emma Stone, Nicholas Cage, Catherine Keener and our own Ryan Reynolds.
Covering roughly 1912 to 1920, life, love and liberty, Downton Abbey has seen it all. As the fourth season kicks off in the UK and on Bit Torrent, noobs can get legitimately caught up through this handy repacking of the first luscious three seasons of Downton, and its rich historical feel good class war TV success of the 2000 and teens. Also makes a great Christmas gift for Gran.
Magnum, P.I. - The Complete Series (Universal)
All 162 episodes are spread over 42 discs collection of sheer '80s TV heaven. Exotic Hawaii gets a solid look-in from the laid back, mustachioed private eye Magnum (Tom Selleck), and his friends T.C. (Roger E. Mosley), Rick (Larry Manetti) and Higgins (John Hillerman). Spanning the whole decade, it's the happy side of the Reagan era on cold beer and wearing a Lei.
Arthur C Clarke's World of Strange Powers (VEI Entertainment)
Famed author of 2001, baldy sci-fi boffin Arthur C Clarke glides around on a sandy beach in Sri Lanka crapping over all the supernatural evidence presented during the previous 25 minutes on subjects as diverse as ghosts, reincarnation, visions from the future, divining and fairies. Equal parts hilarious and spooky as hell, this is the kind of TV show that terrified a pre-internet generation (see also In Search Of... and Unsolved Mysteries).
3-D CULT CLASSICS
The Amityville Horror Trilogy (Scream Factory)
Josh's dad James Brolin stars as George Lutz in this dramatization of the supposed real-life haunting that occurred at the spook house in Amityville. Made in 1979 but still as chilling as ever, pitch perfect horror for the Halloween season. Scream Factory has also included the sequel, a look at the demonic possession which preceded the ghosts, as well as the curio third part, in real 3-D. Forget the mid-2000s remake, this set is the stuff of nightmares.
House of Wax 3-D (Warner Bros.)
Cheap and cheerful 1950s gothic tinged horror with Vincent Price in the role which announced him as a serious genre player. Mostly forgotten and in need of some re-evaluation, this disc restores the 3-D as it would have been seen in the fifties making it infinitely more cooler than the Paris Hilton remake.
HALLOWEEN AT THE FOX
It's never too early to start planning Halloween activities, and this year the Beaches' finest rep theatre The Fox has a great line-up of classic 'Ween horror for all discerning tastes:
Wednesday October 30, 2013 includes a double bill of 1953's House of Wax at 7PM, and 1980's The Shining at 9PM:
HOUSE OF WAX 3-D
Thursday, October 31 - HALLOWEEN NIGHT - includes Hitchcock's 1954 3-D masterpiece Dial M for Murder at 7PM, and William Friedkin's Director's Cut of The Exorcist.
DIAL M FOR MURDER