Q: The Winged Serpent – I was never a huge fan of exploitation auteur Larry Cohen, but the weird leading turn by Michael Moriarty is reason enough to watch this twisted take on what we would nowadays call a kaiju movie. A giant Aztec serpent god is responsible for a string of murders in New York City, and only the twitchy, drug-addicted Moriarty knows where it’s making its nest – the Chrysler building. Shout Factory continues to do the dark lord’s work with yet another lovingly loaded horror restoration.
Kon-Tiki – 1940s explorers attempt to cross the Pacific Ocean in a wooden raft, to prove that their ancestors did it many years prior. You might call that an impressive act of nerdery, or you might want to give it a looksee to see what to expect when these directors take on Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.
Pain & Gain – Speaking of Michael Bay, remember his recent attempt to get serious by telling the true story of meatheaded murderers and playing it for laughs? Yeah, dunno if it was worth even mentioning here or not. There is an early shot of Mark Wahlberg’s face that I’m dying to see made into a gif, and I like the way Rebel Wilson shows that plus-size can be sexual, but aside from that…
Super Buddies – A group of dogs – Budderball, Mudbud, B-Dawg, Buddha and Rosebud (no Sniffmybud, alas) – get super powers and become heroes, complete with capes, secret identities, the whole bit. Plus they talk. Looks absolutely terrible in the best way.
To Be or Not to Be (Criterion Collection) – Though many of us likely grew up knowing the Mel Brooks remake, the original Nazi spoof was a ballsier cinematic landmark, coming as it did in 1942 while Hitler was still a threat. Directed by Ernst Lubitsch and starring Jack Benny, it’s one I’m looking forward to catching up on.
Dark Angel – Not the James Cameron TV show starring Jessica Alba; this is the cops-versus-aliens buddy flick that paired Dolph Lundgren with Dream On’s Brian Benben, and was initially released on these shores as I Come in Peace, which is what the hugely hypocritical space-villain likes to say before killing people. Lundgren’s classic rebuttal? “You go in pieces, asshole.”
Sons of Anarchy: Season 5 – I’ve been scared away from watching this by the fact that I hate Charlie Hunnam in everything I’ve ever seen him in. Seriously, if you want me to beg for Ben Affleck to actually be Batman, tell me they’re thinking about Hunnam instead and I’ll be Team Bomb-in-Phantoms-yo for the rest of the year. Yet I love Ron Perlman and Katey Sagal, because everybody who’s sane does.
Those would be my top Blu-ray picks for the day – special DVD shoutout to Sapphire & Steel, which I wish were Blu. What are yours?