I much prefer The Raid 2 to its predecessor, not-Dredd, as it has more distinct characters and an actual plot, with hero cop Rama going undercover and into prison to become best buds with the son of a crimelord and bring him down, all while forces inside the underworld seek to play rival gangs against each other and end the fragile criminal truce that’s in play. Along the way, most everybody beats the holy living shit out of everybody else, often to death.
If I have any criticism, it’s that it’s just a touch too long. By the time director Gareth Evans busts out random characters Hammer Girl and Baseball Bat Man to extend the climax, we’re already so through-the-wringer that we just want to see the final fight already. But that’s what Blu-ray is for: fast forward to the climax first, then come back and skip straight to the extraneous fights later.
The Time Machine – H.G. Wells, Morlocks, Eloi, George Pal…if you don’t know what any of that means, you need to see this, and if you do know, you probably understand why you need to own it. Unfortunately it’s pretty much a bare-bones disc, but still a picture improvement over any previous retail version.
Nymphomaniac – Because you want to see Shia LaBeouf’s O-face. Wait, no…nobody does. How did I get that wrong?
Lake Placid – Goofy, campy, star-studded horror-comedy about a giant crocodile, about which all I can remember is Oliver Platt playing things really effeminate as an obnoxious croc expert, and Betty White telling him to suck her dick, back when Betty White swearing was still a reasonably novel thing.
Jodorowsky’s Dune – Documentary about one of the greatest movies never made, a pre-David Lynch version of Dune to be helmed by the surrealist director of El Topo, who had never read the books. Intended to involve Mick Jagger, Orson Welles, Salvador Dali, Pink Floyd and H.R. Giger, the concept was ultimately too ambitious for its own good, but this look at how it might have happened is apparently fascinating.
Bad Grandpa .5 – Like all previous Jackass movies, Bad Grandpa gets a DTV pseudo-sequel made up of outtakes, which feels like a bigger mistake than usual, since the original film actually kinda-sorta had a narrative (awkwardly) mixed in with all the gags.
Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid – The name “Mr. Peabody” has really had quite the fascinating pop-cultural journey, from evil coalman in an environmentalist John Prine song, to genius time-traveling cartoon dog, all the way back to William Powell in this ’40s film about a midlife crisis-having man who falls for a mermaid that may exist only in his imagination.
Southern Comfort – Early Walter Hill action movie in which a group of National Guardsmen make the mistake of antagonizing some of the locals while training in Louisiana, and get hunted down by killer Cajuns. I haven’t seen this one since the ’80s, but remember it being decent. Stars Powers Boothe, Keith Carradine, Peter Coyote, Fred Ward and Brion James, so yeah, I’m pretty sure it was decent. It’s certainly a bazillion times better than the disgusting alcohol that shares its name.
The Baby – The baby in question is a 20-something mentally disabled man in diapers. And that’s not the most disturbing thing in the movie. Not sure if want to see.
Rigor Mortis/Bloody Birthday/Bloody Moon – Three horror movies I will not pretend I know anything about. Yet here they are – the first is Hong Kong horror about haunted public housing, the second a slasher with three ten year-olds as the killers, and the third a Jess Franco take on a sorority girl murder movie. You could probably do worse.
Stage Fright – Meat Loaf and Minnie Driver co-star in this horror-musical about a killer stalking students at a performing arts camp. Um, enough said?
Those are my picks for this week. What are yours?