Blu-ray Today: Werner Herzog and Everything Else That Isn’t Twin Peaks


I don’t think I’ve ever before run a Blu-ray list on the same day as Blu-ray Today – so as not to be redundant, I’ll just suggest you look at today’s prior post for Twin Peaks, the real highlight of the week. But if a damn fine copy – and hot! – of David Lynch’s finest TV hours leaves you with only garmonbozia, there are other things coming out too.

Like Curtains. I don’t know what it is, and I don’t need to know. I just want it for the cover alone.

Herzog: The Collection – If you’re already familiar with the films of Werner Herzog, you don’t need to be sold on this 13-disc, 16-film collection. If, however, you’re like me many years ago, and know of him only as some German guy film snobs love and wear fake Danzig T-shirts for, you need to see this even more. Yes, he’s a great artist, but his films, while sometimes weird, are quite accessible and often outdo their source material – this is a guy who had the balls to remake both Nosferatu and Bad Lieutenant, and whose Aguirre, the Wrath of God is like a much better version of Cannibal Holocaust. This collection focuses on newer-to-Blu titles (somewhat redundantly including the recently released Nosferatu), but it’s a decent mix of bona fide classics like Fitzcarraldo and lesser-seen oddities like Even Dwarfs Started Small.

The Protector 2/Ong-Bak Trilogy – Man, I remember when Tony Jaa was going to be the next big action star. When I first saw Ong-Bak at a film festival, he showed up with his stunt team, had them form a human pyramid and hold up a popcorn bucket, then did the Guile flash kick from Street Fighter to kick said bucket out of their hands. In The Protector, Jackie Chan even cameos to give him the nod like Arnold to The Rock in The Rundown. But now I’m hearing The Protector 2 isn’t good, and I didn’t even know there was an Ong-Bak 3; Jaa’s inability to speak English may be an issue, but even in Thai he doesn’t seem like that great an actor, just a great fighter…perhaps more of a Randy Couture than a Terry Crews, so to speak. Kicking the bucket was a great stunt, but it’s also an unfortunate career metaphor.

Noah – Darren Aronofsky’s Old Testament tale takes some large liberties with the story (he fuses a fair bot of the Abraham and Isaac tale into Noah’s), and visually plays like the Image Comics version of the Bible, but at heart is a strong allegory for the personal toll taken by choosing duty over personal morality. Plus you learn that all the animals on the ark coexisted because they were stoned – which backfires when Ray Winstone sneaks onboard and manages to eat a couple of them.

Those are my picks for this week – what are yours? I’m more than a little bummed that Bad Johnson, a movie about a penis that takes human form (a.k.a. The Luke Y. Thompson Story) is DVD-only.