Ghost Rider was panned by people before it ever came out. People were set to hate it upon release. Did it deserve the hatred? I don’t know, because I avoided it at theaters because of the negative reaction by everyone. Then I talked to some “real people” and they said it was not as bad as everyone made it sound. Does that mean it was actually good? I would think not. I would actually categorize it as people with lowered expectations being surprised that it was not the worst thing they had ever seen. I do know the comic book character and the storyline that comes from that medium. Johnny Blaze was a motorcycle stunt rider who sold his soul to Mephisto in order to save the life of his mentor. This caused Blaze to be bound by the demon Zarathos, the demon of vengeance. Whenever Blaze would transform into Zarathos (much like the transformation in the character of The Hulk) he would basically have a skull surrounded by flames and his motorcycle would also be covered in flames. His main power was to release hellfire, which would burn the flesh and sear the soul. He later also gained what was known as the Penance Stare. This meant he could look into a victim’s eyes and make them feel all the pain they had ever inflicted on another person. This is all fascinating ideas and should have made a good movie. Mark Steven Johnson also directed Daredevil, which I liked but most critics seemed to pan, so I think I will give this a chance. Nic Cage was a strange choice as Blaze (I would have liked to see someone like Chris Evans or Paul Walker in the role), but it is said that he played the movie perfectly and was one of the few positive points of the story. The movie will be released in both the standard version and a 2-Disc Extended Cut.
- Theatrical version of the film
- “Spirit of Vengeance: The Making of Ghost Rider” documentary
- Film commentary with director/writer Mark Steven Johnson and VFX Supervisor Kevin Mack
- Film commentary with producer Gary Foster
2-DISC EXTENDED CUT
- Extended version of the film with never-before-seen footage
- “Spirit of Vengeance: The Making of Ghost Rider” documentary
- Sin & Salvation: Featurette on the Comic Book Origins of Ghost Rider
- Animatics Film commentary with director/writer Mark Steven Johnson and VFX Supervisor Kevin Mack
- Film commentary with producer Gary Foster
I really remember wanting to see this movie when I saw the trailer for it. For one thing, I really like Chris Cooper and Ryan Phillippe. It seemed to be a really nice looking espionage tale, which I can dig as well. The supporting cast was top notch: Laura Linney (The Squid and the Whale), Gary Cole (Office Space), Dennis Haysbert (24 and Major League), Kathleen Quinlan (The Doors), Bruce Davison (Short Cuts), all directed by Billy Ray, who made a pretty nice movie called Shattered Glass. Then again, Ray also wrote Flight Plan and Suspect Zero, so which kind of story would we get? I would assume that with the gathered talent, it would be above the line of mediocrity. Well, Rotten Tomatoes gives it an 83%, so it looks like another solid feature for Mr. Ray who tells the story of FBI upstart Eric O’Neill (Phillippe) who enters into a power game with his boss, Robert Hanssen (Chris Cooper), an agent who was ultimately convicted of selling secrets to the Soviet Union.. However, Devin only gave it a “5 out of 10” in his rating (HERE), calling the movie a restrained and respectable look at what might be the single least interesting aspect of a stunning true story. The DVD looks to be pretty nice in the way of extras including a commentary with Ray and the agent Phillippe portrays, Eric O’Neill.
- Feature Commentary with Writer and Director Billy Ray and former FBI operative Eric O’Neill
- Breaching the Truth featurette
- Anatomy of a Character with Chris Cooper
- “The Mole” – Originally aired on television’s “Dateline” in 2001.
I think the first thing I noticed is that the DVD team realized something that the promotions team for the cinematic release did not realize. The idea of a movie about a giant killer crocodile is much more interesting than another movie about a serial killer. If you remember, the original theatrical trailers talked about how the movie was inspired by the true story of the most prolific serial killer in history. Crickets chirped and no one cared. Now on the cover of the DVD, in front of the bad ass looking croc, is the words “Inspired by the True Story of the Most Bloodthirsty Crocodile Ever.” How fucking cool does that sound? I mean, which movie would you want to see? I think this is gonna be huge on DVD, based simply on the promotion change alone. I loved Lake Placid, and this looks like that kind of movie without the humor. With a little Anaconda thrown in. Just plain fun and perfect for a night in front of the TV.
- “Croc-umentary: Bringing Gustave to Life”
- Lost Primeval footage
- Deleted scenes with an optional commentary by director Michael Katleman
- Optional feature-length commentary with Katleman and actor Orlando Jones.
The Bridge is a documentary like no other. Eric Steel and his crew gained a permit application to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area Steel, claiming he intended "to capture the powerful, spectacular intersection of monument and nature that takes place every day at the Golden Gate Bridge.” His actual purpose was much darker. During the year that he set up his numerous cameras and pointed them at the iconic bridge, he filmed the sights of 19 different people as they took their own lives my jumping off the bridge. When asked about the occurrences, a police officer simply stated that these suicides happen “all the time.” Steel took the time to then interview families of the people who jumped to their deaths, without ever telling them that he had footage of their loved ones jumping to their deaths. Steel mentions in a letter that he and his crew would call the bridge patrol whenever they saw a suicide possibility unfolding, helping to stop more deaths than his camera’s captured. “It is a movie about the human spirit in crisis. It is a movie about people,” Steel wrote.
- The Trailer
The animated Hellboy franchise continues on with this second of the animated sequels to the Guillermo del Toro movie. Once again, the original cast are all here to lend their voices to the characters that they are currently filming for the 2nd live action movie. I would think that by this time, they would fit into the roles like a second skin. The group of agents (Hellboy, Liz Sherman and Abe Sapien) goes to New York with Professor Bloom to investigate the return of an old enemy, Erzsebet Ondrushko, a female vampire who once bathed in the blood of innocents to stay young. They end up facing a horde of ghosts, a phantom wolf pack, witches, harpies, a giant werewolf and Erzsebet herself. Hellboy ends up battling the Queen of Witches, the goddess Hecate, who wants him to embrace his true destiny. After this, there is a third animated movie still to come, and then Hellboy 2 will finally be released next August.
- Audio commentary by creative producer Mike Mignola, supervising producer Tad Stones and director Victor Cook
- Iron Shoes – the animated debut (4mins) – A brand-new Hellboy animated short written by Mignola
- The Penanggalan – an E-comic exclusive from Mike Mignola
- Reversal Of Fortune – Professor Broom’s Story (20mins)
- Tales From The Tomb – A Look Inside Blood & Iron (13mins) – includes interviews with Mignola, Stones and del Toro, amongst others
Last, and definitely least, is the release of Blood and Chocolate. I remember clearly when I first saw the trailer before Rocky Balboa, when they showed all the “Underworld” type effects, and the announcer voice bellowed “BLOOD AND CHOCOLATE” I could not stop laughing. It was that horrible. Ok, here is the lowdown. Vivian is a young, beautiful werewolf who falls in love with a man, and then her love for him threatens to tear her clan apart. BLOOD AND CHOCOLATE!!!!!!
• 15 deleted scenes
• Commentary with Director Katja von Garnier
RE-RELEASES AND CLASSIC FILMS
Brian Bosworth is Joe Huff. He is a cop, suspended from the force and down on his luck. He also has a pet alligator named Fido. Well, one day an FBI guy shows up and asks him to go undercover as a biker to help bring a gang of murderers down. Well, he don’t want to do nothing for “da man” so they blackmail him and force him to do it. See, this gang is led by a man named Chains (Lance Henriksen) and they just like gunned down the entire Supreme Court or something. Well, Huff agrees and goes undercover as John Stone. Well, he can drink a lot of beer and beat people up pretty easily, so Chains likes him and invites him into the gang. The gang includes Ice (John Forsythe), Gut, Tool, Trouble, Mudfish, A.W.O.L., and Vitamin. Well, Stone becomes a member and then does what all great 80s action heroes did before him – he blows shit up and kicks some ass. This movie rocks. If you don’t like it, you don’t have a pulse. It has been AWOL from DVD for years and now we finally get it. Come to the Chud boards and let us educate you. Revel in the glory of The Boz in all his mightiness – Enjoy the ‘doo, marvel at the dangling earring, enjoy the shit out of the mindless bubblegum action. Learn why we love this movie so much.*
* None of this is hyperbole. It is the God’s honest truth that this is the action movie that God himself invented Movie Cameras to create.
Now that one of the greatest actor’s alive today has announced his retirement, it is time to relive two of his classic movies in special editions. First, I will talk about the movie that made him a star (in my eyes) – The Hustler. Paul Newman plays Fast Eddie Felson, a pool player who plays a high stakes game with legend Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason). Now, Newman has made a ton of great movies with some great roles for him to chew the scenery on, but this movie is up there as one of his best. It was followed twenty-five years later with a sequel, The Color of Money, as he takes a protégée in a young Tom Cruise. It is hard to believe that twenty years later the legendary actor would hang it up. But we are left with a catalogue of hits including Road to Perdition, The Hudsucker Proxy, The Sting, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Verdict, which is the second Newman movie released this week. In The Verdict, Newman plays a lawyer who pushes a malpractice lawsuit to trial, despite everyone wanting to settle out of court, to bring justice to the victims. Both movies will be two-disc editions. The Hustler will include Commentary by Paul Newman, Carol Rossen (Robert Rossen’s Daughter), Dede Allen (Editor), Stefan Gierasch (Actor), Ulu Grosbard (Assistant Director), Richard Schickel (Film Critic, Time Magazine) and Jeff Young (Film Historian), Life in the Fast Lane: Fast Eddie Felson and The Search for Greatness, Milestones in Cinema History: The Making of The Hustler, Swimming with Sharks: The Art of the Hustle, The Hustler: The Inside Story, Paul Newman: Hollywood’s Cool Hand, a “How To Make The Shot” featurette, a Still Gallery (9 stills), the Theatrical Trailer and the Spanish Theatrical Trailer. The Verdict will include Commentary by Sidney Lumet & Paul Newman, "Making Of" Featurette, Paul Newman: The Craft of Acting, Sidney Lumet: The Craft of Directing, Milestones in Cinema History: The Verdict, Hollywood Backstory: The Verdict, Still Gallery (30 Images) and the Theatrical Trailer.
MORE OLDER FLICKS TO CHECK OUT THIS WEEK
Late Ozu – Eclipse Series 3 – Criterion Collection
The Two of Us (Criterion Collection)
Creature Features Collection – Three 45-minute documentaries: "The Beasts", "The Machines", and "The Dead". "The Beasts" – Includes clips from Batman Returns, Alien, The Thing, and more. "The Machines" – Includes clips from Star Wars, The Terminator, War Games, and more. "The Dead" – Includes clips from Army Of Darkness, Ghost, The Shining, Psycho, Poltergeist and more.
Shock Cinema Collection (Limited Edition) – Rarely seen since its initial home video release in the early ’90s! Disc 1 includes exclusive interviews with: Charles Band, Fred Olen Ray, Jeff Burr, Scott Spiegel, David DeCoteau, C. Courtney Joyner, Ernest D. Farino, Daniel M. Peterson, Chris Roth, J.R. Bookwalter, Mark McGee, Forrest J. Ackerman, Robert Quarry, Steve Neill, Deanna Lund, Ted Newsom, Melissa Moore, Joel Bender, Michael Burnett, Gary Graver, Frederick Bailey and John Goodwin! Disc 2 (first time on DVD) features rare clips and behind-the-scenes footage from MURDER WEAPON and ROBOT NINJA as well as blooper reels from NIGHTMARE SISTERS and DR. ALIEN and much more! 4 thrill-packed hours on two Limited Edition DVDs!
James Stewart: Screen Legend Collection (Shenandoah / The Glenn Miller Story / Thunder Bay / You Gotta Stay Happy / Next Time, We Love)
The Clown Murders
Kung Pow – Enter the Fist (The Chosen Edition)
THIS WEEK IN TELEVISION
Deadwood, Season Three
The Hardy Boys Nancy Drew Mysteries: Season Two
Noah’s Arc – The Complete Second Season
The Rat Patrol – The Complete Second Season
Walker, Texas Ranger – The Complete Third Season
Welcome Back, Kotter – The Complete First Season
Waiting for God, Season Two
Diagnosis Murder – The Second Season
Red Shoes Diaries: Season 1
Masters of Horror – The Screwfly Solution
The Practice, Volume One
What’s Happening Now!! – The Complete First Season
THE HIGH DEFINITION REVOLUTION
Music and Lyrics (Blu-Ray, HD DVD)
Harsh Times (HD DVD)
Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life (HD DVD)
Sneakers (HD DVD)
Bruce Almighty (HD DVD)
Liar Liar (HD DVD)
Seven Years in Tiber (Blu-Ray)
Black Christmas (Untated) (HD DVD)
Daylight (HD DVD)
Born on the Fourth of July (HD DVD)
Cruel Intentions (Blu-Ray)
OTHER DVDs TO SPEND YOUR MONEY ON
Jesse Stone: Night Passage
Jesse Stone: Death in Paradise
Days of Glory (Indigenes)
Tyler Perry’s Daddy’s Little Girls
Hellsing Ultimate, Volume 2
An Unreasonable Man
They Came From The Grave! (5-Pack – My Dead Girlfriend, Carnage for the Destroyer, Dead & Rotting, Mulva: Zombie Ass Kicker!, Filthy McNasty)
Zombie Bloodbath Trilogy
COMING SOON: THE DVD NEWS
July 31, 2007
This is a load of crap. Hot Fuzz, in the release for the UK, received a 2-disc special edition with four commentary tracks, quite a few featurettes and over twenty deleted scenes. Well, the announcement for the US has been made and if you have an HD-DVD player you get most of the same. However, for those of us with regular DVD players (as well as those like me who have a Blu-Ray player in the PlayStation 3), we get a single disc edition. We get the deleted scenes (with commentary), outtakes, The Fuzzball Rally: US Tour Piece, The Man Who Would Be Fuzz – Simon Pegg and Nick Frost hit their marks as Sean Connery and Michael Caine playing out a scene from the movie, Fuzz-O-Meter – Fuzz fanatics can access a special trivia track during the film for a running recount of little-known facts about the film and its stars, ONE Audio Commentary track (With Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright), Hot Funk – Montage of clips using the “clean” dialogue from the TV and airline version of the film, Danny’s Notebook: The Other Side, Storyboards, Theatrical Trailer and an Easter Egg Video Clip. We lose most of the featurettes and three commentary tracks (Audio Commentary with The Sanford Police Service – Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jim Broadbent, Rafe Spall, Kevin Eldon & Olivia Colman, Audio Commenary with The Sandford Village People – Kenneth Cranham, Timothy Dalton, Paul Freeman & Edward Woodward and Audio Commentary with The Real Fuzz – Andy Leafe & Nick Eckland). Here is hoping for a special edition release down the road for those with basic DVD players.
Taxi Driver Collector’s Edition
August 14, 2007
- First, Martin Scorsese fans get to see the legendary director pick up his first directing Oscar. Now we get one of his greatest movies released in a two-disc limited edition. Robert DeNiro stars as taxi driver Travis Bickle, a Vietnam war veteran who seeks to wash the scum from the streets of New York City. Along with way he encounters a campaign worker played by Cybill Shepherd and a young prostitute played by Jodie Foster. The movie was nominated for four Oscars, but won none. That might be a good thing for Scorsese, since he received a death threat that claimed if fourteen year old Jodie Foster won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, Scorsese would pay for it with his life. Extras will include a video introduction by Martin Scorsese, an audio commentary by Writer Paul Schrader, a second commentary by Professor Robert Kolker, a Producing Taxi Driver featurette, a Martin Scorsese on Taxi Driver featurette, a Martin Scorsese Tribute featurette, and a Making Taxi Driver, God’s Lonely Man documentary. There is enough extras here to make the original collector’s edition worth trading in.
Commando: Director’s Cut
September 18, 2007
- Fox has announced a director’s cut of Commando which stars Arnold Schwarzenegger. Arnie plays a retired Colonel who lives with his 10-year old daughter. When his daughter is kidnapped, he sets out to rescue his daughter. The kidnappers demand that he kill a president of a Latin American country so a dictator can take over, and the movie is pretty much typical Schwarzenegger. It is quite fun, though and this DVD will include both the original theatrical cut (90 minutes), as well as the all-new seamlessly branched unrated version (95 minutes) as envisioned by director Mark L. Lester. Extras will include an audio commentary on the theatrical cut by director Mark Lester, deleted scenes, a Pure Action featurette, a Let Off Some Steam featurette, and 4 photo galleries with over 150 images (Creating Commando, Domestic Bliss with John and Jenny, Kill Arnold, Kill!, and Trashing the Galleria).
Well, it was another abbreviated week for the Special Edition. This will not become a regular occurrence, however. Next week the Bargain Bin returns in a revamped style, that should prove easier to compare prices. I am also considering breaking up the Special Edition into two separate columns, one on Monday with that Tuesday’s releases and one later in the week with the upcoming DVD news. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to drop me a line at Chud1@starvingdogs.biz and I’ll see you all next week.