Widget Image
 

Blu-ray Reviews: August 29, 2017

A sampling of this week’s Blu-ray releases can be found below in this ongoing weekly summary of capsule reviews. If you’re considering purchasing, please check out these Cheap deals on DVD from Argos.


Distributor: Arrow Video

On a rain-swept night in Paris, an international crack team of professional thieves assembles, summoned by a shady crime syndicate fronted by the enigmatic Deirdre (Natascha McElhone). Their mission: to steal a heavily guarded briefcase from armed mobsters, its contents undisclosed. But what begins as a routine heist soon spirals into chaos, with the group beset by a series of double-crosses and constantly shifting allegiances, and it falls to world-weary former CIA strategist Sam (Robert De Niro) and laconic Frenchman Vincent (Jean Reno) to hold the mission together.

I generally refer to 1998’s Ronin as Robert De Niro’s last legitimately good film as a leading man. (Dear Netflix: Please restore my faith in him with The Irishman…) Coincidentally, Ronin was also the last good film from John Frankenheimer, who would famously go on to direct the legendarily reviled Reindeer Games and then die while on pre-production of the very troubled prequel, The Exorcist: Dominion. Frankenheimer, whom one could argue peaked in the earliest part of his career, having directed both The Manchurian Candidate and The Birdman of Alcatraz in the same year, was already kind of on his artistic way out. The French Connection II, one of those sequels that’s actually pretty damn good in spite of its stinky reputation, followed the director for years like a stain, hindering his ability to obtain better projects worthy of his potential. What makes Ronin so surprising is that it’s directed with the same kind of energy and enthusiasm usually displayed by a younger filmmaker, but the international espionage thriller was made when Frankenheimer was a vibrant 68 years of age. And it’s also appropriate that the director of The French Connection II, a sequel to the classic known for its tremendous car chase sequence, includes several scenes of vehicular choreography that are legitimately nail-biting and exceptionally choreographed. (As an aside, Ronin could fit right into William Friedkin’s same-era filmography, thanks to its intensity and sense of intrigue.)

Ronin’s plot is overly complicated at times, looping in subplots about spies, double-crosses, bombs, capers, the CIA, and Russian ballerinas, but tying it all together is De Niro’s performance as Sam, he with the mysterious background who has seemingly worked his entire adult life as a thief for hire, and who seems to be a little too knowledgeable in the art of heists. He’s cocky and sarcastic, but exacting, and at times severely discomforting, thanks to his willingness to butt heads with his criminal peers. This, along with his uncertain alliance with Deirdre, brought to icy life by Natascha McElhone, and his downright charming friendship with Jean Reno’s Vincent, are part of what make Ronin so successful: the excellent chemistry among the cast amidst the twists and turns the plot demands. Filling in supporting roles are Stellan Skarsgård (with whom the director almost worked again on the before-mentioned and doomed Exorcist prequel) and a lesser used Sean Bean as a two-bit punk who gets ambushed into a cup of coffee (and who even survives! In a film where 34 people are killed! Can you believe it?). And it’s all in the aid of…the case. What’s in the case? Why do so many people want it? How many people are after it? What’s in the case? Why are people willing to kill to get it? Say, what’s in the case?

The screenplay by J.D. Zeik and Richard Weisz unfolds in a steady pace and with a kooky-but-slick David Mamet swagger, a screenwriter known for his quirky dialogue and interest in complicated, almost film-noir approaches to the caper. So of course, once you discover that Richard Weisz is actually a pseudonym for David Mamet, the quirky dialogue and ongoing caperism all starts to make sense. (I honestly had no idea of this, even though I’d seen Ronin countless times over the years, but during this viewing in particular when De Niro begins nonsensically and repeatedly demanding of Sean Bean, “What’s the color of the boathouse in Hereford?”, I thought, “This sounds like David Mamet.”)

Ronin, for lack of a more comprehensive term, is cool. It’s one of the last great cool films of the ‘90s, with an excellent cast who were once known for similarly cool things. (Léon is the only film Jean Reno ever could’ve made and it would’ve cemented his coolness forever. Even his appearance in 1998’s abhorrent Godzilla can’t undo that.) Ronin is twisty/turny, thrilling, mysterious, violent, and energetic as hell. If you’ve never seen it, now’s your chance to ask, over and over, “What’s in the case?”

PICTURE & SOUND:

The initial Blu-ray release by studio MGM was a disappointing one, being that it was an early Blu-ray release when studios were still figuring out the format’s potential, which resulted in an underwhelming video presentation. The brand new 4K restoration produced by Arrow absolutely corrects this, bringing Ronin to roaring life in a gorgeous new picture, offering amazing detail and clarity. Parts of Ronin look as if they could have been shot yesterday. See the scene where Sam talks Vincent through a makeshift surgery to remove a bullet from his stomach: when the camera cuts close to De Niro’s face, the amount of detail in his sweaty, haggard face is staggering. And it’s the same deal with the audio, though to be fair, MGM’s initial release was more than satisfactory in this regard, having presented the film in a 5.1 Master Audio. Arrow ups the game a little more to 5.1 lossless. The car chases sound absolutely glorious, as do the shootout scenes straight out of anything Michael Mann.

THE SUPPLEMENTS:

Even if this new edition of Arrow doesn’t contain many newly produced supplements, it at least restores all the original special features from MGM’s deluxe edition DVD, which weren’t carried over for the studio’s numerous future Blu-ray releases. The commentary by Frankenheimer, for instance, is finally restored, and it’s a must-listen.

The complete list of special features is as follows:

  • Brand new 4K restoration of the film from the original camera negative produced by Arrow Video exclusively for this release, supervised and approved by director of photography Robert Fraisse
  • Audio commentary by director John Frankenheimer
  • Brand new video interview with director of photography Robert Fraisse
  • Paul Joyce documentary on Robert De Niro
  • Ronin: Filming in the Fast Lane – An archival behind-the-scenes featurette
  • Through the Lens – An archival interview with Robert Fraisse
  • The Driving of Ronin – An archival featurette on the film’s legendary car stunts
  • Natascha McElhone: An Actor’s Process – An archival interview with the actress
  • Composing the Ronin Score – An archival interview with composer Elia Cmiral
  • In the Ronin Cutting Room – An archival interview with editor Tony Gibbs
  • Venice Film Festival interviews with Robert De Niro, Jean Reno and Natascha McElhone
  • Alternate ending
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Jacob Phillips
  • First pressing only: Collector’s booklet illustrated by Chris Malbon, featuring new writing on the film by critic Travis Crawford

OVERALL:

Being that De Niro has appeared in literally the greatest films of all time – Taxi Driver, The Godfather II, Goodfellas, Raging Bull, The Deer Hunter, and countless others – obviously it’s hard to say with a straight face that the duplicitous and pulpy Ronin could even hold their purse at the mall, but it does offer a fun story, an excellent ensemble, and one of the last great bad-ass performances from Robert De Niro. With a beautiful new transfer, upgraded audio, and a bevy of new and old special features, this new edition from Arrow is likely the last word on this particular title – but what a word it is. Buy it so hard.


Distributor: Paramount Home Entertainment

When a dangerous crime wave hits the beach, legendary Lt. Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson) leads his elite squad of badass lifeguards on a mission to prove you don’t have to wear a badge to save the bay. Joined by a trio of hot-shot recruits including former Olympian Matt Brody (Zac Efron), they’ll ditch the surf and go deep undercover to take down a ruthless businesswoman (Priyanka Chopra), whose devious plans threaten the future of the bay.

The trend of existing television properties being re-explored for transition to the big screen (and vice versa) continues with no signs of slowing down. Some have been successful (21 Jump Street) and some have not (CHiPs), and, to no one’s surprise, the “some” that haven’t been successful are leading the pack. With so many of these rebooted properties hailing from bygone eras (mostly the ‘80s and ‘90s), what’s getting lost in translation, and what set off those properties so much, is the nostalgia factor. 21 Jump Street was not a good show, even if you loved it as a teen and had the biggest crush on Richard Grieco. To replicate what you loved about it would be impossible, so producer Jonah Hill and its writers/directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller did the next best thing: reinvigorated the concept of adults infiltrating a local high school to root out crime, but all the while recognizing that it was a ludicrous concept, and having their own characters call out this concept and recognizing the meta-ness throughout. It was satire, spoof, and a straight up reboot all at once, and it was massively successful. But the creative trio didn’t stop there: after already doing the impossible, they did the more impossible: made a sequel that’s just as good, smart, and hilarious.

Baywatch is desperate to exist on this same plane. It thinks that by replicating the slow-motion beach run with its cast gorgeously and handsomely displayed in their red bathing suits that reveal or contour to their perfect bodies, but this time having someone fall down, it will be just as clever and meta – the beach run, which is old, but then someone falls, which is new. Baywatch: The Movie is like the old thing, but it’s also this new thing, which is stupid on purpose. I mean, falling down is funny, right?

Baywatch also hails from the Farrelly Brothers school of comedy philosophy: crude is funny: the cruder, the better. If we’re being honest, no one looks back on the Baywatch series and considers it any kind of high-art entertainment. Even using the word “art” in the same sentence as “Baywatch” feels really slimy. But at least it had an identity – good or bad as that is. (The less said about Baywatch Nights, a quasi-Baywatch meets The X-Files, the better.) Baywatch: The Movie doesn’t have an identity. With a script by Damian Shannon and Mark Swift, who’d previously explored pre-existing properties to – no bullshit – better results with Freddy vs. Jason, Baywatch is bits and pieces and cameos from the original series (including an appearance from Pamela Anderson, who is given not a single line of dialogue) attempting to exist in a broad Animal House-like atmosphere. Among the incessant f-bombs and high school locker room dialogue are too-long scenes of painful back-and-forth diatribes or a character’s erection getting caught in a beach chair and the maddening amount of time the film dedicates to this one gag that couldn’t be unfunnier if tried. This approach doesn’t just not work but it feels desperate and forced, almost knowing that it doesn’t have enough substance from which to mine real, smart comedy. (The only other way to have re-explored Baywatch, and which perhaps would have been the better approach, would have been as a straight-faced comedy.)

Personally, I love The Rock. He’s an extremely likable, charismatic, and decent seeming guy. But he’s yet to wrangle himself a film that’s worthy of his talents as a performer. Sure, he’s found success with the Cars Go Fast series, and that’s great considering they prove to be billion dollar endeavors, but the guy who was pre-sold to us all as the next Arnold Schwarzenegger (their passing-by scene in The Rundown where Arnold tells him, “Good luck,” and winks at him wasn’t just a random joke but a spiritual passing of the torch) has yet to forge the same kind of path. (Dude’s about to star in a Rampage movie…I mean, come on.) In Baywatch, he’s wasted, forced to curb his appeal as a comedic actor and play the straight man against his wild and crazy lifeguard staff (including Zac Efron, whom we can at least praise for being in something way, way better than the inexorable Dirty Grandpa).

Ultimately, Baywatch doesn’t even have enough faith in the show’s original concept to set the action at the beach and have a conflict revolve around the beach, instead relying on a tired drug-distribution business that lifeguards, ordinarily, would have nothing to do with. It’s very by-the-numbers, derivative of previous comedies better able to rely on raunchy dialogue while still having heart, but worst of all, simply not funny.

PICTURE & SOUND:

Hope you like crystal clear boners, because here they come. (Pun definitely not intended). Baywatch, with its pretty and bright location filled with pastel colors, looks great because of course it does. It offers a very vibrant and attractive video image, along with a lot of beautiful bodies to look at. The fireworks finale, especially, photographs very well. Audio presentation fares about the same, relying on crass dialogue (which, ok, sounds great) and a typically ironic and hyper-aware soundtrack that are a dime a dozen in films like these.

THE SUPPLEMENTS:

The complete list of special features is as follows:

  • Meet the Lifeguards
  • Continuing the Legacy
  • Stunts & Training
  • Deleted & Extended Scenes

OVERALL:

Did the Baywatch legacy deserve better? Probably not. But audiences at least deserved a better time out at the multiplex. Though he’s gone back to this well several times already, picture a Will Ferrell-led Baywatch film which sees him and his doughy body stepping into the Mitch Buchannon role – him and his loyal band of miscreants – borrowing absurd plots from the show’s original run (killer crocodile, anyone?) and playing it all entirely straight. That right there, though perhaps overdone, sounds more appealing than dick jokes and fall-downs. But that’s just me, of course. Fans of the film as-is should be very happy with their Blu-ray release.


Distributor: Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Academy Award® winners Nicolas Cage and Faye Dunaway star alongside Gina Gershon as a family that takes a young woman and her daughter into their home only to find that she may not be who she seems.

As a somewhat jaded and continuously jading critic, it’s hard to keep cynicism in check. This comes from having seen a lot of films, either for reviewing or leisure purposes. It’s from that reviewing aspect where one encounters a lot more of – how do I put this eloquently? – garbage. The more garbage you see, the more you begin to notice the commonalties across garbage films. Maybe you start to realize that certain actors make garbage a lot. Or maybe you begin to realize that if the film contains a host of recognizable actors, or comes from a studio considered a major player in Hollywood, but yet the title doesn’t sound familiar, it’s likely garbage. Maybe it’s even the plot, which may have you recalling older, better titles that have utilized it, but which has now been redone in a more garbagey way.

Sometimes, you get all three. Sometimes the garbage can be overwhelming. Sometimes…it’s Inconceivable.

People seem surprised when I say I like Nic Cage – and not in the ironic Internet way, but the actual way – as if the likability or appeal of an actor can become lost just because he or she might make a lot of garbage. And yes, Cage is definitely guilty of having levied an amount of garbage not seen since the Dolph Lundgren 1990s (and 2000s). But Cage appeared in enough titles during the early part of his career where he offered a differing but excellent performance that he’s proved he can be good when he wants to be, and he knows the difference between a good script and a bad one. There’s also a reason he won the Oscar in 1994 for Leaving Las Vegas, because his performance as an alcoholic on a purposeful path of self-destruction was devastating. In the late ‘80s and mostly throughout the ‘90s, he was an A-lister at the top of the heap, transitioning during this latter period into an unlikely action star, headlining the holy trifecta of 1990s action: The Rock, Con Air, and Face/Off. Money problems, perhaps caused by his alleged habit of buying extremely weird and extremely expensive things (he’s apparently either super interested in, or has already purchased, an Egyptian pyramid, along with the infamous LaLaurie House in New Orleans), there’s no denying that Cage has exhibited a detectable “I need to be paid” technique to picking his films over the last decade plus (though he hasn’t quite reached the heights of Bruce Willis rubber stamping). In Inconceivable, however, he’s reached new depths of dullness. Instead of playing the well-meaning family man who stumbles into the seductive trap of a psychologically unstable beautiful young blonde nanny living in his guest house, instead he plays…the husband. He’s given absolutely nothing to do until the final ten minutes, during which his biggest contribution is helping bring a twist to fruition that only “works” because the film has to flat-out lie to the audience to make it happen. So no, Cage isn’t your lead.

That honor goes to Gina Gershon, the film’s lone bright spot.

It’s a joy to see her again (rejoining her Face/Off co-star Cage twenty years later); still as beautiful as ever, she does her best with the well-worn material, but at times is unable to overcome the Lifetime Network-ish-ness of the conflict and its execution. She does manage the best performance in the entire film, playing a mother who feels like a biological failure for more than one reason. She’s instantly likable, so when said seductive blonde nanny begins systematically dismantling her life and turning everyone against her, you really do feel for her. But the film, built on a promising conflict that allows sympathy for the deranged nanny, soon goes so ape that there’s no bringing it back. She deserves much better.

PICTURE & SOUND:

Inconceivable presents on Blu-ray with an above-average but not particularly memorable video image or audio presentation. Everything looks and sounds fine, taking place in both attractive indoor and outdoor environments with brightness and stable colors. Dialogue (hoo boy) sounds fine. The questionable musical score mixes well, not being particularly noticeable until it sounds … odd.

THE SUPPLEMENTS:

The 11-minute featurette, “Behind the Scenes of Inconceivable,” sees all the actors telling us the plot. Thanks guys!

The complete list of special features is as follows:

  • Commentary with Filmmaker Jonathan Baker
  • “Behind the Scenes of Inconceivable” Featurette
  • Deleted Scene
  • Cast/Crew Interviews

OVERALL:

We’ve been here before and we’ll be here again. Every actor seems to dabble in the psycho-obsessive thriller genre at some point, and it was Cage’s turn. Inconceivable is the next in a long and unending line of smaller budgeted action thrillers that Lionsgate pumps out with admirable regularity, and it’ll likely leave your memory the moment the credits role. Its Blu-ray release is standard, with good PQ and AQ, but I can’t imagine anyone wanting to own it.


Distributor: Walt Disney Studios

An unforgettable story, breathtaking animation, beloved characters, and Academy Award-winning music set the stage for the adventures of Simba, the feisty lion cub who “just can’t wait to be king.” But his envious Uncle Scar has plans for his own ascent to the throne, and he forces Simba’s exile from the kingdom. Alone and adrift, Simba soon joins the escapades of a hilarious meerkat named Timon and his warmhearted warthog pal, Pumbaa. Adopting their carefree lifestyle of “Hakuna Matata,” Simba ignores his real responsibilities until he realizes his destiny and returns to the Pride Lands to claim his place in the “Circle of Life.”

By now, The Lion King feels less like just a film and more like an institution. Originating partially from folklore, it’s since gone on to become not just a classic film, but a series, a television show, a theme park attraction, a Broadway show, and coming next year, a live-action envisioning from director Jon Favreau (The Jungle Book). It’s achieved pop culture status. Even if you have never seen it (which is unlikely), you know what the “Circle of Life” and “Hakuna Matata” mean. You know about the heartbreaking finale to the wildebeest stampede. You know that Pumba farts a lot. The Lion King, by now, just is. And it’s deserving of such infamy.

The Lion King wasn’t just the last truly great traditionally animated film to come from the Mouse House before it began focusing on CG animation, but it was the all-time best to come out of their multi-decades legacy. Six years in the making, The Lion King utilized an unparalleled number of animators, swapping team members with another animated film in the works at that time – Pocahontas – to help bring it to life. The wildebeest stampede sequence alone took three years to complete, requiring the creation of CG animation software to help construct it. Nearly twenty five years later, it’s still a marvel to see unfold.

PICTURE & SOUND:

There’s been no mention of any remastering done to the picture since the previous Diamond Edition Blu-ray release of this title, but that being said, the previous release was no slouch in either department. The Lion King continues to look tremendous in high-def, boasting incredibly bright colors and stability. Fine detail is captured and presented, revealing layered color applications upon close-ups rather than solid colors. As for the audio, well, it sounds incredible. The Lion King has been equally celebrated for both its voice work and its musical selections by Elton John & Tim Rice, and the score by Hans Zimmer (still one of his best). James Earl Jones’ work as Mufasa booms out of your speakers, and with Scar, Jeremy Irons creates not just one of the greatest Disney villains, but one of the all time best in cinema.

THE SUPPLEMENTS:

Supplements offer kind of a mixed bag, unfortunately, and it has everything to do with the decision to make its “classic” bonus features – ie, features included on prior home video releases – available via digital download only. This is a fad that Disney and other studios are starting to introduce (20th Century Fox also did this on their newest release of Aliens), and it’s a fad that studios really need to get away from. Little by little, film aficionados are splitting into two camps: physical media and digital collectors. If studios still have an interest in supporting physical media (and I imagine they would considering certainly titles get releases every few years), they need to know that digital only supplements aren’t helping the cause.

With that said, the amount of special features available via this release, either physically on disc or digitally, is staggering, amounting over three hours.

The complete list of special features is as follows:

  • Brand New Sing-Along Version
  • Audio Commentary by producer Don Hahn and co-directors Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff
  • Featurettes
    • Visualizing a Villain
    • The Recording Sessions
    • Nathan and Matthew: The Extended Lion King Conversation
    • Inside the Story Room
  • Circle of Life
    • Simba & Nala
    • Simba Takes Nala Out to Play
    • Hakuna Matata
    • Rafiki and Reflecting
  • Music & More
    • “Circle of Life”
    • “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King”
    • “Be Prepared”
    •  “Hakuna Matata”
    •  “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”
  • Galleries
    • Visual Development
    • Character Design
    • Storyboards
    •  Layouts
    • Backgrounds & Layouts
  • Classic Bonus Features (Digital Only) – These offerings from prior home entertainment releases include hours of bonus material, such as bloopers, audio commentary, deleted and alternate scenes, and in-depth journeys into the music, film, story, animals and stage show.

OVERALL: As a release by itself, it’s excellent. If you’ve previously purchased the Diamond Edition, you’re in a bit of a quandary. Those tempted to double-dip for the new stuff will likely still care about the old stuff, which means you’ll end up owning two copies of this animated classic. If you’re cool with that, go for it. If not…I wouldn’t.


Also Available This Week:

Distributor: Arrow Video

One of the most sought-after titles for slasher fans everywhere, The Slayer finally rises from the ashes of obscurity in a brand new 4K transfer courtesy of Arrow Video. Two young couples set off to a secluded island for what promises to be a restful retreat. But the peace is short-lived: as a storm batters the island, troubled artist Kay begins to sense that a malevolent presence is here with them, stalking them at every turn. Is she losing her mind, or are her childhood nightmares of a demonic assailant coming to terrifying life? Previously only available on home video in truncated or full screen versions, The Slayer – whose nightmares-seeping-into-reality theme predates a certain Wes Craven classic by several years – comes lovingly restored from the original negative in a stunning transfer that will be a revelation to fans both old and new.

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS

• Brand new restoration from a 4K scan of the original camera negative
• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
• Original Mono Audio (Uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
• Audio Commentary with writer/director J.S. Cardone, actress Carol Kottenbrook and executive in charge of production Eric Weston, moderated by Ewan Cant
• Audio Commentary with The Hysteria Continues
• Isolated Score Selections and Audio Interview with Composer Robert Folk
• Nightmare Island: The Making of The Slayer – documentary featuring interviews with J.S. Cardone, Carol Kottenbrook, Eric Weston, producer William Ewing, director of photography Karen Grossman, camera operator/2nd Unit DOP/still photographer Arledge Armenaki, special creature and make-up effects ceator Robert Short and “Slayer” performer Carl Kraines
• Return to Tybee: The Locations of The Slayer – featurette revisiting the shooting locations on Tybee Island, Georgia
• The Tybee Post Theater Experience – join the audience of the Tybee Post Theater (one of the film’s key locations) for this very special home-town screening of The Slayer! Includes event introduction, feature-length audience reaction track and post screening Q&A with Arledge Armenaki and Ewan Cant
• Still Gallery
• Original Theatrical Trailer

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Lee Gambin


Distributor: Arrow Video

In the early 1970s, Kinji Fukasaku’s five-film Battles Without Honour and Humanity series was a massive hit in Japan, and kicked off a boom in realistic, modern yakuza films based on true stories. Although Fukasaku had intended to end the series, Toei Studio convinced him to return to the director’s chair for this unconnected, follow-up trilogy of films, each starring Battles leading man Bunta Sugawara and telling separate, but fictional stories about the yakuza in different locations in Japan.

In the first film, Bunta Sugawara is Miyoshi, a low-level assassin of the Yamamori gang who is sent to jail after a bungled hit. While in stir, family member Aoki (Lone Wolf and Cub’s Tomisaburo Wakayama) attempts to seize power from the boss, and Miyoshi finds himself stuck between the two factions with no honourable way out. In the second entry, The Boss’s Head, Sugawara is Kuroda, an itinerant gambler who steps in when a hit by drug-addicted assassin Kusunoki (Tampopo’s Tsutomu Yamazaki) goes wrong, and takes the fall on behalf of the Owada family, but when the gang fails to make good on financial promises to him, Kuroda targets the family bosses with a ruthless vengeance. And in Last Days of the Boss, Sugawara plays Nozaki, a labourer who swears allegiance to a sympathetic crime boss, only to find himself elected his successor after the boss is murdered. Restrained by a gang alliance that forbids retributions against high-level members, Nozaki forms a plot to exact revenge on his rivals, but a suspicious relationship with his own sister (Chieko Matsubara from Outlaw: Gangster VIP) taints his relationship with his fellow gang members.

Making their English-language home video debut in this limited edition set, the New Battles Without Honour and Humanity films are important links between the first half of Fukasaku’s career and his later exploration of other genres. Each one is also a top-notch crime action thriller: hard-boiled, entertaining, and distinguished by Fukasaku’s directorial genius, funky musical scores by composer Toshiaki Tsushima, and the onscreen power of Toei’s greatest yakuza movie stars.

LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS:
• High Definition digital transfers of all three films
• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
• Original uncompressed mono audio
• New optional English subtitle translation for all three films
• Beyond the Films: New Battles Without Honor and Humanity, a new video appreciation by Fukasaku biographer Sadao Yamane
• New Stories, New Battles and Closing Stories, two new interviews with screenwriter Koji Takada, about his work on the second and third films in the trilogy
• Original theatrical trailers for all three films
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Reinhard Kleist
• Illustrated collector’s book featuring new writing on the films, the yakuza genre and Fukasaku’s career, by Stephen Sarrazin, Tom Mes, Hayley Scanlon, Chris D. and Marc Walkow


Distributor: Universal Studios Home Entertainment (DVD only)

What started out as a regular week quickly turns into the worst few days of his life when Chris (Ken Jeong), a struggling nightclub owner, fails to pay back a loan shark and decides the only way to get the money is to kill his pick in the annual “Who Will Die This Year” celebrity death pool: David Hasselhoff. Aided by his friends Fish (Rhys Darby) and Tommy (Jim Jefferies), Chris desperately tries everything he can to off the master of slow-motion running and claim the jackpot. But the task is not as easy as he thought, especially when your target is The Hoff!

Killing Hasselhoff, available on DVD and Digital, comes filled with exclusive and hilarious deleted scenes taking viewers further into the film’s crazy adventure.


NEW PODCAST LOOP

Share Post
Written by

J. Tonzelli is a writer, film critiquer, and avid Arnold/Van Damme/Bronson enthusiast who resides in rural South Jersey. He is the author of "The End of Summer: Thirteen Tales of Halloween" and the "Fright Friends Adventure" series, co-authored with Chris Evangelista. He loves abandoned buildings, the supernatural, and films by John Carpenter. You can read some of his short fiction at his website, JTonzelli.com, or objectify him by staring at his tweets: @jtonzelli. He apologizes for all the profanity.

No comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.