Do you even care to know how "gorgeous" the 1080P or 2/4 K scan transfer looks, or how cool the extra features are? By now, you are well-versed in what transfers look like and you know what's coming with the release. You're (hopefully) here because you want to know the experience I had watching this/these film(s).
New on Blu is a column from film pundit Chase Whale (that's me!), exploring studio, arthouse, underground, exploitation and cult cinema released on Blu-ray and DVD from some of the most cutting-edge independent distributors around the U.S. He talks about the movie and whether it's worth a buy or rent, not how amazing the transfer looks because you already know this system.
Train to Busan
Director: Sang-ho Yeon
Writer: Sang-ho Yeon
Cast: Yoo Gong, Soo-an Kim, Yu-mi Jung
Film Rating: ★★★★★
If I had to describe TRAIN TO BUSAN in less than five words, I'd call it "a Zombie movie with heart."
This is probably the moment where you name other zombie movies with heart, but I've seen a lot of brain-eating movies, and this is currently the only one that comes to mind.
TRAIN TO BUSAN is written and directed by Sang-ho Yeon. Looking at this IMdb, he honed his skills with his previous film, an animated zombie film called SEOUL STATION.
TRAIN TO BUSAN is also pretty fierce with keeping your heart racing, and hoping so-and-so makes it to the end and doesn't get chomped on by a new kind of zombie we haven't seen before. These crazy flesh-eating killers will come at you with determination in whatever shape they're in. Some fall from buildings and get up, contorted and coming at ya. It's awesome watching these zombies go to work and watch the protagonist go the distance to keep his daughter safe. Like I said, big beating heart with zombies.
Roger Corman's Death Race 2050
Director: G.J. Echternkamp
Writer: G.J. Echternkamp, Matt Yamashita
Cast: Manu Bennett, Malcolm McDowell, Marci Miller
Film Rating: ★
Buy/Rent: Rent (if you're a Corman fan)
It's been 50 years since the first DEATH RACE, and almost the same amount since B-movie legend Roger Corman made the first film (42 years, to be exact).
Does Corman's style of films that worked in in the 60s - 90s (sometimes cheap do-it-yourself, at times a limited budget that worked in his favor) count today? No. When movies are obviously to capture the magic movies brought in the 70s, it's more irritating than entertaining. Corman can't be faulted since this has been his method of filmmaking madness. However, DEATH RACE 2050 just doesn't work. It tries too damn hard be cheap though terrible dialogue ("Smoking Cigarettes may be bad for you; battling Frankenstein? That's FATAL.") and CGI.
Corman wasn't happy with DEATH RACE (2008), Starring the world's most colossal action star, Jason Statham because it didn't have the political themes and dark humor from the original. That perhaps ate at him, so made this to satisfy his reasons for this sequel.
DEATH RACE 2050 contains political mockery, and I guess dark humor (but it's difficult to laugh), and it's unquestionably a Corman film. Sometimes that can be bad.
The Girl on the Train
Director: Tate Taylor
Writer: Erin Cressida Wilson (screenplay), Paula Hawkins (novel)
Cast: Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Rebecca Ferguson, Justin Theroux
Film Rating: ★★★
I didn't read the book, so I don't have many punches to throw in this fight, I can only report what I saw on screen.
I love a good thriller, and the film hits it with that, even though some of the twists can be seen early on. Emily Blunt as the girl on the train, a horrific drunk filled with regrets and repressed memories, makes this film worth the watch. She can pull of charisma and make a sad sack look, well sad. Sometimes she pulls both off both at the same time, pulling our little heart strings.
If you've read the book, proceed with caution. If you haven't, watch for Emily.