December 30, 2008

DVD Pick of the Week: Hellbound - Hellraiser II

Welcome back! Well, to some of you, anyway. To the rest of you, glad you decided to stop by and I hope that this humble column helps you navigate the stacks of new releases each week. My goal is to point you toward titles of interest and warn you away from those films that seek to do nothing but leech away your time and give you nothing in return.

Full disclosure: I have not seen many of these titles and what follows are not necessarily reviews. It is my opinion based upon what I know of the titles I pluck from the new release lists that I peruse. The opinions I give based on the new releases are my own, and my recommendations upon them are based on my personal interest. In any case, I hope you enjoy and perhaps find something you like or a title to point me towards.

This final release week of 2008 is a light one, at least it was for me. There is just not that much of interest as I perused the lists. However, there are always some titles worthy of some attention, so take a look at what 200's swan song has to offer.

Hellbound: Hellraiser II - 20th. Anniversary Edition. It has been forever since I have seen this movie. Has it had a proper DVD release before? I seem to recall a budget full-frame release some years ago, but never came across it myself. It may be more than ten years since I have seen this particular Pinhead outing. That said, my memories are a bit sketchy, but I remember it being particularly bloody and more gruesome than the original feature. The story follows the surviving daughter from the first film taken to an institution where the box is used, bringing back Pinhead and a few of his friends. I am looking forward to checking out the viscera again.

An American Carol. Not sure about this one. I skipped it in theaters and likely will skip on DVD as well. It is a movie that targets Michael Moore for spoofing, although it seems like it is a few years too late. Is anyone really caring about Moore at the moment? Didn't think so. Anyway, it stars Chris Farley's brother as the Moore-type character as he is visited by three ghosts, Dickens' style.

Towelhead. Here is a film that I would have liked on the big screen, but did not get the chance. Alan Ball directed and penned the adaptation. The story is about a Lebanese teenager living in Houston with her strict father where she must deal with racism at school and in her neighborhood while also attempting to come to grips with her adolescence.

Gamera the Brave. In the 1990's director Shusuke Kaneko brought Gamera back to the big screen in a big way. He directed a trilogy of films centering on the flying turtle that was better than anything else the turtle has ever appeared in. Here is a new turtle title that is unrelated to that great trilogy and seems to focus more on its child friendly roots. I had not heard of it prior to seeing it in the release list, but I am definitely interested in it.

The Brave Archer. I think I have seen this one before, but I am not sure. Don't you hate it when that happens? This is a martial arts film that came from the golden era of the Shaw Brothers run in the 1970s. It stars Alexander Fu Sheng and was directed by Chang Cheh. This is one that I look forward to (re)visiting. It is more costume epic than martial arts film, but I am sure it will definitely be a good time.

Bloodsuckers from Outer Space. How can you go wrong with a title like this? The movie was originally released in the 1980's and tells of an alien force that is killing people and then reanimating their corpses for bloody rampages. Sounds like a perfectly good time to me!


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