Laserblast, August 24: Lost The Final Season & Lost The Complete Collection


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click to purchase THE FINAL SEASON on DVD

Tuesday, August 24 is a big day for horror, fantasy, and science fiction on home video, with numerous titles ranging from cult films to classics, from traditional horror to cannibalistic zombie mayhem, from television to theatres to direct-to-video. Of course, the titles  likely to make it onto most viewers’ lists of “what to have if lost on a desert island” are LOST: THE COMPLETE SIXTH AND FINAL SEASON and LOST: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION, both of which are available on DVD and Blu-ray.
With the LOST television series now only a fond memory, ABC has assembled all sixteen episodes of Season Six into nice five-disc set, available in either DVD or Blu-ray, that offers lovely widescreen transfers, 5.1 stereo sound, and some informative bonus features:

  • A new 12-minute LOST chapter called “New Man In Charge,” which offers a look at what Hurley (Jorge Garcia) and Ben (Michael Emerson) do as the new Island overseers
  • The End: Crafting A Final Season – Join the LOST team along with other producers of some of television’s longest running shows as they examine the challenges of ending a landmark series
  • A Hero’s Journey – What makes a hero? Which survivors of Oceanic 815 are true heroes? These questions and more are explored
  • See You In Another Life, Brotha – Unlock the mysteries of this season’s intriguing flash sideways
  • Bloopers
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Audio Commentaries
  • Lost University: The Masters Program is a Blu-ray exclusive, BD Live-enabled feature that requires a broadband connection to your Blu-ray player.

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click to purchase LOST THE COMPLETE COLLECTION on Blu-ray

LOST: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION is a massive set (36-disc Blu-ray discs or 38-DVDs) that contains over 84 hours of material (5,074 minutes to be exact), including “New Man In Charge.” Other bonus features on the COMPLETE COLLECTION:

  • One full disc of never-before-seen content
  • Special edition collectible Senet game as seen in Season 6
  • Custom LOST island replica
  • Exclusive episode guide
  • Collectible ankh
  • Black light
  • Plus all episodes and 30+ hours of bonus from Seasons 1-6

As if that were not enough to keep rapacious fans of cinefantastique satsified, this week also sees the Blu-ray debut of TIME BANDITS, the wonderfully comic time-travel fantasy from director Terry Gilliam. Despite the Monty Pythonish humor, TIME BANDITS works as an elaborate fantasy film, filled with memorable images that deserve to be experienced with the clarity that Blu-ray can bring to the home video experience.
American fans of the classic approach to the horror genre may be interested in DORIAN GRAY, a 2009 adaptation of of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. Starring Ben Barnes as Dorian, with Colin Firth as Lord Henry, the British film was released to theatres in its native land but never scored a stateside theatrical release. Writing for Cinefantastique Online, our own Deborah Louis Robinson called DORIAN GRAY a “well-directed” effort in the style of “old Hammer Horror films.” The film is available on DVD and Blu-ray.
George A. Romero’s SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD arrives on home video after a VOD debut and limited theatrical distribution earlier this year. The film is not up to par by the standards of Romero’s previous work (NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, DAWN OF THE DEAD, DAY OF THE DEAD, LAND OF THE DEAD, DIARY OF THE DEAD), but fans may be interested in checking out the few new wrinkles he adds to his familiar cannibal zombies. The film is available in three forms: single-disc DVD, a two-disc “Ultimate Undead Edition” DVD, and Blu-ray.
Perhaps not coincidentally, the weird artsy animation experiment NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD: REANIMATED also arrives on DVD this week. For this film, various animators were asked to recreate scenes from Romero’s 1968 NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, each in a different style. Worth checking out for curiosity if nothing else.
As for the rest:

  • Synergy offers two of their DVDTee discs, which consist of old movies packaged with T-shirts featuring recreations of original poster artwork. This week’s titles are KING OF THE ZOMBIES (1941) and ASSIGNMENT: OUTER SPACE (1960). The later was recently reviewed as part of Cinefantastique’s 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Horror, Fantasy & Science Fiction Films of 1960.
  • Plus a handful of direct-to-video titles: HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT (with Joe Mantegna), METAMORPHOSIS (with Christopher Lambert), THE HAUNTING OF SORORITY ROW, DEVIL’S DIARY, NINJA VS. ZOMBIES, and DIENER (GET IT?).


Dorian Gray (2009) – Horror Film Review

Dorian Gray (2009)Oliver Parker’s 2009 film DORIAN GRAY, adapted from Oscar Wilde’s classic 1890 novel  The Picture of Dorian Gray, has no scheduled U.S. release date, so are film fans in the U.S. missing a treat, or is this a blessing in disguise? Starring Ben Barnes as Dorian and Colin Firth as his friend and cohort Henry Wotton, the film tells the story of a young man, who inadvertently makes a pact with the devil. No matter what the devilishly handsome Dorian does, or what kind of life he leads, he will never age. Instead his portrait [which he hides in the attic] will show the true state of Dorian’s soul. I was not expecting much from this film, but curiosity got me to the cinema, and actually I’m glad it did.
The story starts with Dorian Gray inheriting the family mansion and being thrust into high society life. His friend Henry fancies himself as a real rebel, someone who drinks heavily from the cup of life without any regard for the consequences. Henry encourages Dorian to flout the rules and do as he pleases. Dorian is already balancing on the edge of temptation, when the pact is made. Realising that nothing can age him, Dorian plummets into the moral abyss, his behaviour completely out of control. He lets himself be swept into a life of debauchery, and while his outward appearance shows no sign of his secret, disgraceful life, the painting in the attic begins to decay…..
Dorian Gray is well directed, reminding me a little of the old Hammer Horror films [I should not have to tell you that this is a good thing]. The old sets and streets look really good, even though in places you can see the use of trompe l’oeil, I actually found this rather charming. The orchestral score is excellent, adding that high gloss, quality feel.
The acting is impressive. Barnes is excellent as Dorian, but the star of this film for me is Firth, who plays his character with such gusto and humour that I found him riveting.
However, Dorian Gray is not without its flaws. The main problem is that it fails to show the contrast between the good, kind man Dorian was and the selfish, arrogant, and violent man he becomes. Showing us a charity piano recital at the beginning is not really enough! Because of this lack of contrast, it makes Dorian’s mental anguish at losing himself less meaningful and made me care much less about the loss.
The scenes wherein he is spiralling into his demise, sleeping with countless women and taking an overabundance of drugs are well shot, but too plentiful. Whilst some of the audience no doubt enjoyed seeing bare breasts every two minutes, it was unnecessary, and it did come across as a little gratuitous after a while.
If you are expecting a pure horror film, Dorian Gray is not for you. It’s dark yes, but never scary. Though I did appreciate the fact that in the most violent scene there is no sound at all, not even music, reminding me of The Shining.
I’ve never read the book and this probably helped, because almost always films cannot live up to their literay sources. To summarise: glossy, entertaining, and well acted, worth a watch, but certainly not perfect.

Dorian Gray (Ben Barnes) and his portrait, which ages instead of him
Dorian Gray (Ben Barnes) and his portrait, which ages instead of him

DORIAN GRAY (2009) Director: Oliver Parker. Writer: Toby Finlay (Screenplay), Oscar Wilde (Novel). Cast: Ben Barnes, Colin Firth, Rachel Hurd-Wood, Rebecca Hall, Emelia Fox, Caroline Goodall.