Don’t wait for Will Smith?… STAR TREK ship gets a new lease on life… JUG FACE finds a pit of horror…
From the luxurious Cinefantastique Online studios in NYC, Dan Persons brings you up-to-date on what’s happening in the world of fantastic media.
According to Deadline, Bill Pullman (INDEPENDENCE DAY) has been cast as a regular for BBC/STARZ ten-episode mini series, TORCHWOOD: THE NEW WORLD.
The role? Oswald Jones, a murder and pedophile released on a technicality and enlisted to help in the worldwide crisis that threatens Earth. This extreme-seeming character supposedly regrets his past actions, but is also “dangerous and clever”, filled with “lust and rage”. Press materials suggest he is “fated to become the centre of terrifying events”.
An odd move by series creator Russell T Davies. Hopefully, he and Bill Pullman can make the character work in a way that won’t alienate the audience.
Also coming out on home video this week: A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, CAPRICA SEASON 1.0, STARGATE UNIVERS: COMPLETE FIRST SEASON, THE SECRET OF KELLS, GRINDHOUSE SPECIAL EDITION BLU-RAY, and DOCTOR WHO: DREAMLAND
Tuesday, October 5 is overflowing with horror, fantasy, and science fiction titles of all shapes and sizes arriving on home video in various formats: DVD, Blu-ray, and iTunes downloads. The best of the new releases is SPLICE, which arrives in two versions, DVD and Blu-ray. When it hit theatres earlier this year, Vincenzo Natali’s sci-fi horror opus was a bit misrepresented by its advertising campaign, which suggested a SPECIES-type monster movie. Instead, audiences got a thoughtful science fiction film with an overlay of dark satire.
Also out this week is A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, the unnecessary (and unnecessarily dull) remake of writer-director Wes Craven’s 1984 classic. The new version is slickly made but typically soulless. Somewhat less typically, it is also almost entirely devoid of shocks and suspense. Give this one a pass.
This is one of those rare weeks when classic titles are overwhelming new releases, thanks to some deluxe editions that surpass and eclipse previous home video versions. Horror fans disappointed by the ELM STREET remake can take solace in Warner Brothers Home Video release a two-disc Blu-ray of THE EXORCIST (1973), which includes the original theatrical cut and the so-called “Extended Director’s Cut,” plus three new documentaries. The film is also being made available for download via iTunes for the first time. The extended cut is just a new name for the 2000 theatrical re-issue of the film, which at the time was dubbed “The Version You ‘ve Never Seen” – a sobriquet that hardly makes sense ten years later. Even if (like me) you have previously purchased both versions of the film on DVD (including the excellent 25th anniversary edition), you will find much worth viewing on this disc, thanks to previously unreleased behind-the-scenes footage that provides an amazing glimpse at the making of this horror classic.
If your tastes run more toward fairy tale fantasy, you are in luck: Walt Disney Home Video is releasing a 3-disc Diamond Edition of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, their 1991 Oscar-nominated blockbuster, which has been unavailable in any form since 2003. (This combo pack will be followed seven weeks later by a 2-Disc standard definition DVD on November 23.) The 3-disc set includes one DVD and two Blu-rays. The DVD features an all-new digital restoration, three versions of the film, sing-along mode (with subtitles for the lyrics), and an audio commentary. The first Blu-ray disc includes the DVD bonus features and the three versions of the film (in high-def, of course), plus more extras, including previously unseen alternate opening and a deleted scene. The second Blu-ray disc offers the bonus features from the old Platinum Edition DVD, plus some new Blu-ray extras, including “Beyond Beauty – The Untold Stories,” “Enchanted Musical Challenge Game,” and “Bonjour, Who is This” – a game in which you use your phone to receive secret messages and guess players’ identities before they guess yours. In a move no one could ever have expected, the abysmal TROLL 2 receives a Blu-ray release this week; the format seems altogether too refined by the cheezy little movie, which has gained some cult notoriety this year, thanks to the art house release of BEST WORST MOVIE, the documentary tracing the lives and reunion of some of the TROLL 2 cast members.
MGM Home Video offers the MGM Sci-Fi Movie Collection. Unfortunately, the company’s 1956 classic FORBIDDEN PLANET is nowhere to be seen. Instead, we get one (WAR GAMES) and a bunch of forgettable duds (SOLAR BABIES, ALIEN FROM L.A. with Kathy Ireland, HACKERS with a young Angelina Jolie film, SPACE CAMP, and a WAR GAMES sequel). Apparently, bargain days have arrived this week, with several previous available titles re-released in two-packs: GROUNDHOG DAY and SO I MARRIED AN AXE MURDERER, HANCOCK and GHOST RIDER, THE GRUDGE and SILENT HILL, BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA and WOLF, FANTASTIC FOUR and X-MEN, THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL and I ROBOT, plus several others.
But wait, there’s more! Also on store shelves this week:
CAPRICA: SEASON 1.0 on DVD
SGU: STARGATE UNIVERS – THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON on DVD and Blu-ray
THE SECRET OF KELLS on DVD and Blu-ray
GRINDHOUSE two-disc collector’s edition on Blu-ray
THE SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE COLLECTION on DVD
DOCTOR WHO: DREAMLAND on DVD
DELGO on DVD and two-disc Blu-ray and DVD combo
THE EVIL/TWICE DEAD, a two-pack of Roger Corman Cult Classics
FINGERPRINTS on Blu-ray
THE YEAR WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUS, a deluxe edition
SISTERS on Blu-ray (no not the Brian DePalma original but an unnecessary remake)
And the list goes on and on… All are available in the Cinefantastique Online Store. Click the links below to check them out, or go here.
Since the release of sci-fi blockbuster INDEPENDENCE DAY, way back in 1996, rumours of a sequel have a habit of popping up every so often. IESB have been putting more fuel to the fire today as they report that 20th Century Fox, following their financial success with AVATAR, are seriously getting ready to release not one, but two sequels to the original film.
Apparently, a sequel would have already been made if it were not for several difficulties. The cost of hiring Will Smith these days, not mention his busy schedule, is putting off the studio from signing a deal with the star. Additionally Roland Emmerich, director of the original film, has been unsure about returning and is currently busy with his new film; ANONYMOUS.
If goes to plan however, the sequels could start shooting as early as next year. INDEPENDENCE DAY was a fun film, full of exciting action and dazzling images but probably owes a lot of its successful to Smith, so a sequel in the same vein would definitely demand a return from the star.