Add to Queue #61: The “super green” edition

Media | A2Q Archives | A2Q #61 | October 20, 2008: Welcome to Add to Queue, Levi’s round-up of this week’s US home video release highlights. Sorry, rest of the world. Region locks are the industry’s way of saying they still don’t understand the Internet.

Out This Week

[[image:a2q081021_incredible.jpg:The Incredible Hulk:left:1]] The Incredible Hulk

The Incredible Hulk is the latest in Marvel’s current crop of superhero movies to hit the home video market. I actually enjoyed Ang Lee’s take on the subject in the last Hulk movie, but I was in the minority. The franchise has gotten a reboot, this time with Edward Norton playing the big green guy with anger management issues. My major complaint in this one is very similar to my take on Iron Man: it’s good. Probably very good. But in a world where The Dark Knight exists, it inevitably suffers by comparison. Where The Dark Knight seems fresh and new, these last two Marvel movies feel a little bit like Paint by Numbers. I can’t argue with the casting; the guy who played half of Tyler Durden is uniquely qualified to play David Banner, the superhero retelling of Jekyll and Hyde. Definitely worth the time it takes to watch if you’re into comic book movies, but it’s not something that transcends the genre.

[[image:a2q081021_strangers.jpg:The Strangers:left:0]] The Strangers

The first time I heard about this movie was via a music website dedicated to what they referred to as “freak folk,” the indie music movement that encompasses artists such as Devendra Banhart and Sufjan Stevens. The reason it was covered was due to the Joanna Newsom song that was used in the film’s first trailer. Newsom’s otherworldly, elfin voice accompanies quick cuts of the titular masked strangers appearing where they don’t belong. Their creepy visages peer in on a normal suburban couple, and as the trailer hits its crescendo, they have invaded their cozy little vacation home, and the audience knows it’s not just to borrow a cup of sugar. Well received by genre fans, The Strangers makes a strong case for being in your media player this Halloween.

[[image:a2q081021_sweeney.jpg:Sweeney Todd:left:0]] Sweeney Todd

I covered this film in great detail when it first hit home video on DVD, but now that there isn’t a format war to get in the way, we finally get to see the sticky red stuff the way our Lord intended: in brilliant high definition. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, the BD release is a great excuse to rectify that. Depp is fantastic in the lead role, and director Tim Burton is uniquely qualified to give celluloid life to the gothic London of Sweeney Todd.

[[image:a2q081021_bond.jpg:Bond on Blu-ray:center:0]]
Bond on Blu-ray
Gamespite mastermind Jeremy Parish is already covering these new Bond BD rereleases, so I won’t get into them too much. Actually, I couldn’t cover them very well even if I wanted to. The first Bond movie I saw was the first Timothy Dalton one, and while I’ve seen every Bond movie since, to this day I haven’t gone back and watched any of the films that came prior. From the clips I’ve seen, though, they don’t look like something that would appeal to me too much. I’m spoiled by the Bourne films, which make what I’ve seen of the original Bond movies look like bad Austin Powers fan-films. Now that I think about it, you probably could describe the Pierce Bronsan entries in the franchise the same way. The only Bond I care to see is Daniel Craig, and his entry owes a lot more to Jason Bourne than to Sean Connery.

[[image:a2q081021_blu.jpg:Blu-ray Wrap-Up:center:0]]
Blu-ray Wrap-Up
Casino Royale, one of the first movies to really wow people when it was originally released on BD, gets double-dipped to coast on the marketing and hype for the upcoming theatrical Bond movie, Quantum of Solace. Casino Royale doesn’t hold up for me on repeat viewings, but it’s good enough to get you through until Quantum or the just-announced fourth Bourne movie gets released. Diary of the Dead is a decent Romero zombie flick, but nowhere near on par with his first two zombie movies, Night of the Living Dead or Dawn of the Dead. Funny Games will appeal to torture-porn fans. Rob Zombie’s Halloween might seem a good choice to watch on Halloween, but that’d be a mistake. Grab the original or one of the many other actual good horror movies to get you through Hallow’s Eve. Note: Breed is not one of those good horror movies I was talking about.

Cover art courtesy of Amazon. It’s not the years, honey; it’s the mileage. Follow me on Twitter. You can also e-mail me at vsrobot [dot] blog [at] gmail [dot] com. Thanks for reading!

13 thoughts on “Add to Queue #61: The “super green” edition

  1. sonnofabitch, I want to kill whoever made the trailer for The Strangers. I could not escape it for awhile, and it was always on at 11pm+ when I was watching Daily Show or something. Yeah, what I REALLY need before going to sleep is fast-cut imagery of nightmare-masked maniacs breaking into my home. THANKS HOLLYWOOD.

  2. Hulk was good, and I’m glad someone else on the internet admits that. However, Norton’s performance wasn’t what had me hooked. Tim Roth as Emil Blonskey took me from beginning to end.

    @nunix: Somehow, seeing the movie in theatres made the creepiness of the titular strangers go away. The movie wasn’t scary at all. It was kind of stupid, and no one in the theatre was able to take it seriously. Definitely a hit-or-miss flick.

  3. The Pierce Brosnan films could be good too! GoldenEye was an awesome reinvigoration for the franchise, and coincidentally, the only other Bond-film that Casino Royale’s Director Martin Campbell ever made.

  4. Was Goldeneye the one where he drove an invisible car? Or the one with the nuclear scientist named Christmas played by an actress who doesn’t seem like she could even spell “nuclear”?

  5. Connery Bond films are easily still worth watching and are better than most of newer films. GoldenEye was the perfect new startup after lackluster Dalton films, but they quickly wasted Brosnan on lame films. I don’t care much for Daniel Craig as Bond either as, unlike Brosnan, he is all over-muscled thug and has no charisma or personality.

  6. If you watch one early Bond, make it Goldfinger. And Goldeneye is the one good Brosnan one. (with none of the stupid stuff that vsrobot mentioned)

  7. @Lucas: Nice catch! Shows that I only skimmed the summary provided and that Levi is either “old school” or didn’t bother watching the movie.

  8. Goldeneye was the first Bond movie I saw in its entirety; I hated it then and don’t imagine I’d like it more now. Brosnan was actually a great Bond, with just enough coldness to make the occasional ruthless act believable, but he was in terrible, generic ’90s-style action movies. Even Die Another Day was a ’90s movie, despite dating from 2002.

  9. David Banner was the character’s name from the Incredible Hulk TV show. I was under the impression they were aiming for that TV nostalgia, what with that jean jacket and all. Is there a scene in the movie where he hitchhikes, stopping occasionally to brush of the cold while sad piano music plays?

    The James Bond of the novels would make Jason Bourne blush.

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