Pick of the Week

Warrior

Director: Gavin O’Connor

Writers: Gavin O’Connor, Anthony Tambakis, Cliff Dorman

Starring: Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton, Nick Nolte.

Synopsis: Warrior centres around Tommy (Hardy) – an ex marine haunted by a tragic past, who enlists the help of his estranged father (Nick Nolte) to train up for the fight of his life. A former wrestling prodigy, Tommy blazes a path towards SPARTA – the biggest ‘winner takes all’ Mixed Martial Arts event in history. His brother, Brendan (Joel Edgerton), an ex-fighter-turned teacher, also returns to the ring in a desperate bid to save his family from financial ruin. So when Brendan’s unlikely, underdog rise sets him on a collision course with the unstoppable Tommy, the two brothers must finally confront each other – and the forces that pulled them apart – in the ultimate face off.

This sports movie meets family drama was unfairly compared to The Fighter upon its release but it mixes both ends of the spectrum better than that film in my eyes. It’s not exactly original but it just proves that if it’s well made then that lack of uniqueness doesn’t really matter. The actual fight scenes are genuinely exhilarating, each one better than the last. An involving and compelling film with some added dramatic weight.

Extras include:

  • Redemption: Bringing Warrior to Life Documentary (Blu-ray exclusive)
  • Brother Versus Brother: Anatomy of the Fight
  • Philosophy In Combat: Mixed Martial Arts Strategy
  • Simply Believe – A Tribute to Charles ‘Mask’ Lewis, Jr.
  • Audio commentar with filmmakers and actor Joel Edgerton.
  • The Diner: Deleted Scene (with optional commentary)
  • ‘Cheap Shots’ Gag Reel
Warrior DVD cover

Other Releases

Real Steel – This surprisingly enjoyable blockbuster from director Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum) is set in the near-future when robot boxing is the number one sport. Hugh Jackman stars as a struggling trainer who one day finds out he has an 11-year-old son who wants to spend time with him. It’s not reinventing the wheel but it does what it aims to do very well, making for a great family action film. Take note Michael Bay: this is what a movie about giant robots hitting each other should be!

Extras include:

  • Countdown to the fight – The Charlie Kenton Story (Blu-ray exclusive)
  • Making of Metal Valley
  • Building the Bots
  • Sugar Ray Leonard: Cornermans Champ (Blu-ray exclusive)
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes with introductions by director Shawn Levy (Blu-ray exclusive)
  • Extended ‘Meet Ambush’ (Blu-ray exclusive)
  • Deleted Butterfly Storyline (Blu-ray exclusive)
  • Bloopers
Real Steel DVD cover

 

Fright Night – The original 1985 film isn’t exactly a masterpiece but it has a sense of campy fun to it. Unfortunately same can’t be said for this lacklustre remake in which Colin Farrell’s admittedly effective vampire is about the only thing worth watching it for. A lot of the attempts at self-poking humour come off as forced and some dodgy special effects doesn’t help the film overall. Not a complete waste of time but this should have been much better.

(Extras info unavailable)

Fright Night DVD cover

 

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark – A clear case of a film not really knowing which audience it’s supposed to be aimed at. It appears to be aimed at kids with its, at times, Gremlins-like scary-but-not-too-much style but then it will turn violent and nasty, making it completely unsuitable for the younger viewers. Some nice moments in there, and you can feel the great Guillermo Del Toro’s presence around the film, but it builds towards a disappointingly ridiculous ending making for an overall unsatisfying experience.

Extras include:

  • A Look Behind the Horror – The Story, The Build, The Creatures
  • Character Profiles – Interviews with Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce and Bailee Madison
  • Teaser & theatrical trailers.
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark DVD cover

 

Miss Bala – This Mexican film received pretty much universal acclaim. Tells the story of a beauty queen chasing her dreams amidst a society dominated by organized crime. I haven’t seen this one yet myself but am very much looking forward to it.

(Extras info unavailable)

Miss Bala DVD cover

 

Repo Man – The cult 1984 noir/sci-fi film finally hits Blu-ray via the Masters of Cinema series. It stars Emilio Estevez as a young punk rocker who is hired to repossess cars but before long strange things start to happen. A flick beloved by many, this Blu-ray release should more than satisfy fans.

Extras (specially approved by the director) include:

  • New high-definition master in the original aspect ratio 1.85:1
  • Original mono soundtrack and 5.1 remix, both in DTS-HD Master Audio
  • English SDH subtitles on the main feature
  • Isolated music and effects track
  • Audio commentary with Cox and executive producer Michael Nesmith, casting director Victoria Thomas, and actors Sy Richardson, Zander Schloss, and Del Zamora
  • All-new 2012 video piece by Cox offering further thoughts on the film
  • Repo Man (entire TV version) this legendary variant, prepared by Cox for network television, incorporates deleted material and surreal overdubs in place of profanity
  • Repossessed a retrospective video piece on the making of the film, featuring Cox, producers Peter McCarthy and Jonathan Wacks, and actors Del Zamora, Sy Richardson, and Dick Rude
  • The Missing Scenes a roundtable viewing of deleted scenes from the film with Cox, executive producer Michael Nesmith, real-life neutron bomb inventor Sam Cohen, and character “J. Frank Parnell”
  • Harry Zen Stanton an extended interview with the legendary actor
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • A 44-page full colour booklet specially created by Cox, entitled The Repo Code and incorporating all manner of Repo ephemera

Repo Man Blu-ray cover

Which of these releases will you be spending your money on (if any)?