New to DVD and Blu-ray: ‘Cabin in the Woods,’ Indy and More Tim Burton
New on DVD, Blu-ray and streaming this week, there's the long-awaited Blu-ray set of a beloved saga, a scary-funny head-twister, Tim Burton's best film and a modern classic comes to the Criterion Collection. ...
If you love horror films -- even a little bit -- you'll love 'The Cabin in the Woods,' and you seriously have probably already seen it. And if you haven't, trust me, run out, get it, watch it and read the rest of this after. SERIOUSLY. Okay, and with that said -- awesome, right? Well, the home version includes commentary from co-writer Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, plus a series of other extras as awesome, old-school smart and new-school clever as the movie itself. I'm hard-pressed to imagine a movie this year that was more flat-out fun than 'Cabin in the Woods,' and the home version maintains that goofy, giddy kind of delight even without a theater full of laughing horror fans. Check out our interview with Goddard himself for even more details about the film.
Never mind how nice it is to know that 'Crystal Skull' is at least now not the only Indiana Jones flick on Blu-ray; this set presenting all four of the Jones films on Blu-ray is frankly amazing. The sound and picture are top-notch, and the special features border on the ludicrous -- over seven hours of behind-the-scenes and making-of footage, retrospective interviews and much more. Plus, the first three films (and we can all agree to pretend 'Crystal Skull' doesn't exist? Awesome...) are some of the most perfect adventures the cinema's ever given us, with George Lucas and Steven Spielberg's adventures of Harrison Ford's Indiana Jones defining summertime movie-going adventure for generations. If you know these films, you love them... and if you don't know them, now is the perfect time to discover that, yes, when they say "They don't make 'em like that anymore," they're right when they're talking about the Indy films.
No matter what happens to Tim Burton -- for all of his unwanted re-dos and re-boots like the awful 'Alice' and the dreary 'Dark Shadows' -- we'll always have his earlier films. And among his earlier films, bluntly, we'll always have 'Ed Wood' starring Johnny Depp in his best role for Burton, 'Ed Wood' chronicles the dreams, passion and dubious ethical practices of Ed Wood (Depp), the director of such horrible films as 'Plan 9 from Outer Space' and 'Glen or Glenda.' With an Oscar-winning Martin Landau as Bela Lugosi -- reduced, by addiction, to working with Wood -- and an impressive supporting cast like Bill Murray and Sarah Jessica Parker, 'Wood' just plain works, as Burton's eye and imagination were kept on-track by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski's rich, funny and human screenplay. The Blu-ray includes commentary, making-of material and more, but the film itself -- lustrous in black-and-white splendor, and nearly perfectly shot -- is the real prize here.
One of David Fincher's earliest films, you might think that the fun-and-fear of 'The Game' would be unlikely for the Criterion treatment, honored and improved with a bunch of amazing extras and top-notch picture and sound. But really, between Fincher being an amazing talent and the sheer slick fun of 'The Game,' it's a great example of how there's no such thing as a minor film. The extras are astonishing -- commentary from Fincher and star Michael Douglas, an alternate ending, extensive making-of material... and the film itself, with bored businessman Michael Douglas getting the gift of an "interactive experience" that's more than a game (and may be not just a game) is smart, quick, paranoid and punchy fun.