DVD & Blu-ray Review Round Up! #7: The Exterminator, Trollhunter and More!
by, 09-08-2011 at 07:32 AM (1738 Views)
THE EXTERMINATOR (UNRATED DIRECTOR’S CUT) (1980)
Directed By: James Glickenhaus
Starring: Robert Ginty, Samantha Eggar, Christopher George
Now available at the Killer Reviews store
Summary: Christopher George, Robert Ginty and Samantha Eggar star in The Exterminator, James Glickenhaus' explosive story of Vietnam vet John Eastland (Ginty), a man who launches a bloody vendetta against the New York underworld when his best friend is brutally beaten by a vicious street gang. Eastland becomes a vigilante hero to the public, but to police The Exterminator is a psychopath capable of dangerously undermining an entire government administration.
My Thoughts: I love vigilante movies and because of that ‘The Exterminator’ (Synapse Films) was one of my most anticipated releases this year and OMG did it deliver.
What separates ‘The Exterminator’ from the rest of the pact is that it’s down right gruesome at times. Right from the prologue we are treated to one of the best head decapitation scenes of all time. But the point is, when you want to “see” something you actually “see” it. It’s not a gore fest by any means, but there are a handful of gruesome shots that I’m sure didn’t make the original release.
I also enjoyed the lead actor Robert Ginty. Because of his acting ability and charisma I found myself really caring for this guy and cheering every time he “took out the trash.” Christopher George who plays Detective James Dalton was also fun to watch. Yeah, this is the guy who hooks up with nurses while on duty and cooks hot dogs using electricity from an office lamp. Some might find him too much, but I thought it worked. He was a good contrast to the seriousness of the main storyline.
There are times when the film feels dated for sure, like unrealistic sound effects during fight sequences, but that’s part of the charm for me. My only real complaint is a scene when a man is put through a meat grinder and hamburger meat comes out the other end. I mean, it’s not even close to what human grinded remains should look like.
The picture quality is exceptional here and the commentary track is just what the doctor ordered. If you’re a fan is vigilante films from the seventies and eighties then you need to check this out.
Directed By: André Øvredal
Starring: Otto Jespersen, Robert Stoltenberg, Knut Nærum
Available at the Killer Reviews store
Summary: Three students enter the Norwegian woods to film a documentary about a bear poacher named Hans. When they find him, he claims that bear hunting is just a ruse, and that he actually tracks trolls for the Norwegian government! This footage captures the trio as they follow Hans deep into the forest. If the hunter's story is true, they'll have the makings of the best student film in history. Otto Jespersen, Glenn Erland Tosterud, Johanna Mørck and Tomas Alf Larsen star.
My Thoughts: The only thing I knew about this movie going in was that it was about trolls. I thought a few people were hunting one troll. Boy was I wrong. This movie follows a troll hunter who is actually employed by the local government to track down trolls that have escaped from an enforced habitat. The whole story line and the nuances of it all is quite genius in my opinion. But here’s the best part, we get to see a whole shit load of trolls. And the next best thing to seeing Kim Kardashian in a bikini is watching a six-foot tall man battle a troll the size of the Empire State Building. Sometimes bigger is better.
The special features on this disc were a toss up for me. I liked the making of documentary and it was in depth, but the commentary track is MIA. What a fucking bummer. I don’t think we’ll see a special edition of this movie either. Not anytime soon anyways.
Overall, I loved Trollhunter and will be revisiting the film for years to come. It’s already made my top-ten list for 2011. So if you haven't seen this yet please do so immediately.
THE BEAVER (2011)
Directed By: Jodie Foster
Starring: Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, Anton Yelchin
Now available on DVD and Blu-ray
Summary: Suffering from a severe case of depression, toy company CEO Walter Black (Mel Gibson) begins using a beaver hand puppet to help him open up to his family. With his father seemingly going insane, adolescent son Porter (Anton Yelchin) pushes for his parents to get a divorce. Jodie Foster directs and co-stars as Walter's wife in this dark comedy that also features Riley Thomas Stewart and Jennifer Lawrence.
My Thoughts: Just from the stellar cast I knew I was going to like this movie. Mel Gibson, once again, proves that he’s one of the best actors of our time (Just don’t give him any alcohol). The story is interesting and I always found myself glued to the screen to see how it was going to turn out. The script is also excellently crafted. You’re constantly following different storylines that intertwine and you’re sure to care about them all. The film also keeps a great pace, constantly moving forward and never finding a dull moment. And of course, the direction by Jodie Foster keeps all these great elements balanced and tight. It’s a superbly done film and will most likely get some attention during awards season. I’m just looking forward to celebrities saying “And the winner is……. The Beaver”. (hee hee)
The film also costars my second girlfriend Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone, X-Men: First Class). Every time she came on the screen my TV glowed a tad brighter. ‘The Hunger Games’ just can’t come soon enough. Anton Yelchin also co-stars and he’s always a joy to watch.
With its odd-ball storyline and leading angry man Mel Gibson, ‘The Beaver’ might not be for everyone, but if you enjoy well made dramatic movies then check it out. The Blu-ray also contains a making of featurette and commentary track with Jodie Foster.
DIRTY HARRY COLLECTION – DIRTY HARRY, MAGNUM FORCE, THE ENFORCER, SUDDEN IMPACT (2010)
Directed By: Clint Eastwood, Don Siegel, Ted Post, James Fargo
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Hal Holbrook, John Vernon, Harry Guardino
Now available on DVD and Blu-ray
Summary: A collection of four Dirty Harry films from the 70’s and 80’s: Dirty Harry, Magnum Force, The Enforcer and Sudden Impact.
My Thoughts: During my recent Labor Day weekend camping trip I perused a local Wal-Mart looking to spend a few bucks on something cool. After deciding to purchase ‘Howard the Duck’ and ‘Grease 2’, I was just about to leave when this ‘Dirty Harry Collection’ caught my eye. I wasn’t immediately thinking that this was a purchase, but when I saw the four commentary tracks, bonus interviews and all presented in the widescreen format, it was a no-brainer. And it was only $9.99. WHAT?!!?!!?
‘Direct Harry’ easily makes my top 100 favorite films of all time. I could watch Clint Eastwood run around the streets of San Francisco for hours on end, which is pretty much what I did Labor Day weekend. If I wasn’t floating in a lake or cooking wieners on the open camp fire, I was inside the trailer watching Harry blow scumbags away with his Smith & Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnum. “Go ahead, make my day.”
I also took in almost all of the commentary tracks. To hear these writers, directors, etc talk about films I’ve been watching for twenty years was a smashing good time. There’s a lot of insight on how Clint Eastwood works and interesting production nuances, like how Clint wanted to direct the later films to cut down budget costs. And how sales of the Model 29 .44 Magnum skyrocketed once the movie took off. All good stuff!
If you don’t already own the previous DVD releases of these films then I can’t recommend this collection enough. I paid $10 bucks for this thing and watched it for an entire weekend. You’d be hard pressed to find more bang for your buck.
OK, Hammerhead, articles over. Now get out of here before I show you my beaver.