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article imageReview: New on DVD and Blu-ray - July 3, 2012 Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Jul 4, 2012 in Entertainment
This week’s releases include a brilliant comedic thriller; a number of ‘80s and ‘90s library releases; and a strange, sexual Alice in Wonderland.
Barbarella (Blu-ray)
Barbarella (Jane Fonda) is the titular heroine who lands on the planet Lythion in the year 40,000. Faced with robots, monsters and evil of varying stripes, she must vanquish her enemies, all while attempting—and failing—to keep her skin-tight spacesuit on. Along the way she receives assistance from a variety of handsome men, each of whom receives her uninhibited appreciation.
It's usually not too hard to identify products of the "drug-addled 60s." This is without a doubt one of those artifacts. As Barbarella, Fonda strips in zero gravity, seduces an angel and makes love by only holding her hand in the air – apparently the only way it's done on Earth now, where weapons are also museum pieces. Each short journey in her spacecraft lands her in another bizarre world ruled by "The Tyrant," where children attack her, men try to rape her and others recruit her. Barbarella's outfits range from spandex to tight-fitting PVC that vary in the extent that they expose her nipples and are constantly in need of replacing as they are torn in various skirmishes. But in spite of all this absurdity, it's still fun to watch even if just to laugh at the ridiculousness of the whole thing.
Special features include: theatrical trailer. (Paramount Home Entertainment)
Anchor Bay Entertainment
The Entity (Blu-ray)
Carla Moran (Barbara Hershey) is an average hard-working single mother until the night she is raped in her bedroom by someone – or something – that she cannot see. Despite skeptical psychiatrists, she is repeatedly attacked in her car, in the bath, and in front of her children. Could this be a case of hysteria, a manifestation of childhood sexual trauma, or something even more horrific? Now with a group of daring parapsychologists, Carla will attempt an unthinkable experiment: to seduce, trap and ultimately capture the depraved spectral fury that is the Entity.
This is one of those horror movies that will really get under your skin – maybe because it’s based on a true story. But even if you don’t buy into the paranormal explanation, it’s still an incredibly creepy scenario. Filmmakers do a good job creating the invisible menacing force as viewers watch the victim’s skin indent as if pressed by fingers.
Special features not available. (Anchor Bay Entertainment)
Firestorm (DVD)
Smoke jumper Jesse Graves' day is about to take a twist for the worst. He thinks his fellow firefighters are trapped in a fire so he jumps in. Big mistake! The firefighters are actually criminals planning a jail break.
Special features not available. (Anchor Bay Entertainment)
Ghost in the Machine (DVD)
A serial killer is transformed into a computer virus out to destroy more than your hard drive. How do you survive—and ultimately destroy—a madman who can massacre from anywhere?
Special features not available. (Anchor Bay Entertainment)
Jesus Henry Christ (DVD)
A ten year-old boy-genius, who was artificially conceived inside a petri-dish, embarks on a search for his biological father with his single mom and a Post-it notes-obsessed university professor.
Special features include: interviews with writer/director Dennis Lee and cast. (Entertainment One)
Joshua (DVD)
The arrival of a newborn girl causes the gradual disintegration of the Cairn family; particularly for 9-year-old Joshua, an eccentric boy whose proper upbringing and refined tastes both take a sinister turn.
Special features not available. (Anchor Bay Entertainment)
Entertainment One
No Holds Barred (DVD)
When world wrestling champion Rip Thomas (Hulk Hogan) refuses to join a competing network, an evil executive creates a new program, "The Battle of the Tough Guys," where rules don't exist and men engage in an all-out brawl for money. After a murdering ex-convict named Zeus comes out on top as the toughest man, an ultimate title match with Rip is the TV network's best chance for big ratings. But when Rip refuses the challenge and his brother is roughed-up as a consequence, the world champion has no choice but to teach Zeus a lesson in a final No Holds Barred fight to the finish.
For many of those who grew up in the '80s, Hulk Hogan holds a special place in their nostalgic hearts. (Please remember that being a Hulkamaniac used to be cool.) So the release of his tough guy movie on DVD received a little more attention than the typical library release. And it's just as you remember it. Always the good guy inside and outside the ring, no amount of money could make him sellout (no snickering). But cause to stand up for family and the "little guy" could convince him to do anything. It's as over-the-top and melodramatic as wrestling entertainment ever was, but in the form of a feature-length picture.
Special features include: photo gallery. (Entertainment One)
The Pirate Movie (DVD)
The crew of a large ship sail the high seas encountering other pirates from other ships.
Special features not available. (Anchor Bay Entertainment)
Quicksilver Highway (DVD)
Two tales based on short stories from fright titans Stephen King and Clive Barker.
Special features not available. (Anchor Bay Entertainment)
Alliance Films
Seeking Justice (DVD)
Will Gerard (Nicolas Cage) lives a happy life with his beautiful wife Laura (January Jones), but one night's horrific events turn their world upside down when Laura is left for dead following a violent attack. Will is approached by a stranger (Guy Pearce) who offers to dispense immediate justice to Laura's attacker. Confused and distraught, Will accepts the proposal but it’s not long before his fateful decision sets off a spiral of life threatening events.
People have different reactions to seeing Nicolas Cage's name attached to a movie; some cringe and walk in the other direction, while others grab at it immediately out of sheer curiosity and/or residual admiration. In this flick, Cage puts on his serious face while struggling against mysterious, manipulative and powerful forces (led by Pearce). The initial concept and follow through are intriguing, resulting in an interesting first hour in which questions of morality and justice are batted back and forth. However, the last act devolves into a game of cat and mouse that quickly becomes tedious and predictable.
There are no special features. (Alliance Films)
Anchor Bay Entertainment
Some Guy Who Kills People (DVD)
At first glance, Ken Boyd (Kevin Corrigan) may seem like an average comic enthusiast, living with his mother and working to make ends meet as an underpaid, underappreciated ice cream parlor attendant. But Ken has a dirty little secret: he fantasizes about killing people. After being released from a stay in the loony bin for severe mental trauma suffered when he was beaten and tortured by a gang of high school thugs, Ken’s repressed anger reaches a boiling point. Suddenly his tormentors, one by one, turn up dead and Ken is the primary suspect.
This film is smart, witty and incredibly funny with a dark humour that’s really appreciated. Barry Bostwick is side-splitting with some of the best lines in the film and a cast that the stars must have aligned to form. Corrigan is recognizable from countless appearances in other films, but here he’s finally given the opportunity to carry a narrative and proves worthy of the task. Typical of the small town dynamic, the jocks that were jerks in high school are now intimidating adults who continue to bully Ken. When they begin turning up dead, the sweet revenge can only be applauded. Moreover, the sheriff’s approach to each crime scene is hilarious. There are no holes in the storyline and the narrative is captivating from beginning to end.
Special features include: commentary by director/co-producer Jack Perez and writer/producer Ryan Levin; “The Fifth,” a short film that inspired Some Guy Who Kills People; a making-of featurette; and theatrical trailer (Anchor Bay Entertainment)
Tough Enough (DVD)
Art Long (Dennis Quaid) is a Fort Worth tree trimmer by day and struggling country singer by night. But when he enters a local Toughman Contest, he discovers that he may have a knack for knockouts. Now with the help of his street-smart corner man (Stan Shaw) and a crafty promoter (Warren Oates), Art is headed to the National Finals in Detroit where all he’ll have to do is beat up five guys in one night on national television to win $100,000, a recording contract, and the title of Toughest Man In America.
Special features not available. (Anchor Bay Entertainment)
Vanishing Point (DVD)
Kowalski is a speed-popping driver who lives on the road, delivering cars cross-country. When he picks up a supercharged 1970 Dodge Challenger in Denver, he bets his dealer that he can make it to San Francisco in 15 hours.
Special features not available. (Anchor Bay Entertainment)
More about Barbarella, The Entity, No Holds Barred, Seeking Justice, Some Guy Who Kills People
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