By Leo Owen
Director/ Producer: Alexandre Aja
Writer: Pete Goldfinger, Josh Stolberg
DVD and Blu-ray release date: December 27 2010
Studio: Entertainment In Video
Number of discs: 2
Price: From £9.99-£14.93
Running Time: 89 mins
Starring: Richard Dreyfuss, Elisabeth Shue, Christopher Lloyd, Eli Roth, Jerry O’Connell, Ving Rhames, Kelly Brook
Favouring the horror genre and previously dabbling in remakes (Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes), the Director of Switchblade Romance and the less successful, Mirrors, brings us Piranha 3D.
Instantly more brutal than its 1978 predecessor, Piranha 3D’s opening underwater sequence shot through a red lens is somewhat misleading in that what follows is far more tongue-in-cheek than is at first suggested.
Thousands of scantily clad hotties and ogling youths annually hit the 25 miles of beach along Lake Victoria for Spring Break with their party motto “Dying to get wet”, wet t-shirt competitions and bikini dancers. But in “cowboy country” a quake has caused a rift under the lake unearthing a subterranean lake full of two million year-old Piranha. Evolving into cannibals to survive, these flesh hungry Piranha hunt in packs.
Jake, the son of the town’s Sheriff, is sick of having to babysit every Spring Break so instead bribes his younger sister, Lola, and brother, Jake, to occupy themselves while he takes a trip out on the “Wild Girls” soft porn boat. Unfortunately for Jake, the Piranhas are out in force and his siblings have their own ideas, venturing out to Sand Island where they end up stranded. Rescue is up to kick-arse mum, Julie (Elisabeth Shue), who can more than hold her own, tasering Piranhas and warning partygoers: “You boys take one more step, you’ll be pissing lightning bolts all year.”
Picking up on Piranha’s original B movie reputation, everything about Piranha 3D, is drenched in smuttiness. What Piranha 3D lacks in script it makes up for in large-breasted women and inventive gore with boob slashing and head squashing scenes; a parasailing corpse; gruesome underwater camera shots and the piece de resistance – a penis fight.
With the odd cliched hardened line (“Chow on this motherfucker”), girl-on-girl action, Bible bashers trying to convert partygoers, Piranha cam and skinny dipping, Piranha 3D has an 80s feel and is a less effective Lake Placid in its character creation. All set for a sequel, “Piranha: Meet The Parents” , Piranha 3D’s carnage scenes and ridiculous special effects are suitably bloody to at least satisfy goresters.
3D Edition DVD
- Filmmaker commentary
- Behind-the-scenes featurettes
Blu-ray 3D Edition
- Filmmaker commentary
- Behind-the-scenes featurettes
- 2D version of the film
Blu-ray – 2D Edition
- Filmmaker commentary
- Deleted scenes with optional commentary
- Deleted storyboard sequences
- 10 Behind-the-scenes featurettes
- Storyboard gallery
- Trailer & TV spots
By Leo Owen
Director/ Producer: Jon Favreau
Writer: Justin Theroux
DVD and Blu-ray release date: October 25 2010
Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment
Number of discs: Available on solo DVD, double disc DVD and three disc combo DVD/Blu-ray
Price: From £9-£15.93
Running Time: 119/124 mins
Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sam Rockwell, Mickey Rourke, Samuel L. Jackson, Paul Bettany, Jon Favreau, Clark Gregg, John Slattery, Kate Mara, Leslie Bibb, Garry Shandling, Christiane Amanpour
The super hero genre is still going strong and quite rightly with releases like Favreau’s sequel to his first surprisingly entertaining Iron Man Stan Lee comic book adaptation. Full of the same tongue-in-cheek gags and fun-filled action that kept audiences chuckling the first time around, Iron Man 2 follows a disillusioned Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) who’s publicly recognised as Iron Man and is having to fight to keep possession of his suits – the only things keeping him alive while also rather paradoxically gradually killing him.
Action packed from the outset, the film opens with Tony free-falling and then blasting off into a cheesy American flag clad expo, featuring scantily “dressed” dancers in US colours to complement his dramatic entrance. Tony is full of the same feigned arrogance seen first time around, cockily claiming: “I have successfully privatized world peace” but as his blood toxicity levels fluctuate, his behavior becomes more erratic, seen by his hedonistic late grand prix entry, his sudden promotion of Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) to CEO of the Stark family business and characteristic flippant remarks, such as “I want one”, referring to Ms Rushman (Scarlett Johansson).
While he worries about his life, in true comic book style an ex-colleague of his father’s and his nemesis, comes back from the grave through his son seeking revenge. Keen to bring down Iron Man, Mickey Rourke stars as the unrelenting ex-con scientific mastermind – a Jaw’s like villain with predominantly silver teeth.
Other new characters come in the shape of a kick-arse Johansson, complete with black lycra cat suit and swift leg work, taking out an entire corridor of guards in the time it takes Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) to floor one. With her double identity, mysterious personality and quick-witted boss (Samuel L. Jackson), she’s set to either win Tony’s heart or bring him down.
Iron Man 2’s lengthy running time passes unnoticed in action packed sequences and cheeky humour. Although Samuel L Jackson’s character is underdeveloped and explained, Downey Jr’s repeat charismatic performance, the endearing chemistry between Stark and Pepper Potts and scenes like Starks’s party and the dumb-bell fight more than make up for it.
- Deleted Scenes with optional commentary by Jon Favreau -
Coulson at the Senate
Natalie Wears the Gauntlet
Element Rediscovered (extended)
- Featurettes -
Creating Stark Expo
Practical Meets Digital
Music Video: AC/DC “Shoot To Thrill”
- Digital Copy
- Feature film with optional commentary by Jon Favreau (HD)
- S.H.I.E.L.D. Data Vault (HD) — Extend your knowledge of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with high-level clearance into S.H.I.E.L.D.’s digital data vault. Interact with select scenes from the movie that include new layers of graphics and insider information. View case files, dossiers, S.H.I.E.L.D. training films, tech details and more.
- Previsualization and Animatics (HD)
- Ultimate Iron Man: The Making of Iron Man 2 (HD) – including Rebuilding the Suit, A Return to Action, Expanding the Universe and Building a Legacy.
- Featurettes (HD), including Creating Stark Expo, Practical Meets Digital, Illustrated Origin: Nick Fury, Illustrated Origin: Black Widow, Illustrated Origin: War Machine and Working with DJ AM.
- Deleted Scenes with optional commentary by Jon Favreau (HD), including Alternate Opening, Coulson at the Senate, The Sub-Orbital Jet, Tony’s Workshop (extended), Natalie Wears the Gauntlet, Flying Party Girl, Mark II Security and Element Rediscovered (extended).
- Concept Art Gallery
- Theatrical Trailers (HD)
- Music Video: AC/DC “Shoot To Thrill”
By Leo Owen
Director: Marcus Dunstan
Writer: Patrick Melton, Marcus Dunstan
Running time: 90 minutes
Studio: Icon Home Entertainment
No of discs: 1
Price: From £10.92-£11.93
Release Date: October 18 2010
Starring: Josh Stewart, Michael Reilly Burke, Andrea Roth, Juan Fernandes
After the initial success of Saw, Director and Writer team, Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton, milked the franchise, possibly to their own detriment. Horror fans respectful of the genius behind the first Saw, are perhaps a little weary now after seven. Knowing that Dunstan and Melton are merely responsible for Saws four-seven prompts unavoidable scepticism of their new joint-venture, The Collector.
Handy man Arkin (Josh Stewart), is seen eyeing-up family pictures suspiciously while he works at the Chase house. Later, we discover Arkin’s wife owes money to loan sharks who are coming for her that day so protective of his wife and young daughter, he promises to get money by midnight. With the Chase clan leaving for their holiday, Arkin visits a strip club, convincing his crooked boss to let him do the safe job that night for a 40/60 split.
The setting is perfect for a bout of horror – the night is foggy, Arkin approaches his target through brush, lightning illuminates a neighbourless creaking house, crystal wind chimes tinker and lullaby backing music is punctuated by magnified heart beat thumps. A creaky step and mysterious shuddering box also indicate all won’t be well.
Fantastic camera work adds to the spooky atmosphere as dark upward shots of the wood with eerie cloud movement are accompanied by lethargic guitar music. There are plenty of sinister close-ups of teddy bears, cats, dolls, toys and insects, repeatedly emphasised. Slow deliberate shots of cigarette lighting and the moon build tension as we see Arkin’s car approaching by night through cloud coverage looking down at the lone beams of his headlights.
Finally inside, torch lit shots and those illuminated purely by the outside light streaming in from the patio doors are the last scene-setters before a series of fast-moving ariel shots showing character movement through the booby-trapped house and intricate trip-wire arrangements. Arkin can hear screams through air vents and finds the locks have been tampered with.
A leather masked killed who collects people he likes, always bringing bait in a box with him threatens the Chase family and a balaclavared Arkin is their only hope. Arkin faces a seemingly impossible challenge with all the windows boarded-up, the chandelier fitted with knife attachments, the phone tampered with and all the doors and room floors booby-trapped – one is covered in man traps, another has an acidic liquid covering it and mesh wires block various entrance-ways
Gaining access to the basement, Arkin finds the father, Michael, seriously tortured and strapped to a chair. He must now ensure mummy Chase, Victoria, the teenage Jill and vulnerable Hannah somehow reach safety.
For a formulaic horror with low expectations, The Collector is surprisingly tense. A great soundtrack, including Depeche Mode “I feel you” accompanies a film so unrelenting and punishing, even in its frustrating conclusion that annoyingly paves the way for a sequel, there’ll be plenty of wincing, even from the greatest horror fans and veterans.
- Director/Writer Commentary
- Deleted Scenes
- Music Video
- Alternative Ending
- Soundtrack Song Preview
By Katherine Romero
Unbeknown to us, a sequel to the hugely successful Titanic has been filmed and now the trailer has been released for our very eyes.
The trailer is quick to remind us that it is not a joke, which is always a sure sign that the film is complete rubbish.
The premise is that 100 years after passengers set sail on the Titanic, passengers aboard a ship taking the same route are about to suffer the same fate as an iceberg is hurled at the boat.
Funnily enough, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet and James Cameron didn’t sign on for this.
Quite possible the most pointless remake we have seen. No surprise, it’s a straight to DVD release. Whereas Titanic tried to recreate the real events of real people, this film tries to depict the Titanic as some sort of ghost ship, set to kill anyone who dares take the same route. Offensive and insensitive but it has to be seen to be believed. Watch the trailer here and let us know what you think.
By Jonathan Campbell
So who’s your favourite?
Is it the pretty yet neurotic one, the level headed responsible kind or maybe the successful and insatiable sort?
How about the self absorbed type who’ll analyse every intimate detail of her life in a very public column?
Whoever your preferred Sex and the City flavour may be, you’re sure to be satisfied this month as Manhattans’ most famous daughters take over our cinemas once again with the second instalment of their silver screen adventures.
And I’m afraid, very afraid.
It had started out oh so differently. Read more »