Out on DVD and Blu-Ray this week: The final chapter for Bella the wannabe sparkly vampire who finally got her wish, plus another woman transformed into something monstrous thanks to an injection of fruit-fly venom, and a space station under siege by a mortally constrained effects budget.
The home video release of Breaking Dawn Part 2 might be positioned to do well off those who refused to see the cheesy and visually unimpressive final installment of the Twilight Saga (and never was a franchise better described as a saga for those of us slogging through waiting for the end, unless it had been called the Twilight ordeal instead), except that it's hard to imagine anyone but the Twihard fans shelling out full price for the Blu-Ray, either. And make no mistake: it isn't just that the series has gained this iconic pop culture repulsion, like Up with People or Bennifer. The Twilight movies have actually gotten progressively worse since the first one, which was decent solely through the heroic efforts of Catherine Hardwicke, and five movies in it's to the point that the lame dialog, glacial pacing, perfunctory performances, and just above Syfy Original Movie level effects combine to make the end result all but unwatchable, apart, it must be said, from the brief, partially redemptive action climax.
Formats: UV Digital Copy + DVD, UV Digital Copy + Blu-ray.
The story: the birth of Bella and Edward's child brings conflict between Bella and her lifelong friend, Jacob, and an all-out war between the Cullens and the Volturi.
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Dakota Fanning, Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone, Anna Kendrick, Nikki Reed, Kellan Lutz, Peter Facinelli, Billy Burke, Elizabeth Reaser.
Directed by: Bill Condon.
Box office: $291.8 Million.
Features: "Forever: Filming Breaking Dawn Part 2" – Seven-part "making of" documentary: Chapter 1: "Rebirth", Chapter 2: "Renesmee", Chapter 3: "The Cottage", Chapter 4: "The Gathering", Chapter 5: "The Field", Chapter 6: "The Battle", Chapter 7: "Forever"; "Two Movies at Once" featurette; "The Forgotten" Green Day music video; "Jump to" features; Audio commentary with director Bill Condon.
From the same writer-director as the following year's original version of The Fly, and together forming a sort of climax to three decades of pulp classics (including Tarzan and the She-Devil, 1953 -- apparently that one is a different she-devil), space operas (including Kronos and Rocketship X-M), and midnight horrors, She Devil, the lone, somewhat disappointing adaptation of the overlooked Thirties writer Stanley Weinbaum, operates according to one of the inviolable rules of Fifties sci-fi cinena: they will be punished who tamper in God's domain. It's not seminal, but the star, Mari Blanchard, is not without charm, and Albert Dekker is as usual a welcome distraction.
Formats: DVD and Blu-Ray.
The story: Jack Kelly stars as a doctor who invents a miracle cure for several horrible diseases. Suffering from tuberculosis, Mari Blanchard agrees to test out Kelly's wonder serum. Almost instantly, Mari's health and strength are restored. Unfortunately, there is one teeny-tiny side effect: Mari's benign personality transforms into that of a scheming predator with a pronounced homicidal streak.
Starring: Mari Blanchard, Jack Kelly, Albert Dekker, John Archer.
Directed by: Kurt Neumann.
Features: Remastered for Blu-Ray, both otherwise this is an Olive Films release, and that means no extras.
This low-budget direct-to-video indie, from the folks at self-described micro-studio Pandora Machine, was renamed by the distributor for North American release even though Total Retribution is a much, much dumber name than Earthkiller. Maybe that name is reserved for Galactus?
The story: Trapped on a space station orbiting Earth, a small army of human survivors battle the Undead in order to prevent the destruction of the Earth.
Starring: Robin Kurtz, Lucy Rayner, Maduka Steady.
Directed by: Andrew Bellware (Android Insurrection).
Features: None listed.