Out on DVD and Blu-Ray this week: The brilliant and majestic Game of Thrones is finally out on home video -- plus lots of (male) eye candy this week, ranging from the gym-groomed twentysomething gods and heroes of ancient Greece and homoerotic alien-hunters in Roswell to Larry the Cable Guy and Dudley Manlove.
It's lush, it's stylized, it's grand in scope, and, like so many movies featuring the gods of the ancient Greeks, it doesn't make a lick of sense. Roger Ebert, as he occasionally still does, put it most succinctly: Immortals is "the best-looking awful movie you will ever see."
The story: Theseus is a mortal man chosen by Zeus to lead the fight against the ruthless King Hyperion, who is on a rampage across Greece to obtain a weapon that can destroy humanity.
Starring: Henry Cavill, Kellan Lutz, Mickey Rourke, Freida Pinto, Luke Evans, Isabel Lucas.
Directed by: Tarsem Singh.
Features: Two behind-the-scenes featurettes: It's No Myth, Caravaggio Meets Fight Club: Tarsem's Vision; Deleted scenes; Alternate opening: "Young Theseus"; Two alternate endings: "This Is Our Last Embrace", "Theseus Kills Hyperion"; Immortals: Gods & Heroes graphic novel.
It could have been a disaster. But D. B. Weiss and David Benioff's adaptation of George R. R. Martin's sweeping fantasy novels for HBO managed to be a profoundly stirring experience, delivering the complexity and power of the source material's interweaving storylines via unmatched writing, production, and performances from a shrewdly chosen cast. The Blu-Ray is of sterling quality, with a small trove of extras not the least of which is commentaries not just by rotating teams of creators and stars but in one case by Martin himself. It's a cliche to say it, but if you buy one complete season box set this year, buy this one.
The story: From the scheming south and the savage eastern lands, to the frozen north and ancient Wall that protects the realm from the mysterious darkness beyond, the powerful families of the Seven Kingdoms are locked in a battle for the Iron Throne.
Starring: Harry Lloyd, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Mark Addy, Iain Glen, Alfie Allen, Sean Bean, Jamie Campbell Bower.
Features: Audio Commentaries (Discs 1-5); In-Episode Guides (Discs 1-5, HD); The Complete Guide to Westeros (Discs 1-5, HD); Character Profiles (Disc 1, HD, 31 minutes); Anatomy of an Episode; Making Game of Thrones (Disc 5, HD, 30 minutes); From the Book to the Screen (Disc 5, HD, 5 minutes); The Night's Watch (Disc 5, HD, 8 minutes); Creating the Show Open (Disc 5, HD, 5 minutes); Creating the Dothraki Language (Disc 5, HD, 5 minutes); Hidden Dragon Eggs.
It would have seemed impossible for the innocuous little Dwayne Johnson vehicle Tooth Fairy to be worthy, in retrospect, of both praise and pity, but that film--which had some genuine laughs and, yes, a pretty decent performance by the ex-Rock--seems to have been badly treated by a direct-to-video franchise extension that hurls Larry the Cable Guy through the same hoops Johnson cleared with gusto and panache. At least thanks to Journey 2 and this movie, we now have a new example of how the train of sequel substitution works: Brendan Fraser > Dwayne Johnson > Larry the Cable Guy. Just to give you an idea of what you're in for with Tooth 2, the director on this outing is also to blame for Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 and Inspector Gadget 2 (in which French Stewart subbed for Matthew Broderick), and, perhaps most damningly, the alarming Carrot Top surfer comedy Chairman of the Board.
The story: Larry Guthrie is a fun-loving guy with a serious mission: to win back Brooke, the love of his life. But when Larry upsets a small boy with a loose tooth where Brooke works, he's "sentenced" to become a real Tooth Fairy. It's tutu times the laughs watching Larry strut his stuff in pink tights and ballet shoes as he tries to restore the boy's faith before Brooke marries the wrong man - and he only has ten days to "git-r-done"!
Starring: Larry the Cable Guy, David Mackey, Erin Beute.
Directed by: Alex Zamm.
Features: Five featurettes: Why Do I Lose My Baby Teeth?, Return to Fairyland – Making Tooth Fairy 2, Larry the Hairy Fairy, Tooth Fairy 2 Introduces Crusher the Pig, A Memory to Remember.
David DeCoteau is what you get when you cross zero-budget prolificity of Roger Corman with zero-budget homoerotic softcore, and lately he's been churning out a string of sci-fi/fantasy/horror movies under the 1313 banner featuring lots of shiny, buff shirtless dudes with absolutely no chest hair and widely varying acting ability. Previously: Killer bees! Vampires! This time: aliens! To get a sense of what it's like to watch one of these, check out the trailer below and then imagine it lasting 72 minutes.
The story: Adam is a graduate student in theoretical astronomy and working on his dissertation. He’s always been interested in what’s ‘out there’ and he finds a perfect opportunity to both work and play--in Roswell, New Mexico.
Starring: Aaron Thornton, Monique Parent, Christian Lake.
Directed by: David DeCoteau.
Though there have been a couple of good DVD editions of this notorious offering from Ed Wood (and several poor ones), this colorized version from Legend Films is Plan 9's debut on Blu-Ray. It contains a commentary track from Mike Nelson (of MST3K and Rifftrax), though for my money the best Plan 9 viewing experience is still the Rifftrax live show DVD, also from Legend, which not only features brilliant riffing from the full three-man team but also a hilariously ripped apart short. (Just skip the musical number in between.)
The story: Aliens resurrect dead humans as zombies and vampires to stop human kind from creating the Solaranite (a sort of sun-driven bomb).
Starring: Bela Lugosi, Vampira, Tor Johnson, Gregory Walcott, Tom Keene, Lyle Talbot, Dudley Manlove.
Directed by: Edward D. Wood Jr.
Features: Original Black and White Version; Ed Wood Home Movies (HD; 2:06); Ed Wood Commercials (HD;3:45); Trivia Subtitle; Mike Nelson Commentary.