While this space is usually where you get your movie news for what is hitting shelves, I have to take a minute to address a new release in something else I love: video games. Last Friday the newest game in the long and revered Call of Duty series was released, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. The story this time revolves around CIA officer Alex (Chad Michael Collins) as he is assigned to recover chemicals stolen by terrorist organization Al-Qatala. Alex gets help from SAS Captain John Price (Barry Sloane) and rebel leader Farah Karim (Claudia Doumit) among many others to capture al-Qatala leader Omar "The Wolf" Sulaman (Joel Swetow) and track down the chemicals before they are unleashed upon the world.
I have been a Call of Duty fan for most of my adult life and I have to say Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has taken the franchise to a new level. Now I am a single player campaign guy, and most gamers nowadays seem to be into online play much more, but it is nice to see Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has made sure to include a huge and immersive single player campaign along with its innovative and legendary online component. So first off, the story is very detailed and immersive, maybe the most cinematic and fully thought out than any CoD game before it. Next up is the beautiful next gen graphics. Everything is so intricately detailed and almost three dimensional with incredible lighting effects and depth. The gameplay has also been stepped up with an exciting, smooth and fast paced action with a great selection of weapons and equipment and a more realistic weapon integration system that previously as well. And best of all, it is so damn fun. Having the detailed story arc really gets you into the game more than random missions and makes you get invested faster and more fully than before. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is a brilliant return to the modern high-tech Call of Duty that has been missing from single player campaigns for some time. And for all of you online gamers, there is plenty to love there as well including for the first time in the franchise's history, supporting cross-platform multiplayer. Very highly recommended.
This week is a slow new release week with not much of note, but it is a fantastic catalog title week starting with a huge new Arrow Blu-ray special edition of John Landis’ 1981 masterpiece An American Werewolf in London. Two American friends, David (David Naughton) and Jack (Griffin Dunne) go on a walking tour of Britain and find themselves lost one night on the moors in Rural England. When they are attacked by what seems to be a large wolf like creature, Jack is killed and David is wounded. As David recovers in a London hospital he meets and falls for Nurse Alex Price (Jenny Agutter) whom invited David to stay with her. But as David starts to have violent nightmares and visions of his dead friend Jack warning him he will turn into a werewolf, David starts to question his sanity until the full moon comes out and David learns the truth of his condition.
An American Werewolf in London is perhaps the perfect horror movie. There is lots of humor to keep things moving and make the scary parts even scarier, every performance is pitch perfect, especially David Naughton’s brilliant portrayal of David, and the special make-up effects are so legendarily phenomenal they earned artist Rick Baker an Oscar. The film really does have it all thanks to the brilliant work of writer/director John Landis, best known for his comedy work on classics like Animal House, The Blues Brothers and Trading Places. But Landis not only nails the comedy in An American Werewolf in London, he also nails the horrific elements. In addition to the stunning new 4K restoration, this new special edition also boasts new commentaries, tons of documentaries including the newly produced Mark of The Beast: The Legacy of the Universal Werewolf, tons of other special features, a fold out poster, reproduction lobby cards and more. This is one of the most essential horror Blu-ray releases of the year and comes highly recommended.
The other Blu-ray set out this week, also from Arrow, is a spectacular new Ringu Collection box set. In 1998, director Hideo Nakata (Dark Water) unleashed a chilling tale of technological terror on unsuspecting audiences, which redefined the horror genre, launched the J-horror boom in the West and introduced a generation of moviegoers to a creepy, dark-haired girl called Sadako.
This awesome new Blu-ray set includes the original Ringu, the film that started it all, plus Hideo Nakata's chilling sequel, Ringu 2, and the haunting origin story, Ringu 0 - as well as the 'lost' original sequel, George Iida's Spiral. In addition to these terrifying tales Arrow has packed the limited edition collection with new audio commentaries, The Ringu Legacy, a series of new interviews from critics and filmmakers on their memories of the Ringu series and its enduring legacy, new video interviews and video essays on the influence of the Ringu series and much more. For fans of The Ring, this is a most welcome new collection.
Also of note this week is the 4K debut of Walter Hill’s buddy cop actioner Red Heat with Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Belushi, the Blu-ray debut of naughty 80s comedy classic Private School with Matthew Modine and Phoebe Cates, and the a new Shout special edition of the underrated horror remake The Blob from 1988 starring Shawnee Smith and Kevin Dillon.
Until next week movie lovers!
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday October 29, 2019
10 Minutes Gone
A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish
An American Werewolf in London - Special Edition
Batman Beyond: The Complete Animated Series*
Byleth: The Demon of Incest*
Charlie's Angels 4K
Charlie's Angels: The Complete Series*
Complete Sartana: Standard Box Set
Female Prisoner Scorpion: The Complete Collection
Godzilla: The Showa-Era Films, 1954-1975 - Criterion Collection
It's a Wonderful Life (1946) 4K
Legend of the Demon Cat (2017)*
Life with Mikey*
Little Women/Marie Antoinette Double Feature*
Lying and Stealing
Man of a Thousand Faces (1957)*
Matewan (1987)* - Criterion Collection
New York Stories (1989)*
Nightmare in Badham County (1976) *
Plaguers: 10th Anniversary Special Edition
Private School (1983)*
Red Heat (1988) 4K
The 3-D Nudie-Cuties Collection*
The Blob - Collector's Edition (1988)*
The Devil Rides Out (1968)*
The Devil's Bride (1968)*
The Human Monster: Collector's Edition
The Problem with Men
The Swan Princess (1994) *
The Thing (2011)
The Witching Season
The Wizard of Oz 4K
Them That Follow
Two Evil Eyes (1990) - Special Edition
Warrior: The Complete First Season
Watch Me When I Kill (1977)*
Werewolf in a Girls' Dormitory*
*Catalog Blu-ray debut