This week in The Shelf, a 3D event 65 million years (and a couple of months) in the making, plus flashy gangland violence, a mother’s harrowing journey down river, and some French wine makes people crazy.
Jurassic Park 3D
If you missed the chance to see Steven Spielberg’s landmark 1993 sci-fi/action/adventure/horror movie Jurassic Park when it was re-released in 3D last month, or saw it and would like to see that experience again but smaller and on a couch, then you’ll definitely want to pick up Universal’s massive Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy/Ultraviolet set. It contains all of the same special features that were on the regular Blu-ray that came out last month, but it’s got the film in 3D as well. It was one of the better three-dimensional conversions of a two-dimensional film we’ve seen, so if you’ve got a 3D TV and a 3D Blu-ray player (or a PlayStation 3), then there really is no discernible reason for you not to pick this up.
Zombieland and 30 Minutes or Less director Reuben Fleischer was behind this glitzy shoot-em-up set in 1950s Hollywood. Sean Penn plays real-life gangster Mickey Cohen, who held Los Angeles in his criminal power for a good long while. To combat his illegal activity, Nick Nolte assembles a group of police officers and gives them the mandate that they are to do whatever is necessary to end Cohen’s reign. That includes a whole lot of murder. On the eponymous squad are Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Robert Patrick, Giovanni Ribisi, and Anthony Mackie. Also, throwing a curvy wrench in the works is Emma Stone as Cohen’s girlfriend, who gets romantically involved with Gosling. Oh, the drama. Lots of fun and excellent action set pieces.
Grapes of Death
French filmmaker Jean Rollin made a lot of what we’re going to call “erotic horror films” in the 70s and 80s. Mostly, they were movies wherein young ladies got naked and writhed around on beds with each other while a vampire lord did something pretty innocuous. They were high on the eroticism and low on the horror, but he did make one film, 1978’s Grapes of Death (or Les Raisins De La Mort in French), which had both a decent story and a huge amount of gore. Its conceit is that a pesticide used on crops of grapes that are later made into wine starts eating away at people and turning them into bloodthirsty savages. It’s a very effective and creepy movie and contains much less gratuitous nudity than the majority of Rollin’s other films. It’s a zombie movie of a different sort.
The Impossible – Naomi Watts earned an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of a mother who tries to protect her son after the tsunami of 2004 that decimated parts of Southeast Asia. She goes through quite a lot while her husband, played by Ewan McGregor, and their other two sons get away relatively unscathed. Jerks.
Cheech & Chong’s Animated Movie – Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong arrive in animated form for the first time, and in a feature film at all for the first time since 1984, doing some of their most famous comedy sketches from back in “the day.”
InHumans – A motion comic based on Marvel Comics title about a race of genetic misfits who live secluded on an island and choose their abilities as a coming of age ritual.