Land of the Lost (Blu-ray)
Special Features: A-
DVD Geek Factor: 6.5 (out of 10)
When Will Ferrell's little dinosaur comedy was released this past summer, critics were waiting in the wings with baseball bats and knives. It got clobbered, and audiences heeded the warnings, staying away in droves.
Well, audiences missed a strange and funny movie. This adaptation of the classically campy '70s TV show features Ferrell in typically bizarre form, and if you haven't tired of his man-child shtick, it's a lot of fun. I, for one, can't get enough of the guy.
Director Brad Silberling set out to make a movie as good looking as it is funny, and he succeeded. He also set out to make something a little crude, and his original cut supposedly got an R rating. Something tells me if they had just gone for the R, and marketed this film as an adult comedy, the reception would've been better. The true audience for this film is the fans who sat on their couches on Saturday mornings watching the series during its original run. It made no sense to market it for families.
Oscar winner Dion Beebe shot the thing, and it shows. This is a great looking movie. The film boasts big, gorgeous sets, dudes in awesome Sleestak costumes and a nice CGI T-Rex. It also features Ferrell at his weirdest, matched every step of the way by Danny McBride. I say the movie year's funniest sight gag is Ferrell running from a dinosaur instructing everybody to run in a serpentine fashion, followed by his getting snatched up by the beast.
This is just one of those films that people will rent or watch on TV and declare, "Say, that movie wasn't that bad! What gives?" It's probably destined for a lot of year-end 10 Worst lists, and that's just wrong.
SPECIAL FEATURES: Universal didn't send out review copies of the Blu-ray, and that's really surprising. They put a lot into the special features, including a 90-minute making-of documentary that is highly entertaining. The claim in this production is that the actors did 80 percent of their own stunts, and that just might be true. The "serpentine" gag I mentioned above? That's actually Ferrell getting jerked around in the air, and not a stunt guy. You also see a key scene that might've contributed to the film's original R rating.
Silberling does a commentary, you get some decent deleted scenes and a short film of McBride on the film's set directed by McBride. It's a surprisingly good disc considering how the movie tanked.
Battlestar Galactica: The Plan (Blu-ray)
Special Features: B
DVD Geek Factor: 5.75 (out of 10)
If you're a fan of the remade Battlestar Galactica series that just concluded its run, there is much in this prequel for you to like. Edward James Olmos directs the story of what happened when the Cylons attacked Caprica, nearly wiping out the human race, and that's good stuff for geeks. For the uninitiated, it might be really, really confusing.
Dean Stockwell plays two Cylon brothers who initiate the plan to destroy the human race, both with conflicting feelings about its execution. There are other Cylons that are identical, which contributes to some of the confusion when you try to follow the story. Overall, this movie is a nice addition to the excellent series that preceded it.
The film is not to be confused with Caprica, another Galactica spin-off that will run on the Syfy channel next year. Also, unlike its TV counterpart, it has some nudity in it, so parents take caution if you pop this one in for family movie night.
SPECIAL FEATURES: There's an Olmos commentary, deleted scenes and an explanation of the Cylon characters for those of you who, like me, are a little confused.
Natural Born Killers (Unrated Director's Cut)
Warner Home Video
Special Features: A-
DVD Geek Factor: 8 (out of 10)
Oliver Stone's 1994 epically violent love story had a helluva time with the MPAA. They required 155 cuts for an R rating, something that didn't sit too well with the director. This is the unrated film the way he intended it, and while the changes don't amount to a whole lot of extra time (only three additional minutes) this cut definitely flows better. And, yes, it's more violent.
Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis set the screen on fire as Mickey and Mallory Knox, serial killers who get a sickening kick out of their profession. It's all told with a strange, quick-cutting, satirical edge that was, and still is, shocking.
Stone has lost some of his edge over the years, but he took a step back in the right direction with last year's W. Next up for Stone ... Wall Street 2. No, seriously, Wall Street 2.
SPECIAL FEATURES: A new documentary, NBK Evolution, takes a look at the film's legacy. You also get Stone commentary and intros, deleted scenes, alternate endings, a picture book and more.