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Evil Dead 2: 25th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray)





(OUT OF 10)

click to enlarge Evil Dead 2: 25th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray)
  • Evil Dead 2: 25th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray)

Yes, Lionsgate has released yet another Evil Dead 2 Blu-ray package. Yes, if you are a fan of the film, it's a must-have. Sorry, it's time to spend more money.

There's been a lot of talk about further sequels—Army of Darkness remains the final film in the series—or an Evil Dead remake. The remake, according to series star and executive producer Bruce Campbell, is a go. I'll believe it when I see it.

I don't see the point of a remake while blood still courses through Campbell's veins. He is more than capable of another chapter as the hero, Ash. Sure, he might not be able to flip himself with his own arm, as he does in this film, but he still has the charm and looks to pull it off. Screw the Evil Dead remake, and give us Evil Dead 4 with Campbell!

In my mind, Evil Dead was already remade ... and the movie was called Evil Dead 2! This was just a rehash of the first film with better humor and a bigger budget. The first film actually managed to terrify me on some levels. This one, while it has its share of good scares, is a lot more fun to watch.

SPECIAL FEATURES: The reason fans need to shell out, yet again, for this Evil Dead 2 Blu-ray is the brand-new, 90-minute documentary on the making of the movie and its legacy. It is done well, with participation by Campbell. (Sam Raimi is only seen in archive footage.) As for archival features, there are some holdovers from prior editions, including the excellent commentary with Campbell and Raimi.

Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Volume One (Blu-ray)





(OUT OF 10)

click to enlarge Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Volume One (Blu-ray)
  • Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Volume One (Blu-ray)

This should shoot right to the top of holiday gift lists. The three-disc set contains more than 50 classic shorts from Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig and the rest of the bunch. Those of you who managed to collect the DVD editions that have been released over the years might not see the need to buy this. Those of you who haven't should waste no time getting this on your shelf.

On top of an extensive list of Bugs Bunny shorts, you get some "one-shot" classics, and the complete collections for characters like Marvin the Martian, the Tasmanian Devil and Witch Hazel. As cartoon shorts go, only classic Ren and Stimpy rivals them for quality.

SPECIAL FEATURES: More than five hours of bonus content, including featurettes about Chuck Jones, and extra cartoons.

My Fair Lady (Blu-ray)





(OUT OF 10)

click to enlarge My Fair Lady (Blu-ray)
  • My Fair Lady (Blu-ray)

It was almost eight years ago that I expressed my love for Audrey Hepburn and this movie in this column. Watching the film on Blu-ray is an exercise in lush, beautiful splendor. Hepburn is adorable in this film, and Rex Harrison is a badass.

The film has lost none of its luster over the years, and I still curse the day that Hepburn died. She'd be 82 now, and I'm sure she would still be breaking hearts.

I still consider it a small crime that Hepburn wasn't allowed to perform her own songs as Eliza Doolittle, impoverished flower girl turned socialite. As evidenced by some outtakes (contained on the disc), she did just fine with the singing. If she were working in films today, a little Auto-Tune would fix her right up.

SPECIAL FEATURES: All are features held over from prior editions, and all are worth your time, including the Hepburn musical numbers mentioned above, an audio commentary and a documentary on the amazing restoration of the film.

Blue Velvet (Blu-ray)





(OUT OF 10)

click to enlarge Blue Velvet (Blu-ray)
  • Blue Velvet (Blu-ray)

This was the first time I've watched this film since Dennis Hopper died. Thus, watching it in its shiny new Blu-ray form was a little bit of a bummer.

David Lynch hit his weirdo stride here (and I say this in the most-flattering way). Hopper, who had sort of disappeared from the public eye, found his footing again as Frank Booth, recreational gas user and fan of Pabst Blue Ribbon. The year this came out—1986—was a crazy one for Hopper. In addition to this, he starred in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, River's Edge and Hoosiers, for which he received an Oscar nomination.

I remember watching this for the first time and being utterly shocked that somebody could say the things Hopper did in an R-rated movie. I still find it quite shocking.

SPECIAL FEATURES: More than 50 minutes of previously lost footage that, while cool to have, should have been lost. You also get a documentary on the movie and the original Siskel and Ebert review.

More by Bob Grimm

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