This week: Rutger Hauer goes grindhouse, a sensational samurai movie, a classic rom-com gets a high-def makeover and a sequel nobody asked for.
Hobo with a Shotgun: The 2007 double feature Grindhouse is the gift for midnight movie fans that keeps on giving. First it inspired Robert Rodriguez to expand one of the fake trailers into the feature-length Machete, and now director Jason Eisener has expanded another fake trailer used to promote Grindhouse into a joyous celebration of violence and sleaze. Rutger Hauer stars as the grizzled titular character who is fed up with the lawlessness in Hope Town and the sadistic thugs who terrorize its citizens. Our homeless hero administers justice one shell at a time with the help of a hooker with a heart of gold (Molly Dunsworth) in this loving homage to grindhouse cinema filmed with oversaturated colors and filled with all the gratuitous gore and outrageous characters you would expect from a movie that deserves to become the next big cult classic.
Best extras: Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain commentary tracks, deleted scenes, an alternate ending, a making-of featurette, video blogs, an HDNet special and "A Faux Trailer Contest Winner."
Verdict: Buy Me
13 Assassins: Director Takashi Miike reminds us here that expert camera placement in the middle of well-choreographed action can be more effective than all the CG effects and slo-mo shots money can buy in an action flick. It is 1844 and samurais are an endangered species, but 13 rise up to take on an evil lord and his army of 200. The most fun comes in watching the final battle before which the 13 assassins have time to rig the city with explosives and other booby traps designed to cut the army off from itself and even the odds.
Best extras: Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain deleted scenes and an interview with the director.
Verdict: Rent Me
When Harry Met Sally (BD): A long time ago (1989) in a galaxy not so far away, Meg Ryan was America's sweetheart and gave us cinema's most memorable fake orgasm in this rom-com classic directed by Rob Reiner. Billy Crystal stars as Harry, a man who believes that sex always ruins friendships with women, and Ryan plays the gal pal with whom he crosses the line. Carrie Fisher is a hoot in a supporting role as Sally's best friend in this honest and funny exploration of male-female friendships.
Best extras: This Walmart Blu-ray exclusive contains a $5 Vudu movie credit.
Verdict: Buy Me
BloodRayne: The Third Reich—Director's Cut: It's difficult to fathom that anyone wanted a third film in the bloody awful BloodRayne series directed by the dubious Uwe Boll, but here is the direct-to-disc dud for all of you masochists out there. Natassia Malthe plays Rayne, a dhampir (part vampire, part human) who battles Nazis during World War II. This time she encounters a Nazi leader who wants to inject Hitler with her blood, thus making him immortal.
Best extras: Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain a making-of featurette and a writer-director commentary that doesn't even begin to explain why this movie was made.
Verdict: Forget Me
Also New This Week: Of Gods and Men (BD), Das Boot (BD), Four Weddings and a Funeral (BD), Overboard (BD), Crack in the World (BD), Honeymoon in Vegas (BD), From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter, Throw Momma from the Train (BD) and Cutting Edge (BD)