Nothing makes a movie freak like me happier than a double-double feature week. I like to theme my movie watching and this week was very accommodating.
I started off with an action double. Now, technically, it was a quintette, as my first sit down comprised of the new Die Hard 25th Anniversary Collection. I will take any opportunity given to me to watch the Die Hard films over again, so I was a happy camper. This new collection has all four films and although the sequels never measure up to the monumental awesomeness of the original Die Hard , they are all a blast to watch and I will never tire of Bruce Willis’ John McClane. Even the much criticized Live Free or Die Hard is lots of fun, and you just can’t go wrong with McClane fighting a deadly female assassin and Timothy Olyphant as the bad guy. All four films are high octane entertainment and each has its own flair, so there is much giddiness to be had settling in with this collection for an afternoon.
I paired up the Die Hard Collection with a film that slipped by the theatres despite it having McClane himself, Bruce Willis, alongside our new Man of Steel, Henry Cavill and Sigourney Weaver in a delicious villain role. The film is called The Cold Light of Day and much like the Die Hard films, this is pure action fun mixed up with a bit of a Fugitive -like chase vibe. Cavill is great and it just made me want to see him as Superman even more. The action is fun, fast and frequent, the story kinda cool and a bit of a 80s throwback and Sigourney Weaver is absolutely brilliant as the almost Terminator- ish baddie. A surprising little gem, I hope people give The Cold Light of Day a chance.
My second double was of the horror themed variety. I am a huge found footage fan and I have really enjoyed all of the Paranormal Activity series thus far, actually liking part 3 the best of them all. So as I snuggled up to Paranormal Activity 4 , I was very excited. While there is some stuff to be enjoyed by fans of the series here, especially some cool gimmicky scenes involving the Xbox 360 Kinect, I found this to be the weakest of the series. The problem was there were far too many unanswered questions this time out and I found myself distracted and ultimately disappointed by them. With 10 minutes of editing and another 10 minutes of additional scenes to flesh it out, Paranormal Activity 4 could have been a contender, but alas, it was left at the bottom of the barrel. Hopefully they will continue with another entry this year and hopefully it will remedy the many problems from this one.
I ended my run this week on a lighter note with Hotel Transylvania . Last year was a stellar year for animated films, and even moreso for horror themed animated films. Hotel Transylvania was no exception. It differs from the other films in that it is directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, who is known for his hyper cartoons The Powerpuff Girls and Samurai Jack , and also for producing the Star Wars: The Clone Wars mini-series for Cartoon Network.
Hotel Transylvania is a heck of a lot of fun, and not just for kids. Unlike many of the other animated films, this one has more of a Looney Tunes sensibility, much sillier and over the top, but it also has some great classic horror in jokes, and some great parenting humor. All the voice work from the likes of Adam Sandler, Kevin James and Selena Gomez is great as well. There’s even the expected song by Adam Sandler included. It may be more juvenile than some of the animated features we are used to, but I will take anything that is quality and edges my five-year-old daughter that much closer to becoming the horror aficionado I dream she will someday become.
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday January 29, 2012
A Darker Reality
All Superheroes Must Die
Die Hard 25th Anniversary Collection
Downton Abbey Season 3
Pan Am: The Complete First Season
The Cold Light of Day
The Inbetweeners Movie
The Seven-Per-Cent Solution
MORE FROM TORONTO FILM SCENE
- The surreal history of Canadian children’s films
- Cinema Revisited: kids’ movies we used to love as kids
- TIFF celebrates the oldest movie studio in Japan with Tokyo Drifters: 100 Years of Nikkatsu retrospective