The Crazies – Timothy Olyphant takes on the role of small-town lawman that he’s worn so well in Deadwood and Justified. He’s as solid as ever, but gets lost in the groundswell of madcap horror.
A remake of George A. Romero’s 1973 cult classic, it’s a tale of Midwestern townies who transform into blood-thirsty, mindless creatures through a mysterious infection. If you really, really need to see another zombie-esque movie the film will do it for you but otherwise does little to distinguish itself in a crowded genre. The Blu-ray and DVD are both packed with extras, including motion comics that expand the mythology, a look at the makeup effects and director commentary.
The Mini – This no-budget underdog comedy is a charmer. You’ll find more warm smiles than belly laughs as you watch the hero, a middle-aged, ne’er do well, too-nice-for-his-own-good futon salesman train for a half marathon in order to impress his domineering boss and win the respect of a tanning parlor girl he adores. The DVD is understandably light on extras but well worth a rental.
Predator: Ultimate Hunter Edition Blu-ray – Arnold Schwarzenegger and Carl Weathers play members of a commando team sent to dispatch invisible, deadly aliens that terrorize the Central American jungle. The 1987 action blasts its way on to Blu-ray with a gorgeous, blood-gushing transfer, deleted scenes, background featurettes and an adorable making-of documentary called “If It Bleeds, We Can Kill It.”
Leave It to Beaver: The Complete Series – All six seasons of the gleefully idyllic 1957-63 sitcom are here, and the show holds up well over the years, which have added a meta, cheeseball charm. The show abounds with comedy, both intended and not, and glimmers with charming writing that loses little in the horrid overacting. The set includes a commemorative booklet and a disc full of extras that pay tribute to the storied series.
Phil Villarreal’s humorous money-saving book, Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel, is available on Amazon.