Almost four decades ago a movie about a giant killer shark terrorizing a New England tourist community, a concept ripe for a 1950’s exploitation cheapie that would pack in the crowds at drive-ins all throughout the deep South, came out of nowhere to become the highest-grossing film ever made and the movie that would forever define what an “event movie” could be. It was the first of the modern summer blockbusters and to this day remains one of the best. It’s also one of my absolute favorite movies, one of the few perfect films I’ve ever seen in fact, and now it’s finally about to debut on Blu-ray, which is as good a time for me to invest in a Blu-ray player as any.
Jaws, the landmark Hollywood adventure epic that launched the career of its director Steven Spielberg, will be making its high-definition debut this August. Today, Universal Studios Home Entertainment announced a release date for the new disc and premiered a teaser trailer for the release and a video about the pain-staking restoration work done on the film for its Blu-ray debut. You can check out the videos along with some before-and-after restoration comparison stills here below, along with the Blu-ray box art.
Released back in October 2010 the comic action-thriller RED was a pleasant surprise. Based on a DC Comics graphic novel by Warren Ellis and Cully Hammer and directed by German-born Robert Schwentke (The Time Traveler’s Wife), RED brought together a killer cast (including Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, Richard Dreyfuss, Karl Urban, and Brian Cox), armed them with cutting quips and heavy artillery, and let them have a paycheck-cashing ball. It was a hoot to see a fun action flick that relied more on old school ass-kicking and witty dialogue rather than CGI fireballs. The movie was also a huge success for distributor Summit Entertainment, grossing over $200 million and making a sequel inevitable.
The digital deal of the day over at Amazon today is Piranha (2010), which is available for rental for only $.99.
This deal is valid only for today, Thursday, March 31, 2011, until midnight PST. Once you activate the rental through Amazon’s Instant Video service, you’ll have access to the movie for 24 hours. If you’re interested in purchasing the digital version, the cost is $14.99.
Also, if you’d like to own a physical copy of Piranha (which was called Piranha 3D in theaters), the Blu-ray is available for $22.99 while the DVD is $18.99. And if you’re set up for 3D home viewing, there’s also a 3D Blu-ray for $26.99.
DIRECTED BY: Alexandre Aja
WRITTEN BY: Pete Goldfinger, Josh Stolberg
STARRING: Steve R. McQueen, Elisabeth Shue, Jessica Szohr, Jerry O’Connell, Adam Scott, Christopher Lloyd, Ving Rhames, Paul Scheer, Richard Dreyfuss
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
RELEASE DATE: January 11, 2011
Back in 1975, Steven Spielberg’s Jaws struck pure fear into the souls of moviegoers, creating a phobia of the ocean in many people who saw it. Obviously over the years we’ve learned through countless nature docs and Shark Week binges that sharks — dangerous as they might be — aren’t quite the man-eating monsters we all thought they were. Even so, the recipe behind Jaws is pretty failproof, and it makes sense for filmmakers to use the same basic foundation for other films.
Enter Piranha, a remake of the 1978 movie of the same name that uses just this very same formula. During Spring Break in the town of Lake Victoria, Arizona, an earthquake opens a giant crack in the bed of the lake, creating entrance to a whole new section that had been locked away for millions of years. Even worse, a breed of prehistoric piranhas have thrived in this underwater tomb all along, and when the earthquake gives them access to the surface once again, they come out in droves seeking blood.
This weekend saw quite a bit of movies released, none of which seemed particularly interesting, but one did pique my interest: Piranha 3D, a reimagining of the 1978 Roger Corman feature Piranha. While the original film was an attempt to hitch a ride on the success of Jaws, this new film is instead riding the wave of the recent 3D phenomenon.
Typically, when I find out a movie is in 3D, it actually makes me NOT want to go see it, as today’s 3D is more for high-definition picture quality, whereas I grew up in a time where 3D meant a harpoon was coming right at your face and that’s the 3D I want. Piranha 3D promised me this ‘gotcha’ 3D.
As far as the film’s subject matter, I must admit I’ve been intrigued by those South America fish with a penchant for flesh ever since thrash metal giants Exodus sang about piranha on their 1985 debut album. Of course, I was probably compelled by the song’s reference to them as “Loki’s children,” trapped in the depths of Hell brought up to one day waste mankind. But I was introduced to these deadly creatures nevertheless and the fascination began.
It helped a lot that Piranha 3D, directed by Alexandre Aja (The Hill Have Eyes remake), boasts a cast of Richard Dreyfess, Elisabeth Shue, and Christopher Lloyd, right there enough to get to me go see the film.
If you’ve seen Piranha 3D, then it’s time for some SPOILER TALK.
Continue reading for my SPOILER-filled thoughts on the movie, and feel free to leave your thoughts in the Comments section below.