DVD Review: The Amazing Spider-man, Arthur Christmas, They Live & more…

By November 8, 2012
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The week’s big blu-ray comes out tomorrow and beyond that it’s some Christmas stuff, some sweet-looking catalog titles, and some wacky low-budget action match-ups.

 

The Amazing Spider-Man — Some loved it, some hated it, some called it a pointless re-hash of Spider-Man, the Tobey Maguire version, that (let’s be honest) is still pretty fresh in our minds. But audiences bought more than enough tickets to warrant the upcoming sequel, and it only makes sense that this DVD will make the trek to many a comic book geek’s DVD collection. This time around we have Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker and Emma Stone as the out-of-his-league love interest, and the grown-ups are represented by the likes of Martin Sheen, Sally Field, and Denis Leary. Also Rhys Ifans plays a scientist who turns into a man-sized lizard.

The swankiest edition is a four-disc set that includes a 3-D version and more special features than you’ll know what to do with: commentaries, documentaries, featurettes, pre-viz geekery, comic book and video game info, and a free radioactive spider. Fine, no spider.

 

Arthur Christmas — Remember this animated feature that showed up around this time last year courtesy of Aardman and Sony? Well, they (smartly) held the DVD release for a full year and now you can add it to your seasonal movie rotation. Only time will tell if this movie will become a Christmas “cult” classic, but it’s certainly an amiable family flick.

 

The Muppet Christmas Carol –– On blu-ray! Yes! Michael Caine should have been nominated for this movie.

 

They Live — Yes, on blu-ray! With an audio commentary by John Carpenter and Rowdy Roddy Piper! And with the election right behind us, this sly socially-minded sci-fi thriller is just as topical as ever. Plus, yes, it does boast one of the all-time greatest fistfight scenes of all time.

 

Fire with Fire — You don’t see Bruce Willis pop up in many “direct to video” movies, but here’s a witness protection-related thriller in which he co-stars with Josh Duhamel, Rosario Dawson, Vinnie Jones, Vincent D’Onofrio, and 50 Cent. With a cast like that, it could have made a little noise at the box office, no? (Probably not, no. But I’ll still rent it.)

 

Maximum Conviction — Even wackier than Fire with Fire? Try the nonsenically-titled “Maximum Conviction,” which stars Steven Seagal, Steve Austin, and Michael Pare. It’s some sort of nonsense about gunfights at a prison. I probably will not rent this one.

 

Planes, Trains & Automobiles — Arguably the finest Thanksgiving-related movie, this classic Steve Martin / John Candy movie is now available on the blu-ray. I for one cannot wait to own it. Such a warm, weird, funny movie. Great music too.

 

[REC] 3 — If you passed on the VOD release to catch this fine Spanish horror sequel on DVD or blu-ray, good news. This is your week to do it.

Next week: the latest from Pixar, Oliver Stone, and Vince Vaughn. (Not all in the same film.)

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Scott Weinberg
Writer. Movie critic. Producer. Semi-actor. Wise-ass. Film advocate. Horror geek. Cat fan. Twitter junkie. Follow me at @scotteweinberg.