In this business, fun and easy going as it can be, it’s not hard to find yourself swamped in releases both new and old.  When this happens, you might end up unfairly delaying a review to a cool independent movie or forgetting to give the proper respect to an old favorite recently released.    I stand guilty as charged in delaying far too long to bring to your attention the excellent work of Lionsgate in bringing tons of genre favorites to the Blu-ray format.

I’ve long been a fan of Lionsgate – they release tons of horror movies – and their habit of releasing older favorites on Blu-ray has just solidified their standing with me.  All that being said, I wanted to give you a run down on the cool flicks released late last year on Blu-ray and a handful of the upcoming ones making their Blu-ray debut in February.

Late 2009 Blu-ray Releases

Frailty – Picked as one of my top horror films of the decade, this Bill Paxton, Matthew McConaughey thriller came to Blu-ray with some audio and production commentaries, an “Anatomy of a Scene” featurette, some making of, and some deleted scenes with commentary from director Bill Paxton.  A great film on a great format, get it, fools.

My Bloody Valentine Special Edition – Reviewed for the Coroner’s Report last year, I absolutely love the additional footage cut back into the film which is almost exclusively more murder, mayhem, and gore.  That footage elevates the film from standard slasher to retro classic status.  Also include are two featurettes worth a watch.

Air America – This timely release capitalizes on the return of Mel Gibson to acting and the return of Robert Downey Jr. to not drunkenly speeding down Sunset Boulevard naked with a gun in the car.

Monster Squad – Required yearly viewing every October, this is one of my all time favorite Halloween watches combining a love of classic monsters with a group of misfit kids, crafting lots of laughs and a good time.

Red Heat – Is there a more unlikely duo of Belushi and Schwarzenegger?  Yes, it’s Arnold and DeVito in Twins. This classic stands-up surprisingly well with the Austrian Oak playing the Soviet Straight Man to Belushi’s American Detective.

Near Dark – Highly regarded in most circles, Near Dark was a brand new way to look at the vampire mythology.  While it may not stand the test of time as well as some others, it’s still a pretty good flick from The Hurt Locker’s Kathryn Bigelow.

Cujo – The classic Stephen King tale about a big ass dog terrorizing a family trapped in a car takes a little bit to get going, but provides some justification as to why big dogs can make people want to pee their pants.  Comes with a three part documentary, among other features.

Angel Heart – While I refuse to call anything starring Mickey Rourke “darkly sensual” due to my tendency to vomit uncontrollably, this eery thriller stars The Wrestler himself as a down and out detective who takes on a case from Robert De Niro, who may be the devil himself.  Also he plays a devil like character in the movie.

Releasing on February 9, 2010

The Running Man – If you liked Gamer, do yourself a favor and watch the far better inspiration for that movie.  Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, this dystopian future revolves around the world’s most popular game show where convicts compete against stalkers to win their freedom.  Toss in a couple of documentaries in this re-release of the DVD Special Edition to the Blu-ray and this is a worthy addition to any collection.

Drop Zone – Remember when skydiving was really awesome back in the 90s?  So does Wesley Snipes, as a US Air Marshall who has to get extreme in tracking down some daredevil escaped convicts.

The Phantom – Billy Zane in a purple suit, armed with twin Browning M1911  pistols facing off against an ancient Chinese evil?  Hells to the yeah if you’re interested in some campy fun.

Hard Rain – This disc is spartan when it comes to extras, but an all-star cast highlights this all wet crime caper.

As you can see, Lionsgate is dedicated to pumping out some semi-forgotten and long needed classics onto the high definition format.  Be sure to keep an eye out on the shelves and right here for a heads up on what’s coming down the pipeline.


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