The Octagon

Scientists have worked tirelessly since the invention of Blu-ray looking for a way to capture the essence of Chuck Norris onto a high-definition disc. No matter how hard they tried though his fists, jaw and body hair refused to be contained long enough for the transfer to take. But finally, in the year of our Lord 2012, six years after the format’s debut… they’ve succeeded. Seven of Chuck Norris’ classics are now available in HD. The Octagon (1980) was always one of my favorite Chuck Norris movies growing up, and that’s probably because it’s filled with ninjas. My Saturday afternoons often included airings of martial arts movies, both international and domestic. Anyone who did the same knows the former were always far more entertaining than the homegrown variety. Which is why Norris’ films, and this one in particular, hold such fond memories. Scott James (Norris) is an ex-martial arts champion with memories of intense physical training he received as a young boy alongside his slightly more Asian step brother, but he’s also haunted by the death of a friend at the hands of ninja terrorists. (But aren’t we all?) When he gets word that a terrorist training camp is operating south of the border and that they’re dispatching modern day ninjas out into the world he’s forced into action.

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Welcome back to This Week In DVD… now with more Blu-ray! The times they are a changing, and occasionally that means FSR’s DVD department is sent Blu-rays to cover instead. It happens. This week it happened to a handful of older Touchstone films, a couple Chuck Norris classics, two TV series, a beloved children’s classic and two direct to disc horror films. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Strike Back: Cinemax Season One (Blu-ray/DVD) Michael Stonebridge is an elite member of Britain’s anti-terrorist squad, and his latest mission finds him taking on the world’s most dangerous madman while he simultaneously takes on a new partner in a disgraced Delta Force soldier named Damien Scott. Together they kill, screw and blow(up) their way around the world trying to stop an impending terrorist attack. This is technically the British series’ second season, but it’s the first with the extra financial backing from Cinemax. And anyone who knows Cinemax knows they bring lots of sex wherever they go. Seriously. The show crosses the line into implausibility more than once, but that never diminishes the fun. Fantastic action sequences, strong pacing, high production values, solid chemistry between the leads and a bevy of buck-naked ladies make this one worth watching (and possibly owning). [Extras: Commentaries]

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