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No Tears for the Dead Is New to Blu/DVD and Filled With Spectacular, Kick-Ass Action

By  · Published on February 17th, 2015

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Discs Section: Pick of the Week

No Tears for the Dead

Gon (Jang Dong-gun) is a Korean-born but American-raised assassin living and working in Los Angeles. His latest assignment, to recover a flash drive filled with sensitive financial data, goes a bit sideways when in addition to killing a half dozen targets he also leaves a young girl dead on the cold concrete floor. He retreats to his apartment and tries to drown his regret in alcohol, but his boss insists that he take on one last mission before he’ll be allowed to retire into the bottle. All he has to do is travel to South Korea and kill the child’s mother, but he can’t bring himself to do it and instead becomes something of a guardian angel as others come to complete the job he abandoned.

No Tears for the Dead is no The Man from Nowhere ‐ the director’s last film ‐ but it doesn’t need to be. The action and intensity on display already place it miles ahead of similarly-themed Hollywood films, and it remains an exciting and stylish cinematic experience despite its dramatic missteps. Now if only Lee could be cajoled into not waiting four years again for his next film.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Making of]


Game of Thrones: The Complete Fourth Season

Previously, in Westeros, lots of people died. Season four sees more of the same.

Season four continues to do a fine job weaving the various story threads and characters together ‐ even if we’re occasionally, temporarily confused as to their exact roles in the world ‐ and this season also finally gives viewers something they’ve wanted since season one. That alone makes it a must-watch, but add in the ongoing approach of Daenerys and her dragons (not to mention the deathly slow approach of winter) and we have an epic tale overflowing with drama, intrigue and incredible fantasy.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Featurettes, deleted scenes, commentaries, bloopers]


Robert Downey Jr. and Kiefer Sutherland play high school graduates navigating the end of a turbulent decade. Their lives and the lives of their families face the dramas of the times ‐ the war in Vietnam, drugs, an angry divide between war supporters and protesters ‐ and they might not come out whole on the other side. Both leads play to their youthful types ‐ Downey’s the wild drug user, Sutherland’s the more sensitive pacifist ‐ and with Winona Ryder along for the ride it has the late ’80s written all over it. It’s a good movie about what freedom means, and Bruce Dern’s presence as a strict, pro-war ex-Marine makes for a great double feature with The Wild Angels below where he plays an anti-establishment thug.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: None]


A family of four move into a rural estate outside London with plans to renovate it for new owners, but their efforts reveal more than ugly wall paper beneath an uglier paint job. Ghosts. They discover ghosts! The film works well to create an eerie atmosphere as the house’s secrets slowly seep into the family’s reality, and the strong leads (Matthew Modine, Olivia Williams) help keep things grounded. It doesn’t break new ground, but it does a good job with the expected.

[DVD extras: None]


A group of friends head into the woods, and bad things befall them in the form of a carnivorous, bipedal creature. They hole up in a cabin, but four walls and a roof are no guarantee of safety against this monster’s intentions. This Chiller Films release features some solid practical effects and some fine set-pieces, but it’s ultimately far from memorable.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Commentary, interviews, featurette]


A group of cavemen splinter into two different groups, one led by the menacing Tonda (John Matuszak) and the other by the smaller, weaker, far less confident Atouk (Ringo Starr). Toss in Dennis Quaid and his abs, Barbara Bach and her lungs and Shelley Long and her… comedic stylings, and you have the makings of an offbeat and very broad comedy. I loved this movie as a kid, but the laughs haven’t aged well. Still, movies featuring stop-motion dinosaurs and a member of the Beatles are pretty rare, and that alone makes it something to see.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: None]

Dumb and Dumber To

Harry (Jeff Daniels) and Lloyd (Jim Carrey) may be older, but they’re definitely not wiser. A long overdue letter reveals that Harry is a father, and when Lloyd discovers the girl is a knock-out he convinces his friend that they should take a road trip to find her. Hilarity ensues in theory! In reality, there’s not a damn thing funny about this desperate-for-laughs sequel. Worse, the duo descends into an incredibly cruel minutes-long verbal assault against Kathleen Turner’s physical appearance. It’s mean-spirited and turns Harry and Lloyd into irredeemable assholes.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Featurettes, alternate opening, deleted scenes, gag reel]

Dying of the Light

Evan Lake (Nicolas Cage) is a decorated CIA agent relegated to a desk job for the past several years after being held prisoner and tortured by a sadistic terrorist. He’s diagnosed with a brain injury and given mere months to live just as evidence surfaces that his old captor, long thought dead, may actually still be alive and in hiding. Against strict orders by his superiors Evan and his protege (Anton Yelchin) head off on one last mission. Writer/director Paul Schrader’s latest is something of a mess. In some ways it’s a straightforward thriller, but its focus on alternating dramas and a severely rushed finale leave it devoid of much in the way of thrills. Still, there’s a great death by finger along the way, so that’s cool.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Featurettes, interviews, deleted scenes]

The Homesman

A pious, single woman (Hilary Swank) agrees to transport three other women driven mad by frontier life to a safe haven, and she has company in the form of a grumpy drifter (Tommy Lee Jones) cajoled into joining. Jones also directed and co-wrote this oddly unsatisfying western ‐ odd because it looks great and it’s strongly acted ‐ that suffers under a story that never manages to take hold.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Featurettes]

How to Murder Your Wife

Stanley Ford (Jack Lemmon) is a successful cartoonist with a popular comic strip in the daily newspaper, a butler and the good sense to never want to get married. He wakes up one morning after a big party to find that he’s about to lose it all. His new wife is in his bed, and when normal efforts to dissolve the union fail he voices some thought to knocking the poor woman off. He’s just joking though. Right? This comedy opens strong with some darkly comic narration and a fun setup, but it’s not long before the sexism of the times turns to straight-up misogyny. I don’t use that word lightly either ‐ the third act here makes a play for black comedy but instead tips over towards unfunny hatred of wifely women. Even worse on the narrative front, the final minutes make it seem like they simply decided to end the film and threw in a happy, nonsensical wrap-up.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: None]

The Interview

A popular TV host (James Franco) and his producer (Seth Rogen) are invited to North Korea for an exclusive interview with Kim Jong-un (Randall Park), but when the CIA gets wind of it they ask the pair for a simple favor. Basically, they’d like the duo to kill the Supreme Leader. Should be easy, right? Rogen and Evan Goldberg direct, and the result is a fun idea in search of far more laughs than it delivers. The film (and the humor) picks up once they land in Korea and begin interacting with Park, but too many of the broadly-aimed gags fall dead to the floor.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Commentary, deleted scenes, gag reel, featurettes]

Kiss Me, Stupid

Dean Martin (as himself) is on his way to Los Angeles when a detour lands him with car trouble in Climax, NV. Happy to make his acquaintance are two struggling songwriters (including Ray Walston) who put in motion an elaborate plan to partner with Dino, but things go as awry as you’d expect. Billy Wilder directs this comedic romp with a script co-written by I.A.L. Diamond, but while the film has a fun, fast-moving personality some of the antics border on the unforgivable. Women in particular don’t get a very fair shake, and they’re asked to accept some incredibly shoddy treatment. Yeah yeah, it’s a sign of the times, but it hurts far too much of the intended comedy.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: None]

Lady Chatterly’s Lover

The new Lady Chatterly (Sylvia Krisstel) has barely settled into married life when her husband heads off to war and returns paralyzed from the waist down. Unable to please her sexually ‐ because oral hadn’t been invented yet ‐ her husband gives his begrudging blessing to the idea of her taking a lover. She chooses a commoner, one she’s witnessed bathing outdoors making her fully aware of what she’s getting, but the class difference causes drama befitting a place like Downton Abbey. D.H. Lawrence’s novel gets a richly photographed and sumptuous adaptation complete with sexual antics and nudity enough to make fans of Fifty Shades of Grey blush, but it faces some challenges on the acting front.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: None]

Life Itself

Roger Ebert was probably the world’s most recognizable and well-known movie critic, and this documentary from director Steve James explores the man’s passions, talents and life in and around the movie business. Ebert was an interesting guy who rarely stopped moving, and while I’ll never forgive him (or Gene Siskel) for intentionally spoiling 1986’s The Hitcher on The Tonight Show his life and work are an inspiration to anyone who fancies themselves a critic.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Deleted scenes, featurette, interview]

Muscle Beach Party

Frankie (Frankie Avalon) and Dee Dee (Annette Funicello) are spending another wacky summer at the beach, but their fun-loving times hit rough waters with the arrival of an obnoxious team of body builders coached by Jack Fanny (Don Rickles) and an Italian heiress (Luciana Paluzzi) on the hunt for a new boy toy. This is pure goofiness from beginning to end, but it’s all good-natured fun meant solely to put a smile on your face. Happily, it mostly succeeds.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: None]

Phantom of the Opera

Christine (Jill Schoelen) is an aspiring opera singer in modern day New York City, but an onstage accident sends her reeling back in time and place to Victorian London where her talent attracts the attention of a disfigured madman (Robert Englund) living in the sewers beneath the theater. Director Dwight Little’s adaptation of the literary classic is a straightforward retelling (time travel element aside) but enhances the story with a gruesome selection of gory set-pieces. The supporting cast features a few surprises too in the form of a young Bill Nighy and Molly Shannon.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Commentary, making of]


Jenny has come to San Francisco to search for her brother, Steve, who recently went missing. The city can be a dangerous place for a young woman on her own under the best of circumstances ‐ especially when she’s also deaf ‐ but this is the ’60s and the streets are filled with drugs, drug users and a philosophy of free love. Also, Jack Nicholson is roaming the streets. This is not the Bay Area’s finest decade, but director Richard Rush crafts an engaging tale populated by mostly unlikable characters. Steve’s absence is less of a mystery than a plot point, but the film holds the interest well enough (and entertains with some classic music along the way).

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: None]

The Road to Hong Kong

Harry Turner (Bing Crosby) and Chester Babcock (Bob Hope) go on one last adventure together, this time to India and Hong Kong. Their latest scheme lands Chester in the hospital, but with the aid of a Caucasian non-Dalai Lama and a mystery drug he discovers a photographic memory just in time to get mixed up in the world of spies and international intrigue. Joan Collins co-stars ‐ and Peter Sellers pops in for a fun cameo ‐ but it’s Hope who delivers the majority of the film’s laughs. The “story” is thin and mildly offensive to non-whites, but Hope’s antics and zingers land far more often than they miss resulting in a frequently funny romp.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: None]

Skating to New York

Five friends ‐ four of whom are on their small Canadian town’s high school hockey team ‐ decide to make their mark by ice skating across a frozen Lake Ontario. This is a fine little YA film about friendship, responsibilities and growing up, and that’s cool. The five kids do good work dealing with the various obstacles both life and the lake throw at them, and their adventure, while simple, is an engaging one.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: None]

St. Vincent

Maggie (Melissa McCarthy) and her son Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher) are new in town and struggling to make ends meet. She’s working overtime while fending off custody claims from her ex-husband, and she reluctantly allows for Oliver to spend time with a grumpy neighbor (Bill Murray) after school each day. I sure hope the friendship of this little boy can melt the ice around Vincent’s heart! This is as generic and obvious as it gets, but there are enough laughs and touching moments to keep it watchable, and the cast goes a long way towards making it work.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Deleted scenes, featurette]

The Theory of Everything

Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) is one of the scientific community’s greatest minds, but it’s the love story he shares with his wife, Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones), that proves to be his greatest and most adventurous accomplishment. Aww! Both leads do fantastic work bringing this real life couple to fake life, and while we spend time with Hawking’s scientific endeavors the main thrust here is the couple’s relationship. Like too many biopics the film too frequently feels like a safe, generic feature, but Hawking’s life story is an impressive one all the same.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Deleted scenes, featurette, commentary]

V/H/S Viral

The third installment in the V/H/S franchise of POV horror delivers three shorts and a new take on the central wraparound, and unfortunately it’s a huge step backward for the series. This is especially sad as the second film was an enormous improvement over part one. The problems here start with a connective tissue that instead of simply being dumb is also frustratingly bad. The shorts are a mixed bag with only Nacho Vigalondo’s offering anything in the way of fresh entertainment.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Commentary, featurettes, interviews]

The Wild Angels

The Hells Angels (including Peter Fonda, Bruce Dern, Michael Pollard and more) are on the hunt for a stolen motorcycle, but their quest for “justice” sees them making enemies of locals and police everywhere they go. Assault, rape and property destruction have a tendency to do that. This Roger Corman-produced biker flick satiated some need back in the ’60s, but it’s difficult to see who exactly it appeals to now. As anti-heroes go these guys are complete and utter pricks, and the film shows no interest in passing judgement, presenting a cautionary tale or even giving the bikers much in the way of real conflict.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: None]

The World Made Straight

Travis Shelton (Jeremy Irvine) is a young man facing hard times in his small, Appalachian hill community, and things get even worse when he finds himself mixed up with some local pot growers with a penchant for violence. Noah Wyle and Haley Joel Osment co-star, but while it’s a well-acted affair the story just drags throughout. An early flashback to and line readings from a Civil War-era diary meant to enrich the area’s history instead dampen interest in what’s happening there now.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: None]

Also out this week, but I haven’t seen the movie/TV show and/or review material was unavailable:

Beach Blanket Bingo
The Chair: The Complete First Season
Massage Parlor of Death
Motivational Growth
The Tale of Princess Kaguya
Wahlburgers: The Complete Second Season

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Rob Hunter has been writing for Film School Rejects since before you were born, which is weird seeing as he's so damn young. He's our Chief Film Critic and Associate Editor and lists 'Broadcast News' as his favorite film of all time. Feel free to say hi if you see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.