This week’s releases include: a captivating tale of envy and ambition; the epitome of love stories; a single location murder mystery; the third chapter in a Muay Thai extravaganza; a missile on rails; the latest Woody Allen picture; and a gorier sequel to a serial killer flick.

All About Eve on Blu-rayAll About Eve (Blu-ray)
This film tells the story of Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter), who from the moment she glimpses her idol at the stage door, is determined to take the reins of power away from the great actress Margo Channing (Bette Davis).  Eve manoeuvres her way into Margo’s Broadway role, becomes a sensation and even causes turmoil in the lives of Margo’s director boyfriend, her playwright and his wife.  Only the cynical drama critic sees through Eve, admiring her audacity and perfect pattern of deceit.

Special features include: commentary by actor Celeste Holm, director Joseph Mankiewicz’s biographer Ken geist and his son, Christopher Mankiewicz; commentary by author Sam Staggs; an isolated score track; featurettes: “Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz”, “Joseph L. Mankiewicz: A Personal Story”, “The Real Eve”, and “The Secret of Sarah Siddons”; AMC Backstory: All About Eve; vintage Bette Davis and Anne Baxter promotions; Fox Movietone News: “1951: Academy Awards Honor Best Film Achievements”, “1951: Hollywood Attends Gala Premiere of All About Eve”, “Holiday Magazine Awards” and “Look Magazine Awards”; theatrical trailer; and 24-page collectible book packaging. (Fox Home Entertainment)

An Affair to Remember on Blu-rayAn Affair to Remember (Blu-ray)
Although each is engaged to someone else, Nickie (Cary Grant) and Terry (Deborah Kerr)  meet aboard an ocean liner and fall deeply in love. They agree to meet six months later atop the Empire State Building if they still feel the same way about each other.  But a tragic accident prevents their rendezvous and the lovers’ future takes an emotional and uncertain turn.

This film has been held as one of the most romantic stories of all time. Countless couples have been inspired to make similar promises to meet atop the Empire State Building with varied results. But the whole concept of delaying their promising relationship seems ludicrous, but I suppose it’s the impracticality of it that makes it romantic. Nonetheless, the starry-eyed pair is charming and you’re rooting for them to make it the whole way through.

Special features include: commentary by singer Marni Nixon and film historian Joseph McBride; featurettes: “Affairs to Remember: Deborah Kerr”, “Affairs to Remember: Cary Grant”, “Directed by Leo McCarey”, “A Producer to Remember: Jerry Wald” and “The Look of An Affair to Remember”; AMC Backstory: An Affair to Remember; Fox Movietone News: “An Affair to Remember Shipboard” and “Premiere Attracts Celebrities”; theatrical trailer; and 24-page collectible book packaging. (Fox Home Entertainment)

The Killing Jar on DVDThe Killing Jar (DVD)
Working the late shift at a remote diner turns into an unrelenting nightmare for waitress Noreen (Amber Benson) when she and six customers learn of a nearby murder spree that’s connected to a mysterious stranger (Michael Madsen) who just walked in the door. A hostage situation quickly erupts, resulting in shocking outbursts of violence and even more startling revelations they could have never anticipated.

There are no special features. (Entertainment One)

Ong Bak 3 on DVDOng Bak 3 (DVD)
The second sequel picks up where Ong Bak 2 had left off. Tien (Tony Jaa) is captured and almost beaten to death before he is saved and brought back to the Kana Khone villagers. There he is taught meditation and how to deal with his Karma, but very soon his arch rival returns challenging Tien to a final duel.

Beginning with excerpts from the end of the previous film, we find the hero has been captured and sentenced to death. What follows is a strange story split between a man haunted by a curse and Tien’s spiritual awakening. The narrative is still sprinkled with a handful of battles, but for the most part they are not as mind-boggling as previous exploits. Moreover, the endless meditative exercises and awkward healing process are tiresome. Nothing about this picture really makes sense and it lacks the entertaining physicality of its successors.

Special features include: cast and crew interviews; and B-roll footage. (Entertainment One)

Unstoppable on Blu-rayUnstoppable (Blu-ray)
A runaway train, transporting deadly toxic chemicals, is barrelling down on Scranton, Pennsylvania and only two men can stop it: a veteran engineer (Denzel Washington) and a young conductor (Chris Pine.) Thousands of lives hang in the balance as these ordinary heroes attempt to chase down one million tons of hurtling steel and prevent an epic disaster.

Initial expectations for this film were akin to Speed on rails. This belief wasn’t entirely false, but it didn’t detract from the movie’s entertainment value. Washington and Pine are impressive under pressure, as is Rosario Dawson who plays the voice in the control room. The repeated failed attempts to stop the train are expected, as is the triumph of blue collar, on-the-job experience. However, the film’s entire, relative success is jeopardized by the horribly cheesy score that plays over the narrative’s climax.

Special features include: commentary by director Tony Scott; “Derailed: Anatomy of a Scene”; “Hanging off the Train: Stunt Work”; “On the Rails”; “The Fastest Track: Unleashing Unstoppable”; “Tracking the Story: Unstoppable Script Development”; and a digital copy of the film. (Fox Home Entertainment)

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger on Blu-rayYou Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (Blu-ray)
The film follows a pair of married couples, Alfie (Anthony Hopkins) and Helena (Gemma Jones), and their daughter Sally (Naomi Watts) and her husband Roy (Josh Brolin), as their passions, ambitions, and anxieties lead them into trouble and out of their minds. After Alfie leaves Helena to pursue his lost youth and a free-spirited call girl named Charmaine (Lucy Punch), Helena abandons rationality and surrenders her life to the loopy advice of a charlatan fortune-teller. Unhappy in her marriage, Sally develops a crush on her handsome art gallery boss, Greg (Antonio Banderas), while Roy, a novelist nervously awaiting the response to his latest manuscript, becomes moonstruck over Dia (Freida Pinto), a mystery woman who catches his gaze through a nearby window.

There are no special features. (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

Hatchet II on Blu-rayHatchet II (Blu-ray)
This sequel picks up where the first film ended. Marybeth (Danielle Harris) narrowly escapes the clutches of the deformed, swamp-dwelling iconic killer Victor Crowley (Kane Hodder). After learning the truth about her family’s connection to the hatchet-wielding madman, Marybeth returns to the Louisiana swamps along with an army of hunters to recover the bodies of her family and exact the bloodiest revenge against the bayou butcher. But she quickly discovers that not even an army of hunters can stand up to the fury and bloodlust of the legendary Crowley.

Special features include: commentary by writer/director Adam Green and actors Hodder and Tony Todd; commentary by Green, cinematographer Will Barratt and make-up effects supervisor Robert Pendergraft; a behind-the-scenes featurette; “Hatchet II: First Look”; “Meet the FX Team”; teaser; and TV and radio spots. (Entertainment One)

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