Every Tuesday, I review the newest Blu-ray releases and let you know whether they’re worth buying, renting or skipping, along with a breakdown of the included extras. If you see something you like, click on the cover art to purchase the Blu-ray from Amazon, and be sure to share each week’s column on Facebook and Twitter with your friends.
WHAT: After his brother mysteriously dies, Dan Sanders (Simon Rex) and his wife Jody (Ashley Tisdale) agree to adopt his three kids. But when they begin experiencing strange activity around the house, the couple discovers that they’re being terrorized by an evil demon.
WHY: It’s been seven years since the last “Scary Movie” was released in theaters, and it should have stayed that way, because the latest installment is the worst one yet. Unfortunately, these stupid parody movies are produced for dirt cheap, so even if they bomb, the studios still make out like bandits. The series can’t even be bothered to spoof horror films anymore, instead relying on movies like “Black Swan” and “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” to fuel its barrage of awful jokes. Heck, not even Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan – who are so starved for attention that they’ll do anything for a quick buck – can muster a laugh, and the only real positive to take away is that Anna Faris wasn’t involved. The end product is like some horrible social experiment to see how long you can last before turning it off (I made it to the 40-minute mark), although you’d be much better off just ignoring it completely.
EXTRAS: There are some deleted and extended scenes, but that’s the extent of the bonus material.
FINAL VERDICT: SKIP
WHAT: When the Apocalypse comes and billions of people are raptured up to Heaven, Lindsey (Anna Kendrick) and her boyfriend Ben (John Francis Daley) are among those left behind. But after the Antichrist (Craig Robinson) sets up shop in their hometown of Seattle, Lindsey unwittingly finds herself the object of his affections.
WHY: In a year overflowing with films about the end of the world, “Rapture-Palooza” is easily the worst of the lot, favoring a crass brand of comedy instead of the biting satire that its slightly controversial premise had the potential to become. However, the only real controversial thing about this movie has nothing do with the content, but rather the casting of Ken Jeong as God, which makes Alanis Morissette’s cameo in “Dogma” look brilliant in comparison. In fact, despite a great cast that includes a host of talented comic actors, the movie isn’t very funny, and worse yet, it’s actually quite boring. There doesn’t even seem to be a script at times, with many of the actors (including a terribly miscast Robinson as the Antichrist) riffing their lines with such confidence that you’d think they were making the funniest movie of the year. Unfortunately, it’s not even close, and between the strange involvement of Kendrick and the almost complete lack of laughs, “Rapture-Palooza” falls flat on its face.
EXTRAS: There’s an audio commentary by actors Craig Robinson, Rob Corddry and Rob Huebel, a short making-of featurette, some deleted scenes and a gag reel.
FINAL VERDICT: SKIP
WHAT: Reclusive military veteran Benjamin Ford (Robert De Niro) strikes up an unlikely friendship with European tourist Emil Kovac (John Travolta) while hunting in the Appalachian Mountains. But when Emil’s true intentions are revealed, the two men become embroiled in a cat-and-mouse game deep in the Tennessee wilderness.
WHY: Mark Steven Johnson received his fair share of abuse for directing the comic book movies “Daredevil” and “Ghost Rider,” and he hasn’t done his bruised reputation any favors with his latest film either. Though it features a pair of marketable names in De Niro and Travolta, “Killing Season” is a mostly disappointing survival thriller that would’ve been even worse if it weren’t for the veteran actors. This is actually a pretty good role for the aging De Niro, especially considering some of his more recent choices, but while Travolta deserves credit for challenging himself, his performance just doesn’t work. Regardless of how you feel about his fake accent, every time Travolta opens his mouth, you’re instantly reminded that the actor is supposed to be playing a Serbian, and it pulls you completely out of the film. “Killing Season” is the type of movie that’s worth watching when Spike TV plays it on a rainy afternoon when there’s nothing else on, and quite frankly, that’s the best it deserves.
EXTRAS: There’s an incredibly brief “making of” featurette, but it doesn’t really tell you much about the actual production, hence the sarcastic quotes.
FINAL VERDICT: SKIP