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New Releases for Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Independence Day: Resurgence

Genre: Sci-Fi/Sequel

Directed by: Roland Emmerich

Run time: 120 minutes

Rating: PG-13

Format: 3D Blu-Ray

The Lowdown: For the fans clamoring for more ID4, director Roland Emmerich has rewarded you with IDBore.

Seriously, in a summer packed with high-dollar Hollywood studio blockbuster bombs, Independence Day: Resurgence may be the lamest, laziest, most inscrutable sequel ever made.

I mean, even Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising – a movie about bong hits and brotherly hazing – found a way to creatively and rationally expand its universe and develop significant character depth so that the sequel didn’t just feel like a cash grab.

Not Resurgence, which doesn’t even bother to try and explain how in just 20 years since the first alien invasion, the United States has completely mastered alien technology to develop a massive outer space defense initiative, which includes colonizing the moon and figuring out how to make fighter jets fly in zero gravity.

What the effing hell?

The ragtag freedom fighters we loved so much in the original, well, most but not all return for the paycheck. Ex-President Whitmore (Bill Pullman) is a paranoid shell of his rah-rah-speech-giving former self. David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) hops from Earth to the moon and back to investigate possible alien activity. His dad, Julius (Judd Hirsch), is touring retirement centers and assisted-living facilities, trying to sell his book, How I Saved the World.

Even the actor who wisely bowed out of the sequel – Will Smith, yes sir, that was a good call – is still represented by a giant portrait and a now-grown son, Dylan Hiller (Jessie T. Usher), who is – surprise! – also a fighter pilot, only he has zero charisma.

And then, just for the hell of it, Emmerich introduces a brash, young, strapping hero in the form of Liam Hemsworth, who disobeys orders, nearly blows up the moon and somehow never looks frazzled. Of the Hemsworth family stable of actors, Liam is my least favorite, but for some inexplicable reason, Hollywood really wants the public to embrace him.

Worst of all, there’s like next to no alien action for the first 30 minutes of more. And when something finally does get blowed up real good, it all feels like an undercooked rehash of Emmerich’s greatest hits.

Here’s the kicker, folks: Fox spent $165 million dollars to make this movie.

Let that sink in for a minute.

They made a $165-million-dollar turd.

The studio can just write off the loss. But you, dear viewer, you aren’t as fortunate. You spent up to or more than $10 for a ticket to basically be lobotomized by a movie that only exists to make money and not to entertain. Or you forked over $25 or more for the 3D Blu-Ray or 4K high-definition disc to own forever.

Who’s the real dummy here?

We have to start demanding more from the people who think they can just spoon-feed us crap without encountering any backlash. We have to stop buying tickets based on nostalgia.

Between Independence Day: Resurgence, the new Ghostbusters and The Legend of Tarzan, Hollywood suits ponied up nearly $500 million this past summer to finance less than six hours of total screen time.

If you’ve seen all three films – and BVB, sadly, has suffered through all three – then you know just how little actual quality or originality they received in return.

Something has to give.

The Stuff You Care About: Hot chicks – No.

Nudity – No. Gore – No.

Drug use – No.

Bad Guys/Killers – The Hollywood system.

Buy/Rent – Neither.

Vampyres (Artsploitation Films, 82 minutes, Unrated, DVD): Vampyres, the new remake of the original 1974 lesbian softcore cult classic, embodies everything that BVB: Blood Violence and Babes was founded upon.

It has babes, boobs and buckets of blood.

It also features some incredible freeze-frame worthy moments, none more so than an erotic bath in a claw-foot tub where vampires Fran (Marta Flich) and Miriam (Almudena Léon) ravish one another as a naked, beautiful woman hangs suspended overhead, her throat slit, bleeding out all over them as they fornicate.

There’s another reason to champion Vampyres – the screen return of Caroline Munro, an original Scream Queen and drop-dead-gorgeous film femme fatale from The Spy Who Loved Me, Maniac and The Last Horror Film.

Not to be Overlooked:

Francesca (Unearthed Films, 77 minutes, Unrated, DVD): Yes, this inspired recreation of a classic giallo looks like it was made in the 1970s, but it wasn’t – it was actually filmed in 2014. All of the genre hallmarks are on proud display – from the gorgeous color saturation to the ridiculous close-ups and askew scene composition. Yes, there’s blood and a twisted roadmap of a plot that’s better left to be analyzed another day. Fans of Argento and the other giallo masters will likely eat Francesca up. Newcomers expecting something revelatory or avant-garde likely will be disappointed.

Meat (Artsploitation Films, 85 minutes, Unrated, DVD): The controversial Dutch psycho-sexual experimental film Meat gets a proper home video release. As a longtime lover of The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, there is much to be curious about in Meat’s tale of a lustful, deviant butcher and the young female apprentice subjects to rough sex until she becomes a prime suspect in his murder.

Also Available:

What We Become

Alice Through the Looking Glass

Night Hawks: Collector’s Edition

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Supreme Cinema Series

Teen Wolf: Season 5 – Part 2

Ratchet and Clank

Child’s Play: Collector’s Edition

Guilt: Season One

75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor

The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection – Restored Edition

Doctor Thorne

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