One new release had a hard time holding a candle to the classic releases in a slow week for the video market.
“Noah” — Director Darren Aranofsky (“The Wrestler”) tackles the story of Noah (played by rugged Russell Crowe) and the great flood, but falls short in the story department. The special effects are pretty amazing, though, as a CGI-flood threatens life on Earth. Noah listens to the Lord and builds his Ark, but must contend with heathens and all manner of animals as he stocks the boat. The flood looks great but the drama that ensues as his family hits the water is choppy at best and veers pretty far from the source material. A visual feat, but that’s about it.
“Marty” — Paddy Chayefsky’s award-winning television play got the big screen treatment here with Ernest Borgnine stepping into the role created by Rod Steiger on “Playhouse 90.” Borgnine is just fine as a butcher form Brooklyn who has to battle self esteem issues and a controlling mother to step out and find someone to love. Superb acting form Borgnine landed him a Gold Statue and a long career in Hollywood.
“Duel at Diablo” — Another fine Western finally joins the DVD ranks with this 1960s oater that sports a fine cast and some excellent cinematography. James Garner stars as a scout who volunteers to lead a wagon train through Apache territory. Turns out he aims to kill a man at a nearby fort whom he believes murdered his wife. Sidney Poitier also stars.
“The Complete Blind Dead Saga” — Armando de Osorio’s excellent quartet of zombie flicks finally get rereleased on DVD with this set from the folks at Blue Underground. These are atmospheric shockers that boast excellent photography and an eerie army of the dead. The films focus on the Knights Templar, who rise from the grave and attack tourists. Their appearance is truly creepy, as they appear to be skeletons held up by their armor and evil intent. They have hollowed-out eye sockets, but the trick is they can hear your heartbeat and then they lock in on you. Great stuff, with the first film being my favorite and culminating in an attack on a train that is rendered in ghostlike slow motion.