Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Detour Tops Kino Lorber's August DVD and Blu-ray Selections

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Kino Lorber announced its August Blu-ray and DVD release package this past week and there is something for everyone to enjoy … the company’s dance card is full with shipments planned for all four street-date Tuesdays during the month.

Heading to DVD on Aug. 13 is writer/director William Dickerson’s claustrophobic survival thriller, Detour, starring Neil Hopkins (Skyline, Lost, etc.) as a hotshot advertising executive who finds himself buried and in a fight for his life … and the clock is ticking.

Don’t let the nature of his entrapment fool you in to thinking that this is a riff on director Rodrigo Cortés’ 2010 film, Buried.   It’s not.   

On the way to some big meeting, Jackson (Hopkins) ends up in buried inside his car as the result of a mudslide.  That’s the only thing that connects the two films, being buried underground.   

Detour has more in common with filmmaker Adam Green’s 2010 film, Frozen — that is the one where a trio of skiers are trapped on a ski lift and have to figure out a way out of their sure-to-die predicament.   It is the same thing here … Jackson has only so much air and then the inside of his car becomes a tomb.   

One-man survival films are tough, either the character talks to himself, or the character thinks to himself … or some other creative way has to be found to give dialog to the proceedings.   

Back in 1953, director Roy Ward Baker pulled it off with Robert Ryan’s character in Inferno — he was stuck out in the desert with a broken leg and left to die.  He simply “thought” to himself (his thoughts in voiceover) and to break up the monotony of that device Baker cut back and forth to Rhonda Fleming and William Lundigan as they saw their perfect plan for murder slowly unravel.

Two years earlier, in filmmaker Billy Wilder’s Ace in the Hole, he got around the problem of dialog for Richard Benedict — the poor sap trapped in a mining accident — by introducing the Kirk Douglas character as a cynical reporter hot for the story of the doomed man.  The great irony in Wilder’s survival tale is that Douglas is as trapped as Benedict.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeySo the survival motif is a long-standing film vehicle.  You either do it right, or it is not worth watching.   For the first 25 or 30 minutes of Detour there is that nagging little thought that Dickerson hasn’t figured how he is going to pull it off.   The problem is that he mixes film techniques early on and it doesn’t quite work.   Just plant the “all-seeing” camera and don’t worry about all of the cinéma vérité nonsense with the cell phone. 

Once he gets past the gimmicks, Detour really takes off.   During the last 30 minutes of the film you have bought into the action and are pulling for Jackson, even though he is a bit of an asshole, to find a solution to his problem and escape his would-be grave before the air runs out.   

Also on the release calendar from Kino Lorber on Aug. 20 are three remastered Blu-ray and DVD SKUs showcasing the filmmaking talents of the late Jess Franco.   All three are presented in their original French-language (with English subtitles) or as English-dubbed viewing options … and all three films include newly-prepared commentary by film scholar Tim Lucas.   

Getting the royal treatment for DVD and Blu-ray are: Nightmares Come at Night, A Virgin Among the Living Dead (two different cuts of the film) and The Awful Dr. Orlof (includes the featurette titled “The Horror of Orlof”).

For concert fans, Aug. 6 will mark the DVD street date for a restored version of The Cream Farewell Concert (83 minutes in length).   Filmed at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Nov. 26, 1968, the truncated version featured only six songs, but this full-length presentation expands the concert out to the full ten-song set.

Included in the mix are “Sunshine of Your Love,” “White Room,” “Sitting on Top of the World” and Steppin’ Out.”

Filling out the August release slate are two foreign language imports — Unit 7 (Spanish – Aug. 27) and I Killed My Mother (French – Aug. 13) — plus documentary filmmaker Mark Hall’s look at the issues surrounding the worldwide love affair with the Japanese delicacy, sushi … Sushi: The Global Catch (the Aug. 6 street date yields an ARR of 368 days).

To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report:  DVD & Blu-ray Release Report 

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