45. January 2013: Zombie Flesh Eaters
Lucio Fulci’s legendary, undead “video nasty” is the sort of film they’re working on at Berberian sound studios – eye-gougin’, shark-bitin’, boob-showin’ fun for all the family.
Price: £14 (Blu-ray) | Out now | Buy it now on Amazon
46. November's Blu-ray of the month: Prometheus
Chest bursters, gore, sinister corporations, a strong female protagonist, overwhelming threat on a planet light years from home… all the standard Alien elements are present in Ridley Scott’s prequel, but he has rearranged them brilliantly into something fresh. Noomi Rapace is okay as the Ripley surrogate, but the film belongs to Michael Fassbender and Charlize Theron as a robot and a woman who might as well be.
As usual with Scott’s films, you long for a director’s cut that fills in some of the fairly outrageous gaps in the plot and fixes an ending that’s abrupt, overly neat and which sets up a sequel that may or may not come. Still, for about 90 minutes of its run time, this is superb. Prometheus broadens and enriches the Alien mythos while providing regular shocks, icky moments and intelligent pondering on the human condition.
Price: £20 (3D Blu-ray), £15 (Blu-ray), £14 (HD Download)
HD Moment: The opening sequence would be used to show off Blu-ray in AV shops, if only it didn’t involve a big alien man in his pants, exploding
47. November 2012: Das Testament Des Doctor Mabuse
Fritz Lang’s masterpiece looks weird now – lord knows what they made of it in 1933. A visually stunning mix of crime thriller and psychological horror. Nice.
Price: £14 (Blu-ray only)
48. November 2012: Ill Manors
This bracing slab of inner city grim lacks the oddly beautiful cinematography of Yann Demange’s Top Boy, but its unflinching, if clichéd, view of estate life is still shocking.
Price: £14 (Blu-ray), £14 (Download) | Buy it now on Amazon
49. November 2012: Avatar 3D
With this and Prometheus, at last there’s a rationale for buying your 3D telly. Only problem: if your telly isn’t 20ft high, plot shortcomings may leap out at you even more than the visuals.
Price: £17 (Blu-ray only) | Buy it now on Amazon
50. November 2012: Cockneys vs Zombies
Have you read the title of this film? Then you know everything there is to know about it. Have you seen the trailer? Then you don’t need to see any more. Great cast; funny idea; lazy film making.
Price: £18 (Blu-ray), £14 (HD Download) | Buy it now on Amazon
51. October's Blu-ray of the month: Avengers Assemble
The perfect men-in-capes movie, Avengers Assemble avoids both the navel-gazing of Nolan’s Batman films and the flab of previous Marvel adaptations such as Iron Man 2 and Thor, despite sharing characters and crew with them. That’s thanks to the pacey direction and snappy dialogue of director/writer Joss Whedon, who keeps the one-liners flying like fireballs and alternates human-level interaction with increasingly awe-inspiring FX barrages deftly.
Our heroes are literally cartoon characters, but all are given depth and pathos by a combination of skilful writing and spot-on casting. Well, apart from Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner, who are saddled with playing Scarlett-Johansson-with-guns and a charisma-void archery enthusiast respectively. Luckily, Robert Downey Jr’s smart-arse Tony Stark and Mark Ruffalo’s doleful Bruce Banner save the day.
Price: £18 (3D Blu-ray), £16 (Blu-ray)
Key Moment: Hulk picking up Loki and smashing him into the floor like a rag doll. It’s genuinely like a cartoon come to life and totally hilarious