New on DVD: Violence Aplenty in ’13 Assassins,’ ‘Hobo with a Shotgun’

13 Assassins Takashi Miike beautifully remakes a 1963 Japanese samurai epic about a small band of warriors who take on a barbarously evil enemy in a last ditch effort to save the land from his cruelty (this being Miike, you can be sure there’s blood. Not just trickles of the stuff, but torrents.). It all comes to a head in a 40-minute choreographed battle that you’d think might get boring and exhausting, but doesn’t thanks to the director’s care in making sure the viewer knows who and where each and every samurai is and can understand the action unfolding, rather than relying on jumpy quick cuts and jittery camerawork. Extras: Deleted scenes, interview with Miike (DVD/BD)

Hobo with a Shotgun This weak tribute to grindhouse movies of yore garnered a 70% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, presumably thanks only to Rutger Hauer’s game performance as a vigilante vagrant determined to wrest Hope City from the murderous grasp of a crime family. Like Machete last year, Hobo came from a fake trailer in 2007’s Grindhouse, and while it tries to both poke fun at and give homage to Troma films and greasy gore flicks of the ‘70s and ‘80s, at feature-length it misses the mark—not funny enough or ironic enough, it’s luridly lit, self-conscious schlock that tries too hard and only looks dingy.  It becomes about rolling out the next creatively gruesome kill (and there are plenty, from an incinerated school bus of kids to a guy fileted via razor-studded bat to bumper-car decapitation). If you’re gonna make a movie this over-the-top, it better have some humor or it just becomes tiresome. Extras: Commentary tracks, deleted scenes, an alternate ending, a making-of featurette, video blogs, an HDNet special and "A Faux Trailer Contest Winner." (DVD/BD)

Bloodrayne: The Third Reich Yes, believe it…a third in director Uwe Boll’s terrible series is out, albeit straight to the shelves, for those of you who care. This one’s got to do with a “dhampir”—that’s, erm, part-human, part vampire—named Rayne whose blood a Nazi leader wants to inject into Hitler to make him immortal. Extras: Still reading? That means you might care about this disc’s making-of featurette and director commentary. (DVD/BD)  

New on BD: When Harry Met Sally, Das Boot (collectors edition), Four Weddings and a Funeral, Overboard, Honeymoon in Vegas, Don't Be A Menace To South Central, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell


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