The Batman (2022)

“The Batman” is a sure bet for Warner Bros. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very good movie, but with their development department scrambling on one single vision for their DCEU, rebooting Batman yet again, just makes sense. It rebuilds confidence (borrowed time) in their brand, and it guarantees moolah in the box office. It’s cynical but now we have three cinematic jokers, two live action Batmans, and a new movie fans are going to spend the next year wondering where it fits in to the timeline.

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Thriller: A Cruel Picture (1973): Special Edition [Blu-ray/DVD]

Known as “Hooker’s Revenge,” and as “They Call Her One Eye,” Bo Arne Vibernius’s “Thriller” is the quintessential grindhouse revenge pic that begat so many after it. When you want to visit what helped influence Tarantino, “Thriller” (Vinegar Syndrome will debuting their own release of the film on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray with a different transfer and extras this summer) is where the template was established. While it suffers from narrative flaws here and there, “Thriller” is pure visceral exploitation revenge cinema that still feels about as grimy and gritty as “I Spit On Your Grave” in spite of its restoration.

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West Side Story (2021)

With Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” he manages to offer up a brilliant, dazzling, and engrossing epic retelling of the original musical. It’s stunning how much Spielberg is able to suck us in using the elements of dance as important and crucial moments of exposition in lieu of endless dialogue. To say that “West Side Story” is a surprise, is an understatement. While Spielberg is a wonderful director, there’s never been any indication he could deliver on a musical. But with his version of “West Side Story” is gives us the classic tale of star crossed lovers, and a race war amidst the back drop of New York. Except what Spielberg does is beautifully recontextualizes the entire tale of the Jets and the Sharks for Modern audiences.

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Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022)

This is the follow up to Tobe Hooper’s 1974 horror classic “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” Not Part 2. Or “The Next Generation.” Or “Texas Chainsaw 3D.” No this is the official, official (seriously this time…?) follow up to “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” Really it’s a legacy sequel that pretty much takes from David Gordon Green’s “Halloween” movies and depicts Old Man Leatherface who is no longer an agent of chaos, but a cleverer, slicker, scarier slasher.

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Injustice: Gods Among Us (2021) [4K UHD/Blu-Ray/Digital]

As a bit of warning, I never played the “Injustice” video game series, nor have I ever read any of the comic books or spin offs. I’m vaguely aware of what the general premise is of “Injustice,” but that’s as far as it goes for me. Considering I was excited about it being adapted in to an animated movie, when the dust settled, I’m very disappointed by what we’re ultimately offered. What is it about DC and Warner unwilling to make a movie that’s longer than eighty minutes? It can’t possibly be for the child audience, as “Injustice” is as gory an Elseworlds tale that I’ve ever seen.

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