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Kick-Ass 2 super heroes return, plus Clint Eastwood in one of his legendary roles

Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 4:10 pm

kickass

By Peter Covino

Arts & Entertainment Editor

You’ve got to be in the mood for Kick-Ass 2 and apparently when I sat down to watch this new Blu-ray/DVD release, I just wasn’t in the mood.
Or maybe it really isn’t all that good.
This is a dangerous genre personally. In-your-face gross-out comedies are either so crazy off the charts, they are hilarious or they are just plain painful to watch.
Kick-Ass 2 (Universal Studios Home Entertainment) falls somewhere in between.
For the audience that gets off on this kind of thing, you will love a second helping, but the majority of movie-loving (in this case, couch-loving) folks may just be more bored, than shocked by the gross-out humor.
Based on the comic book of the same name, Kick-Ass 2 reunites self-made superhero Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Hit Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) after retiring from fighting crime in the first film.
There is a very involved plot involving a new nemesis, Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) as the leader of an evil league of super-villains, but this is mostly another reason to see how disgusting stuff can get on film.
Jim Carrey, who plays one of the other heroes, actually disavowed the film after it was released (but I am guessing he read the script and pocketed the money without much problem).
If you loved the film in theaters, you will probably really love the Kick-Ass 2 Blu-ray combo pack.
The combo pack includes a DVD version and  digital Ultraviolet copy for viewing on computers and personal electronic devices,  as well as the usual assortment of bonus features that come in Universal’s Blu-ray combo packs.
Bonus features include:
• Digital Copy of Kick-Ass 2.
• Includes UltraViolet.
• Alternate Opening with Optional Commentary by Writer/Director Jeff Wadlow.
• Big Daddy Returns: The Unshot Scene with Optional Commentary by Writer/Director Jeff Wadlow.
• Extended Scenes with Optional Commentary by Writer/Director Jeff Wadlow.
• The Making of Kick-Ass 2: Upping the Game.
• The Making of Kick-Ass 2: An Ass-Kicking Cast.
• The Making of Kick-Ass 2: Going Ballistic: Weapons & Stunts.
• The Making of Kick-Ass 2: Creating a Badass World
• The Making of Kick-Ass 2: Street Rules: Showdown at the Evil Lair.
• Hit Girl Attacks: Creating the Van Sequence.
• Feature Commentary with Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloë Grace Moretz and Writer/Director Jeff Wadlow.
If you hadn’t already figured it out, Kick-Ass 2 is rated R for strong violence, crude and sexual content, language and brief nudity.
Kick-Ass 2 aside, this could be an All-Western edition of DVD releases since there are a bunch of new ones, but topping out the list has got to be High Plains Drifter.
This is a new 40th edition Blu-ray version of the Clint Eastwood classic, one he directed himself back in 1973.
Under the influence of the films he made with Sergio Leone, Eastwood again plays one of those stranger on horseback types who enters a corrupt mining town, is hired by the locals, and gets involved in a series of the mandatory blazing gun battles.
Eastwood fans rejoice. Shot on locale, at Eastwood’s insistence, High Plains Drifter remains stunning visually, in stark contrast to the town of Lago itself.
The Blu-ray combo (Universal Studios Home Entertainment) includes a DVD and digital copy as well.
It is amazing how much the Western changed in little more than a decade. Maverick, with James Garner and Jack Kelly, was one of the more popular TV Westerns, during a time when it was the dominant genre by far.
Season three (1959-60) is now available via the Warner Archive Collection.
Still Maverick was a cut above the usual Western, with its anti-heroes. Season three was the last for Garner, but the ABC Network series continued for a few more years.
Brothers Bret and Bart (Garner and Kelly, respectively) usually  alternated their roles as the schemed across the West, but occasionally appeared in an episode together.
Season three contains 26 episodes of the not so typical Western, with guest stars that include Adam West, Troy Donahue, Buddy Ebsen, Joel Grey and Robert Redford.
Like all Warner Archive Collection titles, the DVDis available for order only online via warnerarchive.com.
I reviewed season one of Sugarfoot, a very likeable Western a few months ago, and here comes season two (1958-59) and it still is a charmer.
Will Hutchins (pretty much forgotten now, but a rising star then) stars as Tom Brewster (with the nickname Sugarfoot),  a non-threatening young guy roaming the West, who favors sarsaparilla over a whiskey, but not afraid of a fight either.
This is all 20-episodes on 5-discs and features numerous guest stars from the time period including Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. Ed “Kookie” Byrnes, Jay North, Tommy Rettig, Martin Landau, John Carradine, Don “Red” Barry, Dorothy Provine and Virginia Gregg.
Sugarfoot is another Warner Archive DVD, available online at WarnerArchive.com.

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