This is Jeff Bayer, and I don't update this site very often. If you'd like to listen to my current movie podcast you can find it at MovieBS.com.

New this Week: 'Saw 3D,' 'The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest' and 'Alien Anthology (BD)'

Hitting movie theaters this weekend:

Saw 3D - Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Betsy Russell The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest - (limited) - Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Lena Endre

Movie of the Week

Saw 3D

The Stars: Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Betsy Russell The Plot: As a deadly battle rages over Jigsaw's brutal legacy, a group of Jigsaw survivors gathers to seek the support of self-help guru and fellow survivor Bobby Dagen (Flanery), a man whose own dark secrets unleash a new wave of terror. The Buzz: As Saw 3D is the only wide release of the week, it bags the 'movie of the week' accolade by default. That kind of sums up the Saw franchise, doesn't it?  We've been dealt 7 Saw films in 7 years -- insert "seven deadly sins" joke here, followed by the standard "quantity vs. quality" rant. I did enjoy the first film, but that was greatly due to the casting of Elwes and Glover.  Past that, I've been done with it all, with better/healthier things to do with my life.  The only nice thing I can say about Saw 3D is that its Halloween weekend release date makes sense.

Every Friday we'll have new reviews of the latest films. TSR's complete Film Review Database

New Blu-ray and DVDs released this week:

Alien Anthology (BD) - Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Bill Paxton, Winona Ryder, Ron Perlman Back to the Future: 25th Anniversary Trilogy (BD + DVD) - Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd The Girl Who Played With Fire - Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Lena Endre Sex and the City 2 - Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Kim Cattrall

Blu-ray/DVD of the Week

Alien Anthology (BD)

The Stars: Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Bill Paxton, Winona Ryder, Ron Perlman The Plot: A mining ship, inspecting a suspected SOS, lands on a distant planet. While there, the crew discovers some strange creatures and investigates.  It's not long before bad things happen, in escalating fashion, and a franchise is born. The Buzz: What's the common thread winding through Blade Runner, Avatar, Fight Club, and Amelie?  Their directors have each contributed, in their own way, to the illustrious Alien franchise.  Ridley Scott got it all started back in 1979, with a minimalist survival horror approach, and James Cameron took it to the next level and went pure action with the second installment, Aliens (1986). David Fincher headed up the nihilistic third film, creatively titled Alien 3 (1992), where Jean-Pierre Jeunet tried his best to revive the aged saga with 1997's Alien: Resurrection.

Cinematic purists would likely argue that the franchise took a step down with each film, but for me, Cameron's Aliens is the best of the bunch. Where the first is certainly a classic in claustrophobic survival horror, the second goes to eleven on all fronts. Aliens is an extremely enjoyable watch, it's the perfect adrenaline-infused survival film, rife with badass space marines (quite likable ones) and parasitic killing machines (beautifully designed, see H.R.Giger). Michael Biehn (Cpl. Hicks) AKA Kyle Reese from Terminator fame plays the perfect space marine hero, Bill Paxton (Pvt. Hudson) brings a hilariously great tough-guy gone limp meltdown ("Game over, man, game over!") and Carrie Henn (Newt) brings to the film a certain and necessary soft-spot. All in all, I'd say Aliens is the perfect sci-fi film -- the first time through it totally blew me away, and I can speak from experience when I say it has the highest rewatchability (I've seen it more times than I can count).

The third and fourth films in the series have a steep drop-off in the rewatchability department, but both are decent sci-fi romps, definitely worth checking out at least once.  I'm grateful 20th Century Fox didn't try to squeeze the Aliens vs. Predator films into this box, as for me, those films are a far cry from a true Alien film. As it stands, this looks to be a pretty impressive BD box.

Check out our reviews of these movies and more ... TSR's complete Film Review Database

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