Not every week can be a winner when it comes to DVD purchases, but that’s a good thing right? Gives us time to save more cash for the releases that truly matter… like the upcoming Warner Archive release of The Herculoids: The Complete Series. Hell yes.
But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to watch this week. As is often the case there are plenty of titles worth renting and avoiding, and they run the gamut from old to new, big to small, good to bad. The highest profile title is probably Nicolas Cage’s Drive Angry, and by “high profile” I of course mean it stars recognizable faces and not that it made any money at the box office. Other releases this week include True Blood‘s third season, Brian Austin Green’s sad attempt at a comic book movie (Cross), Javier Bardem’s Oscar-nominated Biutiful, the Megan Fox/Mickey Rourke (apparent) train wreck Passion Play, and many more.
As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it.
Andy McNally (Missy Peregrym) is a recent police academy graduate just beginning her career as a cop. She’s joined by four other rookie recruits for thirteen episodes of drama, action, and fairly solid character work. Sure McNally sees more gunplay in her first year than most cops see in their entire lifetime, but this is Canada and everything’s exaggerated up there.
This first season is lightweight fun, but the actors (both the rookies and their more experienced counterparts) sell the characters and their stories with real emotion and charisma. But the best reason to check this show out? Merrill Barr hates it… which is pretty much a guarantee that it’s going to be entertaining.
Nothing I’d recommend buying this week, but save that pocket money because the next few weeks feature more than a few titles worth owning.
Pitch: The Italian prostitute in George Clooney’s The American may be sexier, but these four have it harder…
Why Rent? Four prostitutes in post-WWII Italy try to reinvent themselves but find that dreams rarely come true. Especially when confronted with society’s hypocrisy and inherent sexism. Marcello Mastroianni co-stars, but it’s the the four actresses who truly shine and draw the viewer in with vibrancy and sadness. As has quickly become the norm for Raro Video, this release sees them bring another forgotten piece of Italian cinema to DVD in spectacular fashion with a new HD transfer, several extras, and an essay-filled booklet.
Pitch: The Punxsutawney Phil character from Groundhog Day gets his own spin-off feature, and it’s just as violent and nudity-filled as you’d expect…
Why Rent? A man (Nicolas Cage) drives out of Hell to try to save his grandchild from an evil, junk-less cult leader, and is joined by a hot and spirited waitress (Amber Heard) along the way. The first twenty minutes of this flick are a lot of fun, but it goes downhill fast thanks in large part to some of the worst CGI to hit the big screen in years. Seriously… watch the scene with the big truck that flips over the cop cars. That shit isn’t even fully rendered. Luckily though Heard is fun to watch, the violence is plentiful, and William Fichtner arrives to entertain with his unbridled awesomeness as Hell’s Accountant.
Pitch: The only thing more offensive than the killers’ actions is Lionsgate’s decision to front-load the movie with trailers for violent slashers…
Why Rent? This documentary examines an infamous bowling alley massacre that occurred in New Mexico in 1990. Multiple victims, including three children, were murdered execution style during a robbery, and the two killers have never been found. It opens with a 911 call placed by one of the survivors, a young girl who had been shot multiple times but still had the wherewithal to call the police and request help. It’s a heartbreaking affair all around. I do question the director’s handling of one re-enactment in particular though… a terrified and screaming two year-old is shown in a gunman’s arms with a pistol pressed square between her eyes. I trust it’s what actually happened, but I don’t think this little kid needed to be put through it.
Pitch: I heard next season there’s going to be a True Blood / Tremé crossover episode…
Why Rent? There are certain constants when it comes to True Blood that seem to grow exponentially each season. The creature menagerie continues to grow beyond simply vampires to include werewolves, shape-shifters, fairies, and who knows what else. The story-lines continue to get more and more batshit crazy. And finally, Anna Paquin continues to trade acting ability for annoyance factor. It doesn’t matter how often she gets naked, Sookie Stackhouse annoys the ever loving shit out of me. Luckily some of the side characters are fun and interesting enough to keep me watching. For now.
Pitch: Celebrate the cancellation of NBC’s Outsourced with this India-set romantic drama. Almost guaranteed to be funnier than the show…
Why Rent? Haven’t seen this one yet, but I’m a big fan of the two lead actors especially as they stretch outside their comfort zones here. Radha Mitchell and Joel Edgerton play a young couple who head to India to adopt a child. As they wait for the paperwork and details to be worked out the two begin to discover new feelings about themselves and towards each other. It looks to be a love story of sorts about a couple who are already together set against the backdrop of a country that’s both bustling and magical.
Pitch: Well, at least he gets to go home to Megan Fox every night…
Why Avoid? Brian Austin Green leads a motley crew of gun-toting heroes tasked with saving the innocent. Or something. Green is a man chosen by God or the gods to protect mankind with the power of a cross-shaped amulet, but when Vinnie Jones steals the necklace the entire Earth is threatened by an all powerful blood staff. Or something. The comic book intro, animated screen names, and overall attitude are meant to resemble a supernatural-tinged take-off on The Losers, but this is cheap-looking, poorly written, and not nearly as entertaining as the cast and premise implies. Tom Sizemore’s stroke-like acting can be explained away by drugs and lawyer fees, but Robert Carradine is just terribly unhinged here. Skip it and go watch any other movie based on a comic ever.
Pitch: It appears Lake Placid lied about how exciting and dangerous alligator hunting can be…
Why Avoid? This new series follows a gaggle of Cajuns scrambling to cap as many gators as they can within a limited window of time. I’m no fan of animal hunting anyway, but even if I was I have to imagine this would grow boring after a while. There’s very little culture on display and instead we’re just treated to multiple scenes of these folks hunting, trapping, and killing alligators. Skip it and go watch Walter Hill’s under-rated gem Southern Comfort instead.
Also out this week, but I haven’t seen the movie/TV show, review material was unavailable, and I have no blind opinion:
Queen To Play
Read More: This Week in DVD
What are you buying on DVD this week?