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Rob Hunter loves movies.  He also loves working as a trailer park handyman and playing the Starfighter arcade game in his spare time.  These two joys come together in the form of cash money payments that he receives every week and immediately uses to buy more DVDs.  So join us each week as he takes a look at new DVD releases and gives his highly unqualified opinion as to which titles are worth BUYing, which are better off as RENTals, and which should be AVOIDed at all costs.

A quick (and fairly obvious) disclaimer:  The main purpose behind this column is to highlight the various new DVD releases each week.  The division of the titles into Buy, Rent, or Avoid categories is based on many things… the quality of the movie or show, the quality of the extra features, and the replay value of the content overall.  The common thread here is that all of these criteria are based on Hunter’s opinion.  If you agree, great.  If you disagree, great.  He’s just letting you know what was released, not what to do about it.

Click on any of the titles below to magically head over to Amazon.com and pick up the DVD.  And don’t forget to check out Neil Miller’s hilariously titled This Week In Blu-ray column for reviews on the latest high definition Blu-ray releases!

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dvd-fivedeadlyvenomsThe 5 Deadly Venoms

Pitch: Centipede, lizard, scorpion, snake, and toad?  One of these things is not like the other…

Why Buy? This movie is probably responsible for creating more martial arts action fans than any other before or since. It’s considered a classic of the genre for many reasons… the fighting, the mystery, the atmosphere… if you love martial arts movies and haven’t seen this one then you can’t go wrong buying this new release from Dragon Dynasty sight unseen. And if you already have the movie the odds are it’s in crappy VHS or low-quality DVD so you should pick this one up too.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Commentary

dvd-dextercompletethirdseasonDexter: The Third Season

Pitch: The Dark Passenger says buy this dvd set or else…

Why Buy? If you’ve been following Dexter from season one then you know he’s trying hard to become a more normal member of society. If only the crazies and the killers around him would give him a break… Season three is actually a step up from the previous one, most notably due to the absence of that annoying as hell British chick.  Jimmy Smits joins the cast and brings a truly interesting character to life, and the returning cast is awesome as usual (especially the dirty-mouthed sister played by Jennifer Carpenter).

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? None

dvd-thelasthouseontheleft2009The Last House on the Left

Pitch: Bad things happen to good people. Worse things happen to bad people.

Why Buy? I’m no fan of rape, and the one here is brutal enough that I never plan on watching it again… but that’s why the Japanese invented the fast-forward button. This is one of the best revenge thrillers I’ve seen in recent years complete with terrible and slimy bad guys who more than earn a terrifying and painful comeuppance. And damn do they get it. Great acting, slick violence and bloodletting, and an extremely cathartic finale.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Deleted scenes, featurette

dvd-thelaststarfighter25thThe Last Starfighter: 25th Anniversary Edition

Pitch: Ask for a death blossom the next time you’re in a massage parlor. You’ll thank me later.

Why Buy? An all-around fun movie that’s pure wishful escapism. Who wouldn’t love a visit from an alien race in need of your video-gaming skills? Sure they could have sent a sexier representative, but that’s just nit-picking. Great characters, fantastic space action (rendered on Amiga computers I believe), and some entertaining banter highlight this flick. Definitely a keeper.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Commentary, featurettes

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dvd-absurdistanAbsurdistan

Pitch: No sex for you!

Why Rent? Fans of the absurd (and the stan) should enjoy this almost dialogue-free comedy about the women of a small village who decide to withhold sex from the men until their decrepit and broken underground plumbing is fixed. It’s played for laughs but they can’t hide the sly social commentary bubbling underneath.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? None

dvd-theadventuresoftintin1-5The Adventures of Tintin: Volumes 1-5

Pitch: Bigger in Japan than Alphaville, bigger in Germany than Hasselhoff… prepare to meet… Tintin.

Why Rent? Seriously though, the Tintin adventures are big throughout the world and barely known here in the States. Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson hope to change that with their upcoming Tintin movies, but before then you can familiarize yourself with the characters by checking out these animated adventures.  They’re good clean fun for families, mystery fans, and animation lovers.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? None

dvd-elistone2ndseasonEli Stone: The Complete Second Season

Pitch: It’s not a tumor! It’s a gift from god.

Why Rent? The 2nd season of this show was also it’s last. That’s a shame because it was one of the few shows on TV with consistently interesting characters, funny dialogue, a positive view on faith, and dance numbers. I myself am not a man of faith, but I’m a sucker for shows like this (and Quantum Leap and Journeyman) that require the characters and the viewers to believe there’s a reason and a purpose behind the madness. Add both seasons to your Netflix queue and just enjoy them one disc at a time. You’ll be sad to see it end.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Deleted scenes, bloopers, featurettes

dvd-thesimpsons12thseasonThe Simpsons: The Complete Twelfth Season

Pitch:Yes the show’s still on, and yes the show’s still funny. (Just not as often as it’s on…)

Why Rent? The Simpson clan has seen better days and better seasons, but the show is still quite funny and pointed sometimes. It’s good and sharp often enough to warrant a rental anyway.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Deleted scenes, commentaries, featurettes

dvd-sonsofanarchy1stseasonSons of Anarchy: Season One

Pitch: “Black Boys On Mopeds,” by Sinead O’Connor is a powerful song. White boys on Harleys is a different experience all together.

Why Rent? I didn’t catch on to this show right away mostly due to the incessant cheerleading for it by Neil Miller. His Michael Bay obsession has taught me to avoid the things he loves. But then someone else recommended it… and someone else… and I eventually watched it. And guess what… Miller was right. Fantastic characters and gritty action abound.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Deleted scenes, featurettes

dvd-thestrangenessThe Strangeness

Pitch: Tentacle Grape indeed.

Why Rent? I won’t pretend this is a classic by any means, but it’s a cool little old-school monster flick from the eighties worth a rental for fans of the genre. A tentacled creature living in a long abandoned mine has been freed to kill again… good fun for nostalgic horror fans. And at the very least the dvd is cheaper than the $50 VHS tapes floating around Ebay…

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Commentary, short films, featurette

dvd-tysonTyson

Pitch: Who knew Mike Tyson was a real human being?

Why Rent? Sure the guy has done some terrible things, and sure he tries to bob and weave around the culpability for those things, but this one man show is still incredibly engrossing.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Commentary, featurettes

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dvd-dirtysexymoney2ndseasonDirty Sexy Money: The Complete and Final Second Season

Pitch: Awesome show title and fantastic actors… so there’s that.

Why Avoid? Does “The Final Second Season” even make sense? And couldn’t they have stopped at the first season? Some great actors here being wasted in silly roles and generic storylines.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Deleted scenes, bloopers, featurettes

dvd-thegoldenboysThe Golden Boys

Pitch: Three fantastic character actors join forczzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Why Avoid? I wanted to like this, I really did. Rip Torn, Bruce Dern, and David Carradine are all likable actors, but this movie moves slower than these old guys’ bowels. I don’t actually know if that’s true, it’s just a saying I picked up last time I was in Austin.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? None

dvd-thehannahmontanamovieHannah Montana: The Movie

Pitch: I’m really not the target audience for this. Perhaps Kevin Carr is…

Why Avoid? Again, not my cup of tea exactly, but those of you who enjoy watching teen girls who sound like Kathleen Turner act in dual roles while singing and dancing her way into America’s heart should definitely seek this out.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Deleted scenes, featurettes, outtakes

dvd-hardbodiesHardbodies Collection

Pitch: I have fond memories of this movie’s fondled mammories.

Why Avoid? I still remember watching this flick over and over again on VHS until my mom caught me ogling Teal Roberts’s perfect ta-tas. Naturally I shifted blame and told her that Dad had recorded it off HBO… watching it again now that I have access to the internet and much better movies I realize that it is indeed a shitty movie. (And don’t even get me started on the sequel that’s also included in this set… mostly because I haven’t seen it).

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? None

dvd-surveillanceSurveillance

Pitch: Bill Pullman and Julia Ormond are looking for a killer. They should be looking for a better agent.

Why Avoid? I recently reviewed A Perfect Getaway and spoke about how even with an extremely obvious twist the movie is still a lot of fun.  Jennifer Lynch’s new movie is an example of how that scenario doesn’t work. The twist here is also quite obvious, but unlike A Perfect Getaway where it was just one more piece of the plot, this one is meant to be the entire sum of the finale. It just doesn’t work at all. Too bad as the movie has some effective and creepy scenes early on before it collapses completely.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Deleted scenes, featurette

Click below for more:

DVD's I Bought This Week

What are you buying on DVD this week?


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