A wise man once said “It’s not just about seeing Star Wars two weeks before everyone else. You’ve gotta plow through crap like Marie Antoinette and Catwoman as well.” I have the fortune of being able to see all of the films that I want, and find out that they are only worth one viewing (or less) before I would willingly pay for the DVD…and subsequently end up hating myself later. But for every The Whoopee Boys there has to be an Indiana Jones, and because of the great films I am able to put myself further in debt every week.
Dexter – Season 2
Why Buy It?: I would easily call “Dexter” one of the most pleasant surprises on television. Since the series is on Showtime, it doesn’t receive a lot of exposure. It should, or darkly dreaming Dexter will have to pay you a visit. Once I heard the premise, that it is basically like CSI except that the expert is a serial killer, I was hooked. With a tag line like “Takes life. Seriously”, it’s no wonder that Michael C. Hall is America’s favorite serial killer. Season two does not disappoint, but if you have not seen season one…don’t trek into the title without viewing Dexter’s dark beginnings. If you pay alot of attention to the show, there are alot of really cool homages paid to other genre bending serial killer characters/authors. The show frequently references Bret Easton Ellis, of ‘American Psycho’ fame.
An American Crime
Why Buy It?: This is one of those movies that sits in your stomach. The film is an interpretation that is based on court transcripts of the Likens v. Baniszewski case of 1965. This was the first case of child abuse that hit the media, and put a small Indiana town on the map. With a cast that includes Ellen Page, Catherine Keener and James Franco, I knew that I couldn’t pass up seeing this one. I have to warn you though, this isn’t a heartwarming tale or anything. It is downright disturbing. Ellen Page actually starved herself during the time that production was filming the torture scenes. A great movie, but hard to swallow. Buy it for the performances of some fantastic actresses, but only rent it if you have a weak stomach for films like this.
House – Season 4
Why Buy It?: I wasn’t ever on the House bandwagon. But a friend convinced me to sit and watch it, and it was good. I became a fan instantly. However, the novelty wore off a bit and I stopped paying attention to the series. The fourth season though, happily takes the series into a slightly different direction. If you are a fan of House and great television, make sure to pick this one up.
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
Why Rent It?: While I have to say that I have almost no interest in this film in terms of its story, there are two actresses in this film that make it worth a see. I have the utmost respect for Frances McDormand and Amy Adams. I always have to pretend that I forgot about McDormand’s appearance in Aeon Flux, but that is neither here nor there. This one should be worth a viewing, but unless it really impressed me…I wouldn’t spend more than a few bucks to see it.
Why Rent It?: When I first heard the title of this one, I wasn’t sold. Then i found out that it was a crime thriller, starring Keanu Reeves? Needless to say, I didn’t have a great first impression. However when you look down the cast (Forest Whitaker, Hugh Laurie, Chris Evans, Cedric The Entertainer, Common, Jay Mohr, Naomie Harris), the film has the goods. I think you will be pretty impressed with this one, but it is hardly a masterpiece. It is totally worth checking out, and maybe a purchase if you are a huge fan of urban crime dramas.
Why Rent It?: Kevin Spacey is one of those actors that could attract me to any film. I have HBO so seeing this one a few times already, I won’t be running out to buy it. The film is an awesome depiction of the election that literally changed the entire country overnight. While this isn’t some political statement that some people would have assumed it to be, it is more of an objective look at the events that transpired after the “election” of W.
The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior
Why Avoid It?: Really? Was this necessary? Not to knock him, he’s making a hell of a career for himself, but Dwayne Johnson even turned down the chance to reprise his role as the scorpion king. This straight to DVD cash-wagon shouldn’t fool even the most die-hard Mummy fans…or at least I hope. And yes, apparently there are die hard Mummy fans, the third film (that featured a 40-year old dad with a 27-year old son) actually did pretty well at the box office. Moral of this story, stay away.
Quid Pro Quo
Why Avoid It?: While I have to admit, I saw this while not exactly sober, I still wasn’t impressed. I’m like one of those fine tuned athletes, I can perform under any condition. Drunk or not, this movie was a slow watch. The film had an interesting story and a cool twist, but by the time you put the pieces together…you are bored out of your mind. Probably worth a viewing, but I wouldn’t pay to see it again. Not even if I was drunk.
Why Avoid It?: I thought that the poker thing had already set sail. I guess in the eyes of the studios, there is still money to be had. So you just throw in a dash of Burt Reynolds mustache, and a pair of Shannon Elizabeth’s…eyes, and you think you might have recipe for success. There are a bunch of rags-to-riches stories out there, go see one of those…or Rounders. Now that’s a poker movie.
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