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Rob Hunter loves movies.  He also loves working as the owner of a Hank Moody’s neighborhood liquor store.  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-californicationCalifornication: The Complete Second Season

Pitch: Heart, soul, and semen… the secrets behind Showtime’s best show.

Why Buy? After the disasterous final minute of Season One it wasn’t clear if the show would recover, but you should never bet against the Moody. David Duchovny continues to excel and just because he finally got all he ever wanted doesn’t mean the zany conflicts have to end. The addition of Callum Keith Rennie’s character injects even more humor, heart, and hedonism into the mix.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Featurette

dvd-redvelvetRed Velvet

Pitch: A serial killer who models his look after Frank the Bunny… creepy.

Why Buy? Sometimes you just gotta take a chance, and if you’re a fan of surprising and odd horror comedies I recommend you take one here. Henry Thomas stars as a reclusive and easily annoyed writer who tells a tale to his neighbor about a madman slaughtering her actual friends. The story builds in an interesting way, the movie is shot with style, and Thomas does fantastic work as a possible nutjob.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Commentary, featurettes

dvd-scrubs8Scrubs: The Complete Eighth Season

Pitch: Imagine having to choose between these folks or the sex-maniacs from Grey’s Anatomy… would you feel safe with either group?

Why Buy? I’ll be the first to admit this show has suffered a steep decline in quality, and the first half of season eight was pure shit… but not only did it recover in the second half but it also closed the series with a strong mix of laughs and heart. (And yes I know it’s returning for a ninth season but it’s in a gutted and bastardized form, so for me, season eight is the final.)

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Deleted scenes, bloopers, featurette

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dvd-adventurelandAdventureland

Pitch: Nostalgia and nut-punches meet, but Kristen Stewart is still the best part of the entire flick.

Why Rent? This coming-of-age comedy from the director of Superbad was marketed as being more of the same, but it’s the lesser of the two films in every area. The comedy is milder, the hijinx are tamer, the characters are more cliched and less endearing… but it’s still a pretty good little movie and well worth a little under two hours of your time. Jesse Eisenberg and Ryan Reynolds both hold their own, but Stewart expands her range and steals the movie.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Commentary, deleted scenes, featurette

dvd-americansonAmerican Son

Pitch: Nick Cannon’s momma is so fat her blood type is Ragu.

Why Rent? Is this basically a low-rent version of Spike Lee’s The 25th Hour with a guy heading to Iraq instead of jail? Sure, but it’s still a pretty good film with some surprising performances including Cannon himself. Less about politics than it is about life.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Commentary, deleted scenes, featurette

dvd-billyjackBilly Jack

Pitch: The first (and only?) Native American kung-fu master.

Why Rent? A classic of morally superior lowbrow cinema if there ever was one, Billy Jack stars Tom Laughlin in the title role as an easily angered Green Beret. He may be half-Indian, short, and ensconced in denim, but you do not want to piss him off. For example, I’d suggest not rolling a little Indian kid in flour…

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Commentary

dvd-bootcampBoot Camp

Pitch: Mila Kunis helps pitch a tent.

Why Rent? This flick isn’t quite what the DVD case cover would have you believe… meaning it’s not a sexy slasher (or am I the only one expecting that?) Instead we basically have one of those “tough-love” camps where parents send their misbehaving little rugrats. What they don’t know is that the man behind the place is a little extreme, although the fact that he’s played by Peter Stormare should have tipped them off…

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? None

dvd-duplicityDuplicity

Pitch: Corporate espionage plus romantic comedy equals a less than stellar film.

Why Rent? Tony Gilroy’s follow-up to the superior Michael Clayton is entertaining but severely hampered with confusion and a lack of any real weight. Julia Roberts and Clive Owen are always worth watching though Paul Giamatti and Tom Wilkinson almost steal the whole flick from them. And while a lot of people have griped about the ending I think it’s actually the best and ballsiest part of the movie.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Commentary

dvd-goodbyesoloGoodbye Solo

Pitch: One taxi driver who wouldn’t last a day working for Louie De Palma.

Why Rent? Strong performances, one from a face you’ve seen many times before and one from a newcomer, highlight this simple tale of finding friendship in the most unexpected places. Sounds boring I know, but it isn’t. Slow maybe…

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Commentary

dvd-rudoRudo y Cursi

Pitch: Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna trade in the old lady for a soccer ball…

Why Rent? This is a reunion of sorts for Bernal and Luna after their successful Y Tu Mama Tambien. They don’t get as raunchy here, but they do have more fun as a couple of brothers sparring with unexpected fame and each other.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Commentary, deleted scenes, featurette

dvd-seconskinSecond Skin

Pitch: Do you live in Azeroth? This documentary is about you.

Why Rent? This is an interesting look at people who live much of their real lives in make believe places online. Most of them are exactly what you’d expect, but more than a few of them may surprise you. Unless you are one of course… you can sense each other’s avatar right?

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Commentary, deleted scenes, featurette

dvd-stuntrockStunt Rock

Pitch: “It’s super human, super music, super magic, and super amazing.”

Why Rent? That pitch above is the actual pitch from the film’s super awesome trailer. Director Brian Trenchard-Smith doesn’t really make good movies, but he does make incredibly entertaining ones. (Turkey Shoot and The Man From Hong Kong being two I highly recommend…) This flick is a psuedo-doc about an Australian stunt man who comes to LA and finds work with a rock band that mixes music with magic on stage. Super amazing indeed.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? None

dvd-sunshinecleaningSunshine Cleaning

Pitch: Imagine Curdled as a comedy/drama with better actresses…

Why Rent? Amy Adams and Emily Blunt play sisters who work cleaning up crime scenes (after the police are done obviously). Alan Arkin is their dad, and together they all come to terms with life, loss, and blood stains. Actually a good movie that deserves a much wider audience than it got in it’s aborted theatrical run.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Commentary, featurette

dvd-thirtysomethingthirtysomething: The Complete First Season

Pitch: The show that proved adults could be as whiny as their children…

Why Rent? Love or hate these characters and their sometimes dramatic but often trivial issues, there’s no denying the quality of acting and writing on display here. It’s an interesting look into mundane suburban life without the artificial drama of most Sam Mendes films.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Commentaries, featurettes

dvd-section-avoid

dvd-bookerBooker: Collector’s Edition

Pitch: Richard Grieco apparently makes appearances in Cole Abaius’ dreams. A lot.

Why Avoid? Grieco’s Dennis Booker from “21 Jump Street” was easily the show’s second weakest character (sorry Officer Doug Penhall), but he somehow managed to get his own spin-off series… which lasted all of one season. This set includes all but two of the show’s episodes, and thanks to expensive music rights issues those missing eps will probably never see the light of DVD. Stick with the first two seasons of the original show.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? None

dvd-fightingFighting

Pitch: Channing Tatum works out his daddy issues by beating the shit out of other punks. A lot.

Why Avoid? Fans of a shirtless Tatum will have something to love in this flick, but the rest of you need not apply. The fighting is more brawling than anything else, and while it gets somewhat brutal at times it never really entertains. Levin calls the plot “one big, over-calculated phony” (review here), and he’s still being too generous.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Deleted scenes

dvd-greenstreet2Green Street Hooligans 2

Pitch: Irresponsible and violent twats go to jail where they spend their days fighting other equally violent and irresponsible twats. A lot.

Why Avoid? The original film starring Elijah Wood was a passable piece of entertainment with good acting and an interesting look inside the concept of Britain’s hooligans… the unemployed, alcoholic assholes who cause wanton violence and destruction under the guise of sports team loyalty. The sequel finds a bunch of them tossed in jail where against all odds they continue to be assholes.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Featurettes

dvd-informersThe Informers

Pitch: Amber Heard gets naked and fornicates. A lot.

Why Avoid? Can you imagine a movie that features a constantly naked Amber Heard… and yet is still painful to watch? Well imagine no more, as this is that movie. Bret Easton Ellis gives us one more reason to mistrust his memories of the 1980’s in a movie filled with drugs, sex, boredom, and lots and lots of bad acting.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Commentary, featurette

dvd-bikinisamuraiOnechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad

Pitch: Hot Asian chick in a bikini fights zombie hordes with a sword. A lot.

Why Avoid? I know, two movies in a row where the ‘pitch’ sounds tailor-made for me and yet I put them in the Avoid category. What’s not to like about hot Asian chicks in bikinis you ask? Nothing , obviously, but you can get that for free online and without this movie’s absolutely terrible special effects and lack of anything resembling character, wit, scares, or quality action. Digital blood is never a good thing, but it’s used so much here that the movie is basically half animated.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Commentary

Click below for more:

DVD's I Bought This Week

What are you buying on DVD this week?


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