DVDs I Bought This Week!

Rob Hunter loves movies.  He also loves working as an assistant at the Tyrell Corporation.  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.

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-[rec][rec]

Pitch: Miedo como infierno.  (Is it obvious I don’t know Spanish?)

Why Buy? Lots of movies claim to be scary, but [rec] is one of the few that can actually back it up with long stretches of terrified people screaming in Spanish.  Quarantine was almost a shot by shot remake, but the original is still far more frightening.  There’s a bit towards the end with two people hiding from something in a pitch black kitchen… you just may soil your drawers.  See it now before the sequel comes out later this year.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Featurette

dvd-forallmankindFor All Mankind (Criterion)

Pitch: Discover once and for all if the moon truly is made of cheese.

Why Buy? This will be the only time you’ll hear this comparison, but the strength of For All Mankind is the same one on display in the new film The Hurt Locker.  Just as that film succeeds in embedding you into a bomb disposal unit in Iraq, this documentary embeds the viewer into the Apollo space program alongside the astronauts themselves for every step of their amazing journey.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Featurettes, commentary

dvd-gijoerealamericanheroseason1part1G.I. Joe A Real American Hero: Season 1.1

Pitch: Remember what made G.I. Joe so damned cool.

Why Buy? There’s a chance that the upcoming G.I. Joe movie is going to take a giant dump on our collective memories, so this set serves as a great reminder of how entertaining this show really was.  In addition to the first 25 episodes you also get a bunch of the PSA’s that used to follow each one including lessons  about lying, respecting authority, how to give a Columbian necktie, and the dangers of premarital sex.  The only negative about this set is that it doesn’t include my favorite story arc, “The Traitor.”  Come on Season 1.2!

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Featurettes, PSAs, tattoos

dvd-section-rent

dvd-1212

Pitch: Twelve Angry Russian Men

Why Rent? We’re all familiar with the concept at play here, but the writing and acting on display make this remake (of sorts) of Twelve Angry Men an engaging and fascinating film in its own right.  Over two hours long, subtitled, and starring mostly old Russian men talking… good fun.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? None

dvd-byebyemonkeyBye Bye Monkey

Pitch: King Kong is dead, but his child lives on… and is adopted by Gerard Depardieu?

Why Rent? A Frenchman living in NYC finds King Kong’s dead body and a baby kong beside him.  Oh, and the man works for an uber-feminist theater group that occasionally gang-rapes him.  Part comedy, part drama, all absurd… but definitely worth a rental.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Featurette

dvd-donttouchthewhitewomanDon’t Touch The White Woman!

Pitch: Why couldn’t Nixon just leave those poor Indians alone?

Why Rent? Marco Ferreri, who also directed the oddball flick above, returns with a film critical of Nixon’s administration, US involvement in Vietnam, and the treatment of Native Americans over a century ago.  And again, it’s part drama, part comedy, and all absurd.  Plus Catherine Deneuve as the titular white woman!

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? None

dvd-greygardenshboGrey Gardens (HBO)

Pitch: Who would believe the two crazy old ladies with the ramshackle home were related to the Kennedys?

Why Rent? I’d actually recommend the original documentary by the Maysles brothers over this dramatized version, but HBO has still done a fine job here in making a pretty good movie.  The aging makeup on Drew Barrymore gets a bit dodgy at times, but the story of recluse mother and daughter who happen to be direct relatives to Jackie Onassis is still a fascinating one.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? None

dvd-thehauntinginconnecticutThe Haunting In Connecticut

Pitch: Based on a true story… but not really.

Why Rent? Much like with vampire movies, it’s often difficult to find the worthwhile haunted house films amongst all the crap.  This movie is one of the average ones with strong performances, cool effects, and some legitimate scares on the plus side and stretches of boredom and stupidity on the other.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Commentary, featurettes, deleted scenes,

dvd-horsemenHorsemen

Pitch: Can anyone out-scowl Dennis Quaid?  I think not.  (Well, maybe Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino…)

Why Rent? This is a fairly stylish serial killer flick that starts strong before descending into an absurd and predictable ending, but until that point it’s pretty solid entertainment.  Plus, I would recommend watching just about anything with Zhang Ziyi.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Commentary, deleted scenes

dvd-leveragefirstseasonLeverage: The First Season

Pitch: The Equalizer meets The A-Team.  (And that makes two weeks in a row with an Equalizer reference…)

Why Rent? After watching the first episode I was ready to toss this show into the ‘Avoid’ category… Timothy Hutton was fine but his team consisted of four poorly written and poorly acted shmucks.  Luckily I decided to watch a few more episodes.  The team really grows both as characters and actors, the stories are fairly interesting, and the Robin Hood element of helping the little people by taking from the rich is a fantastic hook.  Season two starts soon on TNT so check this one out now.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Deleted scenes, featurettes

dvd-madmenseason2Mad Men: Season Two

Pitch: The advertising game is about more than selling a product.

Why Rent? I didn’t start watching this show until recently, and I don’t think it’s as amazing as most others seem to… but it’s still a good show.  Sharp writing and some very good performances make this a series worth watching.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Commentaries, featurettes,

dvd-thestateThe State: The Complete Series

Pitch: Michael Ian Black is hilarious.  The other ten members vary in quality…

Why Rent? As with “Mad Men” above, MTV’s “The State” is a show with an incredibly rabid fan base.  I also don’t think it’s as good as these foaming-at-the-mouth cheerleaders would have you believe.  Sketch comedy shows by their very nature will feature both hits and misses and this one leans a little too much towards the latter for my taste.  That said, there are still several very funny bits including sketches with personified hormones, a breakfast cereal ad with seemingly mentally challenged actors, and an un-aired sketch about a family in drag (kind of).  If you’re already a fan, this set is a definite and obvious buy.  The extras alone fill up an entire dvd.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Over forty un-aired sketches, commentaries, outtakes, featurettes, promos

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dvd-theedgeofloveThe Edge Of Love

Pitch: Keira Knightley sings!  About love and stuff!

Why Avoid? I’m a fan of Knightley, but even she can’t make this movie do anything more than simply exist.  Performances are good from all involved (including Sienna Miller) but the film just sits there.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Commentary, featurette, gag reel

dvd-explicitillsExplicit Ills

Pitch: Poor people are people too!  Or something equally inane…

Why Avoid? It’s Crash-lite, and if you felt that movie tried too hard to force its message down your throat then odds are this movie will feel like politically correct deja vu.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? None

dvd-islandofthefishmenIsland Of The Fishmen

Pitch: A whole island filled with Kevin Costner’s character from Waterworld

Why Avoid? Great title aside, this is a bad movie.  Barbara Bach aside, this is not a movie worth watching.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Photo gallery

dvd-vanwilderfreshmanyearVan Wilder: Freshman Year

Pitch: Yet another sex comedy that’s neither sexy not funny. In the slightest.

Why Avoid? If the prospect of watching a sex comedy sans sex and comedy still appeals to you, how about the fact that the lead actor, Jonathan Bennett, turns in probably the worst comedic performance of the decade.  It’s like instead of acting he’s trying simply to ape Ryan Reynolds’s mannerisms and inflection from the first film.  And can you imagine a lead actress bad enough to make you wish Tara Reid had returned instead?  Say hello to Kristin Cavallari…

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Commentary, featurettes, bloopers

Click below for more:

DVD's I Bought This Week

What are you buying on DVD this week?


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