DVDs I Bought This Week!

Rob Hunter loves movies.  He also loves selling his plasma.  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!

dvd-section-buy

dvd-monstersquadThe Monster Squad: The Complete Collection

Pitch: See the show you’ve never heard of that (probably) inspired both “Drak Pack” and Night at the Museum! (But not the similarly titled movie…)

Why Buy? Folks who enjoy seventies camp (think Batman TV series or HR Pufnstuf) will have fun with this show… all others need not apply.  Before Gopher (Fred Grandy) became a ship’s purser (?) he paid his tuition bills by working as a museum night watchman.  When his homemade crime computer accidentally brings to life the wax figures of Dracula, the Wolfman, and Frankenstein’s monster they decide to fight crime as penance for their past evil deeds.  Campy goodness ensues.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? None

dvd-chuckjonesTom & Jerry: The Chuck Jones Collection

Pitch: Mice rule, cats drool.

Why Buy? This set focuses on Tom and Jerry’s time with MGM during the sixties as opposed to their years before and after under the more popular Hanna-Barbera banner, but they’re still a treat for fans and completists alike.  Even if they do look like tepid ripoffs of Itchy and Scratchy…

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Featurettes

dvd-waltzWaltz With Bashir

Pitch: Guilt, memory-loss, and giant, blue, naked women come together in last year’s best animated film.

Why Buy? I reviewed this movie (here) earlier this year as part of my weekly Foreign Objects column, and while I loved it then I have even more respect and admiration for the film now having watched it a couple more times.  It’s beautiful, powerful, dramatic, and a perfect example of what animation can accomplish if only more studios would push it beyond the usual scope of loud (Dreamworks) and sexist (Pixar) children’s movies.  (I kid.)  Both studios have made quality animated films, but none of them have been challenging and truly thought-provoking.  And none of them featured giant naked chicks.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Commentary, featurettes

dvd-section-rent

dvd-bobfunkBob Funk

Pitch: If you’ve ever wondered what the hell happened to Rachel Leigh Cook, the answer can be found here.  (And it involves her becoming pretty damn hot.)

Why Rent? Once in a while you just need to take a chance on a movie you know nothing about beforehand.  This week’s wildcard movie is Bob Funk.  It mixes the funny and the serious fairly well in a story about an obnoxious alcoholic who may or may not be on the road to sobriety, and it features some solid performances from the lead as well as several supporting characters.  And seriously, do you remember Cook looking this good?

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Commentary, featurette

dvd-chokecanyonChoke Canyon

Pitch: Bo Svenson!  Lance Henriksen!  Stephen Collins!  Written and produced by a dude named Assonitis!

Why Rent? I’m a sucker for deliriously bad movies from the eighties.  Not the bad and boring ones, but the unintentionally funny ones that you watch with a smile on your face thanks to ridiculous dialogue, bad science, hammy acting, and high tech gadgetry that always seem to include one of those plasma lightning balls.  This movie thankfully features all of the above.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? None

dvd-shopaholicConfessions of a Shopaholic

Pitch: Imaginary debt is even less funny than your own.

Why Rent? This is a borderline ‘Avoid’ for me as the movie just isn’t that good.  Kevin Carr gave it an unfathomable B grade (review here) due to the reportedly tiny chub he has for star Isla Fischer, and while his grade is way too high his reasoning is correct.  Fisher is the only reason to watch this movie.  She’s both funny and cute while the film manages to be neither.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Deleted scenes, outtakes, music video

dvd-inkheartInkheart

Pitch: If Brendan Fraser knows how to read why does he keep choosing such shitty scripts?

Why Rent? I’m no Fraser fan, but of the three similarly themed films in the past year (including Bedtime Stories and Imagine That) Inkheart is the most imaginative and interesting.  Still isn’t that good of course… but between a fairly engaging plot and some cool effects the movie is definitely worth a watch.  Robert Fure gave it a slightly exaggerated B+ (review here), but the best part of his post is where he claims to be an “ardent fan of literature.”  Hilarious.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Featurette

dvd-marienbadLast Year at Marienbad (Criterion)

Pitch: A man and a woman meet… or don’t. Another man shoots her… or doesn’t. You watched this movie… or didn’t.

Why Rent? This is the first of two Criterion releases this week that on the surface should appeal solely to film snobs, but if you give them a chance they may just surprise you.  Last Year at Marienbad is a French film with absolutely zero narrative intentions.  The director himself says the movie isn’t really about anything yet people have been debating it’s meaning for over forty years.  If you plan on giving it a chance just be patient and open-minded.  If you don’t understand it you’re in good company (and in the majority).

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Interviews, featurette, trailer

dvd-dinnerwithandreMy Dinner With Andre (Criterion)

Pitch: Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory have a conversation over dinner during which Shawn repeatedly swaps wine glasses while yelling “inconceivable!”

Why Rent? There’s no way a movie consisting solely of two guys talking could be even the slightest bit interesting right?  I certainly wouldn’t have thought so… and I’ll admit watching this movie took multiple attempts on my part before I was able to settle in and become engaged in the conversation.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Interviews

dvd-panther2The Pink Panther 2

Pitch: Steve Martin has officially given up on smart comedy.

Why Rent? Most of you probably feel that this should be in the ‘Avoid’ category, and honestly I thought so too… until I watched the damn movie.  It actually has a few laughs in it, and I continued to get a kick out watching several American actors playing characters from other countries and speaking with thick accents.  Why hire authentic French and Italian actors when you can give work to the wonderful Emily Mortimer and Andy Garcia?  Light and harmless fun.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Featurettes, outtakes

dvd-section-avoid

dvd-backwoodsBackwoods

Pitch: Originally made for Spike TV… should tell you everything you need to know.

Why Avoid? If the thought of Haylie Duff being chased, captured, and prepped for forced motherhood appeals to you, then by all means check out this movie.  On the other hand, if you have taste and prefer your movies about angry inbreds to earn their R-rating through creativity, gore, and nudity skip this and re-watch the surprisingly enjoyable Wrong Turn movies instead.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? None

dvd-codeThe Code

Pitch: Everyone loves a good heist movie… so expect nobody to love this one.

Why Avoid? Morgan Freeman working strictly for the paycheck.  Antonio Bandaras working.  You don’t want to see either of those things do you?

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? None

dvd-hobgoblinsHobgoblins

Pitch: The movie ranks in IMDB’s bottom 100 for a reason people…

Why Avoid? This is a good example of plain bad versus entertainingly bad (see Choke Canyon above).

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Featurette, still gallery, trailer

dvd-troopmomMr. Troop Mom

Pitch: George Lopez’ wife gets a corporate job working for Martin Mull…

Why Avoid? Did you not see the part where I said ‘George Lopez’?

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Featurettes, outtakes

Click below for more:

DVD's I Bought This Week

What are you buying on DVD this week?


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