Rob Hunter loves movies. He also loves signing up for random medical trials and psychological experiments. These two joys come together in the form of cash money payments that he receives every week and immediately uses to buy more DVD’s. 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.
Pitch: Evil has a new name, and it’s Doogie Howser MD
Why Buy? Joss Whedon’s short internet musical packs more humor and heart into it’s forty-two minute running time than most feature length films can manage. The story about an evil scientist trying to enter the Evil League of Evil while simultaneously falling in love with a neighbor features brilliant writing as well as three fantastic performances from Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan “The hammer is my penis” Fillion, and Felicia Day. The only real difference between this new DVD and the one that came out late last year is that this is an official pressing.
Extra Features? Two commentaries from cast and crew (one presented in song), multiple featurettes
Pitch: Luc Besson presents Home, the story of a pissed off planet on a quest for revenge…
Why Buy? That’s not true, but lest you think I just pulled Besson out of my ass (Non moyens non!) the action-oriented, realism-challenged Frenchman really is the producer on this new environmental documentary. The film looks at the Earth entirely from the air with images of incredible beauty, and even if you don’t agree with the “liberal propaganda” message you can’t deny the awe inspiring visuals. (Note: Home will be released on Friday, June 5th.)
Extra Features? None
Pitch: James Bond is Jewish? Gives a whole new perspective to the laser between the legs scene in Goldfinger…
Why Rent? Director Ed Zwick makes good movies (and once in a while he makes a great one like Glory) filled with action, drama, and spectacle. This film fits comfortably into the “good” mold as he tells the story of Jewish resistance fighters battling the Nazis. Kevin Carr gave it an A- (review here), and while it’s not quite that good the movie is definitely worth a rental.
Extra Features? Director commentary, multiple featurettes
Pitch: Rule #23 On Guaranteeing Your Film Never Sees A Theatrical Release – Cast Heather Graham
Why Avoid? Oh Rollergirl, where have you gone? I’m not saying Graham needs to strip down and lace up to make a good movie, but goddamn she needs to do something other than dribble like this. She’s fairly cute and her stint on “Scrubs” showed she has solid comedic skills… so why does she constantly choose such shitty movies?
Extra Features? Director and producer commentary, photo gallery
Pitch: Dolph Lundgren will crush you. Barring that he will poke your taint with a sharp stick.
Why Avoid? Dolph will be returning to the big screen soon in Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables, so you could consider this a brief reminder of the man’s power and persona. Sadly, it’s also a reminder that cheap action movies usually suck. Skip this and go watch Rocky IV or Showdown In Little Tokyo instead.
Extra Features? None
Pitch: And yes, those jeans do make your ass look huge.
Why Avoid? Cole Abaius sums up the film’s positive aspects (review here) fairly succinctly… “the camera was pointed in the right direction, and the actors didn’t vomit every time they spoke their lines.” I can’t argue that assessment.
Extra Features? Deleted scenes,
Pitch: Meet Bitch and Moan Wheeler then listen to them whine and complain for two hours…
Why Avoid? Yes, I know that I’m in the minority here, but the movie bored the piss out of me. DiCaprio and Winslet both give fine performances, but they’re playing incredibly unlikable people in a slow-moving drama that never seems to go anywhere. We know they’re unhappy in general, we know they’re unhappy together, and per Josh Radde’s review (here) the film’s dialogue “is ripe with cliche and sputtered like bullshit.” It’s one big blah of a movie. Skip it and see director Sam Mendes’ next (and best) film instead, Away We Go, which opens later this summer.
Extra Features? Director/writer commentary, deleted scenes, featurette
Pitch: See how bad Snakes On A Plane could have been…
Why Avoid? Deadly snakes set loose on a submarine! Chinese warships scouting overhead! Luke Perry in command! Krista Allen taking a shower! How could this movie not kick ass? Let me count the ways… cartoonish CGI snakes, obvious stock footage, Perry and others (Tom Berenger!?) not even pretending to care, and Allen announcing she’s taking a shower and then not sharing it with the viewers… and the most egregious offense? An attack in the first five minutes by a hundred-foot long snake that never appears again!
Extra Features? None
Pitch: Who’s interested in a spring break comedy with no nudity? Anyone? Anyone?
Why Avoid? Honestly, who doesn’t know that spring break films are required by law to feature hedonistic antics and boobs? To make matters worse the filmmakers also seemed to have forgotten the comedy. It’s slightly shocking too considering the cast includes Seth Meyers, Amy Poehler, and Parker Posey…
Extra Features? Director and cast commentary, deleted scenes, gag reel
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