Rob Hunter loves movies. He also loves working as a professional hitman who targets women and children only because movies and books tell him they’re an untapped niche market. 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.
Pitch: The touching tale of a grumpy old man who begrudgingly befriends a young Asian boy during a balloon ride to South America.
Why Buy? Clint Eastwood is many things, but at the top of the list has got to be an inspiration to actors and directors everywhere. The man is 107 years old yet still managed to churn out two feature films last year. And one of them was pretty goddamn good. (Hint: It wasn’t Changeling.) You could look at this movie as a deconstruction of Eastwood’s own iconic Dirty Harry character, or you could just sit back and enjoy a fantastic performance (possibly his last) in an engaging story slightly less predictable than it first seems.
Extra Features? Two featurettes
Pitch: Not all illegal immigrants are Mexican. Some are actually hot Australian chicks.
Why Rent? The movie got a bum rap last year as some sort of Crash-lite drama with immigration taking the place of race relations in L.A. Not to say that description isn’t at least partially accurate, but it needs to be viewed on its own flawed merits. Ford is always a joy to watch and I’d like to see him doing more ensemble films. Interestingly, he was originally supposed to star in Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic before reportedly passing due to the size of the role (that eventually went to Michael Douglas). This is his attempt at a do-over.
Extra Features? None
Pitch: Two thirty-year old high-school jocks join cheerleader camp to score with flexible underage hotties.
Why Rent? Yes, ‘PG-13 sex comedy’ is an oxymoron, but that doesn’t mean the movie can’t still be fun. Mildly fun anyway. The movie is worth a rental mostly for the audio commentary with stars Nicholas D’Agosto and Eric Christian Olsen and director Will Gluck. Although I doubt anyone will have the will power to watch the movie twice over the course of the rental period… so I’d vote for just watching it once with the commentary on.
Extra Features? Multiple featurettes, gag reel, commentary with stars and director
Pitch: A German director. A British actor. An Australian actress. A NYC museum… you get the idea.
Why Rent? Tom Tykwer’s unofficial feature debut was the sensory feast called Run, Lola, Run. (I say unofficial debut because nobody had heard of the two films he directed before it.) He’s been riding a lead-filled balloon straight down ever since. The International doesn’t come anywhere near that film’s manic energy and style, but with the help of a fantastic shootout halfway through it still manages to be his second-most entertaining film. FSR’s Kevin Carr isn’t a fan (review here), but that’s usually a reliable sign that a movie is actually pretty good… zing!
Extra Features? Director/writer commentary, deleted scene, featurette
Pitch: Nobody does smarmy prick like Alan Rickman…
Why Rent? On the plus side, the first hour cruises along with wit, style, and a gloriously dickish Rickman. But it’s also not quite as smart as it thinks it is, features an annoyingly loud and misplaced score, and then falls to complete and utter shit in the final thirty minutes. So we’ll consider this an interesting failure worth a rental for the cast and the first sixty minutes.
Extra Features? Commentary with director and stars, deleted scenes, featurette
Reaper Season Two
Pitch: The story of a boy, a Sock, and a token Hispanic who try to outwit the devil on a weekly basis.
Why Rent? Don’t let the fact that this is a CW show turn you off… Reaper is one of the three or four best shows on TV you neglected to watch America. And now it’s too late. The CW has canceled it after two very funny and creative seasons. Make up for your tragic mistake by renting the DVDs so you can kick yourself in the ass later for not supporting it when it mattered. Bastards.
Extra Features? Featurette, deleted scenes, gag reel
Pitch: The Guy Ritchie/Quentin Tarantino copycat craze finally comes to Mexico…
Why Avoid? … with predictably mediocre results! Diego Luna is the only really worthwhile player here, but his performance isn’t enough to warrant sitting through the movie. It moves fast, but so do my bowels after a bowl of vegetarian chili. Doesn’t mean I’d recommend watching.
Spinning Into Butter
Pitch: Sarah Jessica Parker
Why Avoid? Sarah Jessica Parker
Blu-ray? Sarah Jessica Parker
Extra Features? Sarah Jessica Parker
Pitch: The funniest bowling comedy since There Will Be Blood!
Why Avoid? Tara Reid stars in a film directed by her brother. If that’s not enough how about the fact that it’s a PG-13 sex and sport romp that (like Fired Up) fails at the sex and (unlike Fired Up) fails at the laughs.
Extra Features? A featurette
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