Rob Hunter loves movies. He also loves donating his extremely virile and viable sperm to ladies in need. 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: A beautiful movie about an ugly world.
Why Buy? Blu-ray is really Neil Miller’s forte, but who the hell knows when we can expect the next edition of his Blu-ray Report? So I’m going to go ahead and recommend this new disc as a Buy. This is a fantastic film for many reasons, but the one that everyone can agree on is how amazing the movie looks. From incredibly sharp visuals to the stunning battles and car assaults done in single takes (digitally manipulated) to an amazing birth scene, Children of Men is an ocular feast deserving of the best presentation possible.
Blu-ray? This is the Blu-ray
Extra Features? Multiple featurettes, deleted scenes
Pitch: See what makes one cantankerous but creative as hell prick tick.
Why Buy? Harlan Ellison is a fascinating and endlessly creative writer, and as Neil said in his SXSW review (here), he’s also “an infinitely brilliant and constantly angry man.” Even outside of his own short stories his relevance in popular science fiction TV and film is unavoidable… perhaps you’ve heard of The Terminator? Ellison has his dickish side to be sure, but even then he can’t help but be entertaining.
Extra Features? None…
Pitch: One of the Top One-Hundred films of 2006!
Why Rent? I recently covered this movie and it’s unfortunate post-production history in a post called Shelved! (here) where I explored why a film with marquee names would sit unreleased on the shelf for three years. That kind of treatment is rarely a good sign, but as I said in the review the final product is an enjoyable thriller easily better than half the films that do get proper releases. Give it a chance and see if you don’t agree.
Extra Features? None. Harvey Weinstein apparently ate them all.
Pitch: A tent in my pants. (See what I did there?)
Why Rent? I could tell you about how the movie is Crash-lite (multiple people and story lines crossing paths), or about the wide range of acting on display (the Patrick Swayze lows to the Ray Liotta highs), but really the film is a rental for one solitary reason. Jessica Biel plays a stripper who actually takes her clothes off and shows boobage. Sure they’re dimly lit and covered in glitter, but they’re still worth the cost of a rental if you’re into that kind of thing.
Extra Features? Director/producer commentary, featurette, trailer
Pitch: Watch Al Pacino go all Mel Gibson on the British empire’s ass. Again!
Why Rent? Who wants to see a director’s cut of a twenty-four year-old critical and commercial disaster? No one? Understandable reaction, but the new release is worth a rental as it has actually been improved. Director Hugh Hudson has shortened the running time by about ten minutes and star Al Pacino has recorded new narration to help tie the film together. Both actions work to make a tighter and more accessible movie. Still not a great one… but a better one anyway.
Extra Features? Featurette, trailer
Pitch: The best aerial animation since Jerry Seinfeld’s Bee Movie!
Why Rent? Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell) knows how to create spectacular animation, and the dogfights on display here are no exception. They’re also the only real highlights in this otherwise too-talkative film about restless youth and corporate sponsored battles. Not to say the dialogue and plot aren’t worthwhile in their own right… they just pale beside the action.
Extra Features? Multiple featurettes
Pitch: Show me the mummy! (Yes, too obvious, but damn if I care.)
Why Avoid? Remember Cuba Gooding Jr.? Won an Oscar for a really good movie? Then slowly disappeared into a bunch of crappy ones? These days he only reaches theaters in supporting roles, but on DVD he’s quickly becoming a force of nature. Since his brief bit in 2007’s American Gangster he’s been in seven direct-to-DVD releases. This is one of them.
Extra Features? None
Pitch: Has the ‘big city guy/gal stuck in a small town’ (aka fish-out-of-water) genre run it’s course yet? You betcha!
Why Avoid? Someone recently described Renee Zellweger as looking like a gerbil staring into the sun. That is all.
Extra Features? Writers/actors commentary, multiple featurettes, deleted scenes
Pitch: A noodle in the hand is worth two in the bush.
Why Avoid? The trifecta of has-been actors concludes with Brittany Murphy contracting yellow fever. Dumped by her boyfriend (smart guy), she takes a job in a Tokyo restaurant and learns the fine art of noodle preparation. There may or may not be some sexual subtext in that description.
Extra Features? None
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