Like Charles Foster Kane, Gordon Gekko, and Victor Mancini before him, FSR’s regular DVD columnist Brian Gibson has seen the limits of excess… and he has paid the price. Years of snorting DVDs, mainlining Blu-ray discs, and fornicating with pop culture figurines in back alleys has finally caught up with him. He’s currently in entertainment rehab and debt counseling, and even worse, his mother has cut up his credit cards and cut off his allowance. Dark times indeed. We wish him a successful and speedy recovery, and in his absence, please allow me to share my DVD recommendations with you this week. (And yes, I always pay cash.)
Click on any of the titles below to magically head over to Amazon.com and pick up the DVD.
Pitch: Forrest Gump re-imagined!
Why Buy? Thirteen Oscar nominations aside, this is not a great movie. So why buy it? Because it’s a damn good movie. Yes it’s a bit too long, yes it’s slow at times, but it’s still a fascinating film to watch. And to be clear, I’m recommending a Buy on Criterion’s two-disc edition only… the film is a technical marvel and Criterion’s special features offer an interesting view behind the scenes. Plus, the better it sells the more pissed off the Criterion film snobs will become…
Pitch: A curry-flavored time suck… with fight scenes!
Why Rent? As a Bollywood virgin I chose this kung-fu epic to be my first, and while it wasn’t quite the perfect and gentle lover I hoped for it was still mildly entertaining… but at over two and a half hours I’d only recommend it if you have time to spare. The plot makes little sense, the comedy is light-hearted, the dance scenes are ubiquitous, Deepika Padukone is gorgeous, and the fight scenes are actually pretty good.
Pitch: See what the Lesbian Vampire Killers do for a day job…
Why Rent? Their vampire comedy film debut wasn’t exactly stellar (review here), but the duo of Matthew Horne and James Corden showed some definite comedic skills. “Gavin & Stacey” is the critically acclaimed BBC series that first brought them attention (and will again when season three returns later this year). The show is reminiscent of “Spaced” sans film references, which means it’s still pretty funny and worth a rental.
Pitch: A romantic comedy for the octogenarian in all of us!
Why Rent? I kid the old people, but seriously, this movie probably won’t appeal to many fans of today’s romantic comedies. It’s not dirty or riotously funny, but it is sweet and well-acted. That’s still a lot more than you find in most movies these days…
Pitch: The Brits do torture porn more disgusting than we do!
Why Rent? Why would I recommend you rent a movie I recently gave a C- (review here)? Excellent question.
Pitch: Michelle Williams’ torrid affair with Charlie Brown’s little sister!
Why Rent? There’s actually nothing torrid about this movie, in fact there’s nothing even approaching luke-warm… but Michelle Williams just touches me in a certain way that makes her so very watchable. FSR’s Kevin Carr claims he’s “seen better film on week-old pudding” in his fridge (review here), but seriously, does anyone believe pudding would last a week in his fridge? The movie is a fairly slow character piece so a rental for Williams’ fans only.
Pitch: Hurray for rape!
Why Avoid? I can handle rape in movies, and I like to handle hot Asian women, but this is just exploitation with absolutely zero entertainment value. Now if the lead factory girl shot deadly lasers out of her bajango it’d be a different story…
Pitch: An adventure so blah even TNT’s The Librarian passed on it.
Why Avoid? I watched the first fifteen minutes of this when it premiered on NBC recently, and it was beyond ridiculous. I have nothing else to add except to say that Mira Sorvino better start looking for roles requiring nudity if she hopes to break free from the Best Supporting Actress curse like Marisa Tomei did.
Pitch: The movie’s even better than the DVD cover!
Why Avoid? As far as trees go Thora Birch isn’t too bad, but she’s not enough to make this “based on a true story” worth watching. The movie gives away any hope for suspense in the first few minutes and while it teases the tawdry it never quite crosses the line into true naughtiness. And seriously, this is one terrible DVD cover.
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