DVDs I Bought This Week!

As you may have noticed by now, I am not Brian Gibson. Do not be alarmed — I am not taking over the DVDs I Bought This Week column, just filling in for a week to give Brian’s mounting debt a week off. And just like FSR’s resident debt acquirer and DVD buyer, I too love to head out to my favorite local retailers on a Tuesday morning and pick up the week’s hottest releases. As you can imagine, this has left me with nothing to do but live in my mom’s basement and write about movies all day, as I do not have anything better to do. Alright, so that “mom’s basement” part isn’t true, but the part about wanting to watch movies all day is. With that in mind, I am happy that you’ve chosen to join me in this newly reformatted edition of DVDs I Bought This Week.

WALL-E

The Pitch: A cute little trash robot chases his beloved iPod across the galaxy.

Why Buy It: There are really two reasons why you should be picking up WALL-E on DVD this week. The first is that it is undoubtedly one of the best movies of 2008, animated or not. The combined brilliance of the creative and fun, yet geeky sci-fi story with the immaculate attention to detail that has become a trademark of Pixar have delivered an animated film that is not only beautifully animated, but is also a fun story to watch. As well, the 3-disc (two actual discs and a digital copy disc) edition DVD release is phenomenal. It includes enough special features to keep you going for an entire weekend, including the documentary “The Pixar Story,” which tells the entire history of Pixar. For any animation geek or lover of well-crafted film, this is a DVD that belongs in your collection.

Blu-ray Available: Yes

Buy from Amazon

Tropic Thunder

The Pitch: A group of premadonna actors are dropped in the jungle, forced to survive on their good looks alone.

Why Buy It: Whereas WALL-E is one of the best films of the year 2008, Tropic Thunder is easily one of its most absurd. And by absurd, I mean absolutely wrong in every way. It puts on an all-fronts offensive against anyone and everyone, especially the big egos in Hollywood. And on DVD we get to see how Ben Stiller the director put together this hilarious Vietnam war epic spoof — can I call it a spoof? Its really more of a jab at the Hollywood system, is it not? As for the DVD itself, you will be delighted to find that Tropic Thunder is full of special features, including the behind the scenes mockumentary Rain of Madness, which chronicles the making of the movie inside the movie. As well, there are these really neat “Full Mags,” which are basically extended scenes of dialog where some of the actors, such as Robert Downey Jr. and Ben Stiller, continue on through a scene ad-libbing back and forth. They are pretty hysterical. All in all, funny movie plus tons of cool special features make for an easy “Buy” recommendation.

Blu-ray Available: Yes

Buy from Amazon

Monty Python Holy Trinity

The Pitch: Three Monty Python movies, one low price.

Why Buy It: Chances are that you already have Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life — at least you do if you call yourself a real fan of good comedy. But it is likely that you don’t have them in a massive 6-disc set with a metric shit-ton of special features. Each film comes with a full second disc of special features that take you behind the productions of three of the greatest comedies ever made. It took God six days to create the earth, but it only took the brilliant minds of Monty Python three films to tear it all down again. Blessed are the cheesemakers who pick this set up this week.

Blu-ray Available: No

Buy from Amazon

Wu: The Story of the Wu-Tang Clan

The Pitch: A documentary about, well, the Wu-Tang clan.

Why Rent It: I have absolutely no idea why I picked this movie as a rental this week, other than the fact that I am a white suburban youth who has always been mildly curious about the success of various rap artists. One such rap artist is the Wu-Tang Clan. But for me it isn’t about their rap albums, it is about the immensely talented individuals that make up the clan, individuals who have gone on to do tons of other things, including score and produce movies and write screenplays. These nine men have gone beyond the world of rap to find great success in other corners of the entertainment and business worlds — and I must know how they did it. Then when I put out my first rap album I will have a clear path to success as a movie producer.

Blu-ray Available: No

Buy from Amazon

Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

The Pitch: Meet the man behind the man behind the shenanigans of Hunter S. Thompson.

Why Rent It: This is one of those phenomenal films that I had the pleasure of seeing at Sundance in January, a real gem directed by Oscar winning documentarian Alex Gibney. It takes us behind the scenes in the world of Hunter S. Thompson, one of the most influential literary figures of the past century. He was a calculated, intelligent and unpredictable man — and that is just on the surface. In this documentary Thompson is shown to be something altogether different from anything the world has ever seen — a balls-to-the-wall gonzo journalist. If you’ve ever read a Hunter S. Thompson piece and thought, “Man, this guy is something else,” you haven’t seen anything yet. Wait until you get a load of this doc.

Blu-ray Available: No

Buy from Amazon

Doctor Who: The Complete Fourth Series

The Pitch: A mysterious time-traveling physician travels through time and space, solving the problems of humanity.

Why Rent It: Lets get something straight up front, until recently I have had absolutely no interest in Doctor Who. But as my love for modern sci-fi and my addiction to understanding franchises with crazy cult-like fan bases continues to grow, I am becoming curious about this long-running British series. I dare not even ask whether or not I should be starting with the fourth series, which features the always entertaining David Tennant, but I feel like this might be a good place to begin. That and Billie Piper is smokin’ hot — she’s in this one, right?

Blu-ray Available: No

Buy from Amazon

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2

The Pitch: For diversely sized girls share the same pair of jeans… again.

Why Avoid It: This goes against everything I hold dear — or at least the part of me that holds Blake Lively dear — but I just cannot condone the purchase or rental of this movie. One Sisterhood movie was enough — and for the record, how the hell does the same pair of jeans fit both America Ferrera and Blake Lively? That defies science. I’m not saying that either of them is unattractive, as I would gladly form an exploratory committee to investigate this pants-related phenomenon, but that doesn’t change the fact that these girls are pretty different, size-wise. But I digress, unless you are being forced to pick it up for your lady friend, you should do everything in your power to avoid this one.

Blu-ray Available: Yes

Buy from Amazon

300: The Limited Collector’s Edition w/ Digital Copy

The Pitch: Yet another opportunity for you to buy 300 for no apparent reason.

Why Avoid It: If you are like me then you have any combination of the following editions of 300: the standard DVD, the Blu-ray, the HD-DVD (yes, I’ve got both), the special edition with the Spartan mask, the special edition with the Immortals mask or the 2-disc collector’s edition that was released way back when. Sadly, it is more than likely that you own 2-3 different versions. Personally, I am up to 5. Yes, 5. So why in the name of Satan’s asshole should any of us be buying another edition of 300 on regular DVD? For the “Art of the Film” book that is included? Already got it. How about the digital copy? Buy it from iTunes if you want to watch it on your iPhone and don’t want to live with the guilt of ripping it from your own store bought DVD. This is absurd… Nay, beyond absurd. If you buy this edition you should run home and hit yourself in the head with a tack hammer. Seriously, do it.

Blu-ray Available: No

Buy from Amazon

Jeff Dunham’s Very Special Christmas Special

The Pitch: Another relatively funny comedian tries to steal your hard earned holiday spirit.

Why Avoid It: Don’t get me wrong folks, Jeff Dunham is actually pretty funny. I do enjoy some good puppet humor every once in a while. But do we really need an entire Christmas special that centers on one comedian? Talk about a lack of value. This is the reason why I am generally opposed to buying single-comedian DVDs — you aren’t getting what you are paying for. The rare Robin Williams or George Carlin DVD aside, you should really avoid anything that features one comedian, especially if they aren’t your favorite funnyman. If you are looking for laughs, go out and buy one of those Comedy Central Presents compilation DVDs instead.

Blu-ray Available: No

Buy from Amazon

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DVD's I Bought This Week


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