Welcome back to This Week In Discs!

As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it.

Discs Section: Pick of the Week

Quick

A motorcycle courier finds himself targeted by police after a mysterious man forces him to deliver bombs to various addresses while an ex-girlfriend unlucky enough to have strapped an explosive helmet to her head comes along for the ride. This Korean effort takes the single plot thread of Speed and combines it with a lot of goofiness. The action runs the gamut of cartoony to thrilling, but it’s never less than entertaining. There’s also a little bit of heart to add more weight to the matter, but it’s never enough to extinguish the goofy fun. I’ll be honest… this is casual entertainment and a rental at best for most folks, but those of you as partial to Korean films as I am may want to pick it up too. Also available on DVD. [Extras: Making of, trailer, featurettes]

Discs Section: Buy

Parks & Recreation: Complete Season Four

Pitch: This is literally one of NBC’s Thursday night shows…

Why Buy? The city of Pawnee is at a crossroads, and Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) may be its only hope. All that stands in her way is a fierce(ly ignorant) opponent played by Paul Rudd and an office filled with co-workers who want to help but have no clue how to do so. Sharp writing and a near brilliant cast including Adam Scott, Rashida Jones, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Rob Lowe and more make this one of NBC’s most consistently entertaining shows, and now that Community has moved to Fridays it’s also the network’s best Thursday night offering.

Discs Section: Rent

Bored to Death: The Complete Third Season

Pitch: Fine, I’ll be the one to say it. Coconut Records trumps Phantom Planet…

Why Rent? Jonathan Ames (Jason Schwartzman) is an author and amateur private eye who’s better at getting into trouble than getting out of it. Of course, it doesn’t help things that his best friends Ray (Zach Galifianakis) and George (Ted Danson) are hilariously incompetent in social, adult settings. This HBO series is a mixed bag in regard to the laughs though as sometimes the comedy hits a bit too broad, but most of the chuckles are legit thanks to the immense talents of the three leads. Also available on Blu-ray. [Extras: Commentaries, deleted scenes, outtakes, featurette]

Criminal Minds: Season 7

Pitch: Any show that has the balls to make a retarded man the sadistic murderer is okay in my book…

Why Rent? The FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit is an elite team of investigators tasked with finding the cruelest and most twisted killers imaginable. CBS’ schedule is loaded with dramatic series that maintain a fiercely loyal fanbase while slipping below the critical radar. Does anyone actually watch this show… and is anyone else surprised to see that this show is entering its eighth season? There’s a level of occasional cheapness here, but the writers find some truly lurid and disturbing details for their killers. If only they were that creative with the agents themselves who instead fit a series of CBS cliches. Also available on Blu-ray. [Extras: Featurettes, gag reel, deleted scenes, commentaries, interview]

The Five Year Engagement

Pitch: It posits a world where someone would wait to marry Emily Blunt. Balderdash…

Why Rent? Jason Segel and Emily Blunt play a hip, successful couple living in San Francisco who have recently decided to get engaged. It’s like the fairy tale ending, except that it happens at the onset of a seemingly long movie. Everything is shaken up when her dream opportunity arises several states away in Michigan. So they move and begin a glacially paced stint of growing apart as he struggles to fit in with the sweater wearing midwest. If it wasn’t so full of charm, Emily Blunt and an adorably bad British accent toting Alison Brie, this particular engagement would be about 3 years too long. But then again, maybe that’s the point. In the time that it takes for Segel to grow a post-Islam Cat Stevens beard, we see a fairly honest portrayal of how two people can lose sight of each other, complete with that famous Nick Stoller/Jason Segel cute-raunch. To its credit — and fitting with other Segel/Stoller joints — the Blu-ray gets loaded up with extras. Line-o-ramas, experiment-o-ramas, featurettes-o-ramas, deleted scenes-o-ramas. It’s enough to make this five-year engagement last the literal sum of its title. Enough to overwhelm, but still definitely worth a shot. Because as they say, even chubby releases need love, too. Also available on DVD. - Neil Miller

The Good Wife: The Third Season

Pitch: She’s a pretty good lawyer too…

Why Rent? Alicia (Julianna Margulies) watched as her husband cheated behind her back, but instead of shrinking out of the limelight she charged forward to become a damn fine lawyer. She also has some of the sex. This is another example of a show I never caught previous seasons of but that I found compelling enough to stick with it after a few episodes. The courtroom storylines are a bit standard, but the interoffice shenanigans make for entertaining television. Margulies was always one of the best parts of ER so it’s good to see here back again, and she’s joined by a stellar supporting cast including Josh Charles and Alan Cumming. [Extras: Featurettes, deleted scenes]

Grey’s Anatomy: Complete Eighth Season

Pitch: Don’t worry. Katherine Heigl’s still gone…

Why Rent? Seattle Grace Hospital has always been a hot-bed of medical miracles, high drama and consensual sex, but the woman at the center of this hospital’s world has never been the most likeable element. Meredith Grey still narrates and takes up an inordinate amount of screentime, but the surrounding cast has stepped up over the years with interesting narratives of their own. Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) and Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd) are the most dynamic and engaging and the only reasons to keep watching. [Extras: Featurette, extended episode, deleted scenes, outtakes]

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle

Pitch: It’s the same hand that jerked off Tom Cruise on a NYC subway train…

Why Rent? Claire (Annabella Sciorra) and Michael (Matt McCoy) need a nanny to watch over their young kids, but the woman (Rebecca De Mornay) they hire has more on her mind than child care. Like revenge! Because she’s a psychopath see who blames Claire for a recent tragedy. Look, the details aren’t important. De Mornay plays a fantastically twisted psycho, Sciorra gives as good as she gets and the guy from Abominable stands around useless while the women brawl. Disney’s new Blu-ray release declares itself a “sensational 20th Anniversary Edition” but just as they did last month with some other old catalog titles this is a bare-bones release. The restored image is fine, but the lack of any extras makes it hard to call this a “sensational” release.

High School

Pitch: High schoolers smoking marijuana? Next they’ll be asking us to believe in dragons

Why Rent? Henry (Matt Bush) is valedictorian of his high school class, but a rough day leads to a lapse in judgement and his first toke of an illegal narcotic. As luck would have it the school’s principal (an unrecognizable Michael Chiklis) mandates drug testing on campus the very next day leaving Henry and his new best bud Breaux (Sean Marquette) clamoring for a plan. At the risk of being labeled a square I’ll admit that most stoner comedies leave me cold, but co-writer/director John Stalberg Jr. has crafted a truly funny little flick that finds laughs in more than just weed references. Also available on DVD. [Extras: Commentary, deleted scenes]

How To Make It In America: The Complete Second Season

Pitch: Luiz Guzman for the win…

Why Rent? Two twenty-something friends (Bryan Greenberg and VictorRasuk) are sick of being part of the have-nots and decide they’re going to strike it big with street fashion. I’d never heard of it either, but apparently it’s clothing with ugly designs that catch on with the city’s hipper residents. I skipped the first season because the show looked a bit too douchey for my tastes, but I apparently misjudged it. The leads are charismatic enough, the supporting cast are mostly entertaining and the writing is sharp enough to make the twenty-plus minute episodes breeze by. [Extras: Featurettes, commentaries]

Hung: The Complete Third Season

Pitch: Has been hanged

Why Rent? Ray (Thomas Jane) is a high school teacher and coach who moonlights as a male prostitute. His pimp, Tanya (Jane Adams), struggles to turn Ray’s asset into a solid business plan, but competition from a new, young stud may end their run prematurely. As it turns out HBO ended this series with this season so it doesn’t get a proper final episode, but that criticism aside the show remains a a fun diversion that is emotionally affecting as often as it’s sexy. Tom Jane excels in the role of a cocky man humbled by his losses, and Adams brings a quirky heart as well. [Extras: Alternate ending, featurettes, deleted scenes, commentaries]

Sacrifice

Pitch: Does Elton John’s song proud…

Why Rent? A war hero general in ancient China orchestrates a coup against the ruling family that involves the murder of hundreds of members of the Duke’s family. A doctor sees his own son and wife killed but manages to save the Duke’s infant son with the aim of raising the child to seek vengeance some day. Director Chen Kaige delivers a stirring drama about familial honor and yes, sacrifice, and infuses it with some pretty stellar action scenes along the way. The violent coup in particular is a fantastically exciting sequence. [Extras: Trailer]

Safe

Pitch: A little Chinese girl is the safe, and only his fingers know the combination…

Why Rent? Luke Wright (Jason Statham) is an ex-cop turned cage fighter who offers a helping hand (and fist and foot) to a young girl when he sees her being chased by ominous looking men on the subway. She’s being pursued by members of the Triad, the Russian mob and the police, and Wright is all that stands between her and early retirement. Director Boaz Yakin takes no prisoners with this wildly violent and carefree romp of an action movie. The mayhem is near constant, the collateral damage is ridiculously high and it’s easily Statham’s most entertaining movie in years. Also available on DVD. [Extras: Commentary, featurettes]

White Vengeance

Pitch: I call reverse racism…

Why Rent? The Qin Dynasty has fallen and two men lead a rebellion to take control of the nation that remains. The two men were once close friends, but their plans for power and their love for the same woman have driven them apart and into battle with each other. Director Daniel Lee (14 Blades) shows real skill and style with large scale battle scenes, but the two hour plus run time drags more than once between the action. There’s also not much here to make the movie stand out in the ‘period action epic’ genre. Still, fans of these types of films will find enough here to warrant a watch. Also available on DVD. [Extras: Behind the scenes, interviews, trailers]

Discs Section: Avoid

2 Broke Girls: The Complete First Season

Pitch: They wouldn’t be broke for long if they put their mouths to use doing something besides yapping constantly [insert unearned laugh track here]…

Why Avoid? Opposites truly do attract when Max (Kat Dennings) and Caroline (Beth Behrs) become fast friends while working in a diner and saving up for their own cupcake business! CBS isn’t exactly known for their comedic chops, but they’ve found success mining hits out of spectacularly unfunny sitcoms (witness Two and a Half Men). This laugh-free exercise in masochism turns the normally reliable Dennings into a punchline-spewing robot who thinks the most obvious bits of innuendo count as comedy. It’s sad to see and hear. Also available on Blu-ray.

Cold Creek Manor

Pitch: “I saw something nasty in the woodshed!” is from a completely different and better movie…

Why Avoid? A couple (Dennis Quaid and Sharon Stone) and their two kids (Kristen Stewart and a boy who probably hates Twilight) move from the city to a big home in the country, but the small town charm has been replaced by malevolent locals led by Stephen Dorff. It seems he was the home’s previous owner, and he may be harboring a secret about his own family. This is such an obvious thriller in that almost every development is clear well before it happens negating even the smallest amount of suspense it had built by that point. The ending is underwhelming and equally inept too. And seriously, who’s going to feel threatened by Stephen Dorff? [Extras: Featurettes, alternate ending, deleted scenes]

Piranha 3DD

Pitch: The CGI nibblers are back…

Why Avoid? Prehistoric fish find their way into the grand re-opening of a water park and eat their way through the guests. Alexandre Aja’s 2010 remake of Piranha was ridiculous, but it was also gory, sexy and fun. John Gulager’s follow-up is a none of the above. It’s an insult to words to even talk about how bad the script is, and the special effects are even worse. I’m torn because Danielle Panabaker should be worth watching in anything, but the sheer incompetence on display here makes it so damn difficult. Also available on DVD. [Extras: Commentary, featurettes, bloopers, deleted scenes, short film]

Touchback

Pitch: So good seeing Kurt Russell on screen again. Is what I said to myself before pressing ‘play’…

Why Avoid? A high school football star (Brian Presley) does massive damage to his leg during a senior year game and grows up to be an alcoholic farmer struggling to support his family. But then, through the magic of a suicide attempt, he awakens back in high school with the chance to do it all over again! Of the many poorly handled aspects of this movie (from the script to the point to the pacing) the most egregious is having Presley and others play themselves as high schoolers and forty year olds. This isn’t Porky’s. There are no shower scenes or boner humor. But hey, it’s good seeing Kurt Russel onscreen again. Also available on DVD. [Extras: Commentary, making of]

Discs Section: Also

Also out this week, but I haven’t seen the movie/TV show, review material was unavailable, and I have no blind opinion:

Child’s Play
Fringe: Complete Fourth Season
Grounded for Life: Complete Season
Haven: Complete Second Season
Megaforce
My Sucky Teen Romance
Person of Interest: Complete Season One


ARTICLE TAGS
Like this article? Join thousands of your fellow movie lovers who subscribe to The Weekly Edition from Film School Rejects. Our best articles, every week, right in your inbox!
  %
%  
Comment Policy: No hate speech allowed. If you must argue, please debate intelligently. Comments containing selected keywords or outbound links will be put into moderation to help prevent spam. Film School Rejects reserves the right to delete comments and ban anyone who doesn't follow the rules. We also reserve the right to modify any curse words in your comments and make you look like an idiot. Thank You!
Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Comic-Con 2014
Summer Box Office Prediction Challenge
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3