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Rob Hunter loves movies.  He also loves hunting Nazis. 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.  And don’t forget to check out Neil Miller’s hilariously titled This Week In Blu-ray column for reviews on the latest high definition Blu-ray releases!

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dvd-hangoverThe Hangover

Pitch: The funniest movie released this past June…

Why Buy? Personally, I think it’s probably funnier than anything else this year, but comedy is subjective so I scaled the pitch back a bit. The joy of the film and what makes it work as well as it does is the cast. Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and (especially) Zack Galifianakis each bring their own style and charms to the movie and the meld together (and play off each other) perfectly. And the commentary and outtakes are almost as funny as the movie itself too, so you’ll definitely get your moneys worth here.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Unrated version, commentary, outtakes, featurettes

dvd-basterdsInglourious Basterds

Pitch: The best movie of the year…

Why Buy? That’s right KangerooStoned, Quentin Tarantino’s WWII epic is not only his personal best and most fulfilling film, but it’s also brilliantly written, suspenseful, audacious, innovative, and consistently entertaining. I’ve never really been one to praise Tarantino’s movies as anything more than entertaining pop culture retreads… in fact until now I’ve held that True Romance is his best script. But here he leaves most of his usual gags behind and instead focuses on sharply written and incredibly tense verbal standoffs, surprising bursts of violence, and a revisionist bent that forces a giant smile to your face.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Deleted scenes, featurettes

dvd-murderbydecreeMurder By Decree

Pitch: The best Sherlock Holmes movie ever…

Why Buy? Seriously, it is. Christopher Plummer and James Mason as Holmes and Watson? Awesome. The great detective up against Jack the Ripper? Awesome. A thriller from the director of Black Christmas, Porky’s, and A Christmas Story? Awesome.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? None

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dvd-20thcentboys20th Century Boys 1: Beginning of the End

Pitch: Japanese story of good versus evil, by way of Stephen King…

Why Rent? The King reference probably implies a horror overtone but I was actually referring to the epic nature of the tale combined with a structure that moves between a group of friends as children and as adults years later. Here the kids grow up to discover that a book of prophecies they wrote when they were younger appears to be coming true. It’s part one of a trilogy so don’t expect all the questions to be answered, but it’s entertaining enough on its own.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? None

dvd-collisionCollision

Pitch: Several lives are tied together by a deadly highway car crash…

Why Rent? Don’t worry, there’s no heavy, melodramatic pablum here about racial discord and harmony. Instead (and thankfully) it’s a slightly twisty little drama/thriller from the UK about people involved in a highway pile-up. We meet everyone involved and discover their stories as a detective tries to work his way towards who and what was the cause of the crash. It appears everyone who drives a car in the UK is guilty of something.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? None

dvd-gforceG-Force

Pitch: Crime-fighting gerbils and normally funny actors working for the paycheck…

Why Rent? I’d be hard-pressed to call this a good movie, but for the target audience (kids) it’s a passable piece of CGI entertainment. For the rest of us there’s some mildly impressive effects and the inexplicable presence of Zack Galifianakis.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? None

dvd-thegoodsThe Goods: Live Hard Sell Hard

Pitch: The sequel they never made to Kurt Russell’s classic Used Cars

Why Rent? This is a wonderful example of a movie saved by the writing and the ensemble cast. The plot about efforts to sell a bunch of cars is irrelevant next to the constant stream of one-liners and comments coming from a fantastic group of comedic actors. From Jeremy Piven, Ed Helms, Ken Jeong, and Tony Hale to a woman who threatens to eat her own pussy (Kathryn Hahn) these are funny people saying funny things. Which is why I’m disgusted by this bare-bones release! You know there are hours of outtakes on file somewhere…

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? None

dvd-takingwoodstockTaking Woodstock

Pitch: See Woodstock like you’ve never heard it before…

Why Rent? It’s directed by Ang Lee and even though it’s toward the lesser end of his filmography it’s not without some charms. The highlights are the cast including Demitri Martin, Liev Schrieber, and Emile Hirsch, and as long as you go in expecting nothing more than a lightweight comedy with none of the seminal music of the festival you should enjoy it just fine.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Commentary, deleted scenes, featurette

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dvd-chailaiChai Lai Angels: Dangerous Flowers

Pitch: Sexy Asian agents fight evildoers in a crime-ridden Thailand…

Why Avoid? Even that generic pitch makes this movie sound way better than it is. And really, there’s no reason why a movie filled with scantily clad Asian ass-kickers should be anything less than awesome. And yet it is so very far from awesome… the women aren’t scantily clad enough, the fights and wire-work are terribly choreographed, and the action scenes are slowed down but you can tell they weren’t originally shot all that much faster. It teases awesomeness multiple times including a fight between multiple women dressed only in towels (a la Jackie Chan’s Operation Condor), a little girl giving beat-downs to a room full of thugs, and the appearance of a working tank interrupting a fight in front of a castle… but all of it still sucks.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? None

dvd-theothermanThe Other Man

Pitch: A cuckolded husband challenges his wife’s lover to chess…

Why Avoid? Liam Neeson and Laura Linney are both fantastic actors, and Antonio Banderas is probably a member of SAG, but none of them can save this boring and lame exploration of infidelity. Neeson confronts Banderas but nothing interesting comes of it even though the movie’s “twist” ending wants you to think so.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? None

dvd-trunkTrunk

Pitch: “She’s not your ordinary baggage…”

Why Avoid? I haven’t actually seen this movie, but I’m still recommending you avoid it. Why? Because there’s no way the movie can live up to the entertainment value of the DVD cover. See, she’s been kidnapped, as you can tell by the license plate. And then she gets tossed into the trunk of the car, as evidenced by both the literal cover image and the title. And at some point she pauses to model with a knife in her hand.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? None

Read More: This Week in DVD

What are you buying on DVD this week?


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