Rob Hunter loves movies. He also loves working for the Ghostbusters to serve all your supernatural elimination needs. 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!
Why Buy? There are three reasons to buy this DVD. One, while it may not be a great movie it has some truly terrifying scenes. Two, the fact that it’s freaking scary as hell makes it a great choice to show friends on movie night. And three, I hate weeks where I have nothing to recommend buying. (Landon Palmer’s review)
Extra Features? Alternate ending
Pitch: Welcome to the poor man’s Avatar…
Why Rent? Gosh, that sounds harsh doesn’t it? All I really mean is that while the movie looks incredible it’s weighed down by an incredibly unfulfilling story. It does look fantastic… the CGI animation is beautiful and dark, the action is fast and kinetic, and your eyes will hurt for fear of blinking and missing something. But the story about sock puppets tasked with saving the world after a mechanical uprising wipes out humanity starts strong then drops into convoluted simplicity. Yes. Convoluted simplicity. (Cole Abaius’ review)
Extra Features? Original short, commentary, featurettes
Pitch: Consider this Saving Private Xiaogang…
Why Rent? Fans of war films in the vein of Steven Spielberg’s WWII classic may want to check out this Chinese import. It focuses on the country’s bombastic history after WWII as seen through the eyes of a captain in the army. He leads his men through multiple battles filled with violent and gory deaths, and then follows his attempts to see them honored for their efforts. It’s action and drama far removed from the usual films China produces.
Extra Features? None
Pitch: Captain Kirk pilots an SUV through the barren Midwest…
Why Rent? This post-apocalyptic flick was unfairly dumped in under a hundred theaters this past year, and it deserved better. As much a drama as it is a horror film, Carriers follows Chris Pine, Lou Taylor Pucci, and two female companions as they travel across an America wiped out by a deadly and highly contagious virus. It’s more The Road than it is 28 Days Later, but it’s still an entertaining yet depressing little flick with some strong performances.
Extra Features? None
Pitch: Learn about Muhammad Ali from the people who knew him best…
Why Rent? Okay, perhaps the men who faced Ali in the ring aren’t the ones who knew him best, but they certainly have some fascinating and interesting insights into the man and the legend. Boxing greats Joe Frazier, George Foreman, and eight others all remember their various confrontations with Ali. Regardless of whether an individual fight resulted in a win or a loss for the man a certain amount of respect and reverence is visible in the telling. There’s no real drama or conflict in this doc to hook the viewer, but instead it presents reflection of a man and a time in the sport of boxing that are no more.
Extra Features? Featurettes
Pitch: Megan Fox shows some skin and some acting chops. Which one interests you more…
Why Rent? Unlike Carriers above, this flick got a fair release in theaters. It was the critics and audiences who treated it unfairly. Diablo Cody’s script is far from smart, but it is a funny and occasionally gory little movie that’s worth a watch. Fox gets herself possessed by something evil and best friend Amanda Seyfried is tasked with handling her former best friend turned gut-eater. And while Fox is no great thespian, she does share a pretty fine lesbian kiss with Seyfried. So that has to count for something right? (My review)
Extra Features? Unrated edition, commentaries
Pitch: Three couples enter a tropical paradise. One of the couples are killers…
Why Rent? This is a fun movie, pure and simple, but it’s filled to the edges with issues and faults. I detailed them more clearly in my review (here), but suffice to say this movie isn’t nearly as smart as it thinks it is. But that doesn’t stop it from being incredibly entertaining, thrilling, and pretty damn funny. Timothy Olyphant and Steve Zahn have great chemistry, the action is intense, and while it may not keep you guessing it will most certainly keep your attention.
Extra Features? Unrated edition
Pitch: This trailer is all the pitch you should need…
Why Rent? It’s the inspiration for James Cameron’s Avatar?!? Awesome! Now get off your butt and go find it for ninety minutes of guaranteed (and intentional) ineptitude. Antonio Sabato Jr stars as a lost soldier, Traci Lords stars as a young-ish alien princess, and Edgar Rice Burroughs rolls over in his grave.
Extra Features? Featurette
Pitch: Apparently Americans can’t handle lesbians in their horror comedies…
Why Rent? Yes, this is actually the recent British horror comedy Lesbian Vampire Killers, and no, I don’t understand why any self-respecting DVD label would drop the most intriguing one-third of the title. Regardless of what they’re calling the movie the fact remains that it’s a mildly entertaining romp through the British countryside filled with a handful of boobies, double dental penetrations, and buckets of white, sticky fluids. Just remember, regardless of what the title states, there are lesbian vampires within. (My review)
Extra Features? Commentary, featurettes
Pitch: Welcome to a high school for special kids…
Why Avoid? This is actually a pretty appealing little show for fans of music, choreography, and colors, but I refuse to recommend you support this dvd release. Season One, Volume One? That’s a ripoff even when great shows like Battlestar Galactica did it, so it’s not going to fly when a lesser one tries to milk the fans dry. I realize Fox originally planned for just these thirteen episodes, but once they extended the season to a full order they should have scrapped plans for this release. Just ignore this one and wait for them to release Glee: The Complete Season One.
Extra Features? Invisible episodes
Pitch: A professional wrestler joins the US Marines and shoots up some Thai baddies…
Why Avoid? I’m not ashamed to admit I actually liked the first movie. It was stupid and John Cena is a terrible actor, but the action was pretty damn good. The sequel swaps out Cena for an even less talented wrestler/actor named Ted DiBiase, but it also drops the quality of action and spectacle to such a degree that it really isn’t worth watching. Maybe when it comes on cable…
Extra Features? Deleted scenes, featurette
Read More: This Week in DVD
What are you buying on DVD this week?