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Rob Hunter loves movies.  He also loves rescuing dolphins from culturally misguided Japanese fishermen. 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-thecoveThe Cove

Pitch: Dolphins go in, but they don’t come out…

Why Buy? This is a call to action for anyone who cares about cruelty and mistreatment of creatures on both a general level and a more specific one, but the real beauty here is in the film’s presentation. The filmmakers don’t simply show footage of dolphin mistreatment… they tell a story with true characters and suspense. A story filled with adventure, heartbreak, and redemption. It’s an emotional and entertaining journey worth taking whether or not you care about the plight of dolphins. Of course, you’re a dick if you don’t…

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Commentary, deleted scenes, featurettes

dvd-harrypotterhalfbloodprinceHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Pitch: Harry finally grows a pair and steps up against the oncoming evil…

Why Buy? I’m no more than a casual fan of the Harry Potter films, but this latest installment was incredibly entertaining. It’s easily the most exciting, humorous, and thrilling of the series so far, and it’s the first one that I’d recommend whole-heartedly as a Buy. Harry’s adventure gets bigger as it expands out into the real world and more dangerous as it strikes closer to the ones he loves. And the action and laughs were also more than enough for me to forgive the fact that Harry let the cute Asian girl slip between his fingers… the fool! Definitely one of the more entertaining big-budget movies of the year.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Deleted scenes, featurettes

dvd-sorcerorsstoneultimateHarry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: Ultimate Edition

Pitch: Triple dip, Potter style…

Why Buy? I mentioned above that I’m a casual Harry Potter fan, and these new Ultimate Editions are aimed more at the hardcore Potter-heads… but damn are they impressive. They come in a really nice case that mimics a small hardcover book, and inside you’ll find a foldout case with four discs (the theatrical cut, the extended cut, and two bonus-filled discs), a beautiful little hardcover book with photos and concept drawings, and two collectible character cards. All special editions should be this incredible.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Extended edition, commentary, deleted scenes, featurettes, hardcover book, collectible cards

dvd-chamberofsecretsultimateHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Ultimate Edition

Pitch: Triple dip part deux, Potter style…

Why Buy? I mentioned above that I’m a casual Harry Potter fan, and these new Ultimate Editions are aimed more at the hardcore Potter-heads… but damn are they impressive. They come in a really nice case that mimics a small hardcover book, and inside you’ll find a foldout case with four discs (the theatrical cut, the extended cut, and two bonus-filled discs), a beautiful little hardcover book with photos and concept drawings, and two collectible character cards. All special editions should be this incredible.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Extended edition, commentary, deleted scenes, featurettes, hardcover book, collectible cards

dvd-lostseasonfiveLost: The Complete Fifth Season

Pitch: At this point, you either get it or you don’t…

Why Buy? Obviously, if you haven’t been following along as the survivors of Oceanic flight 815 work their way through their post-crash lives (and deaths) then season five won’t mean much to you. But for those of us who’ve been sucked in since the beginning this is the beginning of the end of one of television’s best and most sprawling shows. The final season starts in two short months, so if you’ve forgotten what transpired in season five or if you’ve only recently become a convert you best get a move on now.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Deleted scenes, commentaries, bloopers, featurettes

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dvd-homemovieHome Movie

Pitch: Ah kids. They grow up so fast, so why not videotape the pernicious little bastards for posterity…

Why Rent? Adrian Pasdar plays patriarch to a family consisting of him, his wife, and their twin boy and girl. Told entirely via home movie recordings we get to watch the children slowly reveal their repressed psychos within. It’s not the groundbreaking “found film” movie that Paranormal Activity is, but it’s an interesting and occasionally disturbing little movie all the same.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? None

dvd-julieandjuliaJulie & Julia

Pitch: An entertaining biopic of Julia Child wrapped in a bland and uninspired framing device…

Why Rent? I’m not kidding either. The half of the film focused on Julia Child as portrayed by Meryl Streep is light-hearted and romantic fun. I defy you not to chuckle when Streep mouths the cock. Sorry, when she mouths the word “cock.” Amy Adams is cute enough, but her half of the film manages only to make you wish it would move back to Child’s story.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Commentary, featurette

dvd-publicenemiesPublic Enemies

Pitch: The screen heats up as two legendary actors face off for the first time…

Why Rent? Michael Mann movies are almost always worth watching at least once. (And they’re occasionally worth buying… Manhunter, The Last of the Mohicans, Heat) This flick finds Johnny Depp and Christian Bale facing off in a tommy gun-filled 1930’s. Sadly, by “facing off” I mean they share a few minutes of screen time.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Commentary, featurette

dvd-runbitchrunRun! Bitch Run!

Pitch: The three R’s of grindhouse filmmaking including rape, revenge, and ridiculous amounts of bodily fluids…

Why Rent? Hell isn’t a real place, but if it were I would most assuredly be sent there for recommending anyone watch this blood and flesh-filled little piece of exploitation pie.  Make no mistake, it’s pretty vile, but from the title on through to the violent and gross finale the movie is a perfect example of grindhouse fun. There’s rape, bloodshed, and toilet plunger masturbation, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? None

dvd-worldsgreatestdadWorld’s Greatest Dad

Pitch: A father deals with a highly disagreeable son…

Why Rent? Robin Williams straddles a fine line here between the comedic and the dramatic, and he does so brilliantly. His performance is the driving force behind this darkly comic tale of familial love, loss, and masturbation. It’s not exactly laugh out loud funny, but it’s definitely some black, black comedy.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Commentary, deleted scenes, outtakes, featurettes

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dvd-fridayanimatedseriesFriday: The Complete Animated Series

Pitch: What if they made an animated TV series based on the Friday movies and nobody came…

Why Avoid? Seriously, did you know this existed? I didn’t, but having watched one episode (yes only one) I can see why. It’s more Friday After Next than Friday, and it shows in the severe lack of laughs.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? None

The Skeptic

dvd-theskepticPitch: A man inherits a haunted house. Stop me if you’ve heard this before…

Why Avoid? This movie means well and I’m a fan of Tim Daly (who starred in my third favorite Stephen King mini-series), but it just doesn’t do a single thing you haven’t seen a hundred times before (and often done better). The scares are competent but still generic enough that you probably won’t be impressed. For ghost movie completists (and “Wings” fans) only.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? None

Read More: This Week in DVD

What are you buying on DVD this week?


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