Welcome back to This Week In DVD! I’d apologize for the title above, but those are actually legitimate elements of four of the releases below. Okay, maybe the Susie Salmon one is sophomoric wordplay related to the otherwise boring Salmon Fishing In the Yemen, but the others are completely legit. I swear.
As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it.
The Inbetweeners: The Complete Series
When Will’s mother moves him from private to public school he thinks his life is over, but thanks to three new friends he’ll be wishing it really was. Will’s anal, Simon’s a bit too gullible, Jay’s an irresponsible tool and Neil is a bit of an idiot. Together they’re hilarious. This UK series ran for three seasons, and each is literally better and funnier than the last. Each episode is essentially what the American Pie movies think they are… crass, heartfelt and funny as hell. [Deleted scenes, outtakes, commentaries, featurettes]
Pitch: “No era nada de eso, el aliento del pene!” My favorite line from ET…
Why Buy? An alien invasion leads to the desertion of an entire city save for four people holed up in an apartment, but if you think the aliens have much to do with what follows you’d be wrong. Instead, the film follows these four through the sharp and humorous motions of a romantic comedy as the quartet interact and conflict with each other. Writer/director Nacho Vigalondo follows up his acclaimed TimeCrimes with a movie that’s even better in almost every way. Funny, creative and full of charm. Check out my full review. [Extras: Short films, featurette]
Friends with Kids
Pitch: Half the cast of Bridesmaids reunites for a movie that’s far funnier than Bridesmaids…
Why Buy? Two friends (Jennifer Westfeldt and Adam Scott) decide to have a kid together without the complications that come with actually dating/marrying each other. They both look elsewhere for love while sharing parenthood duties, but, perhaps unsurprisingly, complications ensue. The supporting cast includes Ed Burns, Megan Fox, Jon Hamm, Chris O’Dowd, Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig, and they all bring their A-game here. Very funny, sweet and smart. Check out Kate Erbland’s full review. [Extras: Commentaries, deleted scenes, bloopers, featurettes]
Casa de Mi Padre
Pitch: For folks who thought Nacho Libre was too serious…
Why Rent? A Mexican rancher (Will Ferrell) finds himself embroiled simultaneously in a drug war and a love affair when his more successful brother returns home with trouble and a sexy bride-to-be. There’s a funny skit buried here somewhere, but even at 84 minutes the movie drags out most of the gags a bit too long. There are laughs to be found, mostly in the third act (and the best gag is a post-credits bit), but it’s really for Ferrell fans only. Well, and ass fans too. Check out Gwen Reyes’ full review. [Extras: Commentary, deleted scenes, featurettes, music video]
Finding Mr. Destiny
Pitch: When Gi-joon Met Ji-woo…
Why Rent? Gi-joon loses his job but discovers an opportunity and opens a business that offers to find peoples’ lost first loves. Ji-woo resists her family’s efforts to get her to settle down instead holding firm to the idea that she’ll again meet the mystery man who stole her heart on a trip to India a decade ago. South Korean romantic comedies often miss the mark with Western audiences due to tonal shifts that don’t translate well, but this sweetly humorous little love story would fit right in with the Nora Ephron canon. It’s worth noting that this is the first home release in what I hope to be a long partnership between Korea’s CJ Entertainment and 5 Point Pictures here in the US. [Extras: Featurettes, music video, trailers]
Get the Gringo
Pitch: In case you ever wondered what happened to Carter a decade or so after Payback ended…
Why Rent? An American bank robber on the run from the cops makes his way to Mexico where he winds up in a favela-like prison community where he has to learn the ropes if he wants to survive. Gibson does what he does best here, and the result is a fun, violent and entertaining movie reminiscent of much of his work from the 90s. It’s dark, gritty and blackly comic, and it honestly deserved better than its straight to VOD fate. [Extras: Featurette, music video]
Pitch: It’s like Monsters Inc meets R Kelly’s “Trapped in a Closet”…
Why Rent? A young boy has nightmarish visions of a creature hiding in his closet, and elsewhere in the world a little girl sees the same monster. Can her father (Clive Owen) discover the secret and protect his daughter before it’s too late? This Spanish/UK production is more of a missed opportunity than a success thanks to a weak third act, but it’s still worth watching for a handful of cool visuals, Owen’s performance and the scene where he first witnesses the thing haunting his child’s dreams. Check out my full review.
Pitch: It’s no Escape From New York, but it’s a hell of a lot better than Escape From LA…
Why Rent? When the president’s daughter (Maggie Grace) is trapped in a space station-set prison riot the folks in charge turn to the only chance they have at getting her out alive… Snake Plissken. Unfortunately he’s busy so instead they send in a wise-cracking but physically capable loner named Snow (Guy Pearce). This Luc Besson-inspired action flick is a fun ride as long as you don’t expect much in the smarts or big budget departments. Even with its weaknesses though, it’s well worth watching for Pearce’s lead performance alone. Check out Kate Erbland’s full review.
Girls Gone Dead
Pitch: How the hell do you screw up a movie only interested in nudity and gore? Watch this to find out, or better yet, take my word for it…
Why Avoid? A group of stupid young women reunite in a condo that alternates between being in the middle of a neighborhood and in the middle of nowhere (depending on the scene). Their partying hits a snag though when a killer starts killing. There’s also a subplot involving a Girls Gone Wild-type series, but the only worthwhile thing to come out of that is seeing Beetlejuice (of Howard Stern fame) get his head chopped off. Spoiler. You don’t expect much from movies like this, maybe just some sexy and gory fun, but in this case we get neither. Lame all around. Skip it and watch Bloody Reunion instead. [Extras: Deleted scenes, featurettes, commentary bloopers, music videos]
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Pitch: The Lovely Bones II: Fisting Susie Salmon In the Hymen…
Why Avoid? When a wealthy sheikh gets the bright idea to bring salmon fishing to the Middle East he hires a financial adviser (Emily Blunt) to help find a fish expert (Ewan McGregor) willing to assist. The strong cast, which also includes Kristen Scott Thomas, does nothing to alter the unrelenting meh-ness of it all. The requisite romance feels forced and unsupported, the wonder of the project never quite feels all that wondrous and the brief attempts at danger and suspense feel utterly out of place. Skip it and watch A River Runs Through It instead. [Extras: Featurettes]
The Three Stooges
Pitch: There’s a reason The Three Stooges made shorts…
Why Avoid? The classic comedic trio return to the screen with an origin story that sees them dropped as babies on the steps of an orphanage. As adults they set out into the modern world in the hopes of saving the Catholic orphanage from having to shut down due to lack of funds. The Farrelly Brothers haven’t been relevant for over a decade now, and this movie won’t change that. Stooge fans may be able to stomach, but even those of us that can take the original trio in small doses will probably have an aching head long before the 92 minute movie ends. Skip it and watch There’s Something About Mary instead. [Extras: None, but Blu-ray features deleted scenes, featurettes]
Also out this week, but I haven’t seen the movie/TV show, review material was unavailable, and I have no blind opinion:
Alphas: Season One
Eureka: Season Five
Leverage: The 4th Season
Sanctuary: The Complete Fourth Season
The Turin Horse
Read More: This Week in DVD
What are you buying on DVD this week?