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Rob Hunter loves movies. He also loves playing paintball. No, seriously. If you have a match coming up he’d love to join in the fun. 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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Gotcha!

Pitch: Mon crayon est grand et mon crayon est jaune…

Why Buy? We don’t feature many re-issues in this column because there are too many per week to track, but once in a while a movie returns to DVD that’s worth talking about. Anthony Edwards stars as a college student whose hobbies include campus paintball and maintaining his virginity. A European trip finds him accidentally involved in an adventure filled with spies, assassins, and a hot secret agent played by Linda Fiorentino. It’s a fun flick with some solid action and laughs, and I recommend it for a casual movie night.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? None

Life

Pitch: Just because we called this Life don’t believe for a second it’s not filled with multiple deaths via teeth, claws, poison, and tongue…

Why Buy? Like Planet Earth and The Blue Planet before it, Life is a collaboration between the BBC and The Discovery Channel that looks at life on Earth in new and stunning ways. The images here ares some of the most breathtaking you’ll find and are worthy of playing as screen-savers on your TV while you go about your day around the house. Oprah Winfrey narrates the special, but the DVDs wisely give the option to tune her out completely and simply watch the footage with a musical track. This is the kind of set you’ll find yourself watching time and again with the kids or just as a reminder of how amazingly beautiful the world around us really is.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Deleted scenes, making of, option to view without Oprah Winfrey squawking in your ears music only

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Alice In Wonderland

Pitch: “Twas brillig and the slithy toves” is fun to say with a Scottish accent…

Why Rent? I’m no fan of Tim Burton and I think the best Johnny Depp performances are the ones that rely on his skill as an actor as opposed to pounds of makeup and thick accents, but I actually enjoyed this return to Wonderland. Most critics didn’t however even though the masses seemed to eat it up (to the tune of a one billion $ gross to date), so there’s plenty of hate being spewed its way online. Burton’s style isn’t always suitable for the story at hand (witness the abysmal Charlie & the Chocolate Factory), but Lewis Carroll’s classic tale of a young girl discovering herself by way of a magical world seems to fit the visually twisted preferences of the director. It’s fun to watch, the effects are lively, Mia Wasikowska makes a fantastic Alice, and all of the supporting actors aside from Anne Hathaway do a fine job as well.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Multiple featurettes

Ninja Pussy Cat

Pitch: Even Sho Kosugi would bow before the fierce ninjavajical skills of our heroine Kaede…

Why Rent? A ninja is murdered and only his daughter can step up and take revenge! Happily for the viewer that revenge often comes by way of the bedroom and the odd maneuvers she’s picked up around town. Some fairly decent swordplay complements this soft-core tale that did fantastic business in Japan and spawned several related films. It plays out fairly dramatically between clashes (both violent and fleshy), and while I would have liked more humor to make it worth a buy the movie is still worth a watch.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Interviews

Rampage

Pitch: Uwe Boll wants you to know that he gets the joke and he just doesn’t care…

Why Rent? There’s a knee-jerk reaction to Boll’s films that usually results in most people avoiding them sight unseen. That’s often a smart move, but even a broken and barely competent clock gets the time right twice a day. Per Boll himself, Rampage is meant to be a statement on society, apathy, and the causes of violence. It fails in all of those goals. But as a piece of occasionally darkly comic entertainment the movie is a mediocre triumph for the director of Alone In the Dark. It’s bloody and the bingo hall scene is pretty damn funny. Watch it once so you can debate its merits with Robert Fure the next time you see him.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? None

Undisputed III: Redemption

Pitch: He will break you…

Why Rent? There are few things more generic in the action genre than the idea of illegal fighting tournaments where the losers die and the winners battle each other for their freedom. Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Jean Claude Van Damme, and multiple less memorable names have all been there before… and now it’s Scott Adkins’ turn. Thankfully, unlike most movies of this type, Adkins and director Isaac Florentine know how to deliver the action. Adkins returns as Uri Boyka (and changes from baddie to hero) as he competes against a roster of violent convicts including the always amazing Marko Zaror. Watch it for the kick ass fights and acrobatics, but don’t be surprised when you become attached to Boyka’s character as well.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? None

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Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Volume 7

Pitch: WTF…

Why Avoid? I freely admit that I just don’t get the appeal to this long-running Cartoon Network show. A milkshake, a thing of fries, and a meat wad are roommates and friends and stuff happens to them. The episodes are short, but aside from that I have nothing to recommend here… while it isn’t as terrible as I always suspected from the ads it also isn’t all that good. For me. Obviously your mileage may vary, and if you’re already a fan I’d actually recommend buying the set as it’s packed with extras. But if you’re not a fan, these crass for the sake of crassness episodes won’t convince you otherwise.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Multiple featurettes

Wild Things: Foursome

Pitch: I need to get me a bigger shower…

Why Avoid? I miss the days when “unrated” actually meant something more than simply “this crap hasn’t been submitted to the MPAA.” The third sequel to the seedy but star-filled original finds the talent decreasing and the skin/stupidity increasing. Spoiled rich kid plots his father’s murder with three ladies, then the backstabbing begins. The game of twists and who’ll get who has a mildly appealing element to it I’ll admit, but it’s not enough to warrant sitting through this poorly acted dreck. Also not worth it? The film’s “money shot” of a sex scene that fails on even the most basic levels. One guy and three chicks in the shower and all this unrated movie can show us are three bare asses and a handful of boob shots while the actors stand around looking bored and occasionally kissing each other? Hell, even Human Centipede managed to find a lot more opportunity for intimate contact and they only had three bodies.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? None

The Wolfman

Pitch: “Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, will be disappointed in this piece of crap…”

Why Avoid? This is a good news/bad news situation. The bad news is that the movie sucks wolfman nards, but on the bright side the DVD includes both the abysmal theatrical cut and a new and (ever so slightly) improved director’s cut. Neither are really worth watching unless you’re a die-hard fan of werewolves, Emily Blunt, gore effects, or terrible films in general. The new cut does add more of the bloody stuff which is good, and it also beefs up the characters a little bit, but it’s still a sloppy mess of a movie. And that includes poor acting and writing from folks who should know better. Go re-watch any number of far superior werewolf movies instead.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Theatrical and director’s cuts, deleted scenes

Also out this week, but review material unavailable in advance: Deep Contact, The Red Baron, Small Town Saturday Night, The Stranger

Read More: This Week in DVD

What are you buying on DVD this week?


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