It’s a light week on the DVD front but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing good being released today. One of our festival favorites (A Somewhat Gentle Man) from last year’s Fantastic Fest is finally getting a release, and it’s well worth a blind buy for fans of strong acting, humorous Fargo-esque stories, and Stellan Skarsgard. The somewhat maligned Green Hornet is also hitting shelves, and if you missed it in theaters it’s worth a rental as a lightweight but fun action romp. But they’re not all winners this week… Ron Howard’s tone-deaf comedy(?) The Dilemma comes out too.
This new series from the UK follows a specialized police unit in London that handles cases involving identity thieves and their unhappy (or occasionally dead) victims. Once again the UK comes through with another cop/criminal series that manages to be both entertaining and interesting as well as featuring an engaging, charismatic, and extremely troubled lead. Aidan Gillen’s DI John Bloom is an “ends justify the means” kind of cop (the best kind), and his past life working undercover with the Turkish mob offers an equally fascinating side storyline. Great stuff.
Pitch: A sweetly humorous tale of murder, swinging dicks, and messy sex…
Why Buy? Stellan Skarsgård plays a man in the waning years of his life released from prison after serving time for murder. His new life finds him trying to rekindle a relationship with his adult son, shagging a handful of the local ladies, and being tasked with killing the man whose testimony sent him away. Skarsgård is fantastic here, and the film is a solid mix of lighthearted and sweet humor, honest emotion, and even a little bit of suspense. Check out my full review here.
Pitch: It’s Three’s Company meets The Munsters meets something a lot more serious…
Why Rent? Haven’t seen this one yet, but I was a fan of the show’s first season so I hope to catch up soon. The lead trio of ghost, vampire, and werewolf remain as do their troubles with ordinary humans, dangerous societies, a newly created werewolf, and other supernatural creatures trying to cause trouble. The series continues to gain critical acclaim including some from our own Neil Miller, and the concept of these three characters trying to live in the real world continues to be an interesting one.
Pitch: Remember when people were worried this would steal The Green Lantern‘s thunder? Neither do I…
Why Rent? An irresponsible LA rich kid young adult man is forced to find his inner strength and drive to fight the criminals who killed his father. Seth Rogen stars in the title role alongside the very capable Jay Chou as Kato in Michel Gondry’s loose revamp of the classic series. The script has some issues but the performances, action, and effects make for an entertaining ride. The theatrical experience was in forgettable 3D, so a home viewing is actually preferred.
Pitch: This movie is gay…
Why Avoid? A tall man (Vince Vaughn) is tested when he discovers his fat best friend’s (Kevin James) wife is cheating on him with a young stud. The story here has potential, but it’s hurt in several ways. It starts as a comedy, albeit an unfunny one, before morphing clumsily into a drama about friendship and honesty and such. Most annoyingly, Vaughn’s character does everything wrong that he possibly could. Seriously, most of the film’s artificial drama could have been avoided at multiple junctures by simply saying something to the right person. It’s frustrating as a viewer, especially when there are no laughs to take your mind off of it all.
Pitch: Don’t let the ‘?’ fool you. This doc is asking the question rhetorically…
Why Avoid? There’s an interesting documentary to be made about Wikileaks front-man Julian Assange, but this isn’t it. Instead this is a loose collection of cheaply staged interviews and clips that repeats much of the same information multiple times. It did get me to watch the Collateral Murder video that I hadn’t seen before, but beyond that there seems to be only a handful of new items to be learned from this three hour mishmash of footage. And ending your doc with an hour-long lecture won’t win you any style points either.
Also out this week, but I haven’t seen the movie/TV show, review material was unavailable, and I have no blind opinion:
From Prada To Nada
Kung Fu Dunk
Read More: This Week in DVD
What are you buying on DVD this week?