Rob Hunter loves movies. He also loves working for the local “retirement home” as head geezer catcher… basically he gets a call whenever one of the elderly residents escapes wanders off in a daze from the home. 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!
Pitch: The story of a man, his train, and a tunnel named Annabelle…
Why Buy? If you’re like me, when you think of high definition you can’t help but also think of silent black & white films from the 1920’s. And when you think about those dialogue-free classics from the heyday of early 20th Century cinema the name Buster Keaton probably comes to mind before anyone else. But none of that really matters here… the real reason I’m recommending this as a Buy is to remind Cole Abaius’ friends that The General is his favorite film and someone should surprise him with this newly remastered and unnecessarily HD version.
Blu-ray? This is my Blu-ray Pick of the Week!
Extra Features? Featurettes, three different musical scores
Pitch: I don’t know how old Supergirl is supposed to be, but she has an unavoidably super rack…
Why Buy? The DC Comics folks have had some pretty poor luck when it comes to film adaptations, but the world of TV is a different story. From “Smallville” to a multitude of animated shows the DC universe has found a home in the idiot box. “Justice League” is one of their more popular and acclaimed shows, and if you’re a fan but don’t have any of the series on DVD then this is the release for you. An embossed exterior tin holds two jumbo clam-shells jam-packed with all ninety-one episodes of the show as well as multiple special features.
Extra Features? Commentaries, featurettes
Pitch: Geriatrics, and boy scouts, and talking canines oh my…
Why Buy? If for no other reason, this is a buy for the incredibly powerful opening ten minutes where we watch one man’s life move from childhood to adulthood to his twilight years, finding and losing a lifelong love along the way. It’s probably one of the more amazing and dramatic bits of animation you’ve seen, and there’s still over an hour of movie to come when it’s finished. It’s not the best Pixar has to offer (that remains Finding Nemo), but it’s a beautiful, funny film for kids and adults alike.
Extra Features? Two animated shorts, commentary, featurettes
Pitch: Push Precious down the stairs and pick up this tale of tragedy and redemption instead…
Why Rent? There are no recognizable faces here, but the amateur actors deliver the goods in this drama about family, loss, and survival in the cruel reality of the poor, rural South. The film is slow, but it’s the kind of slow that Landon Palmer refers to in this week’s Culture Warrior post. It’s an intentional pace meant to give the characters life and the film a certain tone.
Extra Features? Featurette
Pitch: You can never have enough Joey Potter in your life…
Why Rent? A lead who loves film? An incredibly cute neighbor girl who climbs in his window at night? A best friend who’s never boring and constantly in trouble with the law? A new girl in town experienced in the ways of love and fleshy manipulation? Yeah, this is nothing like my teen years. But I am serious about Joey Potter (Katie Holmes) being a character I never got tired of watching. The show went downhill after season two, but Holmes at least made it worthwhile.
Extra Features? Deleted scenes, featurette, cd soundtrack
Pitch: An ex-con discovers ghostly shenanigans in his apartment building. An ex-con discovers ghostly shenanigans in his apartment building…
Why Rent? Will you be surprised by anything in this movie? Not really. The whole thing is perfectly competent, no more no less, and while that’s not exactly high praise it’s still better than most of the direct to DVD shlock these days. Plus, Jesse Bradford is dreamy.
Extra Features? None
Pitch: “A film that can stop your heart both with its story and look” Cole Abaius FILM SCHOOL REJECTS – DVD cover blurb
Why Rent? The acting is sometimes poor, the Pathfinder character is often annoying, the movie will leave you with a bunch of unanswered questions when it’s over, and one of the main characters has a dick on his face… but you still need to see this movie. It’s not the second coming of independent cinema that Cole Abaius would have you believe (review here), but it’s an incredibly charismatic film all the same. A couple of the heroines are cute, all of the bad guys are creepy, and there’s more creativity and imagination on display here than in most big-budget Hollywood fantasy films. Check it out people!
Extra Features? Behind the Scenes Featurette, Director’s Commentary, Trailers, the warm fuzzy feeling of not pirating
Pitch: Andy Garcia, Ray Liotta, Armand Assante, Danny Trejo, Esai Morales…
Why Rent? Can you imagine a film with more dark-haired testosterone than this one? Look at that cast! Liotta plays bounty hunter/assassin hunting down a drug lord (Garcia) and his protege (Morales). Some good twists and some sharp action highlight this dark and gritty little flick where everybody’s dirty in one way or another.
Extra Features? None
Pitch: Michael ‘Crazy Eyes’ Keaton plays a hitman. How cool is that…
Why Rent? Keaton also directs, and the result is a quiet little winner of a film that finds the assassin possibly finding redemption in the eyes of woman (Kelly Macdonald) on the run from her own demons. It’s understandable as Macdonald’s eyes and accent could cure all manner of illness. Keaton takes his time with the film and allows several moments to play out without the need for dialogue which leads to a film that’s often beautiful, occasionally contrived, but never boring.
Extra Features? None
Pitch: This one DVD/Bluray will replace all four of the releases you’ve bought previously…
Why Rent? Seriously. Folks who bought the theatrical release… then the director’s cut… then the Tales of the Black Freighter… then the Motion Comic… now can get them all in one seamless edition (the motion comic is still seperate of course). To me this is a massive abuse of the fanbase and an obvious cashgrab. But it’s interesting enough to watch once which is why I’ll rate it as a rental.
Extra Features? Commentaries, featurettes, Watchmen: The Motion Comic
Pitch: Uma Thurman is an uptight radio host! Jeffrey Dean Morgan is a lovable fireman! Colin Firth is a nice piece of milquetoast! Wonder what happens here…
Why Avoid? Ugh. Skip this predictable, unfunny, and unromantic tripe and go rent director Griffin Dunne’s far better romantic comedy Addicted To Love instead. It shows that once upon a time he knew how to cast affable leads, nurture funny and sweet performances from them, and create a film that’s actually fun and enjoyable.
Extra Features? Featurette
Pitch: Mr. Demi Moore learns that all the meaningless sex in LA could never feel as good as true love…
Why Avoid? But he comes close with the hot naked woman sitting on the side of the bathtub asking him to shave her bajango. And even closer with the oral pleasurings he gets from the hot blonde wearing nothing but a football helmet. But then it’s one of those two-steps-forward ten-steps-back kind of things when he shacks up with half lesbian/half alien Anne Heche. The sex and flesh on display are the only things worth watching here, but if that’s what you’re after just turn on Cinemax after 10pm.
Extra Features? Commentary, featurettes
Pitch: Yes, there’s a character named Summer. No, she doesn’t show her ass…
Why Avoid? The idea of a family of serial killers is okay although the Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies take it to a more terrifying levels. And the opening with Stephen McHattie is okay although he’s far better served in a truly creepy and creative film like Pontypool. So that pretty much leaves no reason to watch the movie.
Extra Features? None
Pitch: The battle of the sexes can be pretty damn funny sometimes. This is not one of those times…
Why Avoid? I had mild hopes for this movie after first seeing the trailer. Sure Katherine Heigl is in it which is pretty much a death knell, but Gerard Butler had a few funny lines so I thought maybe, just maybe… but goddamn this is a bad film. Zero chemistry between the leads, crass and unsuccessful attempts at humor, and an ending that’s not only predictable but also features some terrible effects.
Extra Features? Deleted scenes, commentary, gag reel, featurettes
Read More: This Week in DVD
What are you buying on DVD this week?