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Rob Hunter loves movies.  He also loves standing in line at the unemployment office. 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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Nothing new worth buying this week! Instead, I’ll be renting a bunch and saving my $$ for next week when I pick up Paper Heart and Criterion’s A Christmas Tale.

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dvd-angelsanddemonsAngels & Demons

Pitch: Who Is Killing the Great Cardinals of Europe…

Why Rent? This is both a pretty bad movie and a far, far better one than The DaVinci Code. So take that for what it’s worth. Cole Abaius and I both reviewed it (his, mine) and came away with the same opinion… very stupid, poorly written, highly implausible, but also pretty entertaining. Ron Howard is a competent director, Tom Hanks is a solid actor, and both Dan Brown and Akiva Goldsman are shitty writers.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Featurettes

dvd-blindloveBlind Love

Pitch: A diminutive ventriloquist falls for a blind girl, but she mistakes him for his much taller roommate. Cue the softcore Cyrano de Bergerac reinterpretation…

Why Rent? Director Daisuke Goto also made the beautiful and sad A Lonely Cow Weeps At Dawn (review here), and while this film doesn’t quite reach that one’s emotional heights it still manages to be more heartfelt then most traditional films. Of course, it’s still a pink film so the ventriloquist’s dummy isn’t the only one getting stuffed. Just as intriguing as the film is the selection of special faetures that the label, Pink Eiga, has managed to bring together for the release. There’s a commentary from the director as well as new interviews and a Q&A from this year’s NY Asian Film Festival.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Commentary, featurettes

dvd-bloodmoonrisingBlood Moon Rising

Pitch: Screw the new moon. The blood moon is where all the cool kids are hanging out these days…

Why Rent? A vampire and a werewolf in love roam the earth searching for a cure to their respective maladies. But when an undead hottie named Lucy rises up from the grave and brings Satan’s minions with her the duo must join forces with a girl named Sadie Hawkins and a comic-book geek named Darrell to fight back the hordes of hell… this is damn ambitious for a straight-to-DVD horror flick starring Ron Jeremy isn’t it? To be honest, this is only on here as an alternative to the brooding, glittering, and glossy shlock that’s currently dominating the box-office.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Featurette

dvd-farcryFar Cry

Pitch: A Nazi boat captain finds adventure and super soldiers in the Pacific Northwest…

Why Avoid? This would probably be an automatic and sight unseen ‘Avoid’ for most people due simply to a single name in the credits… Uwe Boll. But guess what? I actually watched the movie and while I won’t claim it’s good I will say it’s one of Boll’s best. (I know, that’s like saying you’ll eat this pile of poop because it’s smaller than the next one…) Til Schweiger runs around and cracks jokes, Udo Kier does his best Dieter Laser impression, Emmanuelle Vaugier shows that the hottest thing about her is her name, and Michael Pare wanders by the set to check out the craft service table. All joking aside, there is at least one really cool foot chase involving some psuedo-parkour that I really enjoyed (and Robert Fure will hate).

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? None

dvd-fourchristmasesFour Christmases

Pitch: A perfectly happy couple realizes the true meaning of Christmas lay in avoiding your family at all costs…

Why Rent? Vince Vaughn and Reece Witherspoon star as a giant and a dwarf in love. The pair are perfectly happy in their relationship until they’re forced to deal with their relatives over a Christmas holiday. This is Vaughn’s second holiday flick after the inferior Fred Claus, and it’s got enough laughs in it to warrant a rental. It also has a supporting cast of well-respected actors who show up for five to ten minutes max including Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek, Mary Steenburgen, and Jon Voight.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? None

dvd-funnypeopleFunny People

Pitch: A Jew walks in the doctor’s office and the doctor tells him he has three months to live…

Why Rent? Judd Apatow’s third film as director is easily his most assured and mature piece of storytelling to date. Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen both give strong, atypical performances, and even if the flick isn’t Apatow’s funniest it’s still filled with several laugh out loud scenes. It does go on a bit too long though… as usual with an Apatow release the DVD is loaded with extra material, and while the movie alone isn’t worth buying the extras just may push it over the edge.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Commentary, gag reel (2-Disc Editions also includes deleted scenes, multiple featurettes)

dvd-gropertrainGroper Train: Search for the Black Pearl

Pitch: Yes, a Japanese pink film did use that moniker before Disney snatched it up for their little pirate movie…

Why Rent? The ‘Groper Train’ series is one of the longest-running in the world of pink cinema, and the ones from director Yojiro Takita (Academy Award-winning film Departures) are some of the best. For this one I’ll just quote a brief bit of the DVD’s back copy… “In 1943, the world’s largest black pearl disappears. Years later the world famous detective Ippei uses the last words of a dying veteran, who claimed to know its whereabouts, to track it down. Those final words are ‘Pussy Print’.” And yes, that does mean exactly what you think it means. Combine that with a crazy writer who challenges the audience (a la The Beast Must Die) to solve the crime and a POV shot from inside a woman’s bajango, and you’ve got one of the funnier pink films around.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Featurette

dvd-vampiremotorcycleI Bought A Vampire Motorcycle

Pitch: Michael Landon + Christine + Twilight

Why Rent? This is almost worth renting for the title alone, but thankfully it’s also a pretty entertaining little flick from the UK. More comedy than horror, the flick succeeds thanks to the fact that it’s actually pretty funny at times. Of course, the movie still throws in enough blood and gore to keep things interesting. And as an added bonus, Anthony “voice of C3PO” Daniels stars as an exorcist who deals exclusively with two-wheeled possessions. (Note that Landon is not actually in the movie. I was referencing one of his older flicks.)

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Commentary

dvd-maddogmorganMad Dog Morgan

Pitch: Dennis Hopper plays a madman. I should probably narrow that down a bit more…

Why Rent? If you’ve seen the awesome ozploitation documentary Not Quite Hollywood (and if you haven’t you should rectify that immediately) then you’ve already seen a few clips from this late seventies flick starring Hopper as a notorious Irish outlaw on the run in Australia. Action, violence, and binge-drinking fill the screen, and for the first time on domestic DVD the film is being released in it’s uncut form. So the scene where Hopper gets back-door assaulted? Yeah, there’s more of that.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Featurettes

dvd-maidenheistThe Maiden Heist

Pitch: Remember the three old security guards who planned to steal the art in Night At the Museum? Now they have their own movie…

Why Rent? Morgan Freeman, Christopher Walken, and William H Macy star as the three security guards. That should be more than enough reason to watch this little movie, but I’d submit that it’s also pretty funny and sweet too. Plus, the opening scene featuring Walken taking on a gang of heavily armed art thieves is fantastic.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Deleted scenes, commentary, bloopers, featurette

bd-megafaultMegafault

Pitch: Apparently the Earth has plumber’s butt, and it’s going to kill us all…

Why Rent? This is the latest release from The Asylum, which automatically means two things. One, it’s going to be terrible. And two, you have to see it. These are the folks who brought us Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus, Transmorphers, and the upcoming Princess of Mars (“The inspiration for James Cameron’s Avatar!”) so you know this is going to be entertaining. And it is… special effects that would make Michael Bay weep, dialogue made up of words and stuff, and a sad performance by a strung out Brittany Murphy. A giant crack chases Murphy and Eriq LaSalle cross country, and you will be riveted to every second of it. Then you will turn it off and forget it ever existed.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Commentary, featurette

dvd-takingchancesTaking Chances

Pitch: A small town must choose between right or wrong, honor or wealth, Mac or PC…

Why Rent? Justin Long (see, he’s a Mac) stars as a small town history buff fighting against the town council’s plan to build a casino on historical land. The plot and eventual minor happenings are harmlessly entertaining, but the real draw here is Long and the delightfully delectable Emmanuelle Chriqui. (I envy exactly two things about Cole Abaius, and one is right here.) Say what you will about Long but the guy has impeccable comic timing, and Chriqui? Well let’s just say that she wears short shorts through much of the film. And she wears them very well indeed.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? None

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dvd-robodocNational Lampoon Presents Robodoc

Pitch: Is there any comedic franchise with a greater pedigree than National Lampoon? Yes, it’s a rhetorical question…

Why Avoid? Well, there’s the ‘National Lampoon’ name for starters… and then there’s all that comes with it. Jokes that aren’t funny. Acting that isn’t good. Boobs that aren’t real. The original Robocop is funnier than this garbage.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Deleted scenes, featurette

dvd-shortsShorts

Pitch: Kids, colors, and mediocre special effects in a film from a writer/director with ADD…

Why Avoid? I like a few of Robert Rodriguez’ movies, but I’ve so far hated all of his flicks for kids. This latest is the worst of the bunch though with its non-stop barrage of CGI and noise designed to pummel you into submission.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Featurettes

dvd-vomitdollsSlaughtered Vomit Dolls

Pitch: I’m only giving this flick exposure because the title made me chuckle…

Why Avoid? This is the first part of the Vomit Gore Trilogy, and it’s directed by some douche named Lucifer Valentine. It’s also ugly, explicit, boring, gory, and filled with people vomiting onscreen. So yeah… laugh at the title and the cover art then keep on moving.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Commentary, featurettes

Read More: This Week in DVD

What are you buying on DVD this week?


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