This Week In DVD: October 13th


Rob Hunter loves movies.  He also loves working as a delivery driver for Planet Express. 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!


Buy from AmazonEmmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas

Pitch: Jim Henson does Gift of the Magi…

Why Buy? I know it’s only October, but this is a Christmas classic up there with the animated How the Grinch Stole Christmas and A Christmas Story. All three are must-owns for any household with children or adults present around the holidays.  Emmet and his friends play a nice little number, but the Riverbottom Nightmare Band will rock your very soul!

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? None

Buy from AmazonFuturama: The Complete Collection

Pitch: It’s the entire series encased in Bender’s head…

Why Buy? This is obviously for big fans of the show only, but as we discovered a few months back when the Hellraiser films were released in an actual Lemarchand’s Cube I’m a sucker for nifty packaging. It helps that the show is damn funny and that the Asian girl is cute. Yes, the cartoon Asian girl.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? A numbered letter from Matt Groening

Buy from AmazonThe Stepfather

Pitch: Terry O’Quinn steps up to show that stepdads can be just as wicked as stepmothers…

Why Buy? This is simply a classic little film about a man stuck in the fifties who’s forced to accept a family from the eighties. He doesn’t accept them for long of course, and instead he kills them and moves on to the next. It’s most notable for O’Quinn’s excellent performance and Jill Schoelen’s excellent shower scene.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Featurette


Buy from AmazonAdoration

Pitch: A simple tale of a boy and his terrorist parents…

Why Rent? Atom Egoyan is a fascinating filmmaker even if he is a Canadian. His best films remain Exotica and The Sweet Hereafter, but his later films are still usually worth watching. This one takes a look at terrorism and cultural values/identities through the eyes of a teenager whose parents were involved in a terrorist attack. It’s low-key but engaging.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Deleted scenes, featurettes

Buy from AmazonAmerican Violet

Pitch: Race relations, civil rights, and corruption…

Why Rent? Will Patton doesn’t get enough screen roles, so I recommend supporting anything he’s in strictly for him. Luckily this movie about corrupt officials and illegal drug sweeps in a small Texas town is pretty good even when he’s not on screen. There’s nothing fancy going on here, but Patton, Tim Blake Nelson, and newcomer Nicole Beharie all give strong performances.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? None

Buy from AmazonHardware

Pitch: Dylan McDermott gives a head to his girlfriend…

Why Rent? This is one of two releases this week that I really hated when I first watched them years ago. I’m not sure if it’s the uncut version that won me over or the fact that my tastes may have changed in the past decade, but I’m now pretty intrigued by this flick. There’s sex and violence, which is always a good thing, but there’s also something to be said about technology and big brother in the bedroom… it’s not always said successfully but it’s still pretty interesting.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Deleted scenes, commentary, featurettes, short films

Buy from AmazonThe Haunted Airman

Pitch: The prequel to Twilight finds Edward living as a WWII veteran haunted by visions…

Why Rent? Okay, it’s not really associated with Twilight, but don’t tell the DVD’s marketing department that. Look at that cover! Robert Pattinson is pretty good here as a wheelchair bound vet suffering from delusions and possible insanity. It’s a BBC movie so don’t expect much in the way of big budget effects, but if you go in looking for a small, low-key chiller you’ll probably walk away satisfied.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? None

Buy from AmazonInfestation

Pitch: You can’t go wrong with giant bugs and Ray Wise…

Why Rent? Seriously, giant bug movies (and Ray Wise) are almost always entertaining. This one succeeds for two reasons. One, the effects are pretty damn cool. And two, it’s actually pretty funny at times. It’s also pretty unfunny at times though which is why you probably won’t be watching this more than once. And side note, it’s written and directed by Kyle Rankin… remember him from Project: Greenlight?

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Commentary

Buy from AmazonJack Brown Genius

Pitch: Peter Jackson and Timothy “Dead Alive” Balme reunite…

Why Rent? Fans of Jackson will definitely want to check this one out, but it’s more of an oddity than a worthwhile feature film. Balme plays a man possessed by a dead monk who needs him to prove men can fly… cue effects both impressive and less so, pratfalls and slapstick, and a peculiarly New Zealand-ish sense of humor. Just keep in mind that this is from 1994…

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? None

Buy from AmazonJackass: The Lost Tapes

Pitch: Fairly obvious I would think…

Why Rent? You either find this stuff entertaining or you don’t, and nothing anyone says will ever change that opinion. I myself am ashamed to say that while I usually don’t laugh at the Jackass crew’s hi-jinx, I am still often mesmerized by their stupidity and willingness to do anything. I prefer the stunts to the gross-out gags, and you get both here.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? Outtakes, show intros

Buy from AmazonThe Killing Room

Pitch: Four strangers enter a room for a psychological experiment…

Why Rent? And they won’t all be leaving. A solid cast including Timothy Hutton, Clea Duvall, Chloe Sevigny, and Peter Stormare lead the way in this interesting and often surprising little flick. It’s also director Jonathan Liebesman’s first good movie.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? None

Buy from AmazonLand of the Lost

Pitch: A movie for the college student in all of us…

Why Rent? Is this a good movie? No. But it is occasionally amusing and therefore worth a Netflix rental (that way you don’t feel like you’re actually paying for it). The effects are a mix of impressive and total shit, but to hear them tell it that was an intentional choice. The laughs are sparse, and the best one (“Matt Lauer can suck it!”) was in the trailer but you’ll find a few other lines and gags worth a chuckle.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Deleted scenes, featurettes (Blu-ray features include additional deleted scenes, more featurettes, and commentary

Buy from AmazonNatural Born Killers: Director’s Cut

Pitch: Mickey and Mallory are annoying. Oh, and they’re mass murderers too…

Why Rent? And this is the second release this week that I absolutely hated when I first watched it many years ago. I didn’t like the stylized presentation by director Oliver Stone, and I hated the two leads. Watching it again the only hatred I have left is for Juliette Lewis… I cannot stand that woman. Terrible actress, terrible face, just do not like her. Irrational sure, but I figure it matches the utter chaos and insanity that is this movie. Everyone plays it over the top and I now see it for the anarchist comedy that it is.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Commentary, deleted scenes, featurette

Buy from AmazonNew World Order

Pitch: 9/11 was an inside job! And other punchlines…

Why Rent? The fact that some people believe everything in this documentary is almost as entertaining as the doc itself. (But it’s a lot scarier too). The Truthers state their case that the collapse of the Twin Towers was either planned by our government or at least allowed to happen, but their evidence is decidedly unimpressive. More interesting are the actual characters who’ve made this their life work… for now anyway.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? None

Buy from AmazonObjectified

Pitch: It’s about industrial design, and it’s interesting…

Why Rent? There’s no good reason why a doc about industrial design should be this entertaining, and yet it is. It’s a fun and enlightening look into the design of everyday objects and how those same objects come to mean so much to us not just as consumers but as people. Still sounds boring, I know, but give it a shot anyway.

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? None

Buy from AmazonThe Proposal

Pitch: A bitchy boss and her put-upon assistant fall in love. Didn’t see that coming…

Why Rent? Did I just ruin the ending of the movie for you? Hopefully not, but honestly if you don’t already know how this ends then you’ve got a whole primer list filled with romantic comedies you need to start watching (Notting Hill, When Harry Met Sally, Love Actually, etc). As predictable as this is the movie is actually pretty funny at times thanks to Ryan Reynolds and the always hilarious Betty White. Sandra Bullock holds her own but it’s her naked body that impresses more than her comedic skills here.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Deleted scenes, outtakes, commentary


Buy from AmazonDrag Me To Hell

Pitch: A woman is cursed by a gypsy, but at least she won’t have to watch this movie ever again…

Why Avoid? I know I’m in the minority here, but as a white, vegetarian, atheist male in America I’m used to it. This movie fails as a horror movie… it isn’t scary (gross out scenes and loud sound cues don’t equal scary), and it fails as a comedy… it isn’t funny (again, gross outs aren’t that funny and with the exception of Justin Long and the kittie scene there’s nothing intentionally funny here worth laughing about). I watched it the first time back in March and mistakenly went in expecting a horror film. I gave the flick a second chance last week, and even going in expecting a comedy it still failed. My full review is here, and for balance, Cole’s misguided fanboy review is here.

Blu-ray? Yes

Extra Features? Featurette

Buy from AmazonHorror In The Wind

Pitch: Low budget satire about conservatives, homosexuals, and science…

Why Avoid? There’s a kernel of a good idea here in this comedy about conservative scientists who accidentally reverse everyone’s sexuality, but the movie just can’t pull it off. It’s not edgy enough or funny enough to make it worthwhile. President Pat Robertson is a nice touch though…

Blu-ray? No

Extra Features? None

Read More: This Week in DVD

What are you buying on DVD this week?

Rob is the Chief Film Critic of Film School Rejects. He doesn't eat cheese on weekdays.

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