Join us each week as Rob Hunter 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.
And remember, these listings and category placements are meant as informational conversation starters only. But you can still tell Hunter how wrong he is in the comment section below. This week sees a dearth of DVDs worth Buying (although if you don’t have a copy of The Year Without A Santa Claus by now you should really pick up the latest reissue) and only one Avoid (Christmas In Canaan starring Billy Ray Cyrus). But there is plenty worth Renting this week including a light British indie called Bomber, a Hasidic crime caper called Holy Rollers, and a movie about two girls who have their mouths sewn to someone else’s cornhole. Yay!
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 for reviews on the latest high definition Blu-ray releases!
Nothing worth buying this week!
Pitch: Imagine HBO’s 1st & Ten with college-age characters and a glaring absence of nudity…
Why Rent? This series supposedly airs on SpikeTV… and I say “supposedly” because I didn’t even know Spike was still on the air. It’s a raunchy show filled with mildly naughty language (ex. shit, blowjob), euphemisms for f*cking, and some scantily clad ladies. I have a problem with this on a moral level. If you’re going to make a raunchy show… make it raunchy. It’s humorous enough, but while it never quite crosses the line into funny territory it’s still worth a watch for fans of college hi-jinx.
Extra Features? Deleted scenes, outtakes, making of, featurette
Pitch: This is why adult children should never go on road trips with their parents…
Why Rent? An elderly British couple takes a road trip to Germany, and their adult son comes along for the ride. The film begins as a family comedy about squabbles and expectations but soon develops into something unexpected as the old man’s intentions come to light. Writer/director Paul Cotter’s debut is a sweet and honest look at at how history can affect the present on both grand and intimate scales.
Extra Features? Commentary, behind the scenes
Pitch: “…it shines bright like any fresh new American love story should.” – Neil Miller
Why Rent? Two teens find love in NYC one month after the World Trade Center collapse. Miller oversells the film a bit too much in his review, but he is right about one thing… the movie drags through the first hour before coming to life in the final third. The melodrama oozing from the teens’ families screams “Sundance!” but the movie works best when it focuses strictly on the two leads. There are some nice moments to be found here, but be prepared to sit through a lot of uninteresting and overblown family drama to get there.
Extra Features? None
Pitch: Two Jews walk into a bar. They sell Ecstasy…
Why Rent? Based on a true story, Kevin Asch’s directorial debut offers a surprising look into the world of drug trafficking committed by Hasidic Jews just trying to make some quick cash. Jesse Eisenberg plays Sam, a young man talked into becoming a drug mule by Justin Bartha (in a brilliant performance), who soon works his way up the organization and becomes the one recruiting other young Hasids to join in on the illegal activities. The film’s tone isn’t quite sure if it wants to be drama or black comedy, but it’s an interesting watch all the same.
Extra Features? Commentary, deleted scenes, interviews
Pitch: At least writer/director Tom Six had the good sense to drop the original title, Two Girls One Jap…
Why Rent? A mad scientist kidnaps two idiotic American women and a Japanese man and proceeds to sew them together ass to mouth to ass to mouth. Three people… one digestive tract. Let’s be clear here and acknowledge that the movie is pretty goddamn stupid and poorly executed. It’s a bad flick. And while the synopsis would seem to argue otherwise, the movie is neither shocking nor unsettling. Dieter Laser gives one hell of an Udo Kier impression, and a few blackly comic laughs can be found, but the movie is a stinker. Still, give it a rent so you don’t feel left out of the conversation when it comes up at lunch.
Extra Features? Deleted scene, behind the scenes, interview, commentary, featurettes, trailer
Pitch: The term ‘So bad it’s good’ is often and incorrectly applied to this movie…
Why Rent? A family takes a trip to Nilbog even though dead Grandpa warned against it, and soon they’re trying to stop midgets in Halloween costumes from turning them into vegetables. Not quadriplegics mind you, but actual leafy greens. This terrible movie is the film that inspired the documentary, Best Worst Movie, and while I wouldn’t actually categorize it as the ‘best’ of anything it is clearly a ridiculously bad flick. But with this degree of shittiness comes a handful of unintentional laughs making it a movie worth watching. Once.
Extra Features? None
Pitch: As if Billy Ray Cyrus didn’t do enough damage raising his son Miley as a girl, now he’s meddling in race relations…
Why Avoid? Two boys, one black and one white, join forces to save an injured dog and soon an unlikely friendship develops. Unlikely because one is black and one is white and it’s the 1960’s in a racially divided America. Years pass and the two struggle to remain friends through turbulent times. It’s a struggle because one is black and one is white. Cyrus tries to help out by singing a song or two, but it comes down to each boy’s Christian belief that the human spirit is colorless. It’s a generic film with a generic message, and there are far better Christmas-themed movies out there that don’t feature an original song by Cyrus.
Extra Features? None
In the interest of full disclosure, I received review copies of the following DVDs for this week’s column:
Blue Mountain State: Season One
Christmas In Canaan
Don’t Let Me Drown
Also out this week, but I haven’t seen the film/TV show and review material was unavailable:
30 Days Of Night: Dark Days
Caprica: Season 1.0
The Evil/Twice Dead (Roger Corman’s Cult Classics)
The Karate Kid
Monk: The Complete Series
A Nightmare On Elm Street
The Secret Of the Kells
The Slumber Party Massacre Collection (Roger Corman’s Cult Classics)
Read More: This Week in DVD
What are you buying on DVD this week?