21 & Over

discs rectify header

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Rectify Daniel Holden (Aden Young) is released from prison after serving 19 years on death row for the rape and murder of a teenage girl, but his return home opens up a world of troubled complications for everyone involved. The small, Southern community is divided on the issue of his innocence as the DNA evidence seems at odds with his own confession, and those doubts are just some of the issues he now faces. Character actor Ray McKinnon moves behind the camera here as the show’s creator, and the result is easily one of the year’s finest and most affecting shows. The story shares some thematic similarities to the brilliant Boy A, but it quickly finds its own rhythms and strengths thanks to a smart ensemble filled with heartbreaking performances and characters. It’s not needed, but the show also features some suspense and mystery surrounding Daniel’s possible guilt. It’s a short season at only six episodes, but happily Sundance Channel has ordered an additional ten for season two. [DVD extras: Featurettes]

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review 21 and over

Somewhere along the line R-rated comedies found themselves overrun with dicks. Not real ones, although there’s too goddamn many of those these days too, but instead I’m talking about the lead characters who cause a film’s “comedic” and consequence-free conflict without concern for the welfare of anyone or anything else only to be rewarded for their efforts with audience laughs and a happy ending. Say hello to the pricks at the center of the new film, 21 & Over. Miller (Miles Teller) and Casey (Skylar Astin) arrive on the campus of Northern Pacific University intent on surprising their good friend Jeff Chang (Justin Chon) for his 21st birthday. The plan is to take him out to celebrate, “fuck him with alcohol” and have him back home in time for his demanding father to take him to a med school interview in the morning. Of course the night goes almost immediately awry as Jeff Chang ends up imbibing ludicrous amounts of alcohol, peeing on a few girls, puking (in slow motion) atop a mechanical bull, passing out and being generally abused by friends and strangers alike. His meant-to-be-hilarious state of unconsciousness and inebriation leaves the other two stuck trying to find their way back to his house and encountering all manner of wacky interruptions and obstacles along the way.

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21 & Over Trailer

Jon Lucas and Scott Moore hit a goldmine when they wrote the script for The Hangover. It turns out young people like to watch movies where the characters on screen are partying so much that they’ll even buy tickets to retreads like The Hangover Part II, or movies that barely even qualify as being movies, like Project X. It’s gotten to the point where party-gone-out-of-control is pretty much a genre onto itself. Enter Lucas and Moore’s new film, which they’ve both written and directed, 21 & Over. Jeff Chang is newly turned 21, and despite the fact that he has an important interview tomorrow morning, a couple of his crazy friends have decided to take it upon themselves to take him out drinking and give him the night of his life. The results are a derivative mix of those aforementioned party films, a little bit of the journey aspect of the Harold & Kumar films, and a sprinkling of the way they kept repeating the name McLovin in Superbad (though here it’s repetition of the protagonist, Jeff Chang’s, name, Jeff Chang).

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