Gallants

This Week in DVD

This is the second week in a row featuring a metric ton of new releases, and as usual there’s more worth a rental than there are worth buying and avoiding combined. Some of the more recognizable titles this week include the fun Donnie Yen action pic Legend Of the Fist, the alien action movie Battle: Los Angeles, and the Owen Wilson-led gross-out comedy Hall Pass. Two of this week’s better releases though come completely out of left field (for me anyway). One is a cool and casual cop show from A&E and the other is a relationship drama starring the always lovely Rashida Jones. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Monogamy Theo (Chris Messina) and Nat (Rashida Jones) are young, engaged, and in love… but that may not be enough to save their relationship. Theo’s side job sees people hiring him to photograph them out in public without their precise knowledge, but when a woman hires him to watch her in the park things take a dark turn. He becomes obsessed with her sex-filled evenings and begins to question his own allegiance to monogamy. Both leads give strong performances, but Messina is fantastic as he descends into an emotional spiral. Character study, love story, and a dash of romantic thriller with a strong ending. This is not a happy, feel-good movie, but it is a pretty powerful one.

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You ever had one of those days where nothing seemed to go your way? Of course you have. You’re a human, right? We all have days like that. Thankfully, for most of us, those days are the exception and not the rule. But for Cheung, every day is the new worst day of his life. After a childhood spent bullying his best friend like a younger brother, Cheung somehow grew up to be the nerd that the universe loves to pick on. Barely scraping by as the low-man on the totem pole at a real estate company, he’s sent on an extended assignment, sans pay, to a small village that’s having some property and leasing issues.

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With the exception of Gentlemen Broncos, we were spot on with our Must See Films of Fantastic Fest 2009 list last year. While we’d love to take the credit for it, the truth is that it’s Fantastic Fest that came through with a large slate of winners from the weird world of genre. Fantastic Fest is the movie festival for movie lovers, and as the FSR Death Squad assembles yet again, we’re gearing up to attack the event with a renewed fervor by shining the spotlight on the films we’re anticipating the most. We’re pleased to have Adam Charles, Robert Fure, Brian Salisbury, Rob Hunter and Cole Abaius (led by the slightly inebriated and deep fried Neil Miller) comprise the Squad this go ’round. As for the Must See movies, this year, we’re enlisted four members of the Squad to choose 5 films each, and the result is a list full of blood, Hong Kong action, gritty Santa Claus stories, geriatric Kung Fu, Dystopian societies, ninjas from Norway, slasher follow-ups, mental trips, creepy clowns, and little girl vampires. A truly sprawling feast for the eyes and ears. Hopefully you’ll be sitting next to us, but if not, we aim to make you feel that way with our coverage. It’s time to get excited. Here are the 20 films that have got us running to the famous Alamo Drafthouse for Fantastic Fest 2010.

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Fans of Fantastic Fest (which should include all human beings and several species of extra-terrestrials) always look forward to the wanton violence and downright weird imagery on display during the festival. On the eve of Comic-Con, in a truly wise marketing move, the freaky folks at Fantastic Fest released their first fireball toward the castle of our minds. That fireball consists of 13 films that look like a collective 24 hours of awesome. Cannes favorite Rubber and martial arts follow-up Ip Man 2 are just the tip of the iceberg.

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