Click on any of the titles below to magically head over to Amazon.com and pick up the DVD.
The Dana Carvey Show
Pitch: He’s funnier than you remember! We swear!
Why Rent? Were you even aware that SNL’s Dana Carvey had his own sketch comedy show? I was apparently intoxicated or incarcerated during it’s short ABC run in 1996, but with a cast that includes Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, and Robert Smigel (all of whom also served as writers alongside Charlie Kaufman(!)) I knew I had to eventually see it. All eight episodes, including the final one that never aired, are included.
Penn & Teller: Bullshit! Complete Sixth Season
Pitch: Teller speaks this season… bullshit! Or not! (Yay Henry Silva!)
Why Rent? These guys are not only fantastic magicians, they’re also incredibly smart and critical of many widely-held beliefs. They may not always be right, but they are always entertaining. Season six shines their skeptical eyes towards New Age beliefs, political correctness, carbon credits, and the ridiculous (and unattainable) desire for world peace.
Pitch: I will look for you. I will find you. And I will kill you.
Why Buy? Quite simply, Liam Neeson is in France to chew foie gras and kick ass… and he’s all out of foie gras. Taken is pure entertainment, revenge action style, and that’s a beautiful thing. It’s a fun movie with a powerful lead performance, car chases, and quick combat, and it’s as enjoyable now as it was when I first reviewed it last December (here).
Pitch: All Lawyers Great and Small
Why Rent? Stephen Fry is a funny guy, a great actor, an excellent writer, a proper British bloke, and a Twatter too! The first season of his current ITV series follows the misadventures of a small-town lawyer with a refreshing mix of humor, drama, and quirkiness.
Pitch: Anne Hathaway and Patrick Wilson ride each other.
Why Rent? Anytime a movie with a bankable cast gets dumped directly to DVD it’s worth a rental just to see what went so wrong. The surprise here is that Passengers isn’t a bad movie at all. Depending on your movie knowledge, it’s either an eerie mystery that slowly builds to a surprise ending or an interesting drama that eventually reaches an obvious conclusion.
Pitch: Take a road trip with Kevin Bacon and a dead US soldier! And don’t forget to pack the Kleenex…
Why Rent? This is a simple but excellent HBO film about loss, duty, and honor. It might make a good double feature with Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker as they are two rare films that present a realistic story involving the Iraq war without politicizing it.
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans
Pitch: A hot British chick in leather gets a rise out of some hairy dogs.
Why Rent? You’ve already watched the first two films so you pretty much obligated to finish off the trilogy. This installment continues the trend of sexy style and action over any real substance, but it’s still sexy style and action is it not? Although I’m not sure what happened to Kate Beckinsale since Underworld Evolution… she looks like a different person here. Naughtier maybe. With fuller lips.
The Grudge 3
Pitch: This creepy little shit needs to just get over it already.
Why Avoid? How do you stop a curse that never dies? I’ll tell you how… stop buying and renting these ridiculous movies. I guarantee that will prevent a Grudge 4.
Pitch: A Norwegian Kill Bill parody? No thanks.
Why Avoid? Normally a Dimension Extreme label on the DVD cover is a sign of the quality (ahem) entertainment within, but this import from Norway bucks the trend by being complete crap. If nothing else, it does prove that the comedic styling and talent of master parodists Jason Friedberg and Adam Seltzer can be outsourced.
Pitch: F. You
Why Avoid? Donnie Darko may not be a masterpiece of modern cinema, but it is a perfect bundle of mystery, wonder, and nostalgia. The Director’s Cut already went a bit too far in providing too much information and explanation, but the sequel poops on even more of the mystery. Donnie’s little sister grew up pretty nice though…
Two and a Half Men: Complete Fifth Season
Pitch: It’s no “My Two Dads”…
Why Avoid? The only thing that could make this worse would be the inclusion of an “According to Jim” bonus DVD.
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Related Topics: Home Video