June 17, 2008

DVD Pick of the Week: Be Kind, Rewind

Welcome back! Well, to some of you, anyway. To the rest of you, glad you decided to stop by and I hope that this humble column helps you navigate the stacks of new releases each week. My goal is to point you toward titles of interest and warn you away from those films that seek to do nothing but leech away your time and give you nothing in return.

This week brings an eclectic selection of films that includes a low budget horror flick, a short-lived television series, a lame romantic comedy, a sweet natured buddy comedy, a foreign epic, a classic animated film, a Spanish language drama, and more. I know there are a few here that I am looking forward to checking out, as well as some that I am eager to see for the first time. Read on and see if any strike your fancy.

Be Kind, Rewind. Michel Gondry is a master of combining visual flair that is flashy yet unassuming with heartfelt characters. He does a nice job of bringing these two together while giving the idea that anyone could do what Mike (Mos Def) and Jerry (Jack Black) do. It is a nice feeling that just warms the heart. Combine that with the fine performances, and what isn't to like? Granted, it may not be worthy of love, but it is more than worthy of a great deal of like. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Burn Notice: Season One. Jeffrey Donovan (Blair Witch Project 2: Book of Shadows) stars as a spy who is been burned by the US Government. He finds himself stuck in Miami with his ex-girlfriend (Gabrielle Anwar), his mother, and a goofy spy (the inimitable Bruce Campbell). The series chronicles his attempts to get to the root of what happened to him, while also taking the odd spy job to earn cash. Not mind-blowingly original, but definitely entertaining and worth checking out. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Jericho: The Second Season. After CBS was inundated with bags of nuts, they brought the show back for a limited seven episode second season. This short run lost much of the character development that marked its first season, but it did provide a tense drama as the small town begins to learn more about what happened and the new direction the country is taking. It is a shame it had to go out the way it did, but so many good series go the same way, at least the DVDs are here to relive what you did get. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Fool's Gold. Matthew McCounaghy and Kate Hudson star as a treasure hunter and ex-wife in this inexplicable romantic comedy. The stars are likable, a couple of scenes will elicit a chuckle, but overall you will find yourself fighting back the overwhelming urge to take a nap. There is neither meat nor dessert with this meal. You'd be better off looking elsewhere for a little romantic adventure. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Californication: The First Season. I haven't seen any of this series, but I have heard good things about it. It stars David Duchovny as a writer trying to work out his relationship with his daughter, ex-girlfriend, and his appetite for women. Sounds like fun. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

The Sword in the Stone: 45th Anniversary Edition. I have always enjoyed this film, I am looking forward to getting a look at this new anniversary edition. This is Disney's take on the Arthurian legend, as a young stable hand becomes the one to pull the sword from the, wait for it, stone. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins. I never did see this Martin Lawrence film, and don't really have any interest. For those of you who do, it is coming out this week. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Under the Same Moon. I am looking forward to seeing this. The Spanish language film tells the touching and emotional tale of a young boy in Mexico whose mother has gone to LA to raise money to provide him a better life and the boy's journey across the border to try and find her. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

So I Married an Axe Murderer: Deluxe Edition. A new edition of this early Mike Myers film arrives on store shelves just in time for Myers latest movie, the simply awful looking The Love Guru. In this one, he plays a commitment-phobe poet whose new girlfriend may be more than she appears. This is a funny movie that deserves an upgrade on that old DVD. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

The Restless. This is a Korean wuxia film in the tradition of films like The Promise. I am looking forward to checking this one out, as I had not heard of it prior to seeing it in the new release list. In the film demons roam the towns while a corrupt government rules. It is up to a certain warrior to battle he forces of evil and end oppression. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

On the Doll. The cover makes this look like a steamy exploitation flick, and it may have those elements (I have not yet seen the film), but based on a description that says it is about the victims of sexual abuse and the pain it causes later in life, leads me to believe it is something altogether different. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Alive or Dead. The cover to this horror film reminds me of See No Evil. A girl walking along a deserted road finds a school bus with the words "Help Me" on the window. Soon enough, she finds blood, hides in the back of the bus, and is being driven to a remote location by the killer, who may be more than he seems. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)


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