June 3, 2008

DVD Pick of the Week: The Machine Girl

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 cult style film from Asia, some little known horror from past decades, an excellent television show, a recent mini-series, some goofy comedy, and some classic baseball. 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.

The Machine Girl. When I saw the trailer for this, I knew exactly what this week's pick was going to be. This movie looks absolutely insane. A high school girl has a great life until a Yakuza family took everything from her, including her left arm. Her stump is equipped with a high power machine gun and she sets off for revenge. It is looks to be violent, bloody, and an awful lot of fun. Even if the plot turns out to be lame, I am sure the machine gun (and chainsaw, sword, drill bra...) action will entertain me. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Rescue Me: The Complete Fourth Season. This series on FX is excellent, easily one of the best shows on television. This season has Tommy targeted for arson, Janet doesn't think her baby likes her, Tommy's daughter runs away, plus the house is savaged in the press. There is a lot going on in this series, and all of it is entertaining. Denis Leary continues the best role of his career. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

The Andromeda Strain (2008). This four-hour mini-series has a quick turnaround, moving from televised debut to DVD in just over a week. I taped the show last week, but have not yet watched it. I have heard mixed notices on it, so I wonder if I will actually get around to watching it. Thoughts? (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

The Dead Zone: The Final Season. In the last few years, I became an increasingly sporadic viewer of this series. I definitely enjoy it, but it's quality had definitely peaked after a slow start, so I cannot say I was completely surprised when it was cancelled. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Dirty Harry Ultimate Collector's Edition. The five films are also being released individually, as well as on Blu-ray. It has been so long since I have seen any of these films that I may just need to pick this set up. It should look nice next to last week's Rambo set. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Control. Ever heard of Joy Division? Some of you probably have. This film is about the group's troubled frontman, Ian Curtis. Curtis is played by newcomer Sam Riley in a performance that has been called remarkable. This is probably a film that will be worthy of a rental. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

The Best of Radiohead. A DVD collecting the band's videos. I am sure this is going to be quality, especially considering the excellence of the band's music. It is timed with a CD release of their greatest hits. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Semi-Pro. Will Ferrell comedy has him playing the player/coach/owner of an ABA basketball team at the time that the NBA was getting ready to absorb the league. I am sure it was funny on paper, but once it got to the big screen, the funny was gone. This is a bad movie. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

The Skull. Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee are paired in this occult themed horror film. I have not seen it, but cannot believe it is terrible, not with those two legends in the leads. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Meet the Spartans. Need I say anything about this steaming pile of a movie? (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Flawless. Michael Caine and Demi Moore are teamed in this film about a diamond heist. The plot sounds similar to Mad Money, only it is not a comedy and it actually looks good. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Boarding Gate. Asia Argento and Michael Madsen star in this thriller about a woman who is having an affair with a financial big wig, while simultaneously having an affair with an assassin who happens to have been hired to kill the big wig. Sounds like fun. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Student Bodies. Released in 1981, this is being marketed as the original horror comedy. I had never heard of it before, but it looks like it could be fun. Slashers haven't been the same since the 1980s. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

The Eye. This remake was actually pretty good. Sure, some of the acting was not all that great and it loses it;s way towards the end, but it does a wonderful job of delivering a creepy atmosphere, and for that alone it should be commended. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

The Possession of Joel Delaney. Shirley Maclaine stars in this contemporary of The Exorcist, delivering a similar story of demonic possession. This is a little known film that looks like it should be seen. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

ZPG: Zero Population Growth. Oliver Reed stars in this tale of the future where people are only allowed to have one child. After a couple lose their child unexpectedly, they choose to break the law and have another child. This is a story that has been told a few times, but this is early in its life cycle. May be worth giving a rental. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

The New York Mets: Essential Games of Shea Stadium. Being a Mets fan, how can I say no to this? It is the last season at the stadium and who knows when we may get more footage. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Mama's Boy. Jon Heder and Anna Faris star in this comedy. Heder plays a slacker who lives with his mom, whose life is threatened when her mom gets engaged to her self-help guru boyfriend. Sounds an awful lot like Mr. Woodcock... (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

The Animation Show, Vol. 3. Mike Judge and Don Hertzfeldt started this series a few years back. They collect top notch animated shorts from around the world and screen them theatrically. I have only seen the first one on the big screen, but the DVD releases make up for the limited runs. I think it is a great idea that should be supported. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)


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