September 23, 2008

DVD Pick of the Week: L.A. Confidential

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 a load of new releases, including a host of films that were on the big screen earlier this year. Time to catch up on what you missed earlier in the year! Well, maybe, not all of them were all that great, but some are surprisingly good. I am sure you will likely want to add a number of these to your personal collections, just like me.

L.A. Confidential: Two Disk Special Edition. It has been ages since I've seen this film. It just happens to be the one that should have one best picture back in 1997 (rather than Titanic). It is a genuine noir that is set in 1940's Hollywood and concerns itself with scandal, betrayal, and corruption. It is a great tale and features a phenomenal cast including Kim Basinger, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kevin Spacey, and James Cromwell. I have put off buying this film for so long, sure that a special edition was right around the corner. It is finally here. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Sex and the City: The Movie. From my review of the movie: I was hoping for a frothy fun time. I did not get it. I have a feeling that many will like it, and I am happy for you. Perhaps if I watched the series I would have enjoyed it more, but as it stands it has an off-putting lack of substance. I suspect my opinion won't change on DVD. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Leatherheads. This movie was a blast, laugh out loud funny, well acted, well directed, and well written. It lags a little at points, and the climax is not entirely satisfying, but there is absolutely nothing I dislike about it. Leatherheads is a movie to be seen and enjoyed. It is something a little outside the norm and that is always a good thing. That may sound a not entirely positive, but believe me when I say that this is a good film that you are sure to enjoy. (unless you don't) (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Friday the 13th: The Series - The 1st Season. I remember when this was on originally, but I never watched it. Not sure why. Anyway, here it is on DVD, never thought I would see the day. Now, even without Jason being involved, I get a chance to check it out. Horror fans, is it worth it? (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Mother of Tears. Dario Argento's latest looks downright odd from the clips that I have seen for it. It has gore, it has Asia, and hopefully a return to the quality of his old school ways. Make sure you get out there and check it out. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Run, Fatboy, Run. Overall, the movie is funny, but only in fits. The characters never truly dig too far under the surface, and this is what hurts its lasting effect. Yes, it is funny, but the characters never develop or show any true growth. This fact lessens the impact, thus making the film funny in the moment but not in retrospect. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Deception. This is an erotic thriller that never lets its eroticism loose and never actually delivers genuine thrills. Frustrating is a good word to describe this. The acting is good, the concept of the sex club is intriguing, but when it plays out as an electronic robbery I cannot help but be disappointed in the outcome and frustrated by the potential of the early goings on. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

The Godfather: The Coppola Restoration Giftset. The third release of these films (following the initial box and the individual releases). I have heard that the new transfers are stunning. Perhaps I should finally watch them? (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Pathology. The film reminds me of Flatliners, at least the clips that I have seen. The movie stars Milo Ventimiglia of Heroes fame, and the film was through theaters so fast that if you blinked you missed it. Perhaps now is the time to try and catch up with it. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat. 18 years ago David Carradine and Bruce Campbell starred in a vampire western that I have heard good things about, and because of Campbell's involvement is a must see. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Savage Streets: 2 Disk Special Edition. Linda Blair and Linnea Quigley star in this revenge flick that has Blair going on a rampage following the rape and murder of her sister. Sounds like an old school 80's film to me! (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Far North. A futuristic tale that was a woman (Michelle Yeoh) and her daughter on the run from men with guns, along the way they meet up with Sean Bean, also on the run from the faceless enemy. I know little about this, but I have a feeling that I will like it. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Re-Cycle. A horror film from the Pang brothers (recently seen directing Bangkok Dangerous). I read that this is a surreal tale where a writer has her creations crossing over into the real world, with suitably nasty results. Looking forward to checking this out. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)

Bloodsucking Cinema. A documentary on the history of vampire cinema with interviews with notable directors such as John Carpenter. Should be worth a peek. (BUY, RENT, SKIP)


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