December 9, 2008

DVD Pick of the Week: The Dark Knight

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.

Full disclosure: I have not seen many of these titles and what follows are not necessarily reviews. It is my opinion based upon what I know of the titles I pluck from the new release lists that I peruse. The opinions I give based on the new releases are my own, and my recommendations upon them are based on my personal interest. In any case, I hope you enjoy and perhaps find something you like or a title to point me towards.

The Dark Knight. As if there was any question. Do you honestly think I was going to miss putting my favorite film of the year (so far) at the top of this week's DVD release list? No, I guess not. I cannot recommend this movie enough. It is unrelentingly dark, but it is also emotionally involving as it takes you on a cerebral and visceral roller coaster through the darkened streets of Gotham. This is the finest film to reach the screens thus far this year, and one that actually deserves all of the praise it has received. From top to bottom, this is an amazing experience and one of the few summer blockbuster type films to work on this high an artistic level as opposed to just trying to deliver an enjoyable summer cinematic experience. The big question now is which version to get.

Lost: The Complete Fourth Season. My enjoyment of this series has been up and down. The first season was brilliant while the subsequent two proved to be much more hit and miss. There were so many episodes that just failed to ignite any sort of interest in me that I came close to giving up on it a number of times. The problem is that whenever I got close they would pull out an episode that was worthy to get me back in. This strike shortened fourth season was the best since the first and I look forward to the eventual start of the fifth.

Horton Hears a Who! I liked this movie a lot. There are smiles, chuckles, laughs, serious thoughts, and overall fun to be found throughout. It is a pleasant family film that has plenty to appeal to both children and adults. Definitely give this one a look see. The story is a simple one, it espouses the mantra that "A person is a person, no matter how small." It is a positive outlook on live, recognizing the rights of all living beings regardless of status. In addition to the positive tale, I found the overall story to be well written and much smarter than I was expecting it to be. I liked the way it touched on issues of faith, imagination, and a right to life. It brought up these issues without feeling preachy, never digging terribly deep while still retaining a definite intelligence.

A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All. Colbert with Christmas carols. Sounds far-fetched, but I hear it is fantastic. It is rare to find Stephen Colbert not being funny, so this should definitely be worth checking out.

Man on Wire. I missed this when it came through theaters. It chronicles the Frenchman who, with a group of accomplices smuggled tools into the World Trade Center and strung a cable between the two for the express purpose of walking across. I have heard nothing but good things about it.

WWE: The Twisted, Disturbed Life of Kane. I've always liked Kane, although the character took a bit of a downturn when they took his mask off, but I stopped watching years ago anyway. This may be fun to take a trip down memory lane.

Roadrunner United: The Concert. The CD was excellent, I look forward to seeing how well it is done live. The album featured an all-star lineup of Roadrunner talent writing original songs together. They got together to perform those songs as well as classics from Roadrunner artists live. Sounds like a great time to me.

Irma Vep. This could be very interesting. It seems that many people really like this French film, now would be a good time to check it out. It is about a declining French director who chooses to mount a remake of the silent serial Les Vampires. He goes on to cast Hong Kong actress Maggie Cheung in the lead, despite her not knowing French. The set is a mess and we have to wonder if the film can get made. Looking forward to checking this out.

Attack Girls' Swim Team Vs. The Undead. Now how can you go wrong with a title like that? Well, it seems that people have mixed feelings on the subject, but it does feature nudity and gore all in one package, amateurish as it may be, I still think this needs to be seen to be believed.


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