January 20, 2009

DVD Pick of the Week: Repo! The Genetic Opera

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.

Repo! The Genetic Opera. Here is a movie I have been looking forward to for some time, a full blown rock opera with elements of horror and science fiction. It seems to have gotten the shaft in terms of getting an actual theatrical release. Director Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw II-IV) has taken the film on a couple of tours, but that is about it. I have the soundtrack, which is a blast to listen to, and now I can get my hands on the film to see how it plays out in context. Who's with me? I am sure there are people out there that want to see this.

Moonlight: The Complete Series. This series was decent and I was sad but not heartbroken to see it go. I would not mind revisiting the vampire detective series, although for that I would likely go to Angel first. I think my biggest problem was that the leads had no chemistry, it was awful watching them together, particularly Sophia Myles. Ugh.

The Express. I took a pass on this inspirational sports drama when it hit screens this past fall. It is not that it looked bad, it just looked like so many other films of the sort. I tell you, the biopic is becoming more formulaic than the romantic comedy. Anyway, I may check it out now that it is on disk.

City of Ember. Unfortunately, this is a film that simply collapses under the weight of its possibilities. On the surface, it is an interesting tale of hope in a land of increasing depression and fear, but if you dig into it and try to make sense of it all you will be left scratching your head while wondering what the filmmakers were thinking.

Max Payne. This is not a good film. The story makes no sense, characters move about without purpose, the real bad guy is easy to figure out early on, and you will ind that you really do not care about any of it. That said, it does have some decent looking images.

Saw V. Yes, this is worth checking out, but only if you are a fan of the series. Do not make this your first entry into the series. This is a series that has not been made to cater to the casual viewer, and this episode will only mean something to those who have seen the other films. As for that poster tag line: "You won't believe how it ends," the reason you won't believe it is because it is hard to believe they would make a conclusion that transparent.

Igor. In a caste system gone awry, and Igor does not want to be an Igor. Clever set up, no? A film filled with failed potential. The voices are fine, the setup is fine, and the supporting cast is fine. The problem lies in the writing. The story does not seem to know what it wants to do. Yes, it holds together, but it goes off in a direction that does not pay off how it begins. Still, I am sure the kids will like it.

Henry Poole is Here. What really struck me about Henry Poole Is Here is the amazing amount of heart and rampant spirituality. This movie is very spiritually oriented. This film is about being open to spirituality, about having faith, if not religion. I fear that this film may ultimately be labeled a religious one, but that would not be terribly accurate. Yes, there is a distinct, undeniable religious presence, but it is not about that. This movie is about finding hope where there was none and allowing for the presence of spirituality. This is a movie to watch, become involved in, and just absorb.

Boogeyman 3. Really? A third film in this series? Funny, I thought I was the only who liked the original and I have never seen the second one. Anyone know if it is worth checking out? More often than not, I find it difficult to muster up much enthusiasm for a direct to video sequel to a questionable early entry. I would be willing to give it a shot, but only if the price is right.

Vacancy 2: The First Cut. Another direct to video sequel that no one probably needs. Difference this time is that I thought the first film was really quite good. This one takes the timeline back before that film to see the original kill taping. Could be fun, but I am not holding my breath.

Amusement. I had been wondering what happened with this film. I first saw trailers for it over a year ago, but they never had a release date. I am not quite sure what the story is, but the creepy laugh in the trailer has me sold. Looks kind of like Captivity if the killer is a clown (literally). Now all we need is to get Trick R Treat (preferably on the big screen).

Poison Ivy 4: The Secret Society. Now, is this one really needed? The first three, while not great movies by any stretch, featured the talents of Drew Barrymore, Alyssa Milano, and Jaime Pressly, who will be the star from this one? Seriously, I do not know who is in it.

Cold Prey. Horror film from Europe has me interested despite the dull sounding set up. A group of snow boarders take refuge in an abandoned house and then realize that something is hunting them. It appears to be a fresh take on the slasher genre. Hopefully it will pay off.


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