February 17, 2009

DVD Pick of the Week: Midnight Meat Train

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.

Midnight Meat Train. The pick of the week is a movie I have not seen, but have really been wanting to ever since I first saw the trailer. I remember seeing the trailer and thinking how weird it looked, but with the names attached I could not say no. Then the wide release was shrunk to a limited one, and then that was turned into a second-run theater dumping. I have a hard time wrapping my head around Lionsgates reasoning's behind this, much like what they did with Repo! The Genetic Opera. They would not even give a list of where it was screening so fans could actually go and see it. It is the story of a killer who uses the subway tunnels to dispose of the bodies. Bradley Cooper, Vinnie Jones, and Brooke Shields star for director Ryuhei Kitamura (Versus) and writer Clive Barker.

Quarantine. This was very nearly the number one pick of the week. This remake is a spectacular film It is scary, creepy, and you have no idea what is around the next corner. The performances sell the fright and the tale keeps you wondering just what exactly is going on. The feature is one that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

High School Musical 3: Senior Year (also Blu-ray). I watched the trailer for this and thought it looked unbelievably bad, but I am not exactly who they are targeting.

Dead Like Me: Life After Death. Following the end of the series, fans wanted more. Now they can have it, although a few cast members did not return, including Mandy Patinkin. I have only sampled the series, but have liked what I have seen. I need to watch some more.

Changeling (also Blu-ray). This movie had an impact well beyond what I was expecting. It is dramatic, frightening, and undeniably compelling. It is a true life story that will put you through the emotional wringer. Not sue it is one that I feel any great desire to revisit anytime soon, but it is definitely one worth spending time with.

Religulous. Bill Maher's exercise in religious discussion arrives on DVD. I am sort of interested in seeing it, I may have to track this one down.

Body of Lies (also Blu-ray). This is like a Bond film if Bond existed in a slightly more real world, or at least a world closer to our own. This film feels real without actually being real and the it chugs along at a pace that never lets up and just dragged me along for the ride. Definitely one well worth checking out.

Flash of Genius. I bet this movie is good, but the subject matter just reads so terribly dry. It is about the inventor of the intermittent windshield wiper and his lawsuit against Ford. Greg Kinnear stars as the inventor. I had meant to catch this in the theater, but I missed it.

The Passion of the Christ (Blu-ray). I love this film. I find it to be a rather powerful piece of filmmaking, one that is difficult to watch, but well worth the effort. Of course, I realize that many are likely not to agree with me. On that note, I am not sure that I want to see the detail that Blu-ray is likely to bring out of the content.

Choke. The movie just does not give enough depth to the characters or enough time to the plot. I found some of the moments humorous, such as their meeting Cherry Daquiri and the first couple of accusations from the old women at the home. I also enjoyed the performances of Sam Rockwell, Kelly Macdonald, and Anjelica Huston. Yes, I know that sounds a little odd considering how weak I found the overall film to be, but it is true. Their work is good and without their effort the weakness of the material would have been further exposed.

Feast III: The Happy Finish. The first film was a pretty wild ride. I have not seen the sequel, which did not come out all that long ago, and now there is another sequel already here. They seem to b popping up as fast as Pulse sequels. Anyone know if they are any good?

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People. Much better than I was expecting; although I do find it humorous that a film that targets Hollywood and celebrity so easily slips into the romantic cliches of the genre. Or was that meant to be ironic? In any case, the movie is quite smart, funny, and well worth checking out if you have the opportunity.

Christopher Titus: Love is Evol. I did not know he had another show coming out. I like his work, his sitcom was fantastic despite getting pushed around by Fox. His other specials were all quite funny and I am looking forward to checking this one out.

Alien Raiders. I am looking forward to checking this out. Despite the terrible sounding title, I have heard some good things about the survival horror of a group of people trapped in a grocery store when the aliens arrive. Actually, that sounds like The Mist. I still want to see it.

Still Waiting. I like the original, but do we really need a sequel? I guess its better than another horror sequel...

Screamers 2: The Hunting. Speaking of horror sequels, here is one for a film that not many people saw and has yet to get a proper DVD release. Funny the things they decide to make sequels to, isn't it?


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