April 28, 2009

DVD Pick of the Week: Martyrs

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.

Martyrs. I am looking forward to checking this out. There is something about French horror lately, they just go completely overboard and deliver some of the most insane horror of recent years. Coming on the heels of the likes of Haute Tension, Frontier(s), and Inside, just where will this one go? I cannot wait to find out.

Star Trek: The Original Series - Season 1 (Blu-ray). I only have a few of those old single disk releases, so this would be a definite upgrade over those. This release includes new extras, and has both the original broadcast episodes as well as the remastered episodes with the new effects. I am looking forward to seeing these episodes again, it has been awhile. It could also prove to be a great way to get ready for the new film.

X-Men: Volume 1 and Volume 2. Remember that X-Men cartoon back in the 1990's? Me too. I loved that show. Well, it is finally coming to DVD, just in time for the arrival of the Wolverine feature. These sets do not cover the entire run, but it does comprise 32 episodes of the run. This is not some alternate version of the heroes, this is no group of teenage versions, this is a port of the comic. It will be nice to see this show again.

Bride Wars (also Blu-ray). Funny story, the day that my friends and I were to see this movie, I went to the ticket window and bought my ticket only to learn it was the last one available! Needless to say, I returned it and we went to see Hotel for Dogs instead, guess what else is coming out this week? Funny, right? Anyway, this movie features Kate Hudson and Ann Hathaway competing for the perfect wedding. I did not hear many good things, but it could prove fun.

Hotel for Dogs (also Blu-ray). This is a trifle of a film released by Nickelodeon Films to make a play for the family dollar. While it is not a great film by any stretch, it is exceedingly cute and ultimately harmless entertainment. It is not a film that will offer any great truths on the human condition or open people's eyes to the plight of the stray dogs living on city streets (well, maybe a little bit). In short, this is a movie that is a decent way to waste an hour and a half of your time entertaining the kids and providing a lighthearted escape from reality.

The DaVinci Code: Extended Cut (Blu-ray). This movie appeared to much hype a few years ago, and for me it did not live up to it. It was a mediocre adventure at best, definitely not worthy of the hype it achieved. It is making its high definition debut just a few weeks prior to the arrival of the sequel. This film arrives in an extended version, makes me wonder if this cut makes the film any better?

The Uninvited (also Blu-ray). Surprisingly effective and actually worth checking out, The Uninvited is the first good horror film of the year despite a terrible trailer and poor title. You may see where it is going, but I doubt you will be able to accurately predict the finish. I know, it is rather shocking, but this not the train wreck I was expecting.

JCVD (also Blu-ray). After seeing the fantastic trailer, I have been looking forward to directing my eyes towards this film. Unfortunately, it never came to town on the big screen so I will have to catch up for it on DVD. It stars Jean Claude Van Damme, playing himself as an actor making a film when reality intrudes. Hopefully, it will be as good as I hope it will be.

While She Was Out. This is a movie I only learned of the other day and want to see. It stars Kim Basinger as an abused wife who is accosted by a group of thugs on Christmas Eve, until she is able to turn the tables on them. It does not look like anything new, but it looks pretty intense.


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