October 6, 2009

DVD Pick of the Week: Trick 'r Treat

Welcome back! Well, to some of you, anyway. To the rest of you, glad you decided to stop by and I hope 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, but opinions based upon what I know of the titles I pluck from the new release lists I peruse. The opinions I give based on the new releases are my own, and my recommendations 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.

Trick 'r Treat (also Blu-ray). This week has a few titles that put up a challenge for the coveted top pick, but there is one thing that put this one over the top, anticipation. This film has been floating around for awhile now, wherever it goes, it has been received with rave reviews, yet it was never deemed suitable for a theatrical release, no matter how many people clamored for it. I have been able to successfully avoid reading much of what it is about, so as to go into my eventual viewing as fresh as possible. The trailer looks very good and I really hope that it has been worth the wait. I just wish we could get movies like this (assuming quality) in theaters instead junk like The Collector.

Bones: Season Four - Body Bag Edition (also Blu-ray). I remember when this show first appeared, I liked it but felt fairly certain that it would not last a full season, or at best would be canceled after one. Here we are, a few episodes into season five and heralding the arrival of season four on home video. I like the show and think it has developed nicely over the years, standing apart from the CSI-style procedurals with its blend of humor and character. Definitely worth checking out, and also happy to see it surviving this long.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (also Blu-ray). The classic Disney film has gotten the remaster treatment en route to its high definition debut. This is not one of my favorites, but I cannot say I don't like it. Disney's classic era turned out some fantastic and memorable films, all of which should be in our collections. The restored clips I have seen look really good.

My Life in Ruins. This came and went from theaters before anyone noticed, which was probably for the best. Nia Vardalos returns to the big screen with a tale of a woman with relationship issues who goes on a vacation. At least that is what I gathered from the commercials. I was not interested then and I am not interested now. However, I am sure she has her fans who will want to know this is available.

Anvil: The Story of Anvil. When I first heard about this I thought it was a fakumentary. Turns out Anvil is a real band that failed to hit it big in the 1980's. I want to see this story of band that keep trucking through the good times and the bad times. Funny thing, this real life Spinal Tap has a member named Robb Reiner (Rob Reiner directed Spinal Tap).

Audition (Blu-ray). Perfect for the Halloween season. This Japanese film from prolific director Takashi Miike is sure to get under your skin. It centers on a widower whose movie producer friend holds a casting call to try and find a date. He meets a young woman who seems to be perfect, but she has a dark side. You won't believe where this one goes. I wonder how this will look on Blu-ray?

The Gate. A young Stephen Dorff and friends unwittingly open a gate to Hell in the backyard and must deal with demons overrunning the neighborhood. I have not seen this since I was a kid. This may be worth a rental.

Year One (Blu-ray). No, this is not a good movie, but for some reason I really enjoyed it. It was funny, stupid and Jack Black seemed to be perfectly paired with Michael Cera as the straightman. I do think the it was at the harder end of the PG-13 scale and certainly would not let my theoretical young children see it. Not sure it is worth owning, but I would not be averse to seeing it again.

A Charlie Brown Christmas (Blu-ray). A holiday classic in high definition? Yes please.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Blu-ray). Another holiday classic in high definition? An even bigger "Yes Please!" For those worried about this title, it is indeed the classic animation.

It's Alive (2009). The trailer for this evil baby remake looks pretty good. I really need to go back and see the original movie. It is one of those titles that has been on the "to see list" forever that I have not gotten around to. Funny thing, when I saw the trailer I was certain this was going to be a theatrical release.

Ghost Ship (Blu-ray). This was the third film under the Dark Castle banner, at the time it was the weakest of the bunch. It still isn't a great film, but it is still a fun flick on a dark stormy night. Gabriel Byrne stars as the head of a team that finds a ship missing from the 60's that seems haunted. I do seem to remember a good scene where people get sliced into cubes.

Man v. Food: Season One. I only watch this show once in awhile, but I am always entertained. Some of the stuff this guy eats looks awesome, while some others scare me. Not sure it has a lot of replay value.

Hard Day's Night (Blu-ray). I had no idea this was coming. This should be great. This is one the great films and easily the best one the Beatles ever made. This is must have, unless reviews reveal it to be a bad disk, that is.

The Thaw (also Blu-ray). This Val Kilmer starring horror film sees him in the Arctic, ice is thawed, and evil critters start causing some trouble. I do not expect it to be good, but the trailer looked entertaining enough.

Children of the Corn (2009). A remake of the Steven King adaptation. It ran on the Syfy Channel recently. I have heard that it is pretty good. It's not like we don't have enough creepy kid movies already....

Rogue (Blu-ray). Australian giant alligator movie. I have heard good things. Hopefully they are right, it cannot be worse than Primevil, can it?


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