December 29, 2009

DVD Pick of the Week: A Perfect Getaway

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.

A Perfect Getaway (also Blu-ray). It would have been easy to go with something like Glee or Paranormal Activity, but I have decided to choose a slightly lower profile release that is definitely worth checking out. Directed by David Twohy, this thriller does a lot with a little. Early on you will think you have it figured out, but then other details pop up to throw you off the sent. You may still have an idea of what is going on, but the subtlely clever screenplay will have you simultaneously running in circles and treading water. Just imagine yourself on a beautiful Hawaiian trail surrounded by potential killers. Give it a shot, you just be be surprised by what you find.

Glee: Season 1, Volume 1 - Road to Sectionals. One of the biggest surprises of the new television season is this musical series. It is well written, well acted, and will make you smile no matter who you are. It is just a lot of fun to watch. This set is the first half of the season, right up to the episodes that aired earlier this month. This is definitely a good show that I eagerly look forward to returning from its mid-season hiatus.

9 (also Blu-ray). This movie proved to be a disappointment. The idea of rag dolls fighting for a future after the demise of humanity is an interesting one, but it fails to develop. The film ran too short and developed to little to make much of an impact. That said, the art direction and sound design are really quite good. It is worth taking a peek by the curious, just doe not expect much.

Paranormal Activity (also Blu-ray). Oh my. This movie seriously creeped me out. I swear, I am not sure I will ever be able to brush off a creak in a darkened house the same way again. This movie subscribes to the idea of less is more. Here is a film that works on the nerves, frays them raw, and takes up residence under the skin without so much as a drop of blood or masked tormentor. The creepiest moments take place in the dead of night when the stars are dead asleep. It does not work for everyone, but it certainly worked for me.

Jennifer's Body (also Blu-ray). Definitely an interesting experience. It is not exactly what I was expecting, but it is a trip well worth taking. Scripted by Diablo Cody, it takes an interesting look at female relationships through the filter of the horror/comedy. The film is highlighted by Cody's intriguing script, built upon her inventive use of language. Some may be turned off by her use of words, but I am quite otherwise inclined. She brings a unique flow that is less interested with actual reality as it is with an internal reality that conveys what she wants you to hear. Interesting.

Carriers. This is one of those horror movies that was in limbo for a long time, originally slated for a big screen release before popping up on this list for a DVD release (I am still waiting for The Burrowers and The Poughkeepsie Tapes). This movie stars Chris Pine (of Star Trek fame) and Piper Perabo. The story centers on a foursome fleeing a fatal pandemic and learning more about the dangers they pose and how they outweigh the dangers of the pandemic from which they flee. It may not be great, but I am looking forward to checking it out.

The Marine 2 (also Blu-ray). The first film took a bow on the big screen a few years back and stars WWE Superstar John Cena. It is not a good film, but it is fun in a throwback to the 1980's era of action. Why they decided to make a sequel, I am not sure. This one stars Ted DiBiase, Jr, another wrestler, and sports a plot similar to Die Hard. A party is interrupted by some terrorists and a lone man is forced to take matters into his own hands. Sounds like a winner.

Princess of Mars. I know little about this film aside from the fact it stars Traci Lords and Antonio Sabato, Jr. After that, what else do you really need to know?

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