May 18, 2010

DVD PotW: Outlander

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.

Outlander (Blu-ray). I remember when this had a blink and you missed it run last year. Many people seemed to enjoy it. Now it is appearing on DVD and Blu-ray and will likely receive the same amount of promotion. Now, I have not seen it, but I had been interested when I first heard of it, promptly forgot about it, but then remembered it again when going through this week's release list. Jim Caviezel stars as an alien who has crash lands on Earth during Viking times. He is captured, believed to be from a rival clan, but soon becomes one of them. The problem is that something else crashed with him and it is not very friendly. The best description I have seen describes it as Beowulf vs. Predator. Ron Perlman and John Hurt co-star. I hope it pays off, it looks like fun.

Invictus (also Blu-ray). Clint Eastwood's latest movie centers on a the Rugby World Cup and the role it played in Nelson Mandela's rise to power in South Africa. It is a good film, but feels a little underwhelming. The performances from Morgan Freeman (who else could play Mandela?) and Matt Damon as the rugby captain are solid. It is definitely a good film that centers on an important time in South Africa's history, just not what I hoped. Perhaps that is my fault, but it is what it is. Good movie, worth checking out, far from great.

Extraordinary Measures (also Blu-ray). I skipped this when it was in theaters and I think I made the right choice. The movie looks like it belongs on the Lifetime network. Brendan Fraser and Harrison Ford star as the father and doctor, respectively, of children with an illness in need of some radical experimental treatment. It is based on a true story which is likely inspiring and amazing, but it looks like it translates to a boring movie.

Valentine's Day (also Blu-ray). This is really not  good movie, but I enjoyed it anyway. It can only, legally, be watched one time of the year, you know what time that is. It is a bit a movie mash up with a large cast in the various stages of relationships, new love, old love, love that needs to be, all joined together under one roof. It is effective in just getting right to the point. See it, just do not expect anything terribly deep.

The Spy Next Door (also Blu-ray). Not a terribly good movie but it is a fun family movie that works purely because of Jackie Chan's presence. He is such a likable guy and his charisma just lights up the screen even with lesser material. This is much like Vin Diesel's The Pacifier. The nice guy is charged with babysitting some kids while hiding the fact he is a spy, then the bad guys attack and comedy ensues.

Gamera: The Giant Monster. I am looking forward to this. I do not believe I have ever seen this. I did see the excellent trilogy in the 1990s. I would love to see where it started when Gamera was created in response to Godzilla. A giant turtle rampages through Tokyo, how can that be a bad thing?

Defenders of the Earth: The Complete Series. Somehow in my 1980s cartoon watching I missed this show. It seems Ming the Merciless is ready to unleash on Earth where Flash Gordon, and the rest of the Defenders must protect the planet. COuld be fun, could be terrible. I'd like to find out.

WWE: Best PPV Matches of the Year 2009-2010. I suspect most of my wrestlign watching days are in he past, however I would not mind checking out releases such as this where we get some of the year's best in one place. Many of these guys are really talented.

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