August 30, 2010

DVD Pick of the Week: The Evil Dead

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.

The Evil Dead. A true classic of the genre. Sam Raimi came out swinging right out of the gate with this one. This horror film tinged with comic touches gleefully goes over the top as a small group of friends deal with the evil released by the Necronomicon while spending a weekend at an old cabin, which is found in the cabin's basement. I recently had the opportunity to see this on the big screen and it was spectacular. I never realized just how much stuff hits Bruce Campbell in the face, blood, ooze, and other junk is always landing on him. The movie is a blast and I look forward to seeing how it looks in high definition. Of course, this is just the first Blu-ray release and if history has taught us anything it is that Anchor Bay will repackage this a few more times before the next format takes over. Still, I do want to hear that new Bruce Campbell commentary that is on this disk.

Sons of Anarchy: Season Two. I began watching this series last season and was immediately hooked. The idea of a man trying to balance being  parent and being in a biker gang, keeping a foot in two very different worlds, not to mention navigating the dangerous waters around the gang and what it might mean to non-gang loved ones is an interesting one. It has a good cast and features good performances. I look forward to what Season three will bring us.

House: Season Six. Has this really been on for six seasons already? It feels like just yesterday that we were being introduced to the fractured doc and his team. Over the years we have seen the team go their separate ways, new members get selected, all while House goes through all manner of turmoil, physical and emotional. Through it all the show has always remained highly entertaining and well written.

Harry Brown. This looks quite good and I look forward to checking it out. Michael Caine stars as the title character. He is an aging man living in an apartment complex that is controlled by gangs and drug dealers. When a friend is murdered and the police don't help, he steps up to do what needs to be done. Sounds like it may be similar to Gran Torino, but the trailer looks fantastic and Caine has been doing some fantastic work of late.

Parenthood: Season 1. I remember when the television was carpet bombed with ads for this leading up to its debut. I thought it looked terrible but began watching it anyway. I was pleasantly surprised to find a fun, lighthearted series that features all manner of family issues and people trying to safely navigate the waters. It does not feel like any of the characters are ever in any real trouble, but it is still fairly involving and I continue to watch.

Flash Forward: The Complete Series. The show had a promising beginning but quickly lost its way and I found myself not caring about the cause of the flash forward, what was seen, or if it will happen again. Apparently I was not alone in that as the show has been canceled. I suspect they hoped this would become another Lost. They were wrong.

Marmaduke. Really? Do I need to say anything about this? Based on the comic strip, this live action movie follows the family-friendly comic Great Dan on his comical adventures. I cannot say I have any interest.

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Article first published as DVD Pick of the Week: The Evil Dead on Blogcritics.


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