Tuesday, April 14, 2009

DVD Picks of the Week: April 14, 2009

Alright, alright, I know what you might be saying. It's almost Wednesday! I bet you were waiting around all day for this? Okay, maybe not, but better late than never! Had lots of work to do for school and am now finally getting around to this. So here we go, what was new in stores and online April 14.

The Spirit [DVD][Blu-ray]

Let me be the first to say it: Fuck the haters. Anyone going into The Spirit expecting Sin City 2 or something comparable has to be kidding themselves. This is a campy, hilarious, absurd and probably very loose (just a guess) adaptation of the original comic strips. Visually, the film is beautiful. While it does hint at the Sin City vibe, it isn't the same. Sin City was exclusively black and white, save for a few important items being colorized. The Spirit employs the dark blacks and whites but the film is laced in color. The women are beautiful, dangerous and entrancing. The men are slick, cool and badass. This was nothing more than an enjoyable and visually appealing film.

The Reader [DVD][Blu-ray]

Some might say Oscar bait, others might say compelling film. I'll choose the latter. Not the greatest of films, and certainly something appealing to Oscar votes, The Reader is still an absolutely interesting and thrilling film. Performances by Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes reign supreme while David Kross got the best gig an 18-year-old actor could get: one that involves getting down and dirty with a naked Winslet. Mmm, good stuff. Above average film, check it out.

The Pope's Toilet [DVD]

Here's one I haven't seen yet, but have heard tons of good things about. This film has been a long time coming (originally released in 2007 overseas). The film is a story about a small South American village and its experience during the Pope's visit in 1988. Co-director Cesar Charlone has been the cinematographer for great films such as Blindness, The Constant Gardner and City of God, only furthering my intrigue into seeing the film. Put this one on your watch list.

The Lost Collection (Night Before/Repossessed/Morgan Stewart's Coming Home/Irreconcilable Differences/Slaughter High/
My Best Friend's a Vampire/

I decided to lump all seven of these seperate titles (note: not a box set) into one listing for the sake of not making this take up too much space or too much of my mind. The top of these DVDs state: "The best movies you totally forgot about." Well, okay, I never forgot about these because I've never heard about them. They probably suck, but there is probably at least something for someone in this mixed bag of cheese titles. It's an assorted collection of schocky horror and other cheeze-ball stuff. There are some names in these films though. Repossessed stars Linda Blair, Ned Beatty and Leslie Nielsen. Not too bad. Click the links above to check out each film on Amazon.

Splinter [DVD][Blu-ray]

Haven't seen this one yet, but all I've read and heard is that it's one of the better independent horror films to come out in a little while. Harry over at www.aintitcool.com, who I owe as the inspiration for me picking my personal DVD's of the week, picked this as one of his leading titles. That is enough for me to set my eyes on this film at some point or another. IMDB gives the plot synopsis as being: "Trapped in an isolated gas station by a voracious Splinter parasite that transforms its still living victims into deadly hosts, a young couple and an escaped convict must find a way to work together to survive this primal terror". That sounds good enough to me.

Check out the trailer for Splinter below:

What to stay away from: Shitty Death Note anime box sets, because let's face it, what planet Earth could use a lot less of is anime. Also Strange Wilderness on Blu-ray. One, because it's not a very funny film, and two, what a worthless waste of a Blu-ray release.

Go buy The Spirit or The Reader, watch it, and come back next week to read how excited I am to finally be able to own The Wrestler, one of the three best films of 2008. Also Frost/Nixon hits shelves next week as well. Oh, and Blu-ray geeks, get ready for this, because the Sin City Blu-ray previously available in Canada in some form or another finally gets its release in the states!! So long...

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