Tuesday, June 30, 2009

DVD Picks of the Week: June 30th, 2009

The last day of June is here and with it comes a fresh slate of new DVDs and Blu-rays. It seems as though the summer months dwindle by I write less and less and blog less and less. There's something about the hot weather and sticky humidity that drives passion from me. Oh yeah, and that whole tornado rips through your small town in Connecticut thing.

Eastbound & Down: The Complete First Season [DVD]

One of the funniest shows to date is this fictional chronicle of former baseball star Kenny Powers (Danny McBride, an actor who has previously held mostly bit comedic roles). Powers, who started strong with the catch phrase "You're fucking out!" but fizzled quick, resorts to heading back to his old stomping grounds and the people he knows to help him get his big league feet back on the ground. The humor in this show probably isn't for everyone. It's vulgar, rude, crass and just plain odd For example, one of my favorite lines from the show: "Gold will get you Jonas Brothers tickets, Platinum will get you all three of them backstage sucking your dick". See what I mean? Jody Hill, one of the shows main creators, has stepped foot into the comedic realm before with much success. Hill's first film was The Foot Fist Way, in which McBride plays a martial arts instructor similar to Kenny Powers. Hill also wrote and directed the recent Seth Rogen led film Observe and Report, which received mixed results from critics but is still a personal favorite of mine in 2009. Eastbound & Down was an instant hit in my mind and has been picked up for a second season. The first season was only six episodes long, but watching them sequentially almost makes it seem like a long film or a miniseries. I can only hope the next installment of Kenny Powers and his antics live up to the debut season.

Trailer Park Boys: The Complete Series [DVD]

Continuing the trend of funny as fuck television shows, a new complete collection of the series is available on Amazon. I haven't been able to find much information on this set, so I can only assume it is simply a repackaging of all seven seasons of the show (and possibly also the film). Trailer Park Boys focuses on three friends, Ricky, Julian and Bubbles, and their time together in the Sunnyvale Trailer Park. The series, which is out of Canada, has flown under the mainstream radar but has found a strong cult following. It's a brilliant show from season to season and features some of the most wonderful character to character contact. Most of the series is entirely memorable, with raging feuds and ridiculous scenarios and outcomes being a mainstay of the show. The acting won't win any awards, but it somehow manages to feel all too authentic as the show is shot in a mockumentary style, much like The Office. It would be in your best interest to get into this show, as it's one of the bright spots in recent television history.

Do The Right Thing: 20th Anniversary [DVD][Blu-ray]

Rarely do you ever see another studio company outdo the Criterion Collection in terms of a DVD release. Is Do The Right Thing one of those times? Well, I don't know. DVDTalk's review of the DVD brings up an interesting discussion in the color timing. Read the review here. You'll get more detail than I'll ever want to give you. It seems like the new release expands on the special features. The rest might be a matter of opinion.

Tokyo! [DVD][Blu-ray]

I haven't seen Tokyo! yet, but what a troupe of directors assembled here. Michael Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, La science des rĂªves), Joon-ho Bong (Gwoemul) and Leos Carax (Les amants du Pont-Neuf) each direct a 30 minute segment set in Tokyo. Each appears to be visionary directing at the top of its game. An appealing film, I just need to find time to watch it.

Barfly [DVD]

Said to be one of Mickey Rourke's most passionate and gritty performance, Barfly is described as "a dark tale of drunkenness, violence and self loathing" that fit Rourke's persona. I've got to say this film looks really good, and I can't say much more than that on the situation.

What else comes out this week:
British Cinema: Renown Pictures Crime & Noir Blackout, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li [Blu-ray]/[DVD], Ted Nugent: Motor City Mayhem [Blu-ray]/[DVD], Two Lovers [Blu-ray]/[DVD], Lookin' to Get Out (Extended Version), Serious Charge: Renown Picture Classics, Women In Prison Triple Feature, The Education of Charlie Banks, Violence and Flesh, Entourage: The Complete Fifth Season, Stargate Atlantis: The Complete Fifth Season, Eureka: Season 3.0.

What to stay away from:
In a week where a few crappy films and a Jonas Brothers are up for competition, it was a tough choice. But when in doubt, give it to the film starring John Cena. 12 Rounds, you lose.

And holy shit that was a lot of lightning and loud thunder. See ya next week, unless another twister rips us apart.

1 comment:

KD said...

Don't diss John Cena, he's the new voice of a generation