Wednesday, August 5, 2009

DVD Picks of the Week: August 4th, 2009

We're late into summer, but that doesn't stop the DVDs and Blu-rays from flowing into stores. Here's what's new and exciting for this first week in August.

Flight of the Conchords: Season Two [DVD]

One of my favorite shows on television is Flight of the Conchords. The humor is sometimes obvious and sometimes subtle, but always as funny as can be. The show, for those of you that don't know, is a fictional show about a real music duo from New Zealand. The team of Jermaine and Brett have amazing chemistry, which is a given for the type of relationship the two have had over the years. The show takes place in New York, which adds a whole level of uncertainty for the two immigrants. The show is unique for its musical interludes featuring original songs from the group. If you haven't seen this show yet, do yourself a favor and get started on season one. If you love it like me you'll find yourself plowing through each episode.

The Soloist [DVD][Blu-ray]

The Soloist was a film that based upon its trailer alone screamed Academy Awards nominations. Unfortunately for Paramount the film must not have lived up to that level, as it was delayed from its initial release date during the height of the Oscar-wanting films to the first half of 2009. Still, the film looked interesting enough, and had enough star power (Downey Jr, Foxx) to yield enough interest. To boot, Joe Wright (Atonement) is an accomplished director. I still haven't seen the film yet, but it got good enough reviews to hold my desire in wanting to see it at a solid level.

Big Trouble in Little China [Blu-ray]

A supreme ass-kicking, heads fuckin' exploding, super secret magical powers, bad ass tour-de-force is exactly what Big Trouble in Little China is. The legendary duo of John Carpenter and Kurt Russell team together here to fuse fantasy, action and adventure (with a little campy humor) for one of the most memorable films of its kind. And there is no kind like it. I don't know what else to say about this film, other than the fact that if you haven't seen this yet, you should just go watch it now, Blu-ray or not.

Gomorrah [DVD]

One of the best foreign films of the last few years is this adaptation of the Roberto Saviano novel that landed the journalist in trouble with the organized crime he was writing about. The film is a seemingly accurate study on real organized Italian crime. I wrote about this film back in April after I first saw it and was blown away by Matteo Garone's ability to tell the unrelated stories as well as he was. It isn't a perfect telling of five unique and varied stories, but it is focused and engaging. This DVD release is region one, meaning it will work in your standard DVD player, but it seems to be an import from Canada, which leads to the price being a bit more than your average DVD. I'm not sure what the deal is with a U.S. release, but there is no doubt in my mind that it will receive one sooner than later.

What else comes out this week: Race to Witch Mountain, Obsessed, Harvard Beats Yale 29-29, Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!: Season Three, Project Runway: Season Five,
My Cousin Vinny [Blu-ray], Ulysses, Mutant Chronicles, Sling Blade [Blu-ray], The Beast [Blu-ray], The Waterboy [Blu-ray], The Mysteries of Pittsburgh.

What to stay away from: It's gotta be Delgo, one of the biggest bombs in recent history. Attempting to cash in on the recent influx of Pixar-animated films came this trash from Fathom Studios, a division of Macquarium Intelligent Communications. Who is that? I don't know either. Anyways, the film actually has star power (Freddie Prinze Jr., Jennifer Love Hewitt, Val Kilmer, etc). but only managed to gross a little under $700,000. The film had a budget of $40 million. If 13 year old kids weren't stupid enough to watch this, you shouldn't be either.

Catch ya next week.

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