Tuesday, September 1, 2009

DVD Picks of the Week: September 1st, 2009

So what's it gonna be, September? You're riddled with great album releases (at least I think so), now how about some good DVDs? Is the first day of the new month a good one for fans of DVD and Blu-ray? Well...sort of.

State of Play [DVD][Blu-ray]

Yeah, I picked a film I haven't seen yet to be first, so you can probably tell nothing blew me out of the water right away. State of Play is an American adaptation of a British television show, and supposedly a pretty good one at that. It sort of flew under the radar earlier this year despite its strong pedigree of Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Jason Bateman, Helen Mirren, Jeff Daniels and Rachel McAdams. Not to mention director Kevin Macdonald has already made a few critically acclaimed films including Touching the Void and The Last King of Scotland. Anyways, if you missed this little guy in theaters, which you might have, now's your chance to catch up.

TCM Greatest Classic Films Collections
[Murder Mysteries][Science Fiction][Horror]

You might remember some of these from a few months back. Turner Classic Movies via Turner Home Entertainment has been reissue some of the greatest titles available in their collection in cheaper, affordable four packs. What comes from all this are some great values. You can grab some absolute classics from some of cinema's greatest talents for $5 a piece from Amazon. For example, the "Murder Mysteries" collection offers a few Humphrey Bogart titles including The Maltese Falcon along with a classic Alfred Hitchcock title, Dial M for Murder. The "Science Fiction" set includes Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, a favorite film among many critics. You can see what you're getting here. Even the "Horror" set turns in with some showstoppers, including the controversial Freaks and the original The Haunting, what I find as one of the greatest black and white horror films ever made. In the end, if you're looking to jump start your DVD collection with some serious winners, you could do a lot worse than these TCM collections. If you're OCD like me and prefer to have the individual keep cases for each title, well, don't buy these.

The Evil That Men Do [DVD]

You know, the end of Charles Bronson's career was pretty strange. He did a bunch of gritty revenge action flicks, most of which were pretty poor. And then he did The Indian Runner, and turned in a surprisingly good and heartfelt supporting performance. And I know a lot of other relevant things came out this week that might be more worthy, but I felt like paying some respect to Mr. Bronson, one of the theater's staple tough guys. This one was directed by
J. Lee Thompson, who most successfully directed the ultra popular Cape Fear in 1962. The plot here, well, it's like a lot of other films plots. Especially today with all these "guy takes law into his own hands", something that was kind of built on Bronson's ultra-hard ass Death Wish and Michael Douglas' terrific and demonic performance in Falling Down. Anyways, The Evil That Men Do (attractive title, I know) is about a professional killer that comes out ot retirement to investigate and avenge the brutal murder of an old friend. This movie might be pure crap, I don't know, but look at that sweet ass cover art. Scratch that, this movie ain't crap, check out the trailer below for proof. This is pure classic brutal Bronson beat the fuck out of the bad guy stuff.

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