DVD Releases

Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at 4:32 pm

I can easily spend an hour or more searching through Netflix for DVD releases, and the same thing happens on the rare occasion when I drop by my local video store. I find myself transfixed by all the selections, and the slick cover art makes even a low-budget stinker look like a summer blockbuster.

If you’ve ever suffered from the same problem, I hope this selection of new DVD releases will help ease your confusion. I’ve personally viewed each and every one, and I’m willing to recommend them as an adequate way to pass the evening. Some are better than others, but the wide range of genres covered should please almost any fan of cinema, whether you’re into odd films or more traditional fare.

Armed with this list, be sure to head over to Netflix and become a subscriber. I’ve been a member of Netflix since 2005, so it’s the one I recommend. There are no late fees, and their service offers over 100,000 films to watch at home or on your PC.

PredatorsAdrien Brody usually plays sensitive, soulful characters, but this time he’s packed on the muscles and strapped on the guns for the role of an Earthen mercenary captured by intergalactic hunters and dropped onto a cosmic game preserve. He’s not the only one, either, as everyone from a death row inmate (Walton Goggins) to an Israeli sniper (Alice Braga) are part of the hunt. Intended as a direct sequel to the 1987 Schwarzenegger classic, this sci-fi actioner was produced by Robert Rodriguez and co-stars Topher Grace, Danny Trejo, and Oleg Taktarov. And be sure to watch for Laurence Fishburne in a small-yet-entertaining role as a fellow survivalist who’s been driven a little batty after years on the alien world.

Get Him to the Greek – Jonah Hill plays Aaron Green, a low-level talent scout for a failing record label who comes up with a semi-brilliant idea: get rock star Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) to play at L.A.’s Greek Theatre. His boss (Sean Combs) loves the suggestion, and so he sends Aaron on a mission to retrieve Snow from London and bring him back to L.A. for the show. But Aldous is a complete mess, lost in drugs and alcohol after his girlfriend left him and took their child. To make matters even worse, his last single called “African Child” was referred to as “the worst thing to happen to Africa since the apartheid.” Hilarity ensues as the odd couple tries to make the show in time, slowly overcoming their initial dislike of one another. A must-see for fans of Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

Babies - The first of two outstanding French documentaries on this list, Babies follows the birth and first year of development of four children from different parts of the world (Japan, America, Mongolia, and Namibia). The tots are predictably adorable, and the film provides a fascinating look at the different methods of child-rearing across this great planet of ours.

A Nightmare on Elm Street – With Halloween fast approaching, you should treat yourself to a good scare or two. This remake of the 1984 horror classic is perfect for a few shocks, as Freddy Krueger (Jackie Earle Haley) and his lethal glove return to kill off teenagers in their dreams. As the remaining kids try to stay awake and alive, they’ll search through the past and uncover a terrible secret that affects them all. While not as good as the original, it’s interesting to see a different take on the Freddy character, and Robert Englund (who portrayed Freddy in all the other films) showed great class by being supportive of the project. Co-starring Rooney Mara, Kyle Gallner, and Katie Cassidy.

Perrier’s Bounty – Cillian Murphy stars in this Irish crime thriller as Michael McCrae, a Dublin resident who only has a few hours to pay off his debt to local crime boss Darren Perrier (Brendan Gleeson). When he fails to do so, a couple of toughs come round to break some bones, but one of them ends up getting killed by Michael’s neighbor (Jodi Whittaker). Now forced to go on the run, Michael must also take along his estranged father (Jim Broadbent) who claims to have recently received a visit from the Grim Reaper. Filled with violence and comedy, Perrier’s Bounty should be perfect for anyone who liked early Guy Ritchie films like Snatch and Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels.

Splice – Adrien Brody make his second appearance on the list, this time playing a genetic engineer who, along with his partner played by Sarah Polley, conducts experiments blending human DNA with that of animals. This eventually results in the birth of Dren, a bizarre-looking creature with human instincts. As they continue their research and become dangerously close to Dren, you can just tell this isn’t headed anywhere good. A commentary on modern science, Splice offers a smart script and excellent performances from its two leads.

Oceans – Taking four years to film and set in 50 different locations, this fascinating French nature documentary takes a look at the world’s five oceans (Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Southern, and Arctic) and the life within. Kids will love seeing all the ocean animals in their native habitat, and responsible adults should be moved by the film’s message on environmental issues.

The Killer Inside Me – Casey Affleck stars in this adaptation of the Jim Thompson novel about Lou Ford, a small-town Texas cop who lets his darker side come out to play. Jessica Alba co-stars as the prostitute who enters into a doomed relationship with Lou, and Kate Hudson is his schoolteacher girlfriend. An intelligent indie with plenty of noir elements, The Killer Inside Me also stars Ned Beatty, Simon Baker, Bill Pullman, and Elias Koteas. Those who are sensitive to violence against women should beware: the film features an especially grueling scene where a woman’s face is slowly reduced to a pulp by a man’s fist.

Iron Man 2 - Billionaire playboy Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is back, and his suit of sophisticated Iron Man armor is helping to make the world a better place. But it’s also taking a personal toll on Stark, as the government wants to get their hands on it, and the armor’s power source is slowly killing him. To make matters worse, a vengeful Russian scientist (Mickey Rourke) wants to destroy our hero, and a greedy American businessman (Sam Rockwell) is happy to help him do it. Fueled by bigger explosions, a soundtrack by AC/DC, and Scarlett Johansson in tight leather, Iron Man 2 has plenty to satisfy fans of the original summer blockbuster.

The Karate Kid – While the 1980’s original starred Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita, this modern update features Jaden Smith in the role of the bullied kid and Jackie Chan as the wise mentor. Set in China, it follows Dre Parker’s (Smith) development from a scrawny 12-year-old wimp to a scrawny 12-year-old martial arts master. Kung-fu is the martial art of choice this time around, and sadly there’s no mention of the Kobra Kai Dojo. Still, it’s a likable little film about believing in yourself and never giving up. In China, the film is known as The Kung Fu Dream, while Japanese and South Korean viewers will know it by the name Best Kid.

Netflix carries all the films listed above, and there’s little point in denying that they’re the future of the industry.

Be sure to visit Only Good Movies in the future, as we’ll undoubtedly have more DVD releases for our readers to choose from. In the meantime, check out these other articles about the fine art of filmmaking:

This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 19th, 2010 at 4:32 pm and is filed under Good Movies, New DVD Releases. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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