If last week’s release of The Internship had you holding out hope for better DVD and Blu Ray options this week, well, I hope you’re not the kind that shoots the messenger. This week’s titles are pretty light on both quality and quantity, unless you’re the parent of young children and you need something colorful and loud to distract your kids for two hours. In that case, this week is practically Christmas for you.
New on DVD and Blu Ray: R.I.P.D., Monsters University, Byzantium, Coming Home for Christmas, Bounty Killer, Free Samples
New on Streaming: Devil, Redemption, In Bruges, The Heavy, American Brawler
But don’t let my (or millions of others) disappointment in R.I.P.D. stop you from checking it out on DVD this week, as it is the biggest title hitting shelves. Just remember to head into it with zero expectations. As for the other movies, should you watch them? Let’s break ‘em down.
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Ryan Reynolds, Mary-Louise Parker
Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds headline the 3D supernatural action-adventure R.I.P.D. as two cops dispatched by the otherworldly Rest In Peace Department to protect and serve the living from an increasingly destructive array of souls who refuse to move peacefully to the other side. Veteran sheriff Roy Pulsifer (Bridges) has spent his career with the legendary police force known as R.I.P.D. tracking monstrous spirits who are cleverly disguised as ordinary people. His mission? To arrest and bring to justice a special brand of criminals trying to escape final judgment by hiding among the unsuspecting on Earth. Once the wise-cracking Roy is assigned former rising-star detective Nick Walker (Reynolds) as his junior officer, the new partners have to turn grudging respect into top-notch teamwork. When they uncover a plot that could end life as we know it, two of R.I.P.D.’s finest must miraculously restore the cosmic balance…or watch the tunnel to the afterlife begin sending angry souls the very wrong way.
Should You Watch it? Here’s the thing, I didn’t hate R.I.P.D. in a “God, this is such a terrible movie, I can’t believe I paid money to see this, what a crock of shit” way like most people. I hated it in more of a “This could have been a lot better and funnier, and it totally didn’t need to be a clone of Men in Black, because there were ways they could have made this different and maybe even better” kind of way. Again, I’m not saying don’t watch it if you had your heart set on it, but know what you’re getting into.
Starring: Billy Crystal, John Goodman
Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan are an inseparable pair, but that wasn’t always the case. From the moment these two mismatched monsters met they couldn’t stand each other. “Monsters University” unlocks the door to how Mike and Sulley overcame their differences and became the best of friends.
Should You Watch it? Sure, if monsters don’t scare you. They scare me. Especially college-aged monsters with their binge drinking and public urination.
Starring: Gemma Arterton, Saoirse Ronan
BYZANTIUM is director Neil Jordan’s (Interview with the Vampire, The Crying Game) sexy and stylish fantasy thriller about mother and daughter vampires dealing with the pitfalls of eternal life. Two mysterious women seek refuge in a run-down coastal resort. Clara (Gemma Arterton) meets lonely Noel (Daniel Mays), who provides shelter in his deserted guesthouse, Byzantium. Schoolgirl Eleanor (Saoirse Ronan, Hanna, Atonement) befriends Frank (Caleb Landry Jones) and tells him their lethal secret: They were born 200 years ago and survive on human blood. As knowledge of their secret spreads, their past catches up on them with deathly consequence. Also starring Sam Riley and Jonny Lee Miller.
Should You Watch it? Yes. I was actually supposed to go to the premiere of this film, but when I showed up they were all, “Sorry, you’re not on the list, especially under ‘Gemma’s boyfriend’” and I laughed because Gemma and I like to kid around like that.
Starring: Matthew Marsden, Kristanna Loken, Gary Busey, the guy who played Kubiak on Parker Lewis Can’t Lose
It’s been 20 years since the corporations took over the world’s governments. Their thirst for power and profits led to the corporate wars, a fierce global battle that laid waste to society as we know it. Born from the ash, the Council of Nine rose as a new law and order for this dark age. To avenge the corporations’ reckless destruction, the Council issues death warrants for all white collar criminals. Their hunter’s – the BOUNTY KILLER. From amateur savage to graceful assassin, the BOUNTY KILLER’S now compete for body count, fame and a fat stack of cash. They’re ending the plague of corporate greed by exterminating the self serving CEO and providing the survivors of the apocalypse with retribution. These are the new heroes. This is the age of the BOUNTY KILLER.
Should You Watch it? I wonder what the average reaction is when a young, aspiring actor is told that he’s been offered a role in a movie that stars Gary Busey. I bet for at least one second it’s like, “I should have listened to my guidance counselor and gone to custodial school.” Also, why isn’t Kristanna Loken more famous? She’s wonderful in every way.
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Jess Weixler, Jason Ritter
Jillian (Jess Weixler), a sardonic, bitter, verbose, hungover, law-school dropout, has a really bad day working on an ice-cream food truck as a favor to a friend. She treats her bizarre customers with the utter lack of respect she thinks they deserve, but the day turns out to be an important one for her as an old relationship comes crashing down, while another one might just be starting up. Jesse Eisenberg and Tippi Hedren co-star in this indie comedy.
Should You Watch it? That’s the most indie film synopsis I’ve read this year. Also, Eisenberg plays a guy named Tex, which is so ironic that I just crapped a Sony Discman. I’ll pass.
Starring: Chris Messina, Logan Marshall-Green
Five strangers trapped in an elevator realize that one of them is the Devil in this thriller from director John E. Dowdle (Quarantine) and screenwriter Brian Nelson (Hard Candy, 30 Days of Night). The first installment of “The Night Chronicles,” a film series in which up-and-coming filmmakers bring to life stories conceived by M. Night Shyamalan, Devil opens to find five Philadelphia office workers filing into the elevator of an inner-city office building. But a typical day at the office takes a sudden detour into terror when the elevator becomes stuck between floors, and the passengers discover that the Devil does exist, and he’s standing right before them. As emergency workers work frantically to free them, secrets are revealed and the passengers realize their only hope for survival is to confront their darkest sins in front of the others.
Should You Watch it? Even without the M. Night Smellybelly producing credit on the poster, this is one of the most absurdly, unintentionally funny horror movies that I’ve ever seen. The ending, man… it’s a must-watch if you appreciate horrors that swing and miss.
Redemption (AKA Hummingbird)
Starring: Jason Statham, Benedict Wong
Notorious badass Jason Statham stars as an ex-Special Forces soldier who returns to London a damaged man, struggling to find justice in a world saturated with violence in this gritty, explosive story about London’s criminal underworld written and directed by Academy Award nominee Steven Knight.
Should You Watch it? As a sucker for all things Statham, I’m a little pissed off that I haven’t seen this one yet, so I don’t know if it’s as great as, say, Safe or if it’s as horrible as Revolver. I guess I’ll just have to watch and find out for my own dumb, easily-amused self.
Starring: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes
Having just carried out a particularly difficult hit in London, two hitmen seek shelter in Bruges, Belgium, only to find their views on life and death permanently altered by their interactions with the locals, the tourists, and a film crew. Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, and Ralph Fiennes star in an action comedy from director Martin McDonagh.
Should You Watch it? Yes. If you haven’t already seen this exceptional movie, yes. Watch it right now. I don’t care if you’re busy and will be fired for it.
Starring: Gary Stretch, Stephen Rea, Christopher Lee, Vinnie Jones, Shannyn Sossamon
London enforcer “Boots” Mason (Gary Stretch) discovers that he’s got a bounty on his head after getting caught in the crosshairs of rogue cop Dunn (Vinnie Jones), and seek vengeance against his estranged family as his brother (Adrian Paul) rises to power in the world of politics. Stephen Rea, Jean Marsh, and Christopher Lee co-star.
Should You Watch it? Shannyn Sossamon is another one that confuses me as to how she isn’t more famous. I mean, there are a ton of interchangeable actresses out there, but she’s both very attractive to my eyeballs and she’s a decent enough actress. You’re telling me people want to see Katherine Heigl in leading roles over Shannyn? That’s some serious BS right there, Hollywood. Oh yeah, this movie? Sure, watch it.
Starring: Marco Antonio Alvarez, Dennis Ruel
A struggling martial arts teacher must compete in an underground fight ring in order to save his brother from a crime boss and reunite with his family.
Should You Watch it? Sorry, but I only watch MMA movies that star Georges St-Pierre or Channing Tatum. Wow, could you imagine GSP and C-Tates in the same film? I think the universe would implode from lack of charisma.