FilmDrunk

Your Mid-Week Guide To DVD And Streaming: Alex Cross Is So Undercover

I can’t sugarcoat it: this is a terrible week for new DVDs.  Besides Alex Cross and Flight (which, to be fair, many people liked), there’s new films starring Kevin James, Andy Samberg, Christopher Walken, Olivia Wilde, Miley Cyrus, Ving Rhames, and Rob Schneider.  There’s movies about musicians, the mafia, and the mechanics of making movies. There’s criminals, florists, and mixed martial artists.  There’s even a movie about talking babies!

The DVDs:
Flight
Alex Cross
Here Comes The Boom
Celeste And Jesse Forever
A Late Quartet
Deadfall
So Undercover
Mafia
You May Not Kiss The Bride
Yelling To The Sky
In Our Nature
Side By Side
Little White Lies
Caught On Tape
Toys In The Attic
The Bouquet
The Dynamiter
The Solomon Bunch
Baby Geniuses And The Mystery Of The Crown Jewels
The Whole Truth

Streaming: Check out your choices here.

Want to know which movie is about talking babies?  Continue reading to find out. Intrigued by the The Dynamiter?  Well then, continue reading.  Already recognize titles like So Undercover and want to head straight to the Netflix page?  Click the link above and this week nobody will hold it against you, but if you do you’ll never know about Rob Schneider and the bicycle bell sound effect.


Flight

Denzel Washington stars as an airline pilot who miraculously lands a crashing plane, despite being drunk at the time.  Most critics liked this one, and it’s up for two Oscars (Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay), but Vince’s review declares it an infomercial for Alcoholics Anonymous and damns it with a ‘D+’.  The thing is, if even half of what Vince claims about this movie is true (a hooker with a heart of gold, painfully obvious musical choices), then that grade is well deserved and every other critic can eat sh*t.  For my money, I’m just happy that Robert Zemeckis, Flight’s director, has returned to live-action filmmaking after trying to force creepy, mo-cap animated films on the world for almost the last ten years.  Granted, he hasn’t made a really great film in over 20 years, but still, it’s a step in the right direction, and despite Vince’s opinion, this film struck a chord with audiences.  Over Thanksgiving, it was all my mom could talk about.  She doesn’t watch too many movies, let alone rave about them, so it was kind of weird to see her so enthusiastic about it.  “Did you see Flight yet, the movie about the black pilot? You should, it was amazing!” Of course, it only took a minute or so for her to mention dogfights and World War II, and at that point I realized that she was actually talking about Red Tails.  I tried correcting her, but she wouldn’t believe that there could be more than one movie about black people being allowed to fly planes.  My mother: the only thing worse than her casual racism is her terrible taste in movies.


Alex Cross

And just like that, Flight no longer holds the distinction of being FilmDrunk’s worst reviewed movie hitting DVD this week.


Here Comes The Boom

Here it is folks, the DVD debut of Paul Blart Presents: Mixed Martial Farts. It kind of feels bitter-sweet to get to this point, no?  We’ve been dumb-struck by this film’s existence for over two years, from realization that a joke Vince made in 2008 was actually going to be made into a real movie all the way through to theatrical release, and unless there’s some unfortunate sequel, there’s nothing more left to say.   Vince even reviewed it, giving it a ‘D’ –not that he expected to like it anyhow. So to recap this week so far, of the three new DVDs covered so far, all have FilmDrunk reviews, and ‘D+’ is the highest grade.  Yikes. I won’t say that this is the worst week for new DVDs ever, but I will say that this could be a good week to forego the usual movie nights and take up a new hobby instead.  Maybe coin collecting? It’s easy to become a numismatist because you’ve probably already started your collection!


Celeste And Jesse Forever

Rashida Jones co-writes and co-stars (with Andy Samberg) in this rom-com-drama about a divorcing couple that tries to stay friendly while exploring new romantic relationships. With a cast that includes the likes of Rob Huebel, Elijah Wood, Chris Messina, Rich Sommer, and Chris Pine, I kind of feel like that if this flick were anything but perfectly average I’d have heard more about it.  That being said, sometimes (like this week) perfectly average can seem like a pretty good thing.  At least that’s what my wife tells me about the size of my penis.


A Late Quartet

Christopher Walken plays Peter, a professional cellist, and leader of a world-renowned string quartet.  Peter’s planned retirement (due to Parkinson’s disease) creates all sorts of drama for the other members of the quartet, which includes Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, and some other guy nobody’s heard of, but must have a kick-ass agent for landing him this role beside those three Oscar-winners/nominee (Keener’s the non-winner).  With Walken walking –shakily- away from the quartet, who’s going to lead them?  Will Hoffman get to finally be 1st Violin? Will Hoffman and Keener’s daughter (Imogen Poots!) guilt them into quitting the quartet?  Will I forever confuse this with Quartet, that other movie about aging musicians, the one that was directed by Dustin Hoffman?  Will I find a way to shoe-horn a musical pun into this paragraph?  I don’t know; does ‘shoe-horn’ count?


Deadfall

Eric Bana, Olivia Wilde, and Charlie Hunnam star in this generically-titled neige noir from Stefan Ruzowitzky, director of the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar-winner, The Counterfeiters.  Bana and Wilde play a possibly incestuous brother and sister who have just robbed an Indian Casino and have to find their way to the Canadian border. Their car crashed and Bana killed the state trooper who stopped to help them, and now they are stuck in the middle of nowhere and there’s a blizzard coming. They split up (law enforcement doesn’t know about Wilde’s involvement), and while Bana hikes through the blizzard towards freedom, Wilde gets picked up by Hunnam, who plays an ex-con trying –and failing- to go straight.  I’ve seen this film and for a small film that got almost no theatrical release, it’s actually pretty good.  The plot and characters are –by design, I assume- straight out of classic noir, which also means they are all surface and no depth.  Bana is a psycho criminal, plain and simple.  Jsut so, Wilde is a femme-fatale, Hunnam is the trusting oaf with a checkered past, etc.  This movie wasn’t intended to be anything more than lurid pulp set in a snow field, and it achieves its goals relatively admirably.  Sure, one could rightly argue that the plot-turns are way too convenient, but again, that’s noir.  I like noir and I liked this.  People’s fingers get chopped off, Wilde’s breasts are exposed (briefly), and there’s a snowmobile chase in the second act.  What’s not to enjoy?  You’d have to be a complete assh*le to not enjoy this film.


So Undercover

Yes, this is that Miley Cyrus flick (written by Here Comes The Boom writer and possible super-villian Allan Loeb) in which she plays a private detective helping the FBI by going undercover at a college.  She’s so undercover, you see. If there’s any silver-lining to this horrible looking film, it is that the powers that be actually recognized it as the sh*t it is, and did not give it a theatrical release here in the U.S.  Unlike Bahrain, Israel, United Arab Emirates, Iceland, Ireland, UK, Kuwait, Belgium, Netherlands, Russia, and Singapore where it did actually get shown on movie screens.  Ha ha!  Suck it Bahrain!


Mafia

It’s 1975, and Ving Rhames is a gangster with a mohawk. That is all, because that is all that should be needed to sell this amazing looking film.


You May Not Kiss The Bride

Katherine McPhee, Mena Suvari, Kathy Bates, Fat Guy from Borat, Rob Schneider, Tia Carrere, Vinnie Jones, and Ned Ryerson all star in this utterly atrocious looking rom-com action flick.  It’s about a guy forced into marrying a gangster’s daughter and then she’s kidnapped from their Hawaiian resort (or something) and he has –AW, F*CK IT!  IT DOESN’T MATTER! All that matters is that at 41 seconds into the trailer, a topless Rob Schneider flexes his pec and each time his man-tit bounces, there’s a bicycle bell sound effect.  I have so many questions: Why a bicycle bell?  Is it because Schneider’s actually ringing one in the scene, in order to flex the right muscles or something?  Ok, so I basically have only one question, but I’d really like an answer to it.


Yelling To The Sky

Not to be confused with the film Precious, the girl from Precious co-stars in this movie about a young girl named Sweetness who has to find a way to survive her hard life in a neighborhood where survival is anything but certain.  In an interesting twist, the girl who played Precious is now playing the bully character, and Sweetness is instead played by the daughter of the guy who played the nurse in Precious.  So, again, nothing like Precious.


In Our Nature

Seth (Zach Gilford) wants to spend the weekend with his girlfriend Andie (Jena Malone) at his family’s vacation home, but their trip is interrupted by the unexpected arrival of Seth’s estranged father (John Slattery) and his new, much younger girlfriend (Gabrielle Union).  How will the two couples navigate this social mine-field, and will Seth and his dad ever set aside their differences?  I know we’re supposed to identify with and feel for these characters, but when the entire plot hangs on a vacation home scheduling snafu, I just can’t take this sh*t seriously.  Are we really supposed to believe Seth’s life was so hard because he had a distant father?  Every character in this is an assh*le and deserves to be punched.  There’s the vegan chick who responds “Is anything permanent?” when asked if her tattoo is permanent, the whiny grown adult who complains that his dad can get a new house and a new wife, but he can’t get a new dad, etc.  They bond while kayaking for f*ck’s sake.  I’ve never bonded with anyone while kayaking.  I’ve never even been kayaking.  My father was going to take me when I was a kid, but then he died instead. F*cking kayaks, am I right?


Side By Side

This is that documentary in which Keanu Reeves interviews a bunch of famous directors and asks them about their feelings regarding the shooting-on-film vs. shooting-digitally debate.  I honestly don’t know how many average film-goers give a f*ck about this topic, but the critics sure loved the hell out of the movie.  Either way, feel free to watch it now on DVD or blu-ray, which both are digital formats that every movie ends up being converted into anyway, so maybe we should just calm the f*ck down, Christopher Nolan.  You may put all the time and effort into making your Batman pictures in IMAX with 70mm film, but we’re all going to end up watching them on our phones while jerking off in the bus station bathroom anyway.


Little White Lies

This French flick co-stars Oscar winners Marion Cotillard and Jean Dujardin. When a bunch of friends meet up at their vacation house, they are forced to face the emotional realities of –God damn it? Really?  Another one? What the f*ck?


Caught On Tape

Kirk ‘Sticky Fingaz’ Jones writes, directs and stars in this gritty urban drama about a young boy’s video camera and the criminals too stupid to see it sitting right out in the open, pointed right at them, while they discuss all the crimes they’ve committed.  The star-studded cast includes Cedric the Entertainer, Vivica A. Fox, Kel Mitchell, Malik Yoba, and the guy who played Boone on Lost, but now, apparently, is on The Vampire Diaries.  For real, the trailer highlights his work on The Vampire Diaries, as if there’s a huge cross-over in the fan base between that show (which I assume is like Twilight with commercials) and this flick.  It’s doubly confusing because that guy, Vampire Boone, does not even have this film listed on his IMDb page, but that doesn’t matter because he’s definitely in the trailer.  You might even say he was caught on video.  (Damn it, I messed that up, didn’t I?)


Toys In The Attic

This is a Czech rip-off of Toy Story, and the evil toys in this look absolutely f*cking terrifying. If you can watch the trailer and not piss your pants, you’re a better man than I, unless you’re a chick, in which case, yeah that’s not piss on my pants, I just sweat a lot from my crotch when I watch trailers for kids’ movies.


The Bouquet

Kristy Swanson and Danny Glover star in this Dove-approved film about two adult sisters taking over their mother’s floral business, despite being at odds with one another. No, Glover isn’t one of the sisters, but that would’ve been nice.  Dove’s 4-Dove review doesn’t have much to say in terms of warnings: ‘SEX: A few couples kiss a few times.  VIOLENCE: Man has heart attack; a thunder storm; woman with blood on face. NUDITY: Cleavage. OTHER: Sibling rivalry.’, but it more than makes up for that uncharacteristic brevity with an absolutely fascinating Dove Worldview:

In some families, there those that have the sibling rivalry at lest in the children’s minds anyway. This is a story of two girls that have gone their different ways and really don’t understand each other or know what is going on in each other’s life. Now a crisis in the family has come to light and they have to step in and forget their past differences to help their mother save her flower business. Terri and Mandy each do things in a different manner that make the old feeling rise. But as they work through the problems they discover that they are not so different after all and realize that family and love are the most important things in life.

This is a story about family working together to overcome the problems. It also is a movie the relates that when there are hard times and trials and troubles it brings together not only family but also others around you. There is also a message that we need to take time for our parents because we never know what may happen.

Spelling and grammar issues aside, is this Dove reviewer hesitant to explicitly write out that parents of adult children sometimes die?  I think so, especially because they consider a thunderstorm to be potentially upsetting violent content. At least I can take solace in the fact that the time my mother kicked my brother out of the house because he tried to kill me was only in our minds, anyway.


The Dynamiter

Look, you call your movie The Dynamiter, and there’s really only one thing I expect to see in the trailer, and if you can’t provide that one simple thing, perhaps you should call your film something different. To be honest, at this point, I’m not entirely sure the makers of this film even know what dynamite is.


The Solomon Bunch

Five kids decide that they want to be wise, so they decide to study the teachings of King Solomon from the Bible.  Because they are kids and kids are stupid, they end up accusing a guy of murder and –as is the case in real life-their false accusation of murder leads to many wacky adventures.  Take a look a good look at the box cover.  You will surely notice that this film is so proud of its 5-Dove Seal of Approval, that they actually include all five doves on the cover art.  And rightfully so; who wouldn’t be proud of a perfect Dove score? The problem lies just below those Doves.  Do you see it?  I’m talking about the adorable dog on the skateboard –it’s kind of hard to miss, as it’s the focal point of the entire image.  Well guess what?  Once again, THERE’S NO F*CKING DOG ON A SKATEBOARD IN THE TRAILER, and I’m willing to bet there isn’t even one in the movie.  How could Dove endorse a film so full of lies?  Well here’s the real twist, my friends –check out the artwork included in the Dove review.  They changed it!  They played by the rules just long enough to get those five f*cking Doves, and then BAM, new artwork.  New bullsh*t artwork, shamelessly trying to sell their flick on the promise of wacky canine hijinks.  It’s as if they don’t think a movie about kids molding their lives after an Old Testament character is enough.  Sad, really, because the movie looks like a Bible-friendly Home Alone, and who doesn’t want to watch that?


Baby Geniuses And The Mystery Of The Crown Jewels

I haven’t seen the first two Baby Geniuses flicks, so maybe it’s unfair to judge the third film without context, but holy sh*t does this look terrible.  And by that I mean, even for a third, straight-to-video Baby Geniuses film, this looks terrible.  Take your lowest expectations and watch how this trailer fails to meet them.  For some reason, most of the scenes seem to be shot in front of a green screen.  Why?  Who the f*ck knows?  Can it really be that much cheaper than just going outside?  Also, Jon Voight is in this, and I’d like to know why.  He’s a four-time nominee, one-time Oscar winner.  Money really can’t be the answer because it’s clear this movie didn’t spend any.  Plus they’re already in post-production on not only Baby Geniuses 4, but also Baby Geniuses 5.  And Voight’s in those as well.  Is he really that big of a draw for this film’s target audience? What the hell is going on?  He was the lead in Midnight Cowboy.  Have that many small kids really seen the X-rated Best Picture Oscar winner from over 40 years ago?  I tried showing Midnight Cowboy to my 2-year-old and she thought the performances were overly-mannered and the plot too contrived, so she’s not a Voight fan to say the least. She thinks Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid was more deserving of the Best Picture Oscar and I can’t say I disagree with her.


The Whole Truth

With all the horrible things we’ve seen on DVD this week, this film and Eric Roberts’ wig within it is probably the worst.  Here’s hoping next week things return to normal and we get a horror flick or two; at least those are usually bad in a way we can comprehend.  Seriously though, his wig, check it out.

As near as I can tell, none of the recently released DVDs have been added to Netflix’s instant streaming in the past week, so apologies if you were hoping for a lot of suggestions.  By all means, if you find that some are streaming, say so in the comments. As for my suggestions, given the general crappiness of this week’s DVDs, I went out of my way to suggest flicks that I’ve at least honestly heard good things about:


Hot Rod

Celeste And Jesse Forever’s Andy Samberg stars and Deadfall’s Sissy Spacek co-stars in this comedy that most of you have probably seen already, but I haven’t so I’m recommending it to myself. Is it worth my time?  I should probably tell you that when my father died just before our father/son kayaking adventure, he did so jumping a motorcycle over 15 buses, so that’s kind of a sensitive topic for me.

Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead

A Late Quartet’s Philip Seymour Hoffman stars in this, the last film from legendary director Sidney Lumet. In this flick, Hoffman and his brother (played by Ethan Hawke) botch an attempt to rob their parents’ jewelry store. Again, I haven’t seen this one, so is it as good as I’ve heard?  I should probably mention that my dad jumped that motorcycle over those buses because he was being chased by the police after robbing a jewelry store in order to fund our kayaking adventure, so this may be a rough one for me to watch.

Mary And Max

A Late Quartet’s Philip Seymour Hoffman and Deadfall’s Eric Bana both provide voices for this Australian animated flick about the pen-pal relationship between a young girl in Melbourne and a fat dude in New York. This is supposed to be one of those ‘must-see’ films that everyone (myself included) just never gets around to seeing.  So, if you have seen it, is it better than the boring trailer makes it look?  I should probably bring up the fact that my father was inspired to take up kayaking after it was recommended to him by his Australian pen-pal (who incidentally, was very animated from what I’ve heard), so this could be a tough watch for me to sit through without losing my sh*t.

Black Hawk Down

Deadfall’s Eric Bana and So Undercover’s Jeremy Piven both appear in this true story about American helicopters being shot down in Somalia.  Guess what?  I have seen this one, and don’t worry, there’s nothing about this movie that makes me think about my dead father.  Instead I think about my dead pet hawk, Blackie.  I know you’re wondering, and yes, he had avian Down’s syndrome.

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