It’s a pretty light week for new DVDs, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have things to discuss. Besides Gina Carano, we’ve got two mainstream releases none of you will ever want to see, Sean Astin, Thor (presumably) not at a bus stop, the greatest generation, their good-for-nothing twink grandsons, Eric Roberts, and a bunch of pissed off animals.
New Year’s Eve
And They’re Off…
Hell At My Heels
Thunderstorm: Return Of Thor
1313: Bermuda Triangle
The Dead Want Women
Rise Of The Animals
Gina Carano, C-Tates, and Michael F. Assbender in an action flick from Steven Soderbergh. They could’ve called this FilmDrunk’s Most Popular Tags. It is for that reason that it was a bit of a disappointment when Vince’s review gave the film a ‘C’. We all wanted it to be good so badly, but I guess it was just an average action movie. In other words, it is a perfect film to catch on DVD. It may not be great, but I bet it has just enough to make it worth the time spent on the couch. Plus, you can jerk off (while imagining you’re the one she’s beating up) in the privacy of your own home. I can’t be the only one who gets really pissed when you’re trying to rub one out at the budget theater and the guy next to you keeps texting. Way to ruin the experience, Dad.
If you’re wondering whether this getting the second position in the post is an indication of a sh*tty week for new DVDs or not, let me be clear: It is a very sh*tty week for new movies. Anyhow, this movie (which was one of the 15 Biggest Flops Of 2011) is called New Year’s Eve. It opened on December 9th and they are releasing the DVD on May 1st. I’ll point out that neither date is remotely near January 1st. Let those facts stand as an indicator of the thought levels that went into this abortion-by-committee. No one has any excuse for watching this. Burnsy almost named it his worst film of 2011 but he watched it too late for consideration. I don’t want to say that this movie is what killed Dick Clark, but it is. This movie killed Dick Clark.
Two-time Oscar nominee Dolly Parton and fellow Oscar nominee Queen Latifah (way to keep that award prestigious, Academy) fight for control of their church choir. Things get shaken up when Parton’s grandson rolls into town and starts ‘making music’ with Latifah’s daughter. Look, I think that’s the plot, but who cares? None of us will see this movie willingly. It looks like the type of thing my mother would love and she raised me to be a 30-year-old guy who writes jokes about jerking off with his father at a movie theater, so she doesn’t exactly have a good track-record when it comes to judgment.
Despite many reviews calling this her debut, this is Madonna’s second directorial effort. The trailer starts off with, “Some people called it the greatest love story of the 20th century…” No. Nobody called it that. Everybody calls it that extra-boring subplot from the boring movie, The King’s Speech. I’m sure Madonna would like you to know that this film was nominated for an Academy Award, and it was –for costumes. I guarantee you that the next film she’s associated with – in any capacity – will have the words “from Madonna, director of the Academy Award nominated W./E….” in the trailer, even if she is just contributing a song. I hate Madonna so much.
If this title rings a bell, it’s because we’ve already had some fun with this movie’s poster. It’s a shame they changed the art work for the DVD (although the new art does have its charms). What’s truly unfortunate about this movie is that it is not made by amateurs. The cast is full of faces you recognize, if only vaguely, and never anyone you’re particularly excited to see. What drew them to the project? The opportunity to work with Sean Astin and Cheri Oteri? An easy paycheck? Did they do it as a favor, and if so, for whom? Do they all just really like horses? Why do I taste pennies all the time? Is someone burning toast? Is Cheri Oteri pissed about Will Ferrell’s acting career? Does Sean Astin show up at Elijah Wood’s place unannounced and then he just kind of sits there, completely clueless to the fact that Wood was about to leave and he can’t just leave Astin there because he tried that once and when he came home Astin was still just sitting there on the couch, he hadn’t even turned on the TV or gotten a snack, he just waited, so now Wood can’t just leave because if he comes back with a girl Astin won’t get the picture and then he’ll start f*cking setting up a game of ‘Settlers of Catan’ because they ‘finally have a third’? So many questions.
This Bosnian film looks like a slice-of-life movie; maybe a drama or a comedy. (Who can tell when people aren’t speaking English and there are no record scratches in the trailer?) Then, halfway through the trailer, out come the brutish soldiers busting down people’s doors and you realize that, yup, it’s set in Bosnia. The real reason I’m including this movie is that it has Rousseau from Lost, and any mention of Lost tends to get people arguing in the comments and that means more comments and that means I’m more important than my brother who doesn’t get any comments on anything because he sucks. Plus, the guy at the end of the trailer totally drops the kitty, if you know what I’m saying.
This amateur western looks like the end-result of a corporate team-building retreat. I can just imagine some upper-level manager hiring Brett Kelly, this film’s writer/director to come out to the lake cottages just off County Road L to help the good people at Firmaplex learn how to synergize by making a movie. I bet the DVD’s special feature is just a photo gallery from that one afternoon when each department had to hold holds while carrying hula hoops around, but HR (those clever so-and-sos) just all stood in the middle of the hoops because there were only three of them. For real though, the trailer’s hilarious because every single punch, kick, and elbow has the same cheesy sound effect. Just so, every gunshot and rifle fire shares the same sound effect. Who knows what Mr. Kelly could do with some more money and some better ideas?
Well what a coincidence? How could I have possibly known that writer/director Brett Kelly had two new DVDs releasing this week? While still awful looking, this one at least seems to have some rudimentary special effects. What I really like is that this superhero flick is about ‘Thor’ who looks like a man made of metal, some sort of iron man, if you will, and it is based on the classic comic book from Fox Comics. If Wikipedia is right, that is so, so appropriate. Fox Comics was started by Victor Fox, a man who was indicted for mail fraud, and an accountant for the company that would become DC Comics. When he saw that the comic books were profitable, he started his own company, Fox Comics, with the intention of ripping off Superman (Fox had Wonder Man). History repeats itself, I guess. Incidentally, this Brett Kelly is not the same Brett Kelly who played Thurman Merman in Bad Santa. That being said, I’m going to pretend that they are the same guy, because that kid was awesome.
Does the world need another documentary about D-Day? No, no it does not. Does that mean they will stop being made? No, no it does not. To be fair, this one seems to have solid production values and it has the participation of at least one man who was there, so at least it seems like they put the effort into it and didn’t just re-hash the facts of the invasion while showing stock footage. The brave young men who fought (and died) on that day deserve to be remembered. They made a vow to fight for what was right, no matter the personal cost. Just so, I make a similar vow: I pledge to always stay on a D-Day program while channel surfing, at least until the commercial break, and I promise that I will try to play through any D-Day video game level, as long as it is the first level of the game or I have some sort of cheat-code activated. These men may be from my grandfather’s generation, and surely we will never meet face-to-face, but today we are all brothers.
Look, rather than focus on the twinks-in-trouble aspect, I’m gonna treat this like a real movie. With that in mind, who knew you could make a movie about trying to find pirate treasure in the Bermuda triangle without ever filming a single scene on a boat? In fact, it is extremely obvious that they used the same exact locations as the ones used for 1313: UFO Invasion. Why do they keep making these? Who watches one and feels the need to see another? Also, the way the dude says ‘folklore’ at 1:05 in the trailer is fascinating. It’s possible that English is his second language, but I bet he’s just a really bad actor.
Oscar-nominee Eric Roberts gets top-billing on this horror flick. He plays a ghost, or a monster, or something. You can totally tell it is him, too, because the makeup in this movie is really quite awful. It looks like Halloween masks somebody purchased from Walgreens. Look, I understand why Roberts would do these films; cocaine is not cheap. What confuses me is how he still gets the occasional A-list gig. This f*cker was in The Dark Knight, and in a fairly substantial role. How? How does that happen? Does he just wander on to film sets like Gary Busey? I’m sure I’ll never get an answer, just as I’m sure I’ll never watch this movie.
There is so much to love about this trailer. First there’s the awful CGI doe, then the puppets bursting through the flimsy walls. The shot at 35 seconds in, where you can see the top of the sets and the warehouse ceiling above them. The ‘rabid’ dog that is barely jogging or growling. The exploding…squirrel? Finally, there’s the CGI squirrel that obviously took some effort, but still looks embarrassingly awful. Plus the synopsis: Wolf, a pizza delivery man, ‘infiltrates’ an all-girls’ slumber party. He hooks up with Samantha, who is gone the next day and then the cabin they stayed in gets attacked by a family of deer. Actual quote from the official synopsis: “After a brutal massacre the cabin is bathed in the blood and gruesome remains of deer and teenage girl.” I would watch this movie.
If you’re itching to see any of the new DVDs, you’re going to have to acquire the DVDs. None of them are streaming yet. That being said, the Mandy Moore sex comedy Swinging With The Finkels has finally been added, so please stop constantly asking for it. Here are other alternatives to the new DVDs:
Steven Soderbergh’s choice of casting Gina Carano in the lead for Haywire wasn’t the first time he found his leading lady by choosing someone from a different area of entertainment. This film stars porn legend Sasha Grey. As if you didn’t know.
Dustin Hoffman, Samuel L. Jackson and Sharon Stone star in this underwater alien movie based on a Michael Crichton novel. Apparently, Joyful Noise’s Queen Latifah is also in this. They wanted Dolly Parton for the part but Hoffman and Jackson wouldn’t stop making jokes about her enormous spheres.
And They’re Off…’s Cheri Oteri is in this suspense thriller from a few years ago. It’s supposed to be pretty f*cked up, which isn’t at all surprising given that it is written/directed by Jennifer Lynch and executive produced by her father, David.
The Long Ride Home
This low budget western with Christian overtones has a double dose of relevance: it co-stars The Dead Want Women’s Eric Roberts and Garry Marshall, who directed New Year’s Eve. I’ve actually seen this movie, and while I can’t say it is very good, I guarantee it is better than either of those two other films.