Your Mid-Week Guide To DVD And Streaming: For A Good Time, Call The Paperboy

With lots of new films hitting DVD today, there’s something for every discerning fan of cinema.  Besides The Paperboy (pictured above) we’ve got new films with Jake Gyllenhaal, Patton Oswalt, Danny Trejo, and Olivia Thirlby.  There’s films about universal soldiers, imposters, fat kids, phone-sex workers, and samurais.  There’s warriors of witchcraft and witch’s brew, and even one of this year’s Oscar-nominated films.

The DVDs:
End Of Watch
The Paperboy
Universal Soldier: Day Of Reckoning
Nature Calls
Death Race 3: Inferno
Searching For Sugar Man
For A Good Time, Call…
Nobody Walks
The Imposter
Officer Down
Tai Chi Zero
Fat Kid Rules The World
Hara-Kiri: Death Of A Samurai
Hansel & Gretel: Warriors Of Witchcraft
Night Of The Templar
Derby Dogs
Hold Your Breath
Dead Sushi
Witch’s Brew
Zombie Ed

Streaming: Check out your choices here.

Can’t remember which one of these films is an Oscar-nominee?  Continue reading to find out.  Want to know why nobody walks?  Maybe it’s because fat kids rule the world, but you should continue reading just to be sure.  If you don’t really care and just want something to stream on Netflix, click the link above, but you’ll be missing out on a movie that gets the Dove Seal of Approval, despite featuring attempted vehicular manslaughter and scenes of people being covered in human excrement.  The choice is yours.
End Of Watch

Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña star in this found-footage, documentary-style film about two L.A. cops. I remember seeing tons of ads for this flick when it was in theaters, but I couldn’t tell you one way or the other if people liked it or even if anyone saw it.  To be perfectly honest, I assumed it had flopped, but –thanks mostly to a relatively small budget of between $7 and $14 million- it turns out it didn’t.  It was #1 for its opening weekend, and with a total box-office take of $43 million, it more than made up its production budget, and critics and audiences (those that saw it at least) all seemed to like it.  So, how was it?  Is it worth watching?  The last Gyllenhaal flick I saw was Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time, and that was terrible, so if this is anything like that, I’ll pass.

The Paperboy

Yes, this is the film (from the guy who made Precious) in which Nicole Kidman pees on Zac Efron.  If you’re not already sold, I’ll remind you that this is also the film in which Efron mimes jerking off to Macy Gray, he uses the N-word in ‘as nasty a way as you can imagine’, John Cusack jizz-stains his pants while staring at Nicole Kidman’s crotch, and speaking of her crotch, it gets more than one close-up during the film, including the aforementioned pissing scene.  If –somehow- you’re still not convinced that this will be worth your 107 minutes, I’ll point out that it also co-stars the always delightful Matthew McConaughey.  I’m not saying this will be a good film; in fact, it’s almost certainly terrible, but I don’t think we’ll ever see anything quite like this again, so I can’t wait to see it.  I feel it’s worth mentioning that the blu-ray is on sale for $12.99 at Target, because they clearly have no idea what they are selling.  God bless America.

Universal Soldier: Day Of Reckoning

Jean-Claude Van-Damme and Dolph Lundgren are back in this, the fourth installment in the official Universal Soldier franchise.  (There were two made-for-TV movies produced, one starring Gary Busey and the other starring Burt Reynolds, but they don’t count.) Like most folks ‘round these parts, I’d heard mostly good-to-great things about this flick -as in it’s pretty great for a late-period Van-Damme flick, and some say, just flat-out legitimately great, period. Well, when John Hyams, the writer/director of this flick, was kind enough to stop by the frotcast, I decided that my overall curiosity about this flick was enough for me to actually seek the film out and give it a watch.  Because I’m kind of anal about these things, this past week I tracked down all four Universal Soldier movies and marathoned them over the weekend.  To be fair, I’d heard that this fourth one pretty much stands alone, but I didn’t care.  It’s just how I am.  So after watching the twenty-year-old original (It was actually better than I remembered), its 1999 sequel (Utterly terrible.  Embarrassingly so), and John Hyam’s first Universal Soldier flick, the one from 2009 that rightfully ignores the sh*t from 1999 (pretty damn good, considering it’s straight-to-video), I finally sat down to watch this one.  In short, it’s graphically violent –the protagonist’s wife and daughter get shot in the head in the first couple minutes -and lots of fun.  (Redundant, I know.)  It’s very different from the previous movies.  For example, there’s a pretty strong Apocalypse Now vibe going on with Van-Damme’s character in place of Brando’s Col. Kurtz, but it fits the story.  Speaking of which, there really was no need to see any of the previous films.  I don’t regret seeing them (except for 1999’s Universal Soldier: The Return), but I do wish that I hadn’t skipped my daughter’s birthday party just so I’d have the full context when all those topless chicks got their tits shot off or when that guy punched apart a bowling ball.

Nature Calls

This is that Patton Oswalt/Johnny Knoxville ‘comedy’ that Burnsy declared to be the 10th Worst Film of 2012.  I’ve been fortunate enough to have not seen his picks for #9-1, so I won’t quibble with his rankings, but I have seen this, and it’s so very bad. Burnsy hits the nail on the head when he says the point of this flick was to make Rob Riggle scream as much as possible while child actors swear and make piss jokes.  The film is just not funny.  Which isn’t to say it’s ‘not funny’ in terms of being offensive, but rather it seems like it was made by people who don’t quite understand humor.  It reminds me of a little kid learning to tell jokes.  “Knock knock”  “Who’s there?” “Banana”  “Banana who?” “Aren’t you glad I didn’t say banana?”  They’ve got the form down, but the execution’s off.  There’s plenty that should work –the excessive profanity delivered by and to children, the gratuitous nudity, etc. –but it all adds up to nothing.  I don’t know, maybe I’m maturing in my tastes.  If so, I’ve come a long way since salivating over the thought of seeing Nicole Kidman piss on that guy from High School Musical two paragraphs ago.

Death Race 3: Inferno