Strap yourselves in, we’ve got another heavy week for new DVDs. This week there’s the Tuskegee Airmen, Tom Hardy, Daniel Radcliffe, a senseless film, nobody’s favorite stand-up, Boy George, Iron Man’s dad, two sides of the Japanese cinema coin, a better version of Battleship, a threesome, a surprising lack of vampires and werewolves, and the worst looking DVD I have ever seen.
This Means War
The Woman In Black
95 Miles To Go
Worried About The Boy
Up All Night With Robert Downey Sr.
The Secret World Of Arrietty
Mutant Girls Squad
The Kane Files
An Unholy Exorcism: The Devil Inside
Evil Dead Inbred Rednecks
If you’ve read literally anything on this site about this movie, you’ll recall that Vince faithfully and repeatedly points out that this is essentially a remake of The Tuskegee Airmen (and an inferior remake, per Vince’s review). To be honest, that doesn’t bother me. With The Amazing Spider-Man rebooting the franchise only 10 years after the original film, the 17 year gap between The Tuskegee Airmen and Red Tails seems almost generous by today’s standards. What does bother me is that seemingly all of the promotion for this film consisted of George Lucas interviews. Nothing says sincerity like a fat, white, billionaire implying that you are a racist unless you line his pockets by buying a ticket to a movie he neither wrote nor directed, but for which he still gets most of the profits. At least with the 3-D Star Wars movies nobody’s playing coy.
McG directs while Chris Pine, Tom Hardy, and Reese Witherspoon star in this romantic comedy/action flick that disappointed critics and audiences alike. If you look back through the surprisingly thorough FilmDrunk coverage of this film you can see that the warning signs were in place all along: The script has been around for close to 15 years, and the cast kept getting (and losing) leading men such as Bradley Cooper and Seth Rogen. Of course the biggest warning sign is that it was helmed by McG. Anyone whose professional name is only three letters long had better not be put in charge of a multi-million dollar production, especially if that guy is a middle-aged fat white dude. McG is what you’d get if Brett Ratner and Guy Fieri had a baby.
If I were Daniel Radcliffe I wouldn’t even bother trying. I would pull a Jackie Earle Haley and disappear for a long while, live well off of the Harry Potter monies, and maybe show up as a character actor in some small movies once I’m middle-aged. If that led to a nice career resurgence, so be it. If not, oh well. But, that’s just me. Instead, Radcliffe chose this by-the-numbers ghost story as his follow-up to the Harry Potter series. He seems like he’s really trying, too. It’s like he wants to be seen as a proper actor and not the kid who could hit his mark and basically won the lottery as a result. Good for him, I guess. Nothing says “I’m not Harry Potter” like running around gothic movie sets with ghosts while wearing an ascot.
Ewan McGregor and Eva Green star in this film about a chef and a scientist falling in love in the midst of an epidemic robbing people of their sensory perceptions. I can’t imagine why this didn’t get more promotion, the ad campaign almost writes itself: It was love at first sight…and last sniff. To be fair, I don’t mind Ewan McGregor as long as he’s not attempting to play an American (his accent needs a lot of work) and Eva Green has enchanted me since The Dreamers, so I might watch this. Of course, to be fairer, I would probably just re-watch The Dreamers before I would choose this. This is only rated R for ‘language and some sexuality/nudity’. The Dreamers is NC-17 for ‘explicit sexual content’, which means an almost constantly topless Eva Green, as well as a surprisingly close-up shot of her lady area. I mean her vagina, if I was being too vague.
Beginning with the indie hit The Brothers McMullen, Edward Burns has directed 12 films, and I haven’t seen a single one of them. This, his latest, won’t be ending that streak. If your movie’s about an East Coast Irish guy, he’d better be a criminal or an alcoholic or I’m not interested. I like realism, I guess. As for this movie, it’s about how when you get married, you end up marrying more than just the person who wears your ring. You get their siblings, their exes, their parents, etc. This could make for a decent movie, but this isn’t it. It looks like every other film Burns has made (said the guy who hasn’t seen any of them). If I were making this movie, I’d base it on my real life. It would be about a guy who has too many siblings (I have six) and too little aspirations, so he marries an only-child (from a reasonably well-off family) with a relatively high-paying job, and moves 1000 miles away from his own dud family. She goes to work every day, freeing him to sit at home and write dick jokes for a movie blog. A ‘job’ he does only once a week. I’m livin’ the dream, mother*ckers, I’m livin’ the dream.
Watching the trailer, I would say that this movie looks average at best. It looks like a low-budget amateur action/horror flick. There’s not a single line of dialogue in the trailer, and you get the impression that that was meant to avoid showcasing the shitty acting. Absolutely nothing about this trailer compels me to seek out this six-year-old film. That being said, it’s probably my pick for this week’s best new release. You see, this is the writing/directing debut of Gareth Evans. His latest film is a little flick called The Raid: Redemption. I haven’t seen The Raid yet, but based on the trailer alone, I’ll watch anything this guy directs. Kind of strange, isn’t it? I genuinely want to see this movie based on the strength of the trailer for a different movie. I’m a complex dude.
Although I never watched it, I acknowledge that Everybody Loves Raymond was a popular sitcom for many years. Just so, while I’ve never seen so much as a clip of him doing stand-up, I acknowledge that Ray Romano is/was a successful stand-up comedian. You’d think there’d be a market out there for a documentary about him going on a stand-up tour, and yet, I would put money down that absolutely no one reading this article has heard of this movie before right now. The entire trailer is Romano bitching and whining in cars and hotel rooms. The one clip in the trailer of his stand-up is him making a gay joke. I don’t know why this didn’t get a bigger release. By which I mean, I don’t know why this didn’t get a bigger release eight years ago when it was filmed or six years ago when it played in theaters. All two of them.
David Tennant stars in this true story about “Manchester United’s legendary “Busby Babes”, the youngest side ever to win the Football League and the 1958 Munich Air Crash that claimed eight of the their number.” Were these the people who resorted to cannibalism? If they are the cannibals, the trailer doesn’t make much reference to it at all. Instead, it looks like a weepy, inspirational, triumph over tragedy tale. I have no interest in this movie, but I’ve been made to understand that there’s a subset of females in this world who find David Tennant attractive. I think he got this status by way of playing the Doctor Who, of all characters. I won’t pretend to understand, but if you are one of those people who see his name and squeal with sexual delight, well, he’s in this movie. Here you go.
Just what we’ve all been waiting for, this film is a bio-pic about Boy George. I know what you’re thinking, and no, Boy George hasn’t died. (At least, he hasn’t died yet. After last week’s Nick Stahl coincidence, who knows what my attention will bring to Boy George.) I don’t know why Boy George merits a bio-pic; as nearly as I can recall he wasn’t even that big of a star in his prime. He always seemed like a novelty act to me. Of course, I was just a little kid in the ‘80s. One time I heard someone refer to Boy George as queer. I asked my brother what that meant, and he told me it meant he was British. To this day, that same brother vehemently claims to hate the British, but he secretly drives on the wrong side of the street, if you know what I’m saying.
Full disclosure: I’m a huge fan of the Criterion Collection. (Feel free to send me review copies, fellas!) Every week I select films to write about in this column, and every week I hope to include a new release from the collection, but it usually doesn’t work out. As much as it may excite me, I just don’t know how interested any of you would be in a 49-year-old Italian film about textile workers forming a union. This Criterion release, however, I feel confident in mentioning. It’s a box-set of five films by Robert Downey Sr. (Care to guess who his son is?) It includes the legendary Putney Swope, and if you haven’t heard of that film or this filmmaker, check out this trailer and go over here for more details on Putney Swope as well as the rest of the movies in this set. Seriously, watch this trailer.
This is the latest Disney-branded import from Studio Ghibli, Japan’s premier animation studio. You may remember hearing about this flick; besides actually getting some advertising from Disney, this is one of the films that Lou Dobbs identified as Hollywood liberal propaganda, indoctrinating our children to hate the 1%. I don’t know, he may be right. It’s based on The Borrowers, a classic British children’s book that was published in 1952. I’m sure the cabal of god-hating Hollywood liberals all got together, shat on the American flag, and concocted an elaborate scheme by commissioning a foreign film company to produce a movie based on a 60-year-old book that probably won’t appeal to most kids anyways. It’s not like they could’ve just made it a live action slap stick family comedy with John Goodman.
If your tastes in Japanese cinema aren’t satisfied by the likes of The Secret World Of Arrietty, I present to you Mutant Girls Squad. The plot, as if it mattered, is about a young girl who discovers her mutant powers on her 16th birthday. The government murders her parents and she joins up with a team of other mutant teenage girls. They vow to take over Japan and claim it as a country only for mutants. There’s a lot of gore and a lot of school girl fetishism. You know the drill. Trailer’s NSFW, possibly not safe for life. Come for the ass-chainsaw, stay for the titty-swords.
This might be the perfect storm (see what I did there?) of made-for-DVD crap. Ludicrous premise? Check. Horrible special effects? Check. Stock-footage of well-known landmarks? Check. Once promising young actor, now aging and washed up? Well hello, Lou Diamond Phillips, glad you could make it! Do the other supporting actors get large billing, even though you don’t know who the hell they are? Pleasure to meet you, Greg Evigan and Nicole de Boer! Would you never choose to watch this movie, but totally end up watching the whole thing on cable –even though you’ve got a stack of Netflix DVDs that are critically acclaimed Oscar nominated films? Check and mate.
This masterpiece from The Asylum used to be called American Battleship, but they got a little bit sued by Universal, so they had to change the title. To be honest, I’m surprised that’s all they had to change. I’m guessing that the plot, involving aliens who invade Earth and can only be stopped by the crew of a battleship, resembles pretty closely the would-be blockbuster that came out last Friday. Notice that I said ‘I’m guessing’. I haven’t seen Battleship, and as it turns out, neither have most of you. Congratulations, America: you didn’t sh*t the bed this time. What’s more, I won’t ever see Battleship, but I might see American Warships. A plot this asinine deserves to be a movie from The Asylum, not one with $200+ poured into it. Plus, one final note on why this is undoubtedly a better film: Carl Weathers > Rihanna.
For a person with my level of laziness, there’s precious little out there that can be dug up regarding this movie. Here’s what I know: It stars Angelina Jolie’s dad, Oscar winner Jon Voight and Teri Polo (Ben Stiller’s wife in the Meet The Parents shitstains). It’s about a detective and a psychic hunting down a missing child. Beyond that (see what I did that time?) I’ve got nothing. Even the IMDb listing lacks names for the characters played by the leads. The ‘official’ trailer is just a clip from the movie, and I’m pretty sure it’s the climax of the film and therefore ruins the entire flick. Click here if you want to see that, but I much prefer this German trailer I dug up. It doesn’t ruin the ending, and the German voice-over is just mesmerizing. It could be fake, for all I know, but it sure does make the movie seem overly serious., and the occasional bursts of accented English is enchanting.
A martial arts expert known as Cobra has to smuggle diamonds into the U.S. in order to get his father pardoned in South Africa. When he gets to the States, he’s double-crossed and blah blah blah. First off, if you’re wondering if the title means to imply that Cobra is a black dude, well, he is. Does that make you racist? Secondly, the only things I know about South Africa is what I picked up from watching District 9, but I’m guessing the South African government doesn’t issue pardons as a result of international crimes being successfully committed. The only other thing I have to say is that I don’t know if the book on which this is based is popular –as the trailer claims –or not, but it definitely looks like a fake book created for a Wes Anderson movie:
Now I totally want to see Wes Anderson’s version of an international martial arts flick. Just think of it, the costumes, the retro Brit rock, the slow motion, the montages. Kung Fu Bill Murray! This needs to happen.
Drew Fuller (evidently he’s on Army Wives and was on Charmed, I haven’t seen either show and shame on you if you have) plays Scott Kane, a man with a shady past trying to live a clean life. When his kid needs expensive medical care, he turns to the local crime boss for help and of course gets double-crossed (a theme for this page, I guess) and has to flee from a corrupt cop sent to kill him. That cop is played by an aging Ethan Embry. I was all set to cut Embry a break, figuring he’s gotta be in his 40’s by now, but it turns out he’s only 33. Dude, Ethan, what the hell have you been doing to yourself? Most people remember him fondly from Can’t Hardly Wait, but to me he’ll always be Rusty Griswold in Vegas Vacation, which is an underrated film and far superior to European Vacation. Just because a movie has PG-13 tits does not make it a good movie.
This is from mumblecore auteur Joe Swanberg. I haven’t seen any mumblecore films, and I don’t intend to. Fans of mumblecore celebrate its low-fi, off-the-cuff style. They always mention that every line of dialogue is improvised, as if that’s a good thing. You know what’s a good thing? Some forethought, some planning, and a polished script. When half your actors ‘play’ characters who share their own names, they’re not acting. In fact, it just shows how stupid they are as people. It’s as if a dude named Kent can’t play a character named Phil because when another character says, “Hey, Phil!” stupid-ass Kent will just sit there in his tweed blazer waiting for a chance to ‘improv’ his thoughts on the modern state of indie record shops. Which is to say nothing of the wish-fulfillment in these movies. This one’s about a dude stumbling his way into a relationship, and subsequently, a threesome. Aw, horeshit! That doesn’t happen, at least not to people like this. Credit where it’s due, though: the move Kent makes at 1:27 in the trailer, when he’s invited into the threesome smacks of realism. At least it does from my experience with ménage à trois, which is to say, none whatsoever.
We’ve got another week with a surplus of awful horror flicks, so I’m just going to pick a couple to highlight. First up we’ve got An Unholy Exorcism: The Devil Inside. I picked this one because it used to be called Chronicles Of An Exorcism, but they changed the title in an effort to invite comparisons/be confused for last week’s The Devil Inside. That’s right, they just lifted the other movie’s title word-for-word and then added a colon and a pre-title. It’s basically the same movie, too. It’s a found-footage ‘true story’ exorcism flick. I bet this one’s the better movie, actually. If you’re trying to sell the whole found-footage angle, having shittier production values actually helps, at least for horror flicks. Also, I’m betting this one actually has an ending. Other lame attempts at getting horror fans’ money released today include: Hack Job (with GWAR’s Oderus Urungus), Game Over, The Dead Undead (awesomely stupid title), Deadly Detour: The Goat Man Murders (I saw no Goat Man in the trailer, despite the image on the box cover), All God’s Creatures, and the infamous A Serbian Film, which has been out for a while on DVD in the edited NC-17 version (that’s right, they edited it down to an NC-17), but is available today in a completely uncut version.
A couple weeks back, we had some fun with The Amazing Bulk, and I honestly thought it would be some time until I came across another film actually getting a DVD release that could look as poorly produced. Well, this one’s worse. At least The Amazing Bulk had to be animated, poorly though it was. This movie is just unacceptably lazy. This might be a parody of The Evil Dead, but I’m really not sure. The art design of the box cover certainly steals from the classic film’s poster, but the trailer doesn’t convince me that these assholes have ever seen any movie, let alone The Evil Dead in particular. For real, this trailer seems like something a bunch of idiot friends made on a rainy day and then somehow got a DVD deal. It reminds me of the Spanish class videos I made in high school. Words can’t describe how shitty this is. Top to bottom, total shit. The jokes are lame, the production values and costumes…I just…how do they…I don’t know. I just don’t know. Just watch this swear-filled trailer. The DVD also includes I Spit Chew On Your Grave!, an earlier film from these human tampon strings, which looks just as bad. I’m including that trailer as well. It’s just as bad. How many sincere amateur filmmakers can’t secure distribution for their films? Watch these trailers and despair.
If you, unlike me, want to see Uncle Kent, you do have the option to stream it from Netflix. That’s the only one of today’s DVDs that looks to be available through streaming, but new additions to the inventory come and go seemingly at random, so if there’s something you might want to stream, look it up and you might get lucky. Otherwise, here are four movie suggestions inspired by this week’s list that are worthy of your attention:
This Means War’s Tom Hardy stars in this true story about Charlie Bronson, a notorious British prisoner who became sort of famous for his outrageous brutality. It’s from Nicolas Winding Refn, who also directed Drive. That info, combined with the picture above should just about sell anyone on seeing this movie. Incidentally, Drive is now streaming as well. Check it out.
If, somehow, you still haven’t seen Ewan McGregor in this grimy flick about heroin-addicted Scots, you really should. There’s got to be at least a couple of pop-culture references you’ve been missing out on, which is to say nothing of the hypocrisy of owing that “Choose life…” poster while you were in college. Plus you get to see McGregor’s penis, which is only fair because I’ve already told you how you can see his Perfect Sense co-star’s vagina.
This is the film that writer/director Gareth Evans made between Footsteps and The Raid: Redemption. It’s about some bad-ass protecting a couple little kids while traversing the “pimp- and mob-ridden streets” of Jakarta. I would watch this, even though I think they are using ‘pimp’ as a pejorative term, which I’m usually not OK with.
The Evil Dead
Instead of encouraging the fetal-alcohol syndrome victims that made Evil Dead Inbred Rednecks, watch this. This is the film that started it all for star Bruce Campbell and director Sam Raimi. Yes, it’s a cabin-in-the-woods horror flick, but it’s one of the best. In fact, the only one that beats it is Evil Dead II, but that’s not streaming, so f*ck that movie. Plus, Joel Coen (of The Coen Brothers) was an assistant film editor on this flick. That has no bearing on the quality of this movie, but now you’ve got some trivia you can bust out at parties. You’re welcome.