That’s right folks, I’m one of the few sad assh*les who haven’t seen The Avengers yet. Why? Because I haven’t seen Thor or Captain America, and I hear they kind of play into things, plot-wise. So why haven’t I seen those? Because my wife wants to see them too, but she never wants to see them, if you know what I mean. On the plus side, we just watched What To Expect When You’re Expecting, so at least I can stop worrying about that film getting ruined for me. Enough about me though, on to this week’s DVDs. The big news is obviously the release of The Avengers, but I feel it’s worth noting that there’s also a big, 50th Anniversary edition box set of all 22 canonical James Bond films (sorry Never Say Never Again). The blu-ray edition is currently the only way to get nine of the flicks on blu-ray, screwing over the people who own the other 13 007 flicks on blu and don’t want to buy them all over again, which is to say nothing of Skyfall, which will surely be included in an all-new box set in a few years when the 24th Bond film is released, but I digress. As for other, actually new DVDs, this week we’ve got Batman in addition to the Avengers, there’s a few damsels in distress, a couple of Klowns, James Franco, Samuel L. Jackson -in another movie besides The Avengers, Jessica Biel, John Malkovich, both Hilary and Haylie Duff, and John Goodman. We’ve got a badass president, and not one but two Dove Foundation approved flicks with talking dogs -oh, and one of them is Vampire Dog!
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1
Damsels In Distress
Klown (Also available for streaming)
The Tall Man
Soldiers Of Fortune
She Wants Me
388 Arletta Avenue
The Holy Roller
FDR: American Badass
Admit it, you’re kind of curious about Drunkboat. Well, you know the drill. Continue reading on the next page. Of course, you can always skip right to the Netflix page by clicking here, but if you do you’ll never find out which American Pie star is headlining the non-vampire talking dog flick.
You’ve all seen it and I haven’t, so what’s to say? Here are some of the other DVDs released today: Occupy Unmasked-This documentary claims to reveal the truth behind the Occupy Wall Street movement (that they’re anarchists hell bent on destroying everything you love). The critic’s blurb on the cover is from ‘Governor’ Sarah Palin. I’ll leave it at that. Strippers vs. Werewolves –I’d rather see stripper werewolves. (I love hirsute women). After Porn Ends – What I took from the trailer: Lady porn stars all get horrible plastic surgery and regret every choice they’ve ever made, male porn stars had the time of their lives and wouldn’t change a thing. Pink Ribbons, Inc.-Who knew that buying that pink George Foreman grill didn’t actually do anything to help cure breast cancer? Snowman’s Land-This German crime comedy…wait, did the Krauts just make a pun? Can they even do that? Jock The Hero Dog –Bryan Adams stars as the voice of Jock in this animated film. He also wrote the original songs for this film. It was only last year that I realized that he and Ryan Adams were different people. They share a birthday, hence my confusion. A Previous Engagement– Hey who wants to see a romantic drama starring Daniel Stern, the non-Joe Pesci burglar from Home Alone? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Asylum Blackout – An aspiring rock band makes ends meet by working in an insane asylum. When the power goes out, all the cell doors open and the inmates escape, because this asylum was designed by idiots. Nightscape: Dark Reign Of Thanatos -Looks like a feature length music video for the band that works in that insane asylum. Porkchop II: Rise Of The Rind –One of those ‘seriously, who made this, who watches this, how can anyone think this looks funny films?’ horror comedies. Zombie Babies –from the director of Porkchop II. I’m not kidding. I want to kick this guy’s ass. Close Encounters Of The Inbred Redneck Kind –I watched 72 trailers for new DVDs coming out today and this is in contention with Zombie Babies for worst looking film this week. Redneck seems to be just people in cheap wigs and fake teeth yelling in silly voices, but Zombie Babies tries to be shocking and/or funny by having zombie-baby fellatio. Complete with a facial. Trust me, it is genuinely offensive. I mean, babies can’t ejaculate, that’s just common sense.
Now, I’m no comic book expert like Burnsy, but even I can tell that this is one big embarrassing cash grab. Where do I begin? First of all, this straight-to-video flick just happens to be coming out on the same day as The Avengers. Coincidence? Plus, they can’t even come up with a decent story. Apparently this was written by the guy who wrote/directed The Spirit. That movie was so bad, I bet this Frank Miller guy has never even read a comic book. Anyhow, his big idea: Batman’s old and Robin’s a girl. YOU CAN’T JUST DECIDE TO SWITCH GENDERS OF BELOVED AND ICONIC CHARACTERS. What’s next, Batman ends up fighting Superman? Pfft. And don’t think I didn’t notice that this is only ‘Part 1’. I know Disney (who recently bought D.C.) is notorious for milking their properties for all they’re worth, but this is just offensive and obnoxious. The Dark Knight Rises was lame enough with the made-up-for-the-movie character Bain, but this ‘sequel’ is somehow worse. I’m way more interested in Resident Evil: Damnation, this week’s other straight-to-DVD animated feature. At least zombie stories are original.
This quirky comedy hasn’t gotten much mention around these parts, but luckily for us, Vince reviewed it for The Portland Mercury. His thoughts:
…director Whit Stillman is back with a bizarre quirkfest about… a group of party boys… Stillman doesn’t have a vagina, and Damsels feels largely like it was written by a closeted-gay intellectual from the 1800s…Sound hilarious…Damsels in Distress is the perfect film…The most interesting bit is a scene in a class called “Flit Lit,” the study of closeted homosexual writers (…a class I’d totally take)… I…only wants to have anal sex…I…might be trying to say something about the nature of closeted repression…Damsels in Distress is a singular experience…It’s like Wes Anderson with autism.
Wait, Wes Anderson doesn’t have autism?
This is that Danish comedy that Laremy gave a ‘B+’ in his review, and whose stars Vince interviewed in a two-part series. Since I’m sure you’ve all thoroughly read and recall that wonderful review and Vince’s popular interview (act fast and you can still be the first to comment on the Part 2 post), I have little to add. We know that the film is about two dudes taking a little kid on a canoe trip of debauchery, and that it is like Curb Your Enthusiasm crossed with The Hangover, but with subtitles. That sounds pretty good, actually, but I feel it’s important to remind everyone that this is that flick with the trailer where there were two dudes in a bed with that lady and while the one dude tries to sleep the other dude and the lady start porking, so the dude who is trying to sleep fingers her butthole so they can finish faster and he can go to sleep. (See below.) If Vince had titled his interview ‘Frank & Casper, The Butthole-Fingering Comics Of Klown’, I bet more people would’ve read it.
[It’s also available on Netflix Instant.]
It was only one week ago today that Vince shared this wonderful film with us. If –somehow- you haven’t already read through his breakdown of the trailer, you really should do so now. It truly leaves nothing left for me to say. Luckily for me, the box cover for this masterpiece has the Dove Foundation seal of approval, so I get to lean on my new favorite crutch and share some of their observations. First off, I would like to commend the Dove folks for giving this film a chance; when I was a kid in parochial school nothing that could even be loosely associated with the occult or the devil was tolerated. For real, even The Wizard of Oz was forbidden, so it’s refreshing to see that Dove approves of something that has vampiric canines. Giving the film four Doves out of a possible five, the reviewer singles out a particular performer:
Voice artist Norm MacDonald provides a unique and perfect voice for Fang, an interesting voice which seems to meld perfectly with the dog.
I really hope that this reviewer has never heard of MacDonald before and simply doesn’t realize that he was literally just reading the lines as lazily as possible. Moving on to the standard Dove content warnings, we’ve got to protect our souls from the following: Under inappropriate language there’s ‘Dork, Holy Smokes, Dunce, Sucks, Mama’s boy, Freakazoid, Psycho, Poop Bag, Poop, Dweeb/Dweebs, Shut Up, Dolt, and Idiot‘. Warnings for violent content include: ‘Kid falls off stool while drumming; a flying stick lands in the groin area of the principal‘, and ‘a man falls in big pot’. Anyone who has seen the trailer knows about the nudity alert, ‘man seen in boxers’, but did you know about the ‘mild cleavage’? Finally under warnings for “Other”, there’s not only ‘dog flatulence‘, but also ‘dog belching‘. I’ll end things with the Dove review’s perfect final sentence: “But beware, you just might enjoy this vampire…dog!” Exquisite.
Wynona Rider is a playwright who may or may not be going crazy as she falls for her new leading man, James Franco. This is that James Franco movie that was written and directed by his professor at NYU. No not the professor who is suing him, the other one, Jay Anania, the one who is the younger brother of Elizabeth Edwards, John ‘Silk Pony’ Edwards’ dead wife. I don’t have any greater point to make; the movie looks really bad and is probably a dicknosing, I just thought it was a strange bit of trivia that this dude is Elizabeth Edwards’ brother, and in the process of verifying that information, I came across the additional fact that John Edwards’ nickname is Silk Pony. You know what? Strike that ‘probably’ from before, I at least, have most certainly been dicknosed.
Samuel L. Jackson is an ex-con who wants to live a clean life, but the son of a former partner lures him back into a life of crime. If you’re thinking you’ve heard that synopsis before, I’ll point out that this time it’s the son of a former partner, and not the partner himself. Makes all the difference.
Continuing our streak of ‘completely generic and horrible looking films except for the inexplicable participation of one or two stars slumming it for a paycheck’ we have this horror film starring Jessica Biel. This movie looks so unremarkable that when Vince mentioned it in June, he actually said nothing at all about the movie and instead shared a picture of Jessica Biel’s ass. Similarly, just last Friday Burnsy rightfully mocked Summer Catch, which prompted Vince to share another series of pictures of Jessica Biel in a bathing suit. The point is, whenever the subject of Biel comes up on this website, it’s never to discuss her acting, and seemingly always ends up with links to pictures of her semi-naked. And now you know why this movie gets a mention this week.
Christian Slater, Sean Bean, Ving Rhames, Dominic Monaghan, Colm Meaney, Freddy Rodriguez, and James Cromwell star in this action flick about rich men playing war games in an actual war zone. Needless to say, things don’t go as planned, and they find themselves participating in actual combat. If there were any doubt that this film is trying to cash in on the Expendables-created trend of ensemble action flicks, I’ll point out that the trailer includes the phrase, ‘No One Is Expendable’ in giant block letters. I’ll be honest, while this movie doesn’t look good, it does look watchable in a dumb-rental kind of way. Plus, Christian Slater plays the non-rich guy/special forces military expert role –and that’s nothing if not bold casting. You think rich people actually do stuff like this, or pay to kill people like in Hostel? I bet not; the consequences aren’t extreme enough. I think they find recreation in higher-stakes events, like organizing the Olympics or trying to buy the presidency.
John Malkovich and John Goodman star in this film about a teen who manipulates his drunken Uncle Mort (Malkovich) in order to buy a boat from a con man (Goodman). That all sounds good to me. Never mind that the film is two years old, barely got a theatrical release, and is based on a play based on a true story. Malkovich playing a drunk and Goodman playing a criminal really might be enough to make this entertaining. Plus it will be nice to hear people yelling at a drunk named Mort and not have them yelling at me for a change.
An aspiring screenwriter gets himself in a tough spot when a popular starlet sets her sights on the role he promised to his girlfriend. The screenwriter’s played by The Book Of Mormon’s Josh Gad, and the starlet’s played by Hilary Duff, but absolutely none of that matters. Gentle readers, I present to you the saddest, most ill-advised marketing ploy to ever grace a DVD box cover: “From Executive Producer Charlie Sheen”.
Guys, guess what? It turns out Nick Stahl hasn’t gone missing at all. In actuality, he’s been in Canada making this sh*tty thriller. And he’s had Devon Sawa with him the whole time!
You want to see Pinhead from Hellraiser play a character that isn’t Pinhead? You want to see him play some sheriff in a backwoods redneck town –despite still speaking with a British accent? How about Winston from Ghostbusters? You like him? Did you know he actually lost out on the Winston role for The Real Ghost Busters cartoon? For real, they didn’t think he sounded enough like himself, so they gave the part to Arsenio Hall. How’s that for a kick to the nuts? Well, both Pinhead and Winston are in this horror flick and you can watch the trailer to see them both. Seriously, watch the trailer; it will save you the trouble of watching the movie, which doesn’t look very good at all.
Look, I’m trying to be very cautious about turning this feature into nothing more than just the Dove review recap every week. In all sincerity, I try to limit my Dove references to no more than one film per week, but I really wanted to share this one and to be honest, I selected this film before I realized that Vampire Dog was Dove approved. (And also two other films mentioned this week have the Dove seal of approval and I’m not mentioning it. Until now. Dammit.) Anyhow, this film gets four Doves –with an ‘Ages 12+’ qualifier. For the sake of comedy, I present selected Dove warnings without any context or plot elements. SEX: a woman becomes pregnant out of wedlock but regrets what she did and is determined to raise the child despite having thoughts of having an abortion; man speaks to a woman he believes to be a prostitute and she offers him a Bible. VIOLENCE: tensions and disagreements between a few of the characters; a mugger tries to rob a man but stops and the would-be victim gives the mugger money to help him. OTHER: a woman is heard vomiting; a man refers to down and out people as “bums”. DRUGS: a man is having a seizure from a drug overdose but a minister prays for him and the seizure stops and he is revived; -and finally, my personal favorite- ‘a few drinking and nightclub scenes and a minister drinks at one low point in his life and tries to be a stand-up comedian but he does change’. Oh my god, I love that so much, his drinking leads to stand-up comedy (totally plausible, by the way), but praise Jesus, he changes! Prostitution gets a couple times in the Dove review’s warnings, but never with the clear disdain the reviewer has for stand-up comedians. I love it.
Three great tastes that taste great together: talking dogs, Shannon Elizabeth, and The Asylum. That’s right; The Asylum took a break from making Decider Dread, Local Evil: Retribution, and The Dark Night Arises, so they could make a family film with that girl who went topless 13 years ago in American Pie. What’s it about, you ask? Only a group of talking puppies that foil a bank robbery during Christmas! Oh, and the main dog is voiced by one Haylie Duff, everyone’s second favorite Duff (third if you can count the beer from The Simpsons). Simply put, this movie looks great. I have no reservations recommending it; in fact, you might say I give it four
Doves Saltshakers out of a possible five. Just so, this is a family film, and I like to be cautious about content. I would warn parents about the following concerns, broken down into categories I have randomly selected and in no way am I just cribbing from a certain website committed to reviewing films for Christian families: LANGUAGE: ‘Butt/Stinky Butt’. VIOLENCE: ‘a kid kicks soccer balls and hits thief in the head several times until he is knocked out’. OTHER: ‘teens enter an abandoned house to play video games; dog pees on carpet; a boy whose parents are always gone finally becomes upset and talks back to them but they realize their neglect’. I gotta hand it to Shannon Elizabeth, I would’ve figured the only movie she’d be headlining these days would’ve been called Golden Shower instead. Good for you, Shannon!
Simply put, I think this movie looks awesome. I thought so the first time Vince shared the trailer, and I think so now. The question is, why does this work (for me, at least) and other arguably similar films do not? Well I’ve given it a bit of thought and I think it comes down to a few factors. First off, unlike sh*t like Zombie Babies, this film does not look like it was improvised over the course of one weekend by a bunch of stoned college kids. For all of its silliness, it still has some scripting and production value. Plus it has real actors. You may not immediately recognize the names Barry Bostwick, Ray Wise, William Mapother, Bruce McGill, or Richard Riehle, but you sure do recognize their faces. And yet, that’s not enough; tone plays a big factor. This is obviously in the same vein as Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, but that movie might be taking itself too seriously –I honestly can’t decide- and it certainly cost too much for the subject matter. It’s a silly subject and should’ve been made cheaply, like this film. Finally, and most importantly, the trailer makes me laugh. I smirked at the profanity, not just it’s abundance, but it’s execution, such as when FDR asks about his penis. I laughed outright at the ‘Marco Polio’ line. There’s no accounting for taste, I guess, and I’ll freely concede that this idea is probably best suited to just being a trailer and not an actual film, and I know I’m being hypocritical and over-thinking all of this but you know what? SHUT THE F*CK UP, EINSTEIN! (That’s from the trailer, if you couldn’t infer.)
Conception, Detachment, American Warships, My Way, and The Deep Blue Sea have all been added to the streaming selections on Netflix, so dive in and watch one or two of ‘em. When you’ve finished with those, check out these flicks –some of which you’ve seen, and two I’m willing to bet you haven’t:
Iron Man 2 / Thor / Captain America
With The Avengers hitting DVD today, it only makes sense to point out that these flicks are streaming. It’s a shame that Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk aren’t steaming as well. Well, it’s a shame about Iron Man, at least.
Shadows And Lies
The Letter isn’t the first collaboration between James Franco and director/professor Jay Anania; they’ve also made this film together. It’s about Franco’s character rescuing his special lady friend from the mob. I skimmed a few reviews and they all seem to mention the movie being overly artsy-fartsy and boring. Shocking.
Being John Malkovich
Drunkboat’s John Malkovich co-stars in this flick about people crawling through a little doorway, and subsequently taking over control of Malkovich himself, but I’m sure you knew that already. If you’ve seen it, see it again, if you haven’t seen it, why not? Spike Jonze, the director, got a hold of this script when the author, Charlie Kaufman, sent it to Francis Ford Coppola, who was Jonze’s father-in-law at the time. Jonze was married to Sofia Coppola, director of Lost In Translation. Who knew they were married? They’re not any more, but you can rest assured that when they were the sex was awkward. Not to veer too far off topic, but am I the only one who would pay good money to see Spike Jonze and Wes Anderson wrestle?
Poolboy: Drowning Out The Fury
Before he made FDR: American Badass, director Garrett Brawith made this flick about a Vietnam vet/poolboy –played by Kevin Sorbo- who returns home to find that Mexicans have taken over the pool cleaning market. He vows to take back his job and exact revenge on the Mexican that killed his family. It’s needless to say, but yes, that Mexican is played by Danny Trejo. That sensation you’re feeling? It’s a boner. You’re welcome. If you’re a lady, it’s still a boner. Danny Trejo’s just that powerful.