As I’m sure you noticed, today sees the DVD release of The Campaign. What you didn’t know is that we’ve got a copy and we’re giving it away to the first lucky SOB who e-mails Vince at firstname.lastname@example.org! [UPDATE: Closed. Congrats, Matt. Sorry everyone else.] So go ahead, I’ll wait here for you. Feel free to tell him how much you like these DVD posts and my writing in general. As for the rest of this week’s DVDs, we’ve got films starring Aubrey Plaza, Salma Hayek and Andy Dick. We’ve got flicks about time travel, superfluous Christmas stories, and fish. There are movies about Craigslist and ballet and my friend Bernard. There’s a sick boy, and even a Satanic ritual just in time for Halloween.
Safety Not Guaranteed
A Christmas Story 2
Reef 2: High Tide
My Friend Bernard
666: The Ritual
Want to know which film is presented by Zach Galifianakis? (It’s not The Campaign, by the way.) Want to know which film has Kevin Smith’s support? Want to know which film is about a sky-diving polar bear? The easiest way to get those answers is to continue reading.
If you’re bitter that somebody else beat you to the free DVD of The Campaign, you can still click here for the Netflix suggestions – after all, those films are practically free so its almost the same as winning a free movie.
Yes this Will Ferrell/Zach Galifianakis political comedy only hit theaters about two and a half months ago, but it really isn’t that surprising that it is out on DVD today. We’re only one week away from Election Day, and they’ve got to cash in on the political-fever that we’ve all got. After next Tuesday, 79% of Americans will go back to not giving a f*ck about anything that has to do with politics, and that includes watching political comedies. Politics aside, this movie might be funny. I usually like Will Ferrell’s pompous ass characters and Galifianakis is doing his effeminate ‘Seth Galifianakis’ character (called Marty Huggins in the flick), and that may be a nice change of pace from his overplayed idiot man-child characters, so like I said, it could be funny. Of course, it’s directed by Jay Roach, the man behind Dinner For Schmucks, Meet The Fockers, and the Austin Powers films, so it may not be that funny after all. To watch or not to watch? Truly this is the most important decision any of us will be making this fall.
April from Parks & Recreation (Aubrey Plaza) and Pete from The League ( Mark Duplass, who is also a fairly prolific indie comedy writer/director in his own right) co-star in this indie flick about a man (Duplass) who places a classified ad asking for a time-traveling companion. Plaza’s character responds to the ad in an effort to research and write about Duplass with some of her co-workers. Obviously, she begins to fall for him and wonders if he is really crazy or not. Normally when a movie trailer touts ‘From the producers of Little Miss Sunshine’ I lose interest (that film has its nice points, but man do I hate Paul Dano and his stupid face), but I have to admit, this one intrigues me a little. Call me a sucker, but I am kind of curious to see if the time travel is real or not. I mean, I know it’s not real in real life –of course- but I’m curious if it is real in the world of the movie. It’d be nice if we had time travel in real life though, wouldn’t it? I could just skip ahead in time and ask myself if I’d seen Safety Not Guaranteed yet, and if so, was the time travel real? My future self would inevitably respond that he saw the film and of course it was real; we have time travel in real life, don’t we, so why wouldn’t they in a movie? And I would end up not having to see the movie because my future self already saw it and told me about it, but by my not watching it, my future self would have never seen it and couldn’t tell me if it had real time travel or not. Damn it, I’m just going to have to watch the movie and find out for myself. Or would it be for my future self?
Paul Dano stars in this romantic comedy from the directors of Little Miss Sunshine. Holy sh*t, what an amazing coincidence that I shoe-horned in both Little Miss Sunshine and Paul Dano into the previous paragraph! Dano and his stupid face play a writer who writes about his ideal woman –a figment of his imagination named Ruby Sparks. The twist? She becomes real and everything he writes about her becomes true as well. Now, I find it hard enough to believe that any woman could love Paul Dano (and that includes a magical woman of his own creation designed specifically to love him. He has a very stupid face, you see) but what really enrages me about this film is how fantastical it is. To be clear, I’m not bothered by the magical dream woman, instead I’m bothered by Dano’s character’s attempt to test his power over her attributes. He writes that she speaks fluent French, and voila, she starts speaking French. No man would ever use that as his test case. No man. Ever. How about ‘The only thing larger than Ruby’s massive breasts was her intense craving for anal sex and giving blow jobs to me and only me.’ You see? That ‘me and only me’ part shows that I, like most men, have thought about this, unlike the screenwriter –who incidentally, also plays Ruby Sparks. Every right-thinking straight man wants a big-breasted, cock-hungry woman in his life, but we don’t want to have to share her. ‘Me and only me’ is a crucial detail. Ruby Sparks should not be a whore. Despite clearly having a whore’s name. That’s the one part of this movie that makes sense; that actually sounds like a male-chosen name for a fantasy woman. For real though, Paul Dano looks like a rejected character design from Bob’s Burgers. Oh god, I want to punch his stupid face so badly.
What’s a stupider idea? Making this movie at all, or releasing it the day before Halloween? Are they hoping for good word-of-mouth so they can clean up around Christmas time and the gift-giving season or are they just simply aware that this is more horrifying than most horror flicks? Vince did a great job shaming this movie last month, so I won’t go into too much analysis on why this makes me so angry, but I will say that anyone who says Elf is a better Christmas film than the original A Christmas Story is both a fool and an assh*le. There is no better family Christmas film than A Christmas Story. And it’s not nostalgia either –it is genuinely a superior film. The only Christmas film that even comes close is Bad Santa. They’ve been talking about that one getting a sequel as well because every Christmas film worth making is worth a cash-grab sequel, I guess. I’m surprised Easter films haven’t gotten the same treatment. I would totally watch The Passion Of The Christ 2: Take Up The Cross. Jesus could use his carpentry skills to take out the
Jews Romans that killed him. There really aren’t enough crucifixion-based revenge flicks, I always say.
Somewhere between co-starring in Grown Ups and Here Comes the Boom, Salma Hayek made this film in which she plays Lola, an exotic dancer in Tijuana. Those Happy Madison sharts have been advertised to hell and back and yet none of you have ever heard of this movie until now. This is why we can’t have nice things, America. Thanks a lot, Obama.
Remember when Kevin Smith went to Sundance to ‘auction’ off his film, Red State? He ended up selling it to himself and announced that he was circumventing the usual studio system by traveling with the film and giving Q&A’s and that if the experiment worked, he would use his SModcast Pictures Presents distribution entity to help other films find release the same way? Well, it more or less worked and this is what that experience has wrought. True to Smith’s claims, this film allegedly got a roadhouse-screening-and-Q&A tour, but I never heard about it before. I never thought I’d say this, but -having seen this trailer- please Kevin Smith, go back to making studio pictures.
Zach Galifianakis presents this documentary (whatever the hell that means; It’s not like he came over to my house and put the DVD in my player) about a guy who goes out on his own, with little money, few belongings and no contacts on his iPhone (gasp!) to see if he can subsist on the kindness of strangers he meets via Craigslist. In so doing, he’ll answer the question of if we are all isolated in our own bubbles or if he is just a giant tool. Spoiler alert: He’s a giant f*cking tool. First off, the iPhone thing: big f*cking deal, you deleted your contacts. You still have an iPhone. Do you have any idea how amazing that is? Just ten years ago if you told me that I could hold an entire computer, with my entire music library, a dozen movies, a space age video phone, and the entire internet in the palm of my hand, I’d ask you if the time travel in Safety Not Guaranteed was real time travel or not because you would obviously be from the future. Seriously people, we live in the future. Forget flying cars, I’m still genuinely impressed by smart phones. And that’s my point –so what that you don’t have a contact list? –you have access to a database that encompasses the entirety of world knowledge and it is literally built into a telephone you keep with you at all times. Call the general information line and ask for your buddy’s number. None of us need contact lists. My second complaint about this douche-harmonica is that he is not alone. He clearly has a crew with him filming/audio recording his misadventures. People are fiends for attention, they are going to be nice to you just so they don’t look like assh*les in your little movie. Third and finally, f*ck you and your ‘I’m so hungry, look at my waistline’ nonsense. You’re not hungry for food, you’re hungry for some of that Morgan Spurlock documentary action. You’ve contrived a situation to answer a question nobody’s asking, you probably don’t even answer the question, and you provide a false sense of personal hardship when we all know that the dude filming you has a wallet full of cash and a family-sized bag of cheetos waiting for you just after the camera stops recording your masturbatory odyssey. The only way I could hate this guy more is if his name was Paul Dano.
Now here is an actual legitimate documentary. First Position follows the lives of six young ballet dancers as they prepare for and compete in the Youth America Grand Prix, which is a prestigious ballet competition and does not have anything to do with driving race cars but how wild would that have been if it did and that was the unexpected turn this documentary made? You start out watching teen/pre-teen boys and girls stretching their bodies into inhuman shapes, only to see them all pile into some race cars, start their engines, and drive off. That would be the best documentary ever. Instead we’ve got this, which is still pretty fascinating and looks really good, especially if your tastes mean that you stopped reading after the youth and flexibility tease I’ve offered. You’re sick, by the way.
2007 saw the release of The Reef, a cheap and shameless attempt to confuse grandparents and their grandkids into accidentally spending their money on a film that wasn’t Finding Nemo when what they really wanted was to find Nemo. Now, five years later, there’s a sequel –and just in time to confuse them again with Finding Nemo 3D hitting blu-ray soon. All your favorite characters are back: there’s Rob Schneider as Nerissa and Andy Dick as Dylan. There’s even some great new characters, like Ronny voiced by Jamie Kennedy and Frankie Jonas as Junior. So, to recap, the cast includes Rob Schneider, Andy Dick, Jamie Kennedy, and someone the internet assures me is the ‘Bonus Jonas’ and that his brothers are The Jonas Brothers, which again the internet assures me, was once a popular boy-band, of which Frankie was not a part, thus underscoring how awesomely pathetic this cast list is. Worth mentioning is that there was one original cast member who gained some dignity during the last five years and turned this sequel down –Freddie Prinze Jr. (Bet you didn’t guess that one. I bet you haven’t even thought about that name since 2002.) His leading-role character of Pi is now voiced by Drake Bell. Enough of this bullsh*t! You know why I’m writing about this film, so let’s stop ignoring the Dove Foundation seal of approval (5 out of 5 Doves), and dive right in to their priceless contribution to film criticism: ‘SEX: Only if you count two fish kissing (Oh, I do.) LANGUAGE: Idiot, Dumb Dumb, Dummy, Sucker. VIOLENCE: A shark eats a snake; sharks bump a fish hard’ the fish bump a shark in return; shark eats smaller shark but he gets out and is fine; shark bites a fish on its tail; a shark is shocked but is fine. DRUGS: A drug is used by the Navy on a shark to make him bigger and he experiences some pain; Navy gives shark another shot to sedate him. OTHER: Magic trick that brings up a sea dragon; a fish blows a mucus bubble. NUDITY: None.’ Bullsh*t. All of these fish look naked to me.
This week’s other new cartoon DVD is this South Korean film about a boy with crippling fear of everything and the X-treme polar bear that teaches him how to sky dive and ski, because that’s what South Koreans think that polar bears do. If you were wondering if the polar bear battles a giant sea serpent, I’d remind you that this is from South Korea. Of course he battles a giant sea serpent; it’s right around the time the giant tea cups are flying around. Duh.
This French film won the Jury Prize at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. It follows the daily lives of the men and women of the Parisian Child Protection Unit. In other words these are the cops who have to deal with child abusers/molesters, etc. When not facing literally the worst of humanity (except for Paul Dano –he’s the absolute worst), they live, laugh, and love while trying to not let the darkness consume their final shreds of hope for humanity. While the film is a work of fiction, the cases depicted therein are all based on actual CPU cases. It’s always heartwarming to hear about the happy endings that sometimes come as a result of tragedy. If those kids hadn’t gone through the various abuses they did, they’d never have a movie made about them, now would they? I know I’d like a movie made about me, but it won’t happen because all of the abuse I suffered was psychological and emotional, and those don’t ‘pop’ on screen, so I’m told.
Three Americans in Buenos Aires scheme to steal a bunch of money so that they can afford to stay in Buenos Aires and not have to return to their boring lives in the horrible United States. Needless to say, things get complicated as the budding love triangle between the three Americans runs the risk of upsetting the planned heist. I’ve always been confused by the term ‘love triangle’ because there’s always someone in the middle that the other two want, but they don’t want each other. It’s more of a love ‘V’ with three points of interest. If it were a love triangle, wouldn’t it be they all are in love with each other and can just be a threesome both physically and emotionally? Plus, make up your mind, person in the middle of the love triangle/’V’-with-three-points-of-interest. You run the risk of losing them both if you can’t decide which one you like. You’ve probably figured out by now that I don’t have much to say about this movie. Which means I’m probably boring you the way the trailer for this bored me. It’s like you, me, and this movie are in the middle of a disinterest ‘V’-with-three-points-of-interest. Unless you watched the trailer and were also disinterested in the movie, then it would be a disinterest-triangle, assuming the movie’s disinterested in the both of us as well.
There’s a group of aliens living as humans on Earth, but they don’t know that they aren’t human until a strange spiked ball arrives and they all realize they are aliens and now must decide if they want to leave Earth (and how) or if they want to stay and live their lives as humans. Almost none of that synopsis, by the way, can be gleaned from watching the trailer. The trailer makes this seem less like an alien-packed sci-fi flick and more like an ultra-low budget indie drama filmed entirely in Dallas, Texas and co-starring that guy who played Zed in Pulp Fiction, which it also is, so you should be good either way, assuming you don’t mind that it looks boring as f*ck.
Lucy takes on a new babysitting job and it seems pretty easy: the kid she’s supposed to babysit has a rare and mysterious illness such that he is confined to his own room, but really he’s a psycho killer because just look at the box cover.
This movie is basically a remake of RoboCop. Except that he’s a black dude, and he’s a criminal and not a cop (f*ck your assumptions, you racist pig –even if they are right this time). Wouldn’t it be awesome to see RoBurglar go out ruining everyone’s sh*t? Well this movie seems to focus solely on the part of the story where the scientists rebuild and train him. Really, that appears to be it. So why did they make sure to make him a black guy with a criminal past? I’m guessing it’s because the only actor they could find was black and he insisted on realism.
This awesomely bad looking amateur horror flick was originally called The Occultist. More accurately, it used to be called H.P. Lovecraft presents The Occultist. Wait, what? I was confused enough about Zach Galifianakis ‘presenting’ that stupid Craigslist documentary, how can H.P. Lovecraft present this? He’s dead, isn’t he? Is that why they changed the title? Did his estate -or whatever- send a cease and desist? I’m surprised Satan is cool with them using ‘666’, this looks so bad. You know what the only thing that looks worse than this is? Paul Dano’s stupid face.
This week there are several noteworthy additions to the Netflix streaming service. Most notably, they’ve included the most recent Best Picture Oscar winner, The Artist, but there are also a bunch of other new flicks as well: Mirror Mirror, The Magic Of Belle Isle, Monsieur Lazhar, Battleground, and The Viral Factor. So find something you like and watch it. If you need more help, here are a few flicks starring the stars from The Campaign but playing against their usual types:
Everything Must Go
Every once in a while, Will Ferrell tries to prove he’s a real actor and not just a comedian rehashing the same types of roles. This is one of his latest attempts. Ferrell plays an alcoholic who lives on his front lawn after his wife kicks him out. I once had a family of ducks living on my front lawn. They were adorable.
Zach Galifianakis plays George Washington Winsterhammerman, a guy who is nervous because people around him have been exploding due to stress, and he’s showing some early symptoms. Despite the premise and his character’s name, Galifianakis plays this one fairly straight –as in straight to DVD. Still, it looks like it could be interesting. Those ducks were interesting. Every day I would come home from my job selling mail-order art supplies and I would say, “Hello, ducks!” and the one duck would always quack back in friendly reply. They were adorable.
Dylan McDermott (and yes, he’s in The Campaign. He’s even in the trailer.) had one of his earliest roles in this cult-classic sci-fi thriller from 1990. He plays a dude who gives his girlfriend a robot head as a gift, but as is so often the case, the robot head wakes up, rebuilds the rest of its body and goes on a killing spree. Is this really against type for McDermott? I’d say so, but to be fair, I often get him confused with Dermot Mulroney. You know who I never got confused? My lawn ducks –they each had distinct plumage. That’s how I could tell that they were a family and weren’t just some random ducks each day on my lawn. They were a family and they were part of my family. They were adorable.
A Good Old Fashioned Orgy
Okay, so maybe this isn’t exactly against type for Jason Sudeikis, but I was running out of options and this movie has a lot of funny people in it and they possibly get naked. Sudeikis plays a guy who organizes a good old fashioned orgy, as you’ve surely surmised by now. Those ducks of mine never had an orgy. God knows I tried to convince them, but they were just way too classy for that. They were adorable.