FilmDrunk

Your Mid-Week Guide To DVD And Streaming: The Amazing Spider-Man Is Not This Week’s Most Amazing New DVD

If you were -justifiably- waiting for home video to check out The Amazing Spider-Man, well, this is your week.  If you’ve already seen it (or simply don’t want to) this is still your week.  Why?  Because there’s a truly amazing looking new documentary out called Dinotasia.  There’s also films starring Jude Law, Anthony Hopkins, Bruce Willis, Steven Seagal, and Wes Bentley.  There are films about red dogs, futuristic samurai, zombies and nazi zombies.  There’s even a found-footage flick that I actually enjoyed! All that and about a million Christmas movies starring dogs.  What more could you want?

The DVDs:
The Amazing Spider-Man
Arthur Christmas
Your Sister’s Sister
360
Fire With Fire
Maximum Conviction
Red Dog
Hirokin: The Last Samurai
Trishna
Dinotasia
[REC] 3: Genesis
The Pact
Outpost: Black Sun
The Legends Of Nethiah
Supernatural Activity
Nipples & Palm Trees

Streaming: Check out your choices here.

Want to know what Dinotasia‘s all about? Continue reading.  Want to know which found-footage movie is actually worth your time? Continue reading.  Want to know which film has a samuari?  It’s Hirokin: The Last Samuari.  That one’s a freebee, but you’re going to have to continue reading if you want to know who plays Hirokin. Of course if you hate Wes Bentley you can always skip the DVDs and click here for the Netflix suggestions.  Damn it, I think I did that wrong.  Oh well.
The Amazing Spider-Man

Yeah, so this isn’t coming out today; it’s one of those ‘holier-than-thou’ DVDs that thinks their sh*t is so hot, they just have to come out on Friday instead of Tuesday.  So, if you haven’t seen this yet and want to, today’s not the day.  Maybe you should go vote or something.  For me, I’ve seen it already (Vince gave it a ‘D’. I’d grade it higher, but I’m not happy about it) so I’m going to use this space to mention some of the DVDs that are actually coming out today: Kiss Me – Swedish lesbians. There’s a joke to be made here about Swedish fish, but I’m too lazy to write it. I Wish –This Japanese flick is about a young boy who thinks that by watching two newly-built bullet trains pass one another for the first time, he will get his wish of having his divorced parents get back together.  His friends help him attempt to see the trains pass, but you just know at least one of them is just trying to get their own wish fulfilled instead.  Probably something about a pet Godzilla or something.  Japanese kids are real assh*les. High Ground –a documentary about a dude mountain climbing.  A Life Ascending –another documentary about a dude mountain climbing.  A Beary Scary Movie – Neither beary nor scary. Also, needs more mountain climbing.


Arthur Christmas

This one gets a featured spot because it’s the only Christmas movie to have played in theaters, but make no mistake: there are many Christmas movies being released (or re-released) on DVD today –and most of them involve dogs, for some reason.  Besides Arthur Christmas, there’s Chilly Christmas, a dog movie with Tom Arnold and C. Thomas Howell, Adventures of Bailey: Christmas Hero –This Christmas dog flick gets 3 out of 5 Doves.  A bit of Dove’s review: “An Indian chief, called Handsome Fellow, has been said to grant one wish for the person who finds him. When found, the chief exalts Christ and mentions the “White Way” which is, according to the chief, giving of one’s self, even giving away presents to someone you love.” Holy sh*t. Santa’s Dog – The dog on the  box cover is not the dog in the movie. Not even the same breed. Christmas Oranges –No dog?  No deal. What She Wants For Christmas – Black Santa gets kidnapped by a little black girl.  Sounds like somebody needs to learn about the “White Way”.  (Again, holy sh*t.) 3 Day Test –Corbin Bernsen writes and directs this Christmas flick about a family turning off their home’s utilities for three days, so they can better appreciate Christmas or something.  I’m sure this will be a big seller every place Hurricane Sandy struck. A Christmas Puppy – The latest in David DeCoteau’s ‘Holiday Puppy’ film series, and if you thought DeCoteau’s given up on gay soft-core, Immortal Kiss: Queen of the Night is also on DVD today.  This time the gay dudes are black! Finally, there’s A Very Mary Christmas –Instead of a dog, there’s a pig on the box cover.  And Fred Willard.  And Gene Simmons.  This might be the best Christmas movie ever.


Your Sister’s Sister

Emily Blunt encourages best friend Mark Duplass to go spend some time at her family’s secluded cabin, but when he gets there, he finds Blunt’s sister, Rosemarie DeWitt is already there.  They get drunk and f*ck, and Blunt shows up the next day and we, the viewers are supposed to find this situation compelling because we, the viewers, are supposed to find these people charming. Will Blunt be upset by their sexual encounter?  Does she really love Duplass, and not just as a friend?  Was the sex just sex or the start of something more? Is your sister’s sister you –assuming you’re a female- or is it another sister?  Is the whole thing one of those logic puzzles, like who is your brother’s uncles’ wife’s nephew’s brother?  Probably not, but that would’ve been cool.


360

Oscar-nominated director Fernando Meirelles (City of God) and Oscar-nominated screenwriter Peter Morgan (The Queen, Frost/Nixon) bring us this star-packed drama that nobody but me actually saw.  This is one of those ‘we’re all connected’ flicks like Crash or Babel, but without the greater message those films claim to have.  Here’s a somewhat-spoliery version of the actual plot: A European woman decides to become a high-class whore, despite her sister’s objections.  Her first client is Jude Law, but he chickens out, and calls his wife, Rachel Weisz, instead.  The thing is, Weisz is cheating on him with some dude whose girlfriend finds out about it, so she –the girlfriend- decides to leave him.  The girlfriend decides to fly back to Brazil via Denver.  On the plane she meets Anthony Hopkins, who is flying to the U.S.  to possibly I.D. a corpse that may be his daughter, who ran away when she found out about him having an affair, and now she’s missing and presumed dead.  Hopkins and the Brazilian girl become friendly on the plane, and when their flights get cancelled in Denver, they make arrangements to meet each other for dinner.  Hopkins can’t find her, however, because she decided to go off to her hotel room with Ben Foster, who is a sexual predator just released from prison.  Hopkins is nervous because he thinks he lost another daughter-figure, and we are too, because Foster is totally going to rape her, but all is well because Foster angrily masturbates in her bathroom instead.  Hopkins and the Brazilian girl reunite the next day at the airport, and she gets on her connection back to Brazil and he goes on to I.D. the body.  It isn’t his daughter, and he goes to some AA or NA meeting or something like that.  A woman also in attendance at that meeting just happens to be married to a European mobster’s bodyguard. That bodyguard takes his boss to meet up with the escort from the beginning of the movie that Jude Law stood up.  While the escort tries to rob the mob boss, her disapproving sister makes a connection with the bodyguard, and the whole film comes full-circle, hence, 360.  This movie wasn’t boring, but it wasn’t good either. (Ben Foster’s character, while probably the best performance, was particularly maddening, as he didn’t even really play into the whole circle motif. His character didn’t link one story to the next, he was just a plot device to make us nervous for the safety of the Brazilian girl).  The whole film seems to be an exercise in coincidence and too-clever plot contrivances. We’re supposed to watch the film and marvel at how the film links one character to the next until we are back to the first character again.  It’ a circle of life, and just like every other circle, it never comes to any point.


Fire With Fire

Josh Duhamel plays a firefighter that witnesses white-supremacist Vincent D’Onofrio murder a convenience store owner. Cop Bruce Willis is on the case, and when Duhamel identifies D’Onofrio in a police line-up, D’Onofrio threatens Duhamel –right there in the midst of the line-up, with plenty of police witnesses.  Because this is a movie, they evidently don’t arrest D’Onofrio for that, but they do put Duhamel in witness protection.  Rosario Dawson is his handler, and she teaches him to shoot and of course they start f*cking, but she gets shot and probably killed, so Duhamel goes rogue, but still gets help from Willis because as a cop, that’s just how he does things, I guess.  Being a firefighter, Duhamel undoubtedly ends up killing D’Onofrio by burning him to death.  50 Cent and Rampage Jackson co-star.  I can’t believe this is going straight to video, it seems like a real winner!


Maximum Conviction

Steven Seagal and Steve Austin have to defend a prison against invading mercenaries. My only complaint is that Seagal isn’t named Max ‘Maximum’ Conviction.


Red Dog

This Australian true story is about a dog that united a local community while searching the outback for his master. The dog does all sorts of loveable stuff like stealing food off a grill (f*ck you, I won’t call it a ‘barbie’) and joining the local labour union.  Eventually Josh Lucas shows up and the dog respects him or something and that blonde hacker chick from the first Transformers movie also shows up as well.  I’m guessing the dog ends up dying, because he is a dog and that is what dogs do in movies that aren’t Christmas movies about puppies.  Here’s hoping things get really strange and the dog eats a baby somewhere along the way. (To be fair, that’s my hope for every movie with a dog in it.)


Hirokin: The Last Samurai

I can’t begin to summarize this insanity, so here’s the official synopsis:

On a planet where humans must scavenge the post-apocalyptic barren wasteland, Hirokin, a reluctant samurai with a dark past sets off on a mission to fulfill his destiny. Having fought to the death to save his wife and son from the planet’s evil dictator, Griffin, and his elite army of warriors, the lone samurai is left for dead in the vast desert. Armed with his samurai blade Hirokin is forced to choose between avenging the murder of his family and fighting for the freedom of his people. As he goes into war he’ll discover a shocking revelation about his family leaving revenge running through his veins.

Hirokin’s played by a pre-futurebeard Wes Bentley and I would’ve watched the ever-living sh*t out of this movie when I was ten years old.  To be honest, I’d still watch it, but the difference is that now I’m bothered that they have mastered hovercraft technology but somehow have lost the secret to projectile weapons.


Trishna

Just what we’ve all been waiting for: an adaptation of Tess of the d’Ubervilles set in modern day India.


Dinotasia

Assuming that you, like me, have not heard of this film before now, I have chosen to not write anything about it.  I feel it is much better for you to experience the trailer as I have, with total ignorance.  You start out thinking, “This can’t be what I think it is, can it?”  And then, just as you accept that, yes, it is in fact the greatest nature documentary ever produced, the dinosaurs start to f*ck, and you realize it is even greater than you imagined.


[REC] 3: Genesis

Now normally I hate the lazy and over-used ‘found-footage’ conceit that is so popular in many of today’s horror films, and just so, the zombie-virus conceit is just as played out, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t thoroughly enjoy the 2007 Spanish film [REC]. Yes, it was zombies, and yes it was found-footage, but damn it, they did it well.  The found-footage was reasonably justified, the scares were well done, and to be honest, it was one of the first films in the trend that I had seen, so original or not, it seemed original to me. I even enjoyed the sequel, 2009’s [REC] 2.  It was wholly unnecessary, but it built on the first film fairly organically, and even managed to evolve the plot a bit so that it wasn’t just more of exactly the same.  In short, I was looking forward to [REC] 3: Genesis.  Well, I’ve seen it and I have to say, it was awesome.  Why was it awesome?  Because the filmmakers had the good sense to mix things up.  For instance, the found-footage: it’s over-played.  Even if the [REC] films did it well in the past, we’re all pretty sick of it, so less than a half-hour into the film, right around the time the zombie sh*t starts to hit the fan –right when any real person faced with these horrors would drop the camera- they have the guy with the camera give the boilerplate ‘I have to record this; the world needs to have a record of what happened here’ line,  and then another character says nope, and smashes the camera.  The aspect ratio shifts from 1.78:1 ‘found-footage’ to 2.35:1 regular movie imagery, and the entire conceit is dropped.  In summary, if you haven’t yet, see the [REC] films.  Do so because I will probably never so heartily recommend a foreign, sub-titled, found–footage, zombie flick sequel again.  At least until [REC] 4: Apocalypse comes out.


The Pact

Here’s a pact I’ve made: If a movie stars Casper Van Dien and it doesn’t have ‘Starship Troopers’ anywhere in the title, I won’t watch it.


Outpost: Black Sun

This is the latest Nazi zombie flick.  It’s the sequel to 2007’s Outpost (not that I’m pretending I’ve heard of that movie), and it will be followed up with Outpost: Rise of the Spetsnaz, which will probably come out sometime next year.  For what it is, it doesn’t look bad, but the same thing could be said for a benign tumor -you probably still don’t want anything to do with it.


The Legends Of Nethiah

A little kid’s parents are going through a divorce and his grandfather helps him cope by telling him fantasy stories that give the kid just the type of encouragement he needs to confront his new reality.  For a low budget family fantasy film this film looks surprisingly medium budget.  They got the dad from Home Alone to be in it, and the grandfather is Robert Picardo, another dude you may recognize.  Between this and I Wish, what’s up with these movies about kids having trouble coping with their parents’ divorce?  Is the experience really that tough on the kids?  My friends who had divorced parents all seemed to enjoy it; they got two Christmases, double the birthday presents, and it was super easy to manipulate their mothers and fathers into letting them do whatever they wanted.  I wasn’t nearly so lucky; my dad died when I was a kid and all my grandfather had to offer me in terms of encouragement was telling me that my father would be constantly looking down on me from then on.  Made masturbation a real chore.


Supernatural Activity

This ‘comedy’ is a ‘spoof’ of ‘found-footage’ horror films, in the Seltzer/Friedberg ‘style’. Stale pop culture references include Criss Angel, Patrick Swayze’s death, Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s disease, shake weights, and Inception.  Fans of timeless humor can look forward to the ‘toilet seat that has been left up’ gag in the trailer.  So this is what comedy’s come to.  This might be my last chance to say this, but I feel it bears stating, even if I get to say it again:  Thanks a lot, Obama.


Nipples & Palm Trees

I watched this trailer expecting to see two things, and to be fair, I saw the both of them.  That being said, never have I been more outraged by the cruel biological curiosity that is the male nipple.

This week we’ve got a few new additions to Netflix, so let’s get them out of the way, shall we? There’s Polisse, My Friend Bernard, Small, Beautifully Moving Parts, Footloose (the remake), and Bernie. I’ve heard good things about Bernie, so maybe that’s the one to watch. If you’ve seen it already or simply can’t stand Jack Black, here are a few other suggestions:

Paper Man

Today is Emma Stone’s birthday (she’s 24) and she’s in The Amazing Spider-Man, so I decided to find a flick to suggest with her in it.  The best I’ve got to offer is this film about Jeff Daniels as a writer whose two best friends are a teenage girl (Stone) and Captain Excellent, an imaginary superhero played by Ryan Reynolds. I don’t know if this film is good or not, but it has provided me with an excuse to use the above photo, so I’m not complaining.

Humpday

Your Sister’s Sister director Lynn Shelton and star Mark Duplass previously made this film in which Duplass’s character and his best friend dare each other to have sex with one another and film it for an amateur porn festival.  The problem is, they’re both straight and Duplass is married. Do amateur porn festivals even exist?  I’m pretty sure that’s just called the internet.

Set Up

Lest you think Bruce Willis’ participation in Fire With Fire heralds an unfortunate turn in his career, I present this film from last year in which he again co-stars with 50 Cent, and which also went straight to DVD.  So despite appearing in critically-favored flicks like Moonrise Kingdom and Looper, he’s been cashing easy paychecks for acting in sh*tty movies for some time now.  If there’s anything to get nervous about, it’s that looking at his career of late, I’m suspecting Willis thinks Looper and Moonrise were the easy paycheck films.

Jude

I was perhaps a little too succinct in my analysis of Trishna, Michael Winterbottom’s adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Ubervilles.  To make amends, I’m suggesting this film, Winterbottom’s adaption of Hardy’s Jude the Obscure.  I wanted to suggest Winterbottom’s film The Claim, which is an adaptation of Hardy’s The Mayor of Casterbridge (and stars Hirokin: The Last Samurai’s Wes Bentley) but it isn’t streaming, so instead you’re stuck with this flick that is rated R for strong sexuality and stars a then-21-year-old Kate Winslet.  I’m sorry for the inconvenience.

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