Good news! After last week’s abysmal releases, this week we’ve actually got some decent flicks hitting DVD. Besides Skyfall, there’s The Sessions and The Man With The Iron Fists. We’ve got movies starring Helen Hunt, Emma Watson and Russell Crowe. We’ve got films with robots, thieves, bullies, and cartoons about Monty Python. There are films about perky wallflowers and 28 hotel rooms. We’ve got gigantic Dutch teddy bears and even a hard-partying Bigfoot.
The Man With The Iron Fists
The Perks Of Being A Wallflower
Robot & Frank
Silent Hill: Revelation
A Liar’s Autobiography: The Untrue Story Of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman
28 Hotel Rooms
Vigilante Vigilante: The Battle For Expression
Kill For Me
Mimesis: Night Of The Living Dead
Bigfoot’s Wild Weekend
Streaming: Check out your choices here.
At least one of these films includes Oscar-nominated full-frontal nudity. Want to know which one? Continue reading and I promise you’ll find out. Two of these films are about thieves. One of them is Robot & Frank, to find out what the other one is, continue reading. As always, you can simply skip the DVDs altogether by clicking the streaming link above, but if you do that you’ll never know which film shows flopping dong.
James Bond is back in this, the 23rd official film in the 007 franchise, and most people consider this installment to be a winner. Audiences and critics alike enjoyed the flick, which even set a few box-office records (which doesn’t really seem that hard when the records are things like ‘Highest Box-Office Gross for a James Bond Film co-starring Javier Bardem released in 2012”, but I digress). Sure there were a few people who felt disappointed by the flick (Vince fell asleep), but for the most part this is considered to be a great addition to the series. I know I loved it, but like Burnsy, I’m a bit of a Bondage Enthusiast, so take that into account. Would I enjoy it as much if it was the same exact movie, but instead of ‘James Bond’ it was about ‘Jim Brand’ of the CIA? I dunno. It doesn’t really matter though, because it is a Bond flick, and that’s that. The franchise celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, and especially with this film’s success, they aren’t going to stop making these movies anytime soon. Everybody sees these films. Hell, even the Dove Foundation felt it necessary to review Skyfall, which it gave 0 Doves and warns that the film features a ‘man with homosexual tendencies’. Sex, violence, overly-clever action movie quips and a gay dude? I will never understand how Vince fell asleep; this flick was tailor-made for him.
Based on a true story, this film stars John Hawkes as Mark O’Brien, a paralyzed man looking to lose his virginity. He’s aided in this quest by his friend Father Brendan, played by William H. Macy, and Cheryl, a sex therapist played by Helen Hunt. Now there’s a lot I could say about this flick. I could mention Vince’s ‘B+’ review, or that he declared it the 7th best film of 2012. I could ruminate on Helen Hunt’s Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination, or share my thoughts on Vince’s assertion that when able-bodied actors portray nobly disabled characters it often ends up being as demeaning as blackface. I could say a lot of things, but none of it would matter. There’s only one thing that anyone really wants to know about this flick, so here it is: Yes, this is the film in which Helen Hunt goes full-frontal, prompting Mr. Skin to name it one of the 10 best nude scene of 2012, and declaring, “We’re Mad About Pubes!” I’m guessing, like with the Oscars, Ms. Hunt feels honored just to be nominated.
It takes a lot for me to have any interest in a movie co-written by, directed by, and starring a hip-hop performer, but damn it, this film looks fun. Quentin Tarantino ‘presents’ this martial arts action flick from Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA that somehow co-stars respected actor Russell Crowe. The curiosity factor alone is enough to make me want to see this. Granted, it wasn’t enough to make me want to see this at full price in a theater, but now I can see it cheaply and legally in the comfort of my own home where I don’t have to deal with a room full of obnoxious, loud idiots talking back to the screen. Call me a bigot if you must, but sometimes stereotypes are true: like it or not, Russell Crowe fans have very poor theater etiquette and I’m willing to say so.
So this is that teen-angst movie that stars Hermione from Harry Potter and also has Paul Rudd in it. Apparently, it’s pretty damned good. That being said, I still have absolutely no desire to see it and I think I know why: I just can’t identify with it. Despite what Hollywood has told us, not everybody in high school suffered through the trials and tribulations of being a social pariah of some sort. Sure everybody says they were, but really, they weren’t. As for me, I loved high school. I had a girlfriend –who put out- the whole four years, I was the absolute best at everything I did without once putting in a single ounce of effort and everybody adored me, and those are just some of the perks of being home-schooled.
[Vince’s Note: Everyone loves this movie and I don’t know why. I hated it. It’s an entire movie of characters having “issues” over being uncool, when everything they do is pretty much a pandering ode to accepted forms of cool, like Rocky Horror and Morrissey. Ezra Miller is great, but when Emma Watson tells Logan Lerman “Welcome to the island of misfit toys,” I wanted to walk out, and should have.]
Frank Langella plays Frank, a retired cat-burglar, and Peter Sarsgaard is the voice of Robot, Frank’s robot butler. They form a bond of friendship and, of course, start pulling heists together. I know they were going for simplicity with the title Robot & Frank, but they really should’ve just called this RoboBurglar. That aspect of the plot is way more interesting then the primary focus on an old dude enjoying a revitalized life by connecting with an object exhibiting artificial life. In fact, I think every movie about burglars, thieves or heists in general should prominently feeature robots. Who wouldn’t want to see Ocean’s 1011? Of course Ocean’s 1100 would suck, but after that clunker, Ocean’s 1101 would regain some of the original film’s goofy charm.
Remember this movie? This is that documentary from last spring that got everybody’s panties in a twist because it was initially rated R by the MPAA, which meant that kids the ages of those documented in the film –those who most needed to see it –could not. In what was surely not a marketing ploy, The Weinstein Company made a stink and demanded that the rating be overturned, and eventually released the film as ‘unrated’ which meant that even fewer people would end up seeing it. Finally, trying to milk the ‘important message’ film for all it was worth, they then edited out some of the swear words and re-released it as a PG-13 film and everyone promptly forgot about it until today, which sees the DVD release of the PG-13 cut. South Park took this whole shameful business to task with the episode ‘Butterballs’ which rightfully pointed out that if seeing this movie was so essential, why not put it out on the internet for free? That about sums it up, don’t you think? Funnily enough, The Weinstein Company seems to now be releasing a third edit of the film, one that is even tamer than the PG-13 cut, and they are doing so in service to all the schools and families that want their pre-teen kids to be able to see the film as well. That’s really great; it’s just a shame that the only way to see that cut is as a special feature on the $29.99 MSRP blu-ray. It’s not available on the DVD edition at all. I’m sure it’s because this third cut can really only be appreciated with HD picture and sound and it really has nothing to do with an inflated price that frightened parents and educators will feel compelled to pay, because to bully folks into buying an unnecessarily expensive edition of your anti-bullying film would just be wrong.
Fun trivia: Writer/Director Michael J. Bassett was hired to make this film after the original writer, Roger Avary (writer of the first Silent Hill film from 2006) was convicted and sentenced to prison for manslaughter. Nothing says quality like ‘You get the job because the guy we really want is too busy being a convicted murderer’.
So here’s the deal: before his death in 1989, an audio recording was made of Graham Chapman reading his 1980 book, A Liar’s Autobiography, Volume VI. That audio recording, supplemented with newly recorded dialogue (including the vocal participation of every other Python member except Eric Idle), was used as the audio for this animated film, which by the way, is comprised of ‘chapters’ each animated in a completely different style. If you think this is just a shameless attempt to milk more money from Monty Python fans, well, you’re right, but it also co-stars Cameron Diaz as Sigmund Freud, so actually, it’s worse than you assumed. I thought you’d want to know.
Chris Messina plays Man and Marin Ireland plays Woman in this film about two people’s on-going affair. Largely improvised, this film is comprised of a collection of mostly unrelated scenes as the two characters meet up with each other in 28 different hotel rooms during the course of their relationship. I’ve seen this flick and yes, it is exactly like it sounds. It really is 82 minutes of just two characters in hotels talking to one another about one another. So if you like listening to two people talk about themselves, this may be the movie for you. If you like listening to two people talk about themselves in which you get to see Chris Messina’s penis flop up and down while he does some naked jumping, this movie is definitely for you. Personally, I could’ve done with more jumping and less chatting, but I say that about most things.
This casino heist flick comes to us from the good people of South Korea. It has characters named things like Popeye, Chewingum, and Pepsee. One of the film’s stars, Kim Soo-hyun vowed that if the film sold 10 million tickets, he would give one lucky fan a piggyback ride, and when the film met that milestone, he really did it. That’s nice. Meanwhile, in North Korea life is a terrible nightmare for 99.9% of the people. Oh well.
Another week, another Danish flick about a 6’4’’, 308 pound body builder who lives with his mom and is traveling to Thailand to find an Asian woman to love. No biggie.
This documentary explores the possibly hypocritical mission of anti-graffiti crusaders who fight back against illegal tags and works of art by painting over them, usually with silver spray paint and almost always with the same disregard for personal and public property for which they claim they are fighting. Hypocrisy or not, I can see both sides of this argument. Legitimate artworks aside, I hate illegible tags that are only meant to mark one’s territory or simply be a largely anonymous attempt to break the law, but it really is kind of silly to think that spraying silver paint over it is any better. So what about those legitimate works of art, the graffiti that takes actual skill and forethought? Well, in the trailer famous street artist Shepard Fairey says, “It’s not about legal or illegal, it’s about no barriers between the public and the art.” So yeah, if he’s going to be that full of cliché, self-important, art school bullsh*t, then I’m all for covering up ‘real’ art as soon as possible. Hell, hand me a can of silver paint and I’ll do it myself.
Two college roommates plot to kill one of the girl’s fathers while also framing him for the murder of the other girl’s boyfriend, which they also committed. Unfortunately, it seems as if he isn’t the abusive monster the one roommate made him out to be, and maybe she is crazy and orchestrated this whole thing just to get her friend to murder her father. What a shocking twist: the girl who not only murdered somebody already, but insists that they must murder and frame another person just might be crazy herself! But what’s the other roommate to do? If she doesn’t go forward with the plan, she could be caught for her part in the murder of her boyfriend. It’s just like Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers On A Train, but without them being strangers, and also there aren’t any trains, and the two roommates shower together, but that has more to do with water conservation than anything else, I’m sure.
If you type “It’s all about the lulz” three times ‘into the internet’ a serial killer named Smiley will come and get you. That’s the plot of this movie. For real. Christ, and I thought Kill For Me looked stupid.
I have to admit, the plot for this low-budget horror flick actually intrigues me a little:
A group of horror fans find themselves unwilling participants in a nightmarish role playing game that pays homage to a classic horror film. Seven complete strangers whose only common link is a love for classic era horror films are invited to attend an exclusive ‘horror fan’ party at a remote farm. But as the sun sets, these strangers soon find themselves living a real life version of the cult horror classic, Night of the Living Dead. The strangers all bear a striking resemblance to the cast members from the Romero classic and waiting just outside the boarded up farmhouses, a group of demented sociopaths eager to ‘mimic’ the flesh eating zombies. Why watch a horror film when you can live one?
I mean, it’s not as stupid as ‘it’s just like Candyman, but with the internet’, and Night of the Living Dead while being an absolutely iconic horror film is also, conveniently, completely in the public domain, which allows this film to actually use clips from it, so I have to say while watching the trailer I became cautiously optimistic that this film might not suck. Then, of course, I got to the very end of the trailer and read ‘FEATURING THE MUSIC OF INSANE CLOWN POSSE’ and knew all hope was lost.
To quote the official synopsis:
Bigfoot isn’t a scary monster but rather a beer-drinking, panty-stealing party animal!
F*ck. Yes. I may be wrong, but I’m pretty sure there’s a shot of Bigfoot jerking off in the trailer. My only fear is that they won’t make the obvious, “You know what they say about guys with big feet…” joke.
In a surprising change from the norm, three of this week’s new DVDs are also available via streaming. We’ve got Vigilante Vigilante: The Battle For Expression, Teddy Bear, and A Liar’s Autobiography: The Untrue Story Of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman (pictured above) all available now so if any of those strike your fancy, check ‘em out. If not, here are four more suggestions carefully and lovingly selected personally for you, by me. Happy (early) Valentine’s Day.
When it was announced that Sam Mendes snagged the directing job for the new Bond film, some people expressed concern that they gave the project to a dude without any experience directing action films. Obviously they forgot about this flick (as well as Road To Perdition, which co-stars a pre-fame Daniel Craig). Jarhead is the true story of a Marine sniper serving in Desert Storm and it co-stars Robot & Frank’s Peter Sarsgaard. It’s not the best war film ever made, but not everything can be Starship Troopers.
Not gonna lie: I’ve never heard of this Helen Hunt flick until I noticed it was streaming just now. I figured I would suggest it anyway because it co-stars The Perks Of Being A Wallflower’s Ezra Miller. Apparently it’s about a TV writer who’s having a rough day because his sick father-in-law is moving in and his son decides to come out of the closet. You know what always brightens my day? Watching Starship Troopers.
Obviously, the documentary Bully is far too important a film to be available to the masses via Netflix, but hopefully a parent or two will get confused and show their young kids this disturbing film that is chock-full of realistically depicted teenage sex. It stars the dearly departed Brad Renfro as Marty, and the currently living (as of the time of this writing) Nick Stahl as Bobby, his so-called friend who bullies and abuses him. Fed up, Marty and a group of other teens plot to kill Bobby in this film that was based on true events. You know which sci-fi action flick, while seemingly fictitious, is actually based on the French & Indian War? Starship Troopers.
Monty Python’s The Meaning Of Life
When I watched the trailer for A Liar’s Autobiography, it just made me want to watch some proper vintage Monty Python, and luckily their final film, The Meaning Of Life, is streaming. Like every Monty Python film, this movie is filled with classic bits such as the ‘Every Sperm is Sacred’ musical number, to ‘Mr. Creosote‘, to the group shower scene, which was actually deleted from the final cut, but served as inspiration for a similar scene in Starship Troopers.