It’s all about superheroes this week because today marks the home video release of Iron Man 3. So actually it’s all about a single superhero. You know what? That’s not quite true either, because there’s actually several movies hitting DVD today that don’t have anything to do with Iron Man or any other superhero. In fact, most of the movies don’t. Look, if I’m being perfectly honest only one of the movies deals with Iron Man, so it’s not all about superheroes this week really at all. It’s also about obsessed film fanatics and Jason Statham and teenage boys and unfinished songs and VHS tapes and French people and apartments and Dolph Lundgren and racially insensitive serial killers and robosapiens and Green Day.
Iron Man 3
The Kings Of Summer
In The House
Blood Of Redemption
Cody The Robosapien
Before we begin, I feel like I must make a minor clarification in regards to the above paragraph. There is another major superhero-themed home video release hitting store shelves today: The Dark Knight Trilogy Ultimate Collector’s Edition Blu-ray. Besides the three movies, it includes a book, exclusive special features, and three toy cars. You know what it doesn’t include? Any movies that are new to home video, so I don’t give a caped-crusading f*ck. Still, I thought I should mention it. Continue reading on the next page to find out about all the movies you haven’t already added to your DVD collection. It’ll be a lot of fun, I promise. I even mention Queen Latifah and LL Cool J. They don’t appear in any of the movies this week, I just know how you guys love the both of them so damn much.
The latest entry in Disney’s Marvel cash cow (until tonight, when their Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. television series debuts) is yet another movie that you’ve all seen and I have not. And I mean that almost literally: Iron Man 3 is, to date, the highest grossing film in the United States this year, with $409,013,994 taken in domestically –and with over $1.2 billion worldwide. So obviously, nothing I say matters (nor should it, as I haven’t seen the movie). Vince did though, and he loved it –giving it an “A-“ in his review– so if you’re somehow still on the fence about seeing this movie and strangely haven’t heard anything about it because you don’t have any friends, or the friends you do have haven’t seen it either, you might as well take his word for it. Vince’s enthusiasm aside, I kind of got the impression that a lot of people weren’t very impressed with this one, but again, that couldn’t matter less because it was a huge box-office success and part of an on-going series that is an even huger financial success so it doesn’t really matter what anyone actually thinks of the actual movie. We’ve all seen it or will inevitably see it because that’s just how Disney does business -in a word, profitably. On an interesting side note, while I have not yet seen this, the current leader for 2013’s domestic box office, I have seen the movie that is sitting at rock bottom of that list, Storage 24, with a whopping $72 total domestic (and worldwide) gross. I’ll be honest; it wasn’t that great. In fact, if they took some of the supporting characters and spun them off into their own TV show, I might not even watch it every week because I’m nothing if not carefully discerning in my viewing choices.
This is that documentary in which fans of Stanley Kubrick and his film The Shining go on and on about how amazing the film is and how Kubrick filled it with secret symbolism and hidden messages. Pretty much every critic on the planet loved this movie except for Armond White and our pal Vince, who insists the film will put most viewers to sleep. As someone who once lost an entire afternoon reading through web sites devoted to revealing The Shining’s secret meanings years before this film was released, I still look forward to seeing this movie. I don’t believe any of the crap these idiots spew, but I love The Shining, and I like to laugh at how stupid these people can seem when they fixate on the tiniest little detail and put so much emphasis on every aspect of something because they believe every last production decision is made with the express intent of layering in a hidden message or callback. It’s like they can’t accept that sometimes directors and their cinematographers like to use the same shot more than once and that it doesn’t have to mean anything. Or that oranges spilling and rolling onto the ground is usually just a tip of the hat to that famous scene from The Godfather and doesn’t always symbolize death. Or maybe the jacket’s pink because the person wearing it is a girl and it has nothing to do with the teddy bear which was only pink in the first place because the color contrasted well with the blue swimming pool water when they were filming the scene of the bear floating in the pool. ANYTHING CAN SYMBOLIZE DEATH WHEN EVERY CHARACTER EVENTUALLY DIES. I mean, just watch the f*cking movie and enjoy it. If a piece of entertainment needed a goddamn decoder ring just to be comprehended, well then that would make it a pretty terrible piece of entertainment now, wouldn’t it? If you can’t just sit back and watch The Shining and enjoy it for what it is maybe you should switch to the generally less artistic and more relaxed medium known as television. I hear Breaking Bad’s a pretty good show.
This Jason Statham movie –originally titled Hummingbird– got next to no promotion and only played on 19 screens in the U.S. If I had to guess why it wasn’t given more attention, I’d say it was because people were scared off because Statham’s playing against type. Yes, he’s still a suit-wearing violent loaner with a mysterious past and a personal code of ethics despite working in the criminal underworld, but this time his character also has hair. Until he shaves his head, I mean.
Hey remember last week when Somebody Up There Likes Me hit DVD? That was that indie film starring Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally that they decided to promote by making weird online videos with Alison Brie, even though she wasn’t even involved in the movie in any way. Well they’re all three actually in an indie movie together and it’s this one. Unfortunately this film doesn’t have the support of any ‘virile’ videos with Brie flashing bush and saying ‘pussy’, but there is a pretty promising red band trailer. The movie’s about three teenage boys who decide to build a house out in the woods and spend their summer there. To quote the official synopsis:
Free from their parents’ rules, their idyllic summer quickly becomes a test of friendship as each boy learns to appreciate the fact that family – whether it is the one you’re born into or the one you create – is something you can’t run away from.
My father used to say that same thing about family –until he finally stopped running from us and drove off in the car. I tried to keep up but I only made it to the end of the block because I wasn’t allowed to cross the street by myself. It was my third birthday and not only is it my earliest memory, it’s also the only memory I have of him. I asked my mom if he was going out to buy me a birthday present and she said that that was my present. I didn’t understand what she meant at the time, but now I do. So anyways, Alison Brie red band trailer, whatever.
It’s yet another movie about old British people who had resigned themselves to simply waiting for the sweet release of death, but suddenly find themselves with a renewed vitality and thirst for living. Like Quartet, it’s even about them discovering that joie de vivre through singing, but this time instead of opera, they sing stuff like Salt-N-Pepa’s “Let’s Talk About Sex”. It’s funny because they are British and they are old.
I mostly hated the original horror anthology film, V/H/S, but I admit there’s still a chance I’ll end up watching this one, if only because two of the segments come from Jason Eisener (Hobo With A Shotgun) and Gareth Evans (The Raid: Redemption). Also, to be fair, the trailer does seem to hold some promise. Okay, what I really mean to say is that one scene in the trailer holds some promise -the one with the Asian dudes shooting themselves. It seems a bit creepy, and might be part of a decent short, not that I even know if it comes from either Eisener’s or Evans’ segments. It may not be much, but it’s more than I can say for the other horror sequel getting a DVD release today, I Spit On Your Grave 2 –which is, coincidentally, the second lowest domestic grossing theatrically released film so far this year, with a total take (to date) of $441–over six times more than Storage 24’s $72. Anyhow, I Spit On Your Grave 2 seems to have nothing at all in common with the original (remake) from three years ago, except for sharing a director. So if you thought the title really should’ve been I Spit On Your Grave Too, you’d be wrong because it is a different grave. That being said, the actual title is still very terrible because it implies that we are dealing with the same spitter -the titular ‘I’, if you will- but we are not. If anything, the most accurate title should be I, An Unrelated Party To Any Prior Grave-Spitting Incidents, Am Coincidentally Also Spitting Upon A Grave, But It Must Be Made Clear, The Grave On Which I Am Spitting Has Not Previously Been Spit Upon To The Best Of My Knowledge. What can I say, I hate needlessly confusing film titles.
No, this French film is not a remake of the Steve Martin/Queen Latifah comedy Bringing Down The House, although the films do share quite a bit in common. As you surely remember, Bringing Down The House was about a middle-class man whose life gets turned upside down when the woman he had been corresponding with online actually turns out to be a female prisoner, and eve nuttier, she has just escaped and shown up at his door! Similarly, In The House is about a French teacher who discovers his only talented student is writing about his experiences while visiting a fellow student’s house. As the writing becomes more sensational, the French teacher wonders if it is fact or fiction, and what that might mean for his complicity in encouraging the student’s voyeurism. Okay, so they aren’t really alike at all, but in my defense, I mistakenly remembered the Steve Martin/Queen Latifah classic as being called In The House and was going to mention it either way. As it turns out, I had confused it with an old LL Cool J sitcom from the 90s actually called In The House, but it had even less in common with the French thriller of the same name, so I just decided to stick to the original plan, and hope nobody would notice. But then of course after I wrote everything above, I saw how glaringly obvious it was that Bringing Down The House had nothing to do with the French film In The House and decided to just explain myself entirely. Or did I? Maybe all of this is fact. Maybe all of this is fiction. Maybe every time I went over to my friend’s house in high school her mom would take off her shirt and walked around in her bra, and also maybe they were a really weird family regardless of the bra thing because they had a hot tub in their living room and had several free-roaming exotic birds that would fly around their house and land on your head while you were trying to do your trig homework. Or maybe not. The French aren’t the only people who can write sensational tales about what they observe at their classmate’s houses. For real though, she made a point of walking around in her bra whenever I was there.
Having grown up under the controlling grip of her fame-hungry mother (Rebecca De Mornay), Janet Slate (Julianne Michelle) jumps at the opportunity to move into what looks to be a great high-rise apartment in downtown Detroit. Yet some deals are too good to be true as one night her boyfriend Mark (Corey Sevier) finds her in the middle of the street – having fallen from the balcony thirteen stories above. When her sister Lara (Mischa Barton) tries to investigate the mystery of what happened, she moves into the same apartment and encounters the odd neighbors in the building, including an eerie nine-year old girl who seems to somehow know the real reason for Janet’s fall. Lara soon realizes that her sister’s death might spell the same fate for her unless she can overcome the strange events that are terrorizing the inhabitants in Apartment 1303.
Is that a thing? Do people just move into their dead sister’s apartments after they die horribly by jumping or falling from that same apartment? How does that work? I mean, you’ve got to figure that Barton’s character already has a place somewhere, which is to say nothing of a job to pay for her own place. How does she just drop everything so she can move into her sister’s home? What about her mail? If she were also living in Detroit, what use is it to move into her sister’s place -she could just drive over, and if she’s from out of town, does she just have her mail (and her job) on hold or does she have a neighbor collecting her mail and letting her know when she has a bill or something? What did she say to that neighbor? Was it something like, “Hey Patty, can you collect my mail for a while? My sister killed herself in Detroit, but I think she was murdered by ghosts or something so I just quit my job and I figure I’m just going to squat at her place and sort this all out, but in the meantime I’m expecting a package from Zappos, so if you could keep an eye on my front door while I’m gone, that will be great. Yeah, and don’t worry about the paper –I never read it anyways and it’s usually wet from Mr. Slattery’s sprinkler system, so yeah don’t sweat it. Unless it really looks like they are building up –I don’t know how long this will take- then if you could just toss ‘em or recycle them or whatever, because again, my sister died horribly and I am going to go live at her place for a while and solve the mystery of her death like I’m Nancy Drew or Jessica Fletcher or something. As people do.” I’m willing to bet this stupid looking horror movie just glosses right over all of these details like they don’t even matter.
Dolph Lundgren, Billy Zane, Vinnie Jones, and Robert Davi star in this straight-to-DVD film. Despite the title, this is not a reimagining of the story of Jesus Christ. I assure you, no one is more disappointed about that than I am.
With the seemingly thousands of horror movies hitting DVD each week, it really takes something special in the trailer to make a film stand out. In this case, it’s a guy in black-face serving as some sort of ringmaster for an enthusiastic audience of dirty people wearing 3-D glasses while some other dude is strapped down on the ground with a carrot shoved in his mouth while identical twin girls bring out a horse to do something horrible to the carrot-guy. This is also followed by a shot of a guy wearing what looks like it might be a dildo mask using a gas pump to force something down somebody’s throat until they explode all over the audience wearing the 3-D glasses. It’s true- sometimes simpler is better.
Needs more black-face.
I wasn’t going to bother mentioning this Green Day documentary because Burnsy gave it its own post last week, but as luck would have it, 4Closed, the movie that was originally slotted for this space, actually already aired on Lifetime, thus disqualifying it for featured inclusion in this column. That’s a shame too, because now you’ll never know my thoughts about that made-by-The Asylum-for-Lifetime movie about a deaf woman (played by Oscar-winner Marlee Matlin) and the crazy dude (played by Jamie Kennedy) tormenting her and her family. You know what, f*ck it, I’ll share my thoughts about it anyway because you guys have earned it: It looked terrible.