I Want My DVD: Tuesday, April 24, 2012

When will people learn? You never go into the basement.

The Innkeepers
Much as we enjoyed The Cabin in the Woods' witty kind of genre deconstruction, nothing compares to a good old-fashioned ghost story. And that's just what horror savant Ti West's latest feature provides. Set in a run-down hotel a few days away from shutting its doors for good, The Innkeepers follows the efforts of two employees to find definitive proof that the old inn is haunted. But despite their enthusiasm, they're not entirely prepared for what they discover. While not quite as consistently unnerving as West's previous film, The House of the Devil, this one does boast a great lead performance by Sara Paxton and a wonderfully spooky setting. With two winners in a row, we can't wait to see what West comes up with next.
Extras: Two commentary tracks -- one with West and Paxton and the other with West and key members of his crew -- and a behind-the-scenes featurette.
Click here to read our original review
Click here to read our interview with Ti West

Less a feature film than a 90-minute montage of every action movie cliché in movie history, Contraband casts Mark Wahlberg as a retired smuggler who gets back into the game to save his dumb brother-in-law from a ruthless local gangster (played by Giovanni Ribisi). Snooze-inducing from the first frame, the movie plods along with little conviction or sense of style; even the reliably weird Ribisi can't figure out how to give the proceedings a shot of personality. Staring at the DVD box for Die Hard is ultimately more exciting than watching the entirety of Contraband.
Extras: Audio commentary with the director and producer, deleted scenes and two making-of featurettes.
Click here to read our original review
Click here to see how you can make a completely generic action movie like Contraband

Camelot: 45th Anniversary Blu-ray Edition
Although it's a little hard to take the concept of singing and dancing Arthurian knights seriously after seeing it so memorably spoofed in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, this lavish 1967 movie version of the Broadway musical does have its charms, including Vanessa Redgrave as a gorgeous Guenevere and the sweep of Lerner and Loewe's score. Also, as one of the last big successful Hollywood musical superproductions -- bombs like Doctor Dolittle and Paint Your Wagon would soon usher in the demise of the genre -- the movie's historical significance shouldn't be discounted. Plus, the high-def transfer looks great.
Extras: A cast and crew commentary track, two documentaries, an all-new retrospective featurette, archival footage from the movie's world premiere, a sampler of showtunes from the musical and book packaging with 36 pages of photos and behind-the-scenes info.

Also on DVD:
The indie drama Pariah is a sensitive, nuanced look at a young African-American lesbian's coming-of-age in a community that doesn't accept her. Prepare for the live-action assembling of Marvel's Avengers in a week-and-a-half by checking out the not-bad animated features, Ultimate Avengers and Ultimate Avengers 2 (skip the kiddie themed Next Avengers though) via the Ultimate Avengers Movie Collection 3-Movie Set. And if you're still hankering for more Marvel animated action after that, you can pick up the Marvel Animated Features: 3-Movie Collection, which offers two terrible cartoon features (The Invincible Iron Man and Doctor Strange) and one pretty good title (Planet Hulk). If you've ever wanted to see Cloris Leachman and Tara Reid in the same movie, check out the mediocre horror title The Fields. Finally, in an example of just how little an Oscar can ultimately matter to an actor's career, Halle Berry's latest picture Dark Tide skulks onto DVD today after premiering on VOD. Guess this means there's no chance of ever seeing Catwoman 2.

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