I Want My DVD: Tuesday, January 22, 2013

by admin January 22, 2013 6:00 am
I Want My DVD: Tuesday, January 22, 2013

If you're looking for a funny comedy to rent on DVD, call these girls... maybe?

For a Good Time, Call...
Memo to the 2 Broke Girls writers: This is what your series should be like. Actually funny, for starters, but also smart and perceptive about the dynamics of odd couple female friendships. Ari Graynor and Lauren Miller (who also co-wrote the script) play frenemies-turned-galpals who are forced to become roommates due to economic and personal problems (Graynor's rent is going up, while Miller lost her job and got dumped by her boyfriend). At first they're like oil and water, with Graynor's sassy ways not sitting well with the more conservative Miller. But after discovering that her new roomie is a highly experienced phone sex operator, Miller puts her business acumen to work and launches a new sex hotline with Graynor as the star, a development that paves the way towards friendship and allows for a number of fun cameos by big-name guest stars playing gentleman callers (including Mr. Lauren Miller, Seth Rogen). While the movie takes full advantage of its R rating at times, the gross-out humor never becomes just plain gross. There's a bubbly enthusiasm to the whole enterprise that just makes it a pleasure to watch... unlike the mean-spirited sourness that suffocates 2 Broke Girls on a weekly basis.
Extras: Deleted scenes, a commentary track and a gag reel.
Click here to read our original review

End of Watch
David Ayer applies the found footage technique to the cop drama genre with mixed results. On the one hand, the conceit does immerse you in the world of the central beat cops, played terrifically by Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña. On the other hand, Ayer is also quick to ignore the found footage angle whenever it's convenient, staging scenes that no camera within the world of the movie could possibly capture. End of Watch is also too episodic in its narrative structure, tracking the characters over the course of roughly a year before climaxing in a contrived showdown, followed by a final scene that, pardon the expression, is something of a cop out. But the movie is worth seeing purely for the work of the two actors; Gyllenhaal in particular does some of his strongest work to date. It's just a shame their work wasn't in service of a better finished product.
Extras: A commentary track with Ayer, five featurettes and a batch of deleted scenes.
Click here to read our original review

The Paperboy
Speaking of terrific performances in disappointing movies, Nicole Kidman is a physical and emotional knockout in Lee Daniels's otherwise howlingly bad The Paperboy, a sweaty crime-tinged melodrama set in '60s-era Florida. The actress plays a walking sex bomb named Charlotte Bless, whose tight clothes and shaggy blonde hairdo inflames the desires of young moron Jack (Zac Efron), the brother of crusading big city journalist Ward (Matthew McConaughey), currently back in their native small town looking into the murder of a local police officer. Don't concern yourself too much with the details of the mystery, because they don't make a lick of sense. Instead, marvel at Kidman's go-for-broke performance; whether she's peeing on Efron to wash away the pain of a jellyfish sting or having telepathic sex with a Death Row inmate (John Cusack), she's mesmerizing -- a white trash angel surrounded by a heap of plain garbage.
Extras: A making-of featurette, interviews with an unapologetic Daniels as well as other members of the cast and crew and behind the scenes footage.
Click here to read our original review

Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning
Only a crazy person would try to remake Apocalypse Now in the guise of the latest entry in the Universal Soldier franchise. But writer/director John Hayms would likely consider that a compliment. Day of Reckoning brings back the star of the 1992 original Jean-Claude Van Damme and gives him the opportunity to do his best Marlon Brando impersonation -- and it's a pretty good one, to be honest -- as the Kurtz-like leader of a band of genetically engineered super-soldiers. (Dolph Lundgren is also back as Van Damme's second in command.) Professional martial artist and amateur actor Scott Adkins occupies the Martin Sheen role of an "errand boy" sent on a mission to "collect a bill" by bringing down Van Damme. At almost two hours, Day of Reckoning is far too long and full of itself, but the fight sequences are pretty great, especially the showdown between Adkins and Van Damme. Apocalypse Now is great and all, but it is missing a Brando vs. Sheen kickboxing bout.
Extras: A commentary track with Hyams and Lundgren (no Van Damme, sadly) and a trio of behind-the-scenes mini-docs.
Click here to read our original review

Keep the Lights On
Fat Kid Rules the World
A big hit at last year's Sundance Film Festival, Keep the Lights On chronicles the decade-long off-and-on gay romance between a documentary filmmaker (Thure Linhdardt) and a lawyer (Zachary Booth), who love each other deeply, but are seemingly unable to make a life together. Coming on the heels of Andrew Haigh's similarly themed Weekend, which follows its male lovers over the course of two days rather than ten years, Lights isn't as compelling a movie as its predecessor largely because the characters never feel fully realized. But it does do a nice job painting a portrait of a romance that's doomed to failure no matter how much the men involved want it to succeed. Fat Kid Rules the World marks the directorial debut of Matthew Lillard, but don't let that put you off seeing it. It's actually a surprisingly serious (and darkly funny) entry in the high school outcast genre, following the titular fat kid (Jacob Wysocki) as he forms an unlikely friendship with a homeless punk rocker that winds up changing both of their lives for the better. Just think, if Lillard had directed Wing Commander maybe that entire movie would have turned out differently. Then again, probably not.
Extras: Lights includes a commentary track with director Ira Sachs, a making-of featurette, audition tapes and deleted scenes. Fat Kid comes with a behind-the-scenes doc.

Also on DVD:
Fresh off its Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Feature, the entertaining (although highly overpraised) Searching for Sugar Man, which explores the legacy of an MIA '70s recording artist, arrives on DVD. Jason Statham has abandoned the franchise for greener pastures, but Death Race 3: Inferno keeps the Death Race name alive in the direct-to-DVD market. And at least Danny Trejo is still around... not that he's exactly known for turning down movies. Not to be confused with the other Hansel & Gretel movie opening in theaters next week, the DVD-only Hansel & Gretel: Warriors of Witchcraft follows the grown up fairy tale characters as they hunt witches at an elite private school. Is it called Hogwarts by any chance? Bart Layton's gripping documentary The Imposter recounts a missing persons case so strange and improbable, no screenwriter could dream it up. Nicholas Meyer's 1976 Sherlock Holmes picture The Seven Percent Solution stars Nicol Williamson as the world's greatest detective and Alan Arkin as master psychiatrist Sigmund Freud, who teams up with Holmes and Watson (Robert Duvall) to solve a kidnapping case. Finally, John Ford's 1952 classic The Quiet Man gets a 60th Anniversary Blu-ray release.

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