|THIS MONTH IN DVD (PART 1: MOVIES)
||[Apr. 25th, 2007|03:19 pm]
THIS MONTH IN DVD (PART 1: MOVIES)
OK, so I missed a few weeks of the This Week in DVD feature. Solution: This Month in DVD. Voila! Here are some of the more notable releases of the past few weeks (including this one). I'll split this into two posts so I can yak about plenty o' movies and plenty o' TV sets.
A Night at the Museum: Even today, months after it happened, it's hard to fathom that this unexceptional farce made 200 million bucks. I guess families loved it, and that's fine since this comedy seemed geared to kids. I am no longer a kid, though I do act kind of like a 13-year-old when Salma Hayek guest stars on Ugly Betty, and I found Night at the Museum a real disappointment. As the movie plodded on towards its entirely predictable tidy ending, I somehow got the thought it was one of those kind of movies where the whole cast would wind up dancing over the end credits. I swear I thought this even though it was neither cartoon nor musical nor even romantic comedy. Sure enough...maybe it'll be a fun rental to see the classic combo of The Mickster and The Dickster, that is, Mickey Rooney and Dick Van Dyke, who are far more vivid and entertaining than ballyhooed co-stars like Robin Williams and Owen Wilson.
Bobby: Throughout the history of cinema, auteurs have often strived beyond providing mere entertainment to tell stories of a political nature, stories with meaning and import that, despite a superficial focus on historical events, are relevant and vital to contemporary audiences. Yes, I am talking about filmmakers like Costa-Gavras, Oliver Stone, and Emilio Estevez.
Sounds kind of wacky to me, but you shouldn't reject this DVD because the lesser of the stars from the Stakeout movies made it. You should reject it because it was pretty much DOA at the box office and one of the more critically reviled efforts of 2006.
However, a seeming cast of thousands shows up in various roles and parades through the film, and watching them might make watching the DVD an entertaining experience as you try to figure out what the heck Emilio did for THEM that made them owe him a favor.
Payback Director's Cut: Director Brian Hegeland gets to present his vision of the not entirely-beloved reworking of Payback. Film enthusiasts and critics the world over get to berate Mel Gibson for pulling rank and "softening" the film for its original release. We get to judge for ourselves. Hey, everybody wins, really. Even Mel Gibson probably gets some sweet residuals.
Freedom Writers: Hilary Swank already has two Oscars, so nobody had to worry about pretending this inspirational tale was more than some kind of Dangerous Minds retread.
History Boys: I know this was based on a successful play, acclaimed in some circles, et cetera, but I couldn't get over the fact that the teacher in this one fondled his students. Everything I read indicated this was dealt with in the film as some kind of "tee hee" indiscretion. Say what? I have to confess the old double standard is at work here, though: the idea of Hillary Swank as a teacher who fondles her students: considerably less repulsive.
James Cagney Signature Collection: No, his most famous movies aren't included here, most having been released on previous sets. But so what? Unless you're some kind of dirty rat, you should still check this out, see? It's another fine Warner Brothers set with extras galore.
Smokin' Aces: Special guest commentary from my dad: "I saw the DVD in the store, and I remembered thinking when it came to theaters it might be pretty cool. Then I saw Ben Affleck's name on the cover. Forget it."
Code Name: Cleaner: Someday in the not-too-distant future, Hollywood execs, producers, agents, maybe even Cedric the Entertainer himself will all realize that he's probably better off as a scene-stealing supporting player (like in Barbershop) than as the star of his own vehicle (like, well, this). In the meantime, he's presumably raking in the cash and doing what he can.
The Queen: This is a highly entertaining, lively movie, despite the fact that according to protocol one must wear white gloves whenever handling this DVD and then must curtsy as soon as the menu loads.
Notes on a Scandal: When watching this one, however, feel free to get drunk, discard any articles of clothing that feel constricting, and yell back at the TV.
Deja Vu: Here's where you the reader benefit from this expanded DVD listing. I don't have time to work out some lame joke about seeing the movie again or to print this listing twice. But I reserve the right to do so later if I rent this and feel like writing about it.