March 27, 2007

DVD Pick of the Week: Children of Men

This is a very strong week, at least for me. There are plenty of films being released that will compete for yourhard earned cash. There are even a number of films that I am not familiar with that are rather enticing. Of course, no week is complete without a stinker or two, and this week is no different. Whether you are looking for family films, tearjerkers, visionary drama, foreign majesty, or classic films, there is something for you. Just like every week, there is one that is standing tall, high above everyone else.

This week's pick is Alfonso Cuaron's Children of Men. To those of you who haven't seen it: See it! Now. Don't wait. Stop whatever you are doing and proceed to the nearest Blockbuster or Best Buy, or better yet, use the Amazon links on this page. I really don't care how you manage to get your hands on this disk, just do it. You will not regret it, and you will have one of the finest films of this decade, and the best film of 2006 in your possession.

It is easy to describe the plot of the film, but that barely scratches the surface. It is a film set in the near future, 2027 to be exact. In this dark and gritty future women can no longer get pregnant, a fact that has led to the collapse of society. No one has any hope knowing that there is no future, they are living the end of the human race. Theo, played by Clive Owen, is one of those hopeless souls who is shown that there is a flash of hope. He is brought into the fold of some resistance fighters who have discovered a young woman is pregnant, now they have to get her out of the country to the mysterious Human Project for the sake of humanity. That sums it, but believe me there is so much more going on in this film, from vivid characters to socio-political commentary to religious symbolism. This is a fantastic film, hands down, game over.

This DVD release features some awful cover art, so ignore that. It also features good audio/video quality and a few interesting featurettes on the making of the film and on the philosophical leanings of the story. Would have liked more, but it is a nice selection. Regardless, this DVD is a must have.

Also out this week:
  • Happy Feet. This movie is sure to put a smile on your face and a bounce in your step. It is a fun film that tells a nice story with fun characters and excellent animation. It also won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature.
  • The Pursuit of Happyness. This features what may be Will Smith's finest performance. It is a touching tale that is not manipulative and feels very real.
  • The Addams Family: Volume 2. Who doesn't enjoy the Addams's?
  • Curse of the Golden Flower. The story may not work for me, but there is no denying the grandiose beauty of Zhang Yimou's film, or of co-star Gong Li.
  • The Errol Flynn Signature Collection: Volume 2. The second set of Flynn classics. I am bit unschooled in his work, but the titles here look good to me!
  • Turistas. This is hear to warn you off of it. This was a dull and decidedly less bloody than it should have been. It wants so hard to be another Hostel, yet falls so far short.
  • After Dark Horrorfest. Seven films that were released as a cluster last October, no released individually and in this box. Are they good? I have no idea, but I'd like to find out. The titles include: Unrest, Reincarnation, The Gravedancers, The Hamiltons, Wicked Little Things, Dark Ride, and Penny Dreadful.
  • Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj. Has its moments, but this Ryan Reynolds-less sequel sputters along. I do like Kal Penn, but this is not his best moment.
  • Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes, Vol. 1. The anime inspired Cartoon Network series. I watched a couple of eps, didn't particularly care for it.
  • Tokko: Volume 1. New anime horror series, looks good to me.
  • Pumpkinhead: Ashes to Ashes. The original has a certain charm, plus Lance Henriksen, this one is just sad, although better than Blood Wings.
  • Ultimate Versus. A CG touched up version of Ryuhei Kitamura's Versus, a samurai zombie flick. Fun, but is one big action sequence. I have only seen the original version, looking forward to this.
  • Roman. From Lucky McKee, director of May, comes this tale of chilling murder blending fantasy and reality. Don't know anything about it, other than I want to see it. Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars) co-stars.
  • I Spit on Your Corpse, I Piss on Your Grave: Official Director's Version. Never heard of this one, title reminds me of I Spit on Your Grave, how can you not love a title like that?
  • Dust Devil. This is a very interesting supernatural tale, not entirely successful, but worth it for the adventurous. This is a reissue as a single disk, release, replacing the limited run five disk set.

What are you geting this week?


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