December 16, 2008

DVD Pick of the Week: The House Bunny

Welcome back! Well, to some of you, anyway. To the rest of you, glad you decided to stop by and I hope that this humble column helps you navigate the stacks of new releases each week. My goal is to point you toward titles of interest and warn you away from those films that seek to do nothing but leech away your time and give you nothing in return.

Full disclosure: I have not seen many of these titles and what follows are not necessarily reviews. It is my opinion based upon what I know of the titles I pluck from the new release lists that I peruse. The opinions I give based on the new releases are my own, and my recommendations upon them are based on my personal interest. In any case, I hope you enjoy and perhaps find something you like or a title to point me towards.

The House Bunny. I can almost hear you screaming at you monitors about this week's pick. Well, not really I cannot imagine anyone caring about it that much, but you get the point. As I looked over the list of releases I wanted to bring to your attention there were a few that stood out as potential top picks. The other possibilities immediately appear more worthwhile but hear me out. This time of year is all about good cheer with the holidays fast approaching. To that end I have selected a film that will make you smile. This is not a terribly original or even terribly good film, but Anna Faris needs to be seen. She is the female Leslie Nielsen, no one plays clueless like she does and it is to be commended. Rent it, watch it, smile, move on.

Burn After Reading. Here is one of those other potential choices. One of the finest screenplays of the year is the basis for this movie. It lacks seriousness and ultimately a point, but that in and of itself may actually be the point. This only plays up the genius of the Coens. It is unexpected, it is predictable, and it is an absolute blast. With its all-star cast and intricate plotting, this has to be seen.

Mamma Mia! The film is well shot and the cast seem to be having an absolute blast, but I still felt like I was held at arm's length from the story. Where I should have been invited in, it was like the story did not want to dig into anything deeper than the loose top soil of the characters, thus preventing me from developing any type of attachment or desire to see more. If you are going to like this, you probably already know who you are; I am not going to change your mind. I also do not have the heart to rip it apart, as it is not deserving. I will just settle for saying that it has a specific audience in mind and I am not it.

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. This has been online for some time, but fort some reason I have not made the time to watch it, despite hearing it is very good. Joss Whedon was involved on the creative side with Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion being involved on the screen. This is available on DVD as an Amazon exclusive.

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. You know, when it comes right down to it, as bad as this movie is, I still had some fun with it. Sure, some of that fun was of the head-shaking, "I can't believe how bad that line/scene/joke" variety, but I still had a decent time. Keep your expectations low and you can have fun with this. I still prefer the first two films, but this fits in with the look and feel of those earlier outings. There have been better films in this genre this year, and you would be better served seeing something else on the big screen, but for a straight up popcorn muncher, this fits the bill.

Generation Kill. This was a HBO mini-series that chronicles the first forty days of the Iraq war and everything that goes along with it. I have not seen this but have heard many good things about it.

Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Vol. 6. I had no idea this series was still going. I have only seen the first season and a handful of episodes since then. Is this still worth watching? I recall it being one of the more ridiculous television creations I have ever seen.

The Women. I never bothered to see this on the big screen. It wasn't there for very long anyway. Well, here it is on DVD and I doubt I will see it now either.

Death Race. Not a good movie, never will be considered such, but it is enjoyable in a shallow way. It is fun in the way everything blows up, how it is unapologetic in its desire to offer cheap thrills. If you want cheap and fast, see this; if you want deep and meaningful, wait for something else.

Traitor. Here is the other choice I considered for pick of the week. This is a very good film that is brave in its portrayal of a Muslim man of faith. Don Cheadle gives a powerful performance yet again. This is a film that is a thriller through and through, yet possesses an intelligence in the way everything plays out.

Hamlet 2. I even gave this some thought for the top spot. There is nothing structurally special about Hamlet 2. What makes the movie work so well are the writing and the performances. The screenplay from director Andrew Fleming and Pam Brady is quick on its feet, and actually has some heart behind the offensiveness. I even like how they explain the appearance of Jesus in the musical. It is a movie that definitely trades on not being politically correct, but is not without genuine characters to connect with, which helps set it apart from other comedies with modest aspirations which often try for the quick joke at the expense of character.


Post a Comment