January 6, 2009

DVD Pick of the Week: Battlestar Galactica

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.

Battlestar Galactica: Season 4.0. One of the best shows on television is getting ready to head down the home stretch, where all (well, at least enough) will be revealed to wrap up the series and hopefully leave enough for future films or mini-series (I hope anyway). This set comprises the first half of the fourth and final season and should prove to be a good primer as the second half gets ready to start. I missed the last 3-4 episodes from this set thanks to my wonderful cable system, so I hope to catch up before beginning the new ones. In any case, if you have not seen this series, you need to correct this immediately, it makes no difference if you like science fiction or not, it is that good.

Pineapple Express. Here is a movie that was decidedly different than I was expecting, but still packed a lot of laughs into its run time. Seriously, I was not expecting to see a full blown stoner action-comedy. Seth Rogen stars as a process server who witnesses a murder and then goes on the run with his dealer played by James Franco. What follows is an adventure where they try to stay one step ahead of the hit men on their tail and turn the tables to get their sedentary lives back. James Franco is Golden Globe nominated for his performance, I completely agree with that choice.

Righteous Kill. This is a gimmick movie. It is built on the premise of having two screen legends whose careers have been so intrinsically linked perform together in the same movie. Unfortunately, that is all they have. The screenplay by Russell Gewirtz (Inside Man) barely holds together, and if not for De Niro and Pacino would likely be unwatchable with any other pair of actors. The first two acts are dull and uneventful, and the most interesting character, Carla Gugino's Karen Corelli, is not explored enough. Also, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, is present as nothing more than a plot point. Watch at your own risk.

Bangkok Dangerous. This is not so much about the plot as it is about Joe reaching a moment in his life where his choices are limited and neither one will work. It is a tragic story about a man who cannot go back nor can he go forward. It has a gritty, over-exposed look that just drags you in and doesn't let go. The Pang Brothers forgo the slick Hollywood sheen in favor of a style that more accurately reflects the central character and what he is doing. This movie delivered more than I was expecting. I was hoping for an action film in an exotic location; what I got was something more introspective, but still with a good dose of violence. It is more than a movie about a hit man, it is about a man finding his place in life, just a little too late.

Babylon A.D. This is just a bad movie from start to finish. There is no setup, little story, and no character. I have no reason to care about any of them. Babylon A.D. is a terribly hollow film that may have started great on paper, but ended up a generic violence riddled mess. Whatever comments on society that were made in the book were lost through the translation and editing process. Your best bet is to skip this.

The Wackness. iI have heard good things about this film, but know little about it. It centers on a troubled high school student named Luke Shapiro (Josh Peck),a teenage pot dealer, who forms a friendship with Dr. Jeffrey Squires (Ben Kingsley), a psychiatrist and kindred lost soul. When the doctor proposes Luke trade him weed for therapy sessions, the two begin to explore both New York City and their own depression.

Behind Enemy Lines: Colombia. This series began with Owen Wilson and Gene Hackman, progressed to Keith David and Nicholas Gonzalez, and now the third film stars WWE wrestler Mr. Kennedy. Now, WWE productions have not done terribly well, but I liked the one with Kane and John Cena's was a serviceable action flick, how will this fare? I have no idea, but have little interest in seeing it, unless someone wants to send me a copy?

Disaster Movie. This is here to merely say: skip it. I did not see it and know better (and I will give almost anything a shot).

Eden Lake. A couple heads into the woods for a romantic getaway only to be set upon by a group of teens who proceed to terrorize them leading to a bloody confrontation. This is being released through Dimension Extreme and I have heard decent things about it. I am always up for some horror, so maybe this will find its way to my collection.

Ping Pong Playa. How can you go wrong with a title like this? It is about a Chinese American teen whose family is all about ping pong, although he has no interest in it. Comedy ensures. I have heard that this is absolutely hilarious. I wonder if it really is?

Midnight Movie. A midnight showing of an old horror movie turns into a horror movie of its own when the film's killer shows up at the theater and begins picking patrons off. Sounds like a good time to me!

Postal. Uwe Boll's latest masterpiece arrives on DVD. This was originally slated to be a wide release to go against Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, but theaters changed their minds and the release shrunk to three theaters. It is based on a video game and features Osama and Bush prancing through a field hand in hand. I may just have to see this....


Post a Comment