Want a good movie to watch at home?
Here are the ten best movies that have been recently released on DVD, Blu-ray, and digital copy and my quick, spolier-free advice:
- The Lincoln Lawyer – Buy-it – Early reviews had the world buzzing about Matthew McConaughey’s return to the courtroom (A Time to Kill), however, recently, the buzz has turned into a low hum as The Lincoln Lawyer fails to offer a single twist on the predictable formula.
- Source Code – Buy-it – Source Code is an exhilarating, mind-bending, sci-fi thriller where Jake Gyllenhaal enters a stranger’s body on a Chicago train for 8 minutes at time in an attempt to find the bomber onboard – think Groundhog Day meets Minority Report – but better!
- Of Gods and Men – Rent-it – This international drama about French Christian monks living in harmony with their Muslim brothers in North Africa is not only the best foreign film so far this year, it is probably the best film of the first half of 2011.
- 13 Assassins – Buy-it – Cult director Takeshi Miike (Audition) creates an epicly bloody samurai action film set in feudal Japan that is an impossibly unattainable, perfectly over-the-top, period masterpiece.
- The Adjustment Bureau – Buy-it – Is Matt Damon married? Because if so, he might be having an affair with Emily Blunt. These two stars light the screen on fire and their burning chemistry is reason enough to see this film about politics, life and love and whether or not we control our own destiny.
- Rango – Rent-it – Johnny Depp truly is Rango, a pet chameleon accidentally stranded in the Nevada desert, and just like Depp, Rango is charming, smart, creative, beautiful, and definitely not for kids! Though it definitely is an early front-runner for Best Animated Picture in 2011.
- Insidious – Rent-it – The first 80 minutes will have you slumped in your seat until you jump up screaming, but this film about a family’s haunted house/son will disappoint in the final 20, and then fail to stick with you the moment it’s ejected.
- Wake Wood – Rent-it – This horror thriller about a child’s gruesome death and her grieving parents is one of those rare straight-to-DVD films that is actually worth renting. It’s dark, clever, and chilling but low expectations make it even more impressive.
- Rio – Rent-it – Rio is an animated tale about a couple Macaws in Minnesota who want to join the flock in Rio de Janeiro, but are, of course, sidetracked along the way – voiced by Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, will.i.am, Jamie Foxx, George Lopez, and Tracy Morgan.
- Jane Eyre – Rent-it – New This Week – Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland) may earn herself an Oscar in her portrayal of Jane Eyre, a governess for a wealthy man who has made her life, until now, completely drab and dreary.
Ten other new releases on DVD/Blu-ray that didn’t make the top ten:
- Paul – Rent-it – This sci-fi comedy about an alien who needs a ride across the country is not nearly as clever as Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, but Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s latest creation does serve up some intergalactic entertainment and is at times hysterical – “at times.”
- The Conspirator – Wait-for-it – New This Week – This courtroom drama plays more like a history lesson about a woman charged as a co-conspirator in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
- Limitless – Wait-for-it – Bradley Cooper (The Hangover) is his usual charismatic self in this film about a pill that allows you to tap into your full potential – unfortunately, the screenwriter needs a dose of his own medicine.
- Soul Surfer – Wait-for-it – Here is the description: “A young, teenage surfer girl summons the courage to go back into the ocean after losing an arm in a shark attack.” That’s literally all you need to know. Decide for yourself if you want to sit through 105 minutes of that.
- Super – Skip-it – Rainn Wilson’s long-awaited dark comedy about superheroes (also starring Ellen Page, Liv Tyler, and Kevin Bacon) oddly combines absurd humor with extremely bloody violence – leaving most movie-goers confused, repulsed and uninterested. Go buy Kick-Ass instead.
- Just Go with It – Skip-it – I had high hopes for a rom-com with some of my favorite guilty-pleasure actors and actresses (Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, and Nicole Kidman) and two newbies that peeked my interest (Brooklyn Decker and Bailee Madison – that’s right Bailee Madison, not Billy Madison) but this film about a guy pretending to be married to get a smoking hot girl – a girl that’s even out of Andy Roddick’s league – is terrible! I urge you to not “just go with it.”
- Arthur – Skip-it – Russel Brand will literally always be the bridesmaid, never the bride, and this film proves his inability in the leading role, “starring” as the irritating billionaire who unwillingly learns to not rely solely on his “charm” and fortune.
- Sucker Punch – Skip-it – This was supposed to be the “next big thing” from filmmaker Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen), and just like those films this epic fantasy adventure is visually arresting, however, Sucker Punch follows an un-appealing story about an un-appealing girl (though not to the eyes) who ecapes her dark reality by creating her own “dream” world.”
- Your Highness – Skip-it – Unless you are in this to catch pre-pregnant Natalie Portman in a thong one last time before she becomes the “World’s #1 MILF” – you will be highly disappointed in this big budget “comedy” that rarely delivers laughs, even with “Kenny Powers” comic powers onboard.
- Take Me Home Tonight – Skip-it – It’s somewhat of a mash-up of Hot Tub Time Machine, House Party, and any teen rom-com starring Freddy Prinze Jr. and is just as bad as any of those FPJ films as well.
…and the five worst films recently released on DVD/Blu-ray:
- Jumping the Broom – Skip-it – New This Week – Two African-American families meet in Martha’s Vineyard for a obnoxiously unfunny wedding and terrible two hours of film.
- The Ward – Skip-it – New This Week – John Carpenter’s return to horror will have you wondering if he himself was institutionalized these past 9 years. Skip this psych-ward ghost thriller.
- Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs Evil – Skip-it – New This Week – It might entertain children with the 3-D swoops and dives, but overall it’s missing the clever wordplay of the wildly underrated first film.
- Priest – Skip-it – New This Week – Sure, it finally makes vampires scary again (no sparkling teenage boys here), but it is also as cliched a post-apocalyptic sci-fi film could possibly be. Skip the warrior priest’s quest to save his abducted niece.
- Something Borrowed – Skip-it – New This Week – Don’t let your girlfriend drag you to this film about the typically-sad 30-something single woman, engaged braggart friend played by Kate Hudson, and handsome fiancé lawyer’s love triangle set in NYC.
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