Ed Perkis
Former Contributor


Rampart [Blu-ray]

“Date Rape” Dave Brown (Harrelson), a chain-smoking, corrupt, Vietnam-vet officer cruises through the division with an “us versus them” mentality to the nth degree. He’s always right and the gang-bangers, criminals, bums (personified by the excellent Ben Foster), and citizens are wrong, regardless.

Albert Nobbs

While you have to give it some credit for the high-wire act of having not one, but two women playing women pretending to be men, there is a big problem with Albert Nobbs. In addition to being a boring and uninspired film, both women pretending to men are obviously women.

We Bought a Zoo [Blu-ray]

The only reason I would even consider watching a family-friendly movie called We Bought a Zoo is because Cameron Crowe is the co-writer and director. He makes this movie better than the premise deserves to be, but it’s not fantastic.

Chinatown [Blu-ray]

If you’ve seen some recent Jack Nicholson movies and wondered, “How the hell did this guy get to be an icon?” you need to go back and watch 1974’s Chinatown. It will wash the taste of The Bucket List right out of your mouth.

Puss in Boots [Blu-Ray]

Bearing no resemblance to the French fairy tale character of his origin, Puss is a Spanish swords…uh…cat. Think Zorro, but in a cat form. Deciding that Puss was in a dire need of an “origin story,” the Shrek team, lead by director Chris Miller, takes Puss out of the Shrek realm and into his own engaging, if predictable, adventure.

Abduction [Blu-Ray]

Unless there was a movie released last year that features two goats in a bare field farting for three hours straight, then it’s pretty clear that Abduction was the worst movie of 2011. Star Taylor Lautner seems like a very nice guy, and if I had pecs like his I’d try to convince everyone I was an action hero too. But he’s not.

Margin Call

As much as we’d like to think it’s never been this bad, it’s been worse. As the CEO of an unnamed investment bank, Jeremy Irons says much the same thing while he eats a steak after ordering the firing of most of his employees and the screwing of most of his customers. Welcome to Wall Street!

The Devil's Double

Although the DVD box says “Part Scarface, Part Goodfellas,” the truth is that The Devil’s Double is neither of these movies. Those are classic mobster flicks with interesting plots and engaging characters. The Devil’s Double is one great performance in the service of a pretty crappy movie.

West Side Story: 50th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray]

Although it’s a bit too long and is a little dated with dialogue that includes things like “cracko jacko, down goes a teenage hoodlum” and “buddy-boy,” the 1961 film West Side Story could be the best movie musical of all-time.

Everything Must Go

It barely registered in theaters and weak development of some characters makes it less impressive than it should be, but Will Ferrell’s dramatic turn in Everything Must Go deserves a bigger audience than it got.

Cars 2 [Blu-Ray]

Money and toys. I don’t give a crap what director John Lasseter says about the reasons for making Cars 2, the sequel to Pixar’s least impressive animated film, 2006’s Cars. The real reason is money and toys.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides [Blu-ray]

Making a fourth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise served only one purpose: to put money in the pockets of the studio, producers, and star. The series had already run out of good ideas in the sequels to the surprisingly enjoyable first movie.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles [Blu-Ray]

Planes, Trains and Automobiles is one of the funniest movies of the 1980s, and unlike many of director John Hughes’ films from that era, it holds up very well even today. While it’s not a movie that cries out for a Blu-ray release, it certainly can’t hurt to get it out again in a new format.

Jane Eyre

It didn’t all start with Twilight. That’s the one thing you can take away from Jane Eyre, the most recent adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s beloved novel. Bella pining after the brooding Edward is firmly rooted in the story of orphan Jane pining after her employer, Mr. Rochester (ironically, also named Edward).

Mars Needs Moms [Blu-ray]

The Martian world is realized well by the animation process, and while it’s not so amazing it makes up for a limp plot, it does help a bit. It seems like some effort went into making this a more unique animated film, but it just didn’t really work. Milo doesn’t appreciate his mom, his mom gets in danger, Milo appreciates her.

Some Like it Hot [Blu-Ray]

Although it’s a classic, I’d never before watched the cross-dressing comedy Some Like It Hot. Not sure why, just never bothered to rent it or watch it on TV. Now I’ve seen it in HD on the recently released Blu-ray. I’m glad I did.

Beverly Hills Cop [Blu-ray]

Plot is overrated. When people start telling you that story is everything in movies, pull out your copy of Beverly Hills Cop, an excellent action comedy with a story completely full of plot holes. That’ll shut them up. Beverly Hills Cop survives on humor, performances, and some pretty kick-ass action.

The Green Hornet

Seth Rogen is the luckiest guy on the planet. I don’t mean that he hasn’t worked hard for his success and that he isn’t a very, very funny guy; he is. It’s just that when he isn’t voicing an alien, or kung-fu animal, or idiot monster, he basically makes millions of dollars acting like what is clearly a version of himself onscreen.

The Incredibles [Blu-ray]

Superhero movies have become all about the angst of being a superhero. Being a superhero kind of sucks. It’s hard, it’s dark, it’s not so fun. Brad Bird took that idea and turned it on its head in 2004’s classic animated film, The Incredibles, by showing the angst of not being a superhero, when you are, in fact, pretty darn super.

An Affair to Remember [Blu-ray]

The 1957 weeper An Affair to Remember is widely regarded as one of the top romantic films of all time. Not by me, of course, but by, you know, society and whatnot. It’s now out on Blu-ray, which means if you love a good cry, you can cry at a crystal-clear picture.

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