Drillbit Taylor: Extended Survival Edition [Blu-ray]

In a nutshell, Drillbit Taylor bears tons of similarities to the Judd Apatow-produced success comedy Superbad, which Rogen also co-wrote. While the latter focuses on a couple of high school seniors struggling to buy booze and get laid, the former tells the story of a couple of high school freshmen struggling to get rid of the bullies.

Be Kind Rewind [Blu-ray]

The good old video home system really changed the world of home entertainment. People bought the films they loved for a one-time charge, and they watched them whenever and wherever they wanted, over and over again. Although you don’t see much of the VHS anymore in today’s world, it still plays a big role in Michel Gondry’s good-hearted comedy Be Kind Rewind, a charming little movie about how amateur filmmaking can bring people together to achieve great things.

Cloverfield [Blu-ray]

Cloverfield on Blu-ray is worth the investment if you like the movie or haven’t seen it yet. High definition rocks and if you already have a Blu-ray player with an adequate sound system, you’ll be able to fully utilize and enjoy those with this release. Trust me, the roaring sound of that beast in HD will haunt you in your sleep.

Blue State

Judging by the majority of the dialogues between the main characters, politics still seems to be playing a central role in the film. I have to admit that the script is not a political ad for a certain candidate or party, but John, Chloe, and several other characters we meet throughout the movie spend quite some time discussing the pros and cons of the current administration, including wars, oil and other domestic government issues.

Shoot 'Em Up

Given the striking diversity of every of those unique action scenes, it’s practically impossible to decide on which battle in the flick is the sharpest and most wicked. Sure, the level of implausibility dramatically rises as the running time nears its end, but every shootout is unique in itself, thus making it a lot harder for any lunatic filmmaker to top Shoot ‘Em Up in the near future.

Braveheart: Special Collector's Edition

Braveheart succeeds in many ways, but one reason why I treasure the movie so much is because it perfectly depicts the cruelty of King Longshanks. He’s as oppressive as an influential leader can get, and his ways of making the Scots suffer are deeply disturbing. Instead of just killing his enemies, he dares to humiliate them by robbing them of their freedom...

Superbad (2-Disc Unrated Extended Edition)

From what I’ve learned from interviews and commentaries, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg were 13 years old when they first started working on the script for Superbad. I certainly don’t know how it looked back then, but the story seems to have a certain truth to it, and I am sure many people out there will find it easy to somehow relate to what Evan and Seth are experiencing.

Rescue Dawn

This time Herzog takes a break from documentary filmmaking and chooses a more dramatic approach to tell Dengler’s story of survival. The result, of course, is fantastic. The film is not about war or politics, but about Dieter and Dieter alone. Herzog spends two hours depicting the man’s dreams, his tragic accident and his quest for survival in the jungle, but every minute of it is utterly captivating.

Hostel: Part II (Unrated Director's Cut)

Much like the predecessor, it takes about 50 tedious minutes before something actually happens in Hostel: Part II. But once the action gets rolling, don’t expect to be surprised much. What follows are five gruesome torture scenes that are less intriguing but a lot bloodier than what we’ve seen in the first film, culminating in a showdown so simplistic and ridiculous, it could make you want to grab the closest knife and cut your own throat.

Reign Over Me

For once, the plot is filled with inconsistencies, which lower the film’s global credibility and make it harder for the audience to completely connect with the main characters. This is manifested in Sandler’s character Charlie Fineman and his sudden outbursts of anger. One minute Alan and Charlie are exchanging thought-provoking dialogue, and the next, Charlie jumps up, screams to the top of his lungs and throws beer at Alan because the latter mentioned something about the past.

Commando (Director's Cut)

Commando is a great action film for so many reasons. One of course, is Arnold Schwarzenegger, who back in the 80’s was celebrating the start of a glorious career as an action icon. He wonderfully masters his role as the tough colonel nobody should want to mess with, delivers compelling stunts, and most importantly, generates big laughs with some of the most hilarious one-liners in the history of over-the-top action extravaganzas.

DOA: Dead or Alive

The characters, the structure of the battles, the moves and the costumes and locations have all been preserved, and for most of the film’s 86-minute running time, you’ll really feel like watching a video game playing itself. The downside of this is the absence of a solid story, which ruins pretty much everything that takes place in between the fight sequences.

Blades of Glory

I have to admit, when I first heard about the premise of the movie, all I expected was yet another embarrassing slapstick comedy stuffed with tasteless humor and homophobic jokes. Surprisingly, such is not the case, and the concept of two men pairing up to skate has quite a different intention than, let’s say, Kevin James and Adam Sandler’s fake marriage in I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.

Played

In a nutshell, Played sounds good as long as you don’t watch it. I could easily come up with a whole list of aspects that don’t work at all in the film, but the worst, in my opinion, is Mick Rossi’s sloppy and superficial writing. I understand the filmmakers only had about $370,000 to play with, but a solid story takes nothing but paper, a pen and some creativity, which usually comes free. Instead of compiling an intriguing gangster story with captivating characters, Rossi spun a web of implausible twists and personages nobody really cares about.

The Last Mimzy (Infinifilm Edition)

The Last Mimzy perfectly utilizes the children’s rapport with one another to urge young spectators never to abandon their imagination. As siblings, newcomers Chris O’Neil and Rhiannon Leigh Wryn both deliver believable performances many of us with a brother or sister can perfectly relate to. Shaye’s directing be praised, because he manages to keep the main focus on the two kids throughout the whole movie without ever shifting the importance of the story to other, less intriguing characters.

The Hills Have Eyes 2 (Unrated)

The movie kicks off with nine candidates, and we get to watch them die one by one as they tiptoe through some old mines in the hopes of finding a way down the hills. I know that’s not necessarily original or innovative, but it gets worse. The degree of violence rises with the number of victims, and culminates in a number of torture scenes that are mostly too disgusting to watch. I’m not talking about decapitations and severed body parts, but rather about despicable rape scenes.

Kitchen Confidential - The Complete Series

Kitchen Confidential takes its viewers behind the scenes of a chaotic restaurant in which the food is cooked and served by eccentric characters striving to be the best at what they do. Packed with hilarious gags and sarcastic dialogues, each episode confronts Jack and his crew with unexpected challenges that require great teamwork and cooking skills.

Stomp the Yard

Stomp the Yard faces the dilemma of simply repeating what we’ve now seen far too many times in movies such as Save the Last Dance or Honey. It centers on a struggling loner who manages to overcome his dark past and finds the necessary courage to face his fears and achieve his goals. Generally there is nothing wrong with such a story, but if the initial concept is sloppily executed and the plot ends lacking any originality, there’s not much left to capture our attention.

The Painted Veil

Director John Curran and screenwriter Ron Nyswaner guide their viewers through this relationship with care and precision, while emphasizing on solid character development and powerful dialogue. The Painted Veil does a wonderful job at capturing the emotions from Maugham’s novel, a story about two individuals whose uselessness in a place far away from home is the only thing they have in common.

Little Children

Five years after his acclaimed drama In the Bedroom, director Todd Field returns with a movie that replays in your thoughts and heart long after it’s over. Based on the novel by Tom Perrotta, Little Children is an absorbing piece of filmmaking, one that calmly digs into the intricacies of its main characters while simultaneously provoking a feeling of uneasiness.

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