Monday, June 30, 2008

10,000 B.C. (DVD)

10,000 B.C.

All of civilization is at stake in the film 10,000 B.C. After a woman named Evolet is kidnapped by a group of warlords, a hunter known as D'Leh journeys to save her. However, Evolet isn’t the only one in trouble. The world is threatened by an evil empire led by a self-proclaimed “god” known as The Almighty. D'Leh must suddenly rise up and fulfill his destiny as he faces prehistoric creatures such as saber-toothed tigers along with fighting the bad guys that pose a threat to the people. Directed by Roland Emmerich (Independence Day), 10,000 B.C. takes you on an epic journey into unknown prehistoric lands as it follows D’Leh on his quest to save Evolet and the rest of civilization.

10,000 B.C. is out now on DVD. Along with the film, the DVD includes deleted scenes and an extended ending.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Onion Movie (DVD)

The Onion Movie

The Onion, the place that prides itself on being “America’s Finest News Source” has released its own movie on DVD. This news source that reports cutting edge satirical news via internet and free newspapers across the country carries over its “journalistic integrity” on film, and it’s funny as hell. To give you an idea, picture watching random news reports on things like the Pope condemning more body parts because they’re too sinful and the US sending prisoners to stay in suburban homes due to overcrowded prisons. Throw in a special about a guy who holds up a bank, not to rob it but to get a job. Oh and I can’t forget the preview for Steven Segal’s new movie called “Cockpuncher”. Put all those together and you have one hilarious film that pokes fun at a lot of dumb shit in our world

The Onion Movie is out now on DVD.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Mama’s Boy (DVD)

Mama’s Boy

The premise of this film is pretty simple: A 29 year old guy who still lives at home with his mom feels threatened by her new relationship with a motivational speaker named Mert. Add in some goofy comedy and you have Mama’s Boy. This film is actually very funny. The 29 year old slacker (Jon Heder) goes back and forth between being extremely irritating and downright hilarious. It gets even funnier when he and Mert (Jeff Daniels) are in the same scene, especially when they are at “war” with each other later on in the film. They go to great lengths to humiliate each other by playing some hilarious pranks. Jeff Daniels shows once again that he fits right in when playing a moron in a comedy (like he did in Dumb and Dumber). Overall, if you’re in the mood to laugh hard while watching Jon Heder act like a real dumbass, then you’d probably dig this film.

Mama’s Boy is out now on DVD.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

mewithoutYou - Brother, Sister

Brother, Sister

If John the Baptist were alive today and had a rock band, that band would probably resemble mewithoutYou. In fact, whenever I hear lead singer Aaron Weiss, I can't help but think of John the Baptist. The way he shouts his spoken word poetry while the band rocks out reminds me of the locust eating guy that yelled at the religious dudes in New Testament. Along with that, there are some other similarities between the two. For example, John ate locusts and Aaron has a reputation for eating out of trash cans. Ok, let me stop before this turns into an essay on the quirky behaviors of Mr. Weiss. It wouldn’t be fair if I just talk about his odd behaviors instead mewithoutYou’s music. If you haven’t had the pleasure of hearing this indy rock band, then I would recommend checking out Brother, Sister (released in 2006). This is their third album, and it’s one that shows this is another band that should be getting more attention. While listening, you’d find out that mewithoutYou is a difficult band to pin down, since they really don’t fit in the emo-hardcore-pop-rock category. That’s exactly what makes their music great. You don’t know what to make of them, but you find yourself drawn into their unique sound.

The Bucket List (DVD)

What would you do if you found out you had less than a year to live? How would you spend your remaining days? The Bucket List explores these kinds of questions as it deals with two men, Carter (Morgan Freeman) and Edward (Jack Nicholson) who just got some bad news. They've got cancer and have less than a year to live. During their visit for treatment, they meet while sharing the same hospital room. Edward is a crass rich guy and Carter is the more conservative family man. While in the hospital, Carter writes down a "bucket list", a list of things he wants to do before he dies. Edward accidentally stumbles upon the list and thinks that Carter needs to "spice it up" a bit. Edward thinks they should go out with a bang. Being the wealthy guy that he is, he modifies the list and offers to pay for all the expenses on things like skydiving and traveling the world. At first Carter objects, but he eventually gives in. As the movie goes on, you'd see that both have something to learn from each other as they develop a strong friendship, while providing much laughter throughout the film. As you'd expect from these veteran actors, their performances were great as they played these two men about to face death. And in facing death, they really learned how to live. That's something we all could learn from.

The Bucket List is out now on DVD.

RIP George Carlin

George Carlin
May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008

He said things that pissed off a lot of people. Nothing was taboo for George Carlin. He spoke what he thought and whether you liked him or not, he made you think. The man was definitely one of my role models. He will surely be missed.

RIP, big man...

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Black And White Years

I must take this moment to mention a CD that's found its way into my hands. Let me introduce you to a band known as The Black And White Years. These guys released a CD that contains songs that will help shape the future of sound. One particular song that caught my attention is "Power To Change". On here, they exhibit a strong "electro-dance-rock" vibe that can really work a crowd into a frenzy. I haven't had the pleasure of seeing them live, but I will eventually. This is one of those albums that caught me by surprise, but in a good way. I expect to hear a lot more coming from The Black And White Years in the future.

For more info, click
here to visit their website.

The Air I Breathe (DVD)

Watching Brendan Fraser playing a thug is like wearing an uncomfortable pair of jeans. At first it feels too tight, but eventually you break them in. That's how it felt when I first started watching The Air I Breathe. I wasn't used to seeing him in a role like this, but his character grew on me. The character he played has a special gift for seeing events happening in the future (kind of like Nic Cage in Next). It's hard to hate his character, as he is a thug with a heart. Along with him, this film has an all-star cast that includes Forest Whitaker, Andy Garcia, Kevin Bacon, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Emile Hirsch. Among all of them, my favorite character was Forest Whitaker's. His performance was extremely believable as a guy who is fed up with his dull life. He has some of the best lines throughout the film, including a memorable narration during the intro. Even though he didn't get as many scenes as some other characters, he was essential in setting off this dramatic story of four different people linked together by destiny. This movie dealt with a lot of issues about life and the choices we make. Like any film, you can nitpick and find things to criticize about it, but the overall story with its many twists and turns outweighs the negatives.

The Air I Breathe is out now on DVD, and I recommend it for the subtle way it reminds you to wake up and start living.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Joy Division (DVD)

Every band has a story to tell. From stories on how they got started, to touring and making albums, they all have something to share. A good documentary is one that deals strictly with the "flesh and bones" of the band, rather than focusing on what their favorite food is, or how many girls (or guys) they slept with. Speaking of good documentaries, The Weinstein Company and Genius Products have just released Joy Division on DVD. This DVD takes you back to Manchester, where this punk band started, and follows them as they turned into rock icons. The interviews with surviving band members, along with a multitude of photos and video clips show an inside look at the band's successes and tragedies (Ian Curtis's suicide). Along with all the in-depth interviews, the DVD does a great job paying homage to this influential band from England.

Joy Division is out today on DVD.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Passion of Greg the Bunny: Best of the Film Parodies Volume 2 DVD

I never thought the day would come when I'd see a puppet shoot Gilbert Gottfried dead in public. That's the kind of raunchy humor you'd see on the DVD The Passion of Greg the Bunny: Best of the Film Parodies Volume 2. What else would you expect with a show that has appearances by Sarah Silverman, Seth Green, Adam Goldberg and Jon Favreau? Don't be fooled by the cute fuzzy puppets. This show parodies different films with some pretty twisted humor. I never thought I'd find myself laughing at fuzzy creatures ever since I watched The Muppets as a kid. I guess I was wrong. Shout! Factory released this DVD in May, and along with the episodes you get the following bonus features:

- “Fur On The Asphalt”– The Greg The Bunny Reunion Special featuring Sarah Silverman, Seth Green, Adam Goldberg, Jon Favreau and more!
- Deleted Scenes & Outtakes
- GTB Music Video: “Plush” – 1999
- Interviews with Greg The Bunny & Warren The Ape from ComicCon 2006
- Never-before-seen clips from Greg The Bunny’s early days on public access TV
- Greg The Bunny Webisodes
- Commentary by Series Creators
- Gag Reel
- Behind-The-Scenes Photo Gallery

For more info on the DVD, click here.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

24 - Season 1: Special Edition

Some interesting facts about Jack Bauer:

- Terrorists dread the day in October that Daylight Savings Time ends. Jack Bauer gets 25 hours in which to kill them.

- Jack Bauer once forgot where he put his keys. He then spent the next half-hour torturing himself until he gave up the location of the keys.

- Killing Jack Bauer doesn't make him dead. It just makes him angry.

- Jack Bauer sleeps with a gun under the pillow. But he could kill you with the pillow.

Ha-ha, you knew I had to go there. Well if you're familiar with the massively popular show 24, then you know about Jack. He is one intense dude. And I mean intense in the strongest sense of the word. In the show, he's like the Houdini of the Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU), because he always gets himself out of the most impossible situations. If you haven't had the pleasure of seeing Jack Bauer in action, Fox Home Entertainment has released a special edition of the show's first season. This 7-disc set comes in a cool as hell collectible tin box. When you open it up, there won't be any hidden explosives. But you will find a booklet with introductions to the show written by producers Joel Surnow and Bob Cochran, along with 7 discs containing 24 episodes. Be careful once you start watching though. It's as addictive as drugs. It's hard to stop once you get into this show that deals with corruption, murder, lies, and some explosive action. You might get an adrenaline rush waiting to find out what happens in the next episode. So, possible side effects might be loss of sleep from watching too many episodes in one night. But if you're cool with that, then this is one collection you can't miss.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Funny Games (DVD)

Funny Games

There are only a handful of films I can think of that really messed with me. A couple off the top of my head would be A Clockwork Orange and The Mist. Apparently, someone found another way to make a movie that disturbed me for an entire day. That person would be director Michael Haneke, and the film is Funny Games. Before I even go further, I will say that this film is definitely not for everyone. This is not for the faint of heart or if you get emotional watching films. You need to have a strong hold on your emotions when watching this, because it really fucks with you. Unlike the title, there's nothing funny going on here in the movie. A couple and their son (Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, and Devon Gearhart) head away to their cozy vacation home, only to find themselves crossing paths with two of the most sadistic fucking characters I've seen since the infamous "Alex DeLarge" in A Clockwork Orange. This version of Funny Games is actually a remake of the original that was done in 1997. From what I've read, this new one is identical to the original. The only difference is this version is done in English. We Americans can handle seeing someone ripped apart like in Saw. We can handle all the blood and guts. But how would we feel when we are faced with a very realistic take on the violence our culture gets its thrills off of? In Funny Games, that is exactly what we are presented with by a director who defies every rule in Hollywood on how movies should be done. Like a spoiled kid who gets what he wants but finds out he's still not satisfied, Michael Haneke gives the American audience what we've been indulging ourselves in. For so long we've gotten cheap thrills with seeing people getting tortured on film. In Funny Games we are presented with an honest picture of how disturbing violence is. There is no background music in the film, and when most of the violence actually takes place, it's done off camera which makes it a lot more creepy. You only hear what's going on, leaving room for your imagination to run wild. The other sound you'd hear is your heart thumping from the terror that unfolds before you. As the film goes on, you can't wait to see the evil pricks get what they deserve. But each time you think you are going to see justice served, the movie heads in a totally different direction. This movie is not "entertaining" in the sense that most films are. It mainly casts a reflection on our culture, showing us how far our twisted fascination can get with seeing violence onscreen. In regards to the movie, it goes way beyond any normal suspense or thriller I've seen recently. The acting done by the cast was extremely convincing. Naomi Watts and Tim Roth really pushed themselves in what I thought was the most difficult roles they've ever done. They portray the terror with such transparency you feel tempted to call 911 for them. As disturbing as this film was, it was a reminder to be vigilant when it comes to trusting certain people, and not being stupid enough to just let anyone in your home, no matter how safe a place seems.

And did I also mention it was disturbing?

Monday, June 09, 2008

Grace Is Gone

Grace Is Gone

War sucks. I think most of us can agree on that. Not only does it affect the people at war, but also the families left behind. There are rare instances when a film can make a statement on a topic like this without turning it into a Hollywood blockbuster. Grace Is Gone is that kind of film as it deals in an honest way with the tragedy that comes with war. The tragedy here is that a mom who serves in the military dies in battle, leaving behind a husband Stanley (John Cusack) and two daughters. I usually shy away from movies like these because they are very hard to watch. I can deal with horror, but sentimental ones like this get to me. However, a film like this is important because it's relevant to what's going on around us. Although the film does make a subtle statement about war, it speaks on other themes as well. One theme it touches on is how to deal with grief when tragedy strikes. Unable to face the horrible news that his wife has died, Stanley takes his two daughters on a road trip instead of telling them what happened. He basically sticks his head in the sand and tries to shut out the truth. However, that can only last so long, especially when you see him calling home and leaving messages for his deceased wife on the answering machine as if she were alive. It's the scenes like this that really tear you apart as you think of how difficult it is to deal with something like that. John Cusack made his character seem so real as he portrayed the extreme pain and sadness of someone who lost his wife. What's even more sad is that the two daughters have no clue their mother is gone, yet they can sense something is wrong with dad. That's something Stanley will have to face later on since he has to tell them eventually. Grace Is Gone is a very moving film that might have you reaching for a box of Kleenex after watching. Like I said, it's hard to go through, but it says some important things about life that we sometimes need to be reminded of.

Grace Is Gone is out now on DVD.

Special Features included are:
- A Conversation on Grace Is Gone director James Strouse and Cusack
- Inspiration of Grace Is Gone – the real story
- Profile of TAPS – the organization that provides support for people that have lost loved ones to war

Friday, June 06, 2008

The Incredible Hulk Seasons 3 and 4 (DVD)

The Incredible Hulk Seasons 3 and 4

"You wouldn't like me when I'm angry."
- David Banner

I remember The Incredible Hulk being one of my favorite shows as a kid. Along with being my favorite, it scared the hell out of me whenever David Banner would transform into The Hulk. The way Banner would start to get angry, and seeing his eyes change color right before he burst into the green guy gave me the creeps. I still loved the show though. Speaking of the show, Universal Home Entertainment chose the perfect time to release Seasons 3 and 4 of this classic show on DVD. With the new movie being released this month, it's the perfect time to revisit the old Hulk episodes. With Season 3 including an amazing 5 disc, 23 episode set and Season 4 containing 4 discs filled with 18 episodes, you might find yourself turning green after watching them. There is so much of The Hulk to take in with these new releases. You get to see the duo of Bill Bixby as David Banner and Lou Ferrigno as The Hulk together again with improved video and sounds thanks to modern DVD technology. If you're a Hulk fan, I think it would be impossible to not cherish this collection. Along with that, the DVD's come in some really cool collectible packaging AND in each boxed set is a FREE ticket for the upcoming film! This is one collection not to be missed, unless you're terrified of seeing David Banner turn into The Hulk.

Cassandra's Dream

Cassandra's Dream

Find a movie with the name Woody Allen attached to it, and you can assume it will be a hit. Even if people bitch and complain that he lost his touch over the years, the man will always have it in him to write a good story. He still carries on his tradition for writing unique stories in his film Cassandra's Dream, which was just released on DVD. In Woody's films, you can always expect some witty dialogue thrown in, and Cassandra's Dream is no exception. There are some memorable quotes in this movie, only there's no Woody showing up and rambling on about his neurosis. Instead, the film focuses on the story of two brothers (Colin Farrell and Ewan McGregor) who are, in their father's own words "always waiting for some scheme". Colin Farrell plays Terry, a gambling addict who got himself in some serious debt. So both brothers go to their Uncle Howard (Tom Wilkinson) for help. Uncle Howard agrees to help out, but in exchange he wants them to murder someone. There are serious consequences for the actions they choose from that point on. The performances by the cast carry this complicated and tragic story. Among the characters, Colin's performance of the guilt and anxiety ridden Terry stood out to me. As you can see, this is slightly different than the typical Woody Allen film. However, despite what the "critics" may say, this was a well done film by the veteran director.

Cassandra's Dream is out now on DVD.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Avatar Book 3 Volume 3 (DVD)

Avatar Book 3 Volume 3

Lately, it seems that everywhere I go, the little bald dude from Avatar is staring at me. He's at toy shops, book stores, etc. Chances are, you have seen him too. Well his name is Aang, and he is no ordinary kid. This Buddhist monk look-alike is a type of savior figure with extraordinary powers. I had my first chance to watch Avatar on the latest DVD release, Avatar Book 3 Volume 3. I actually ended up enjoying the show a lot. What seemed like a kid's show, which is probably misleading because of the Nickelodeon logo, is actually something adults can enjoy too. There are action scenes galore that combine martial arts with mystical powers. The world that exists in Avatar has a strong Asian influence, with everything from the outfits to ancient relics. It didn't matter that I missed the first two volumes (which I'll eventually check out). What grabbed my attenton on Book 3 Volume 3 was how
the story jumped right into action with some really cool battles. Along with the action, there's a little playful humor thrown in, which is expected since most of the cast members are kids. But like I said earlier, this is a DVD that kids and adults can enjoy.

Avatar Book 3 Volume 3 is out now on DVD.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Soundtrack

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Soundtrack

It wouldn't be Indiana Jones without the famous fedora, or that cracking whip for that matter. And it sure as hell wouldn't be Indiana Jones without the legendary theme song known as "Raider's March". Raider's March is also the opening track on the soundtrack for the latest film Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. This album is composed by John Williams, who also did the film scores for Jaws, the Star Wars Saga, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, and the other three Indiana Jones films. With a resume like that, I think it goes without saying that this guy is a genius. And that musical genius shows again in this soundtrack. From start to finish, the album brings you back to the scenes from Indy's latest adventure. Whether it's the part where they are escaping the hands of the Russians or the high-speed chase through the jungle, the soundtrack gives you the same feeling as seeing the film. This album definitely makes a perfect addition to any collection of Indy memorabilia.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Soundtrack is out now, courtesy of Concord Records.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Sinatra At The Movies

Sinatra At The Movies

I don't have to go into detail about the man known as Frank Sinatra, especially since I already reviewed his Nothing But The Best album. What I will do though is mention another release that celebrates his music. But this time, the album focuses on songs that Sinatra contributed to some classic Hollywood movies. The album's title is (you guessed it!) is Sinatra At The Movies, and it's an album that brings back some classic Hollywood nostalgia with each song. This is definitely worth checking out if you appreciate Sinatra's music or if you like classic films in general. With Nothing But The Best, and now Sinatra At The Movies, it shows that Ol' Blue Eyes' memory still lives on.

Track List for Sinatra At The Movies:

1. (Love Is) The Tender Trap
2. From Here To Eternity
3. I Love Paris
4. How Deep Is The Ocean
5. I Could Write A Book
6. All The Way
7. Young At Heart
8. Not As A Stranger
9. All Of Me
10. High Hopes
11. The Lady Is A Tramp
12. Monique
13. Chicago
14. Three Coins In The Fountain
15. I Believe
16. Wait For Me [Johnny Concho Theme]
17. C'est Magnifique
18. I Couldn’t Sleep A Wink Last Night
19. Just One Of Those Things
20. To Love And Be Loved

Monday, June 02, 2008

Come Drink With Me

"Oh here she comes
Watch out boy she'll cut you up"

Don't mess with a chick that's fights with blades. That's a hard lesson the thugs learned in the film Come Drink With Me. If they didn't wind up dead, they were scarred by the blade-
wielding girl known as "Golden Swallow". This film, that apparently inspired movies like Kill Bill and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, is another classic film re-released on DVD by The Weinstein Company, Celestial Pictures and Genius Products. What's great about this film is that even though it was released in 1966, the fighting scenes are just as good here (if not better) than some recent films. The things that Golden Swallow pulls off in the film are ridiculous. But then, that's the point of watching a film like this. You get to escape the sometimes dull world we live in, and travel to a place where a lady can wipe out 10 or more thugs all by herself. As it defies conventional rules of fighting, Come Drink With Me can still stand up to any film in the Kung Fu genre today. This is one film that was definitely way ahead of it's time.

Come Drink With Me is out now on DVD.