Today’s DVD Releases: What are they worth?

Worth a Purchase:

The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow)

I liked this film a lot when I saw it in theaters, and I’m certainly going to give it another look very soon.  It has won a lot of the early critic awards, and is considered one of the frontrunners to take home the Best Picture Oscar (as well as Bigelow for Best Director).  It is probably the best movie that has been made about the war in the Middle East.  Featuring a great performance from Jeremy Renner and several good supporting appearances, The Hurt Locker is certainly worth your money.  Special features include a behind the scenes featurette and director commentary from Bigelow.

Moon (Duncan Jones)

This is the directorial debut from David Bowie’s son.  It is basically a one-man show from Sam Rockwell, with the always entertaining Kevin Spacey providing the voice of a computer.  Moon made my 2009 top-ten list (along with The Hurt Locker), and Rockwell’s performance is also one of the year’s best.  It is sort of an old-school sci-fi movie that is a welcome change to this past summer’s massive movies like Terminator Salvation and Star Trek. Fans of classic sci-fi films like 2001:  A Space Odyssey should love it.  The DVD is loaded with special features, including two different directors commentaries, a couple Q&A sessions with Duncan Jones, a Duncan Jones short called Whistle and a making of documentary.

Worth A Rental:

Halloween II (Rob Zombie)

I saw this movie in the theater and was mildly impressed by it.  Zombie seemed to have a pretty clear vision for what he wanted to accomplish in this film, but I’m not sure this vision was fully realized.  His second entry into the Halloween franchise, Halloween II takes a chance and dives deeper into the psychological state of Michael Myers.  It aims to explain what inspires him to be the person that he is.  It is hard to compare this movie to any other entry in the franchise because it is just so different.  I have to at least give Zombie credit for trying, especially with all the awful horror remakes the studios are churning out these days.  Malcolm McDowell’s Loomis character is also pretty fascinating.  He probably deserves more screen time than he got in this.  It comes in both theatrical and unrated versions, and I’ll probably rent the unrated one just to see how it varies from the version I saw in theaters.

In the Loop (Armando Iannucci)

I’ve heard all sorts of good things about this political satire, which sits at a stellar 95% on Rotten Tomatoes.  Apparently it is one of the funniest movies of the year, and I plan on renting it some time very soon.  The film’s cast includes Steve Coogan and James Gandolfini.  I’ll probably post a brief review of this one once I get around to watching it.

There are also a few others out that I haven’t seen including:

  • Post Grad (with Alexis Bledel and Michael Keaton)
  • The Burning Plain (with Charlize Theron)
  • Fame… a poorly received musical remake
  • Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself (With Taraji P. Henson and Mary J. Blige)

I haven’t seen any of these four titles, but I wouldn’t recommend wasting your time on them.  They were all very poorly reviewed, and I’m sure you can find something better to watch (including those sitting in my “Purchase” or “Rental” categories).

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