Weekly DVD Rundown
Worth a purchase:
Brothers (Jim Sheridan, 2009)
Every once in a while I find myself in a rut where I become somewhat bored with movies and start to wonder why I care so much about them. Then a movie like Brothers comes around and I remember why I love movies so much in the first place. Quite simply, this is my favorite movie from 2009. Amazing performances across the board, from the three leads all the way down to the wonderful young child actresses. It didn’t get the critical love I thought it deserved, but I think I just connected with movie and the relationships on a different level than most audiences. If you haven’t seen a great movie in a while, you owe it to yourself to watch Brothers. It’s an instant classic in my mind and a beautiful piece of storytelling. The DVD also has some pretty interesting featurettes, the best of which tells the story of how the original Danish film was turned into this Americanized version.
RIYL: The Deer Hunter, The Hurt Locker, Sophie’s Choice.
There are a lot of these family targeted movies that claim to be “fun for the entire family,” but this is one of the few that actually deserves that description. The comedy is mature enough to appease teens and adults, and it has enough action and funny creatures to please the little ones. Sure, the movie is about animated foxes and rodents, but it does a better job than any film I’ve seen in recent years of depicting the American family dynamic and one’s need for self-actualization. It’s also a true work of visual art and is a wonder to look at.
RIYL: The Incredibles, James and the Giant Peach, The Lion King.
Worth a rental:
Okay, so everyone is going to rent this one regardless of what I say. I’m still going to speak my piece. Somehow this movie got blown way out of proportion and won Bullock an Oscar when it is really nothing we don’t see several times every year. Still, I enjoyed the movie and think it offers a little something for everyone to enjoy. I just don’t see why it deserved the Oscar treatment when we see this type of inspirational sports-related story all the time.
RIYL: Coach Carter, Hardball, Remember the Titans.
Not worth your time:
The attraction with this one is obviously the cast, and it’s a good thing because there isn’t much else there. It’s got an interesting premise, but a competent narrative never develops and it’s never as funny as you think it would be. I’ve got to give them props for crediting “goat” on the poster/DVD cover, though… and for the awesomely bad tagline of “no goats, no glory.” Yep, I was pretty disappointed by this one.
Watch instead: Buffalo Soldiers, MASH, Dr. Strangelove.