Tuesday, June 29, 2010

DVDs: Percy Swordsman and the Crazies: The Raging Machine

I feel abso-schizo looking at the new releases from this week and last. Every variety of film seems to be accounted for. Whatever will you make me watch? Previous write ups from this reader request series (my version of DVD on Demand) include: Bad Lieutenant, Fantastic Mr Fox, An Education and The Road with Doctor Zhivago still pending (I'll get to that one soon).

But the new stuff...

  • The Crazies (horror)
    A town in Iowa (where Timothy Olyphant and Radha Mitchell live) goes violently insane.
  • Creation (biopic)
    Paul Bettany & Jennifer Connelly play the Darwins in this science vs. God marital drama.
  • Don McKay (indie thriller)
    Thomas Haden Church rekindles an affair with Elisabeth Shue but darkness looms.
  • Green Zone (action)
    Matt Damon is a rogue army officer in this action thriller set in Iraq.
  • Hot Tub Time Machine (comedy)
    John Cusack and friends travel back to the 80s through a hot tub accident. You know how these things happen.
  • The Last Station (period drama)
    Stormy Helen Mirren, mustache twirling Paul Giamatti and virginal sexpot James McAvoy fight over the dying Russian legend Leo Tolstoy (Christopher Plummer)
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (fantasy)
    In which a teenager discovers he's the new wannabe Harry Potter son of a Greek God. But shouldn't Uma Thurman as Medusa be the headline?
Medusa with iPhone | Hot like Mexico. Rejoice.
  • Raging Sun, Raging Sky (queer)
    A Mexican man searches for his abducted lover in this award winning erotic drama.
  • Return of the One Armed Swordsman (1969 wuxia)
    A famous action extravaganza about a retired swordsman recalled to action by the sons of ransomed clan chiefs.
  • She's Out of My League (comedy)
    Jay Baruchel can't believe his luck when a gorgeous gal is interested in his geeky self. I'm confused... hasn't he ever been to the movies? Gorgeous movie gals are always into nerds.
  • A Star is Born (1954 musical)
    James Mason is a fading star and Judy Garland a rising one in this oft told showbiz tale.
  • The White Ribbon (parable)
    Michael Haneke's German children's tale about a village suddenly plagued with troubles.
  • Wolf Moon (lycanthropic / straight to dvd)
    A country girl falls for a drifter. But she doesn't know what happens during a full moon.
Of these films I've already seen The White Ribbon (admire but don't love), The Last Station (liked at first but major fast fade) and A Star is Born (♥ I purchased it already. newly restored) but since I've written none of them up proper like, I figured I'd include all of them.

So, whaddya say? Make your case in the comments to sway other voters.


Philip said...

I voted Don Mckay just cuz...I really don't have much reasoning behind it. I'm pretty sure a Star is Born will win though, and I kind of want it to. I just didn't vote for it because I figured it doesn't need my vote to win. Haha.

D said...

I vote "Don McKay", which got some interesting reviews. Also, Elisabeth Shue as pseudo-noir femme fatale.

Andrew David said...

I honestly don't want you to write up any of them! But I voted The White Ribbon since I found it a really interesting watch.


Drew... huh. you just want me to shut up, eh? ;)



still early in the voting though. Why did i think Percy Jackson was going to win?

Robert Hamer said...

I'm split between The White Ribbon and A Star is Born. I always like to vote for the classics, but I'm just not sure how anyone could measure up to Nick's pitch-perfect assesment a few weeks ago. Haneke is always good for an interesting analysis, but Ribbon is his least interesting good film, in my opinion.

Hmm...what would you personally rather watch?

Liz said...

I voted for "The Crazies" because I'd like to see Nat write about something totally different (for him).

Plus, I don't like horror movies, and even I found this one pretty decent.


Robert -- i am intimidated by Nick's assessment yes. So if A Star is Born wins i'll have to approach it from a non-Judy's performance angle. I won't always just review the films. If i can ever get my schedule perfect I'd do this weekly and sometimes it'd be a big post and sometimes just a little glimpse of something about the movie. We'll see.

and maybe i'll start limited the releases you can choose from to only the ones i'm interested in writing about at the moment. I just was trying this system/series out for fun.

adelutza said...

I would be interested in an opinion about Don Mckay, i saw it last year at Tribeca and I'm not even sure it really opened anywhere. I thought it deserved better.

Robert William Berg said...

I'm rooting for Percy Jackson, because I was surprised to absolutely love it. It's the only film I saw twice in a movie theatre this year. Incidentally, though the film was definitely made due to being reminiscent of Harry Potter (and the book was probably published because of it), the author apparently first wrote the book years before.

Anonymous said...

I vote for either Hot Tub Time Machine or Last Station because the features for those have gotta be sick.

And I love how 'parable' is a film genre now. Not sarcastically.

Kev said...

I voted for "The White Ribbon." Brilliant film that should have won the Oscar. I haven't heard of half of these titles, like "The Crazies" or "Don McKay." Was "Creation" even in theaters? Poor Paul Bettany.

Yi said...

DO YOU get these DVDs for free, or do you go out and buy them like normal folks? B/c I wouldn't pay a dollar for some of those crappy titles. Better to get those free than have to shell out your hard-earned money.


Yi... i get some DVDs but it's so random that i can't bank on it. I mostly just add them to my rental queues.

Unknown said...

C'mon people! How about choose something Nat hasn't seen yet? Something less film-y and prestigious-y maybe?

I vote Percy Jackson! The next Spider-Man (so I hear, but don't quote me on that), with UMA et al. Or let's at least put Nat through the torture of having to watch Creation!

Andrew David said...

Nathaniel... haha not at all! It's an interesting feature, I just haven't seen / don't really need to hear about any of the films out this week.

Bill_the_Bear said...

I voted for "Creation" because it's one that you apparently haven't seen, and because I'd like to hear what you have to say about it.

Dorian said...

My vote's for "The White Ribbon."

Anonymous said...

Gah, I want to see A Star is Born sooo badly!! I keep hoping TCM will play it. I love the Janet Gaynor one and I would love to see James Mason together with Judy. JUDY

Volvagia said...

That's where I caught A Star is Born recently. That's what weekly checks are for.

Patrick said...

I chose Return Of The One-Armed Swordsman, because, when I recently read an entry on David Bordwell's blog on the staging of actors (http://www.davidbordwell.net/blog/?p=8201) I immediately thought of the One-Armed Swordsman series. Plus, it's got great costumes and colors, like all Shaw Brothers period films.

Kurtis O said...

Percy Jackson was a piece. Ditto Green Zone. I'm hoping you do Hot Tub Time Machine. I loved it.

Glenn Dunks said...

Adam, I always vote for a more genre title because I know Nathaniel rarely sees them let alone discusses them. I voted The Crazies because it could have also doubled as a "Timothy Olyphant is sexy" post and we can all use more of those.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful journey and experience!