Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Joey's DVD Picks of the Week (6/21/2011)

This week is a welcome return to the DVD release weeks that we all used to take for granted. This is the type of week where you know that you're going to be buying more than one thing, just because of how much is out and how much variety there is. Today's releases includes one of the best films of the year so far, along with a few of the more underrated selections of the first part of 2011, plus more! Even the worst release is far from an awful film, and that's always a good sign. Let's jump right in though, as my PICK OF THE WEEK is a flick worth talking about. It's:

The Adjustment Bureau

A romantic thriller that mixed sci-fi and fantasy with the aforementioned romance in such a way that the love story never felt shortchanged, I loved this movie. So many films like this focus on the action and not on the romance, and this was the exact opposite. The imbalance was a turn-off to some, but I was a big fan. Matt Damon and Emily Blunt are excellent, and writer/director George Nolfi is able to give us one of the better Philip K. Dick adaptations to date (yes, I said it). Plus, if you're into politics, Damon's character is an up and coming Democratic star, and it's a well done portrait of a candidate. I know that it didn't work for everyone, but in my eyes it's just an overall well done flick that I recommend extremely highly.

-Also out getting high marks from me and distinguishing themselves, we have the indie romantic comedies Ceremony and HappyThankYouMorePlease, as well as the comedy Cedar Rapids. The first film is a promising debut from filmmaker Max Winkler and features strong performances from Michael Angarano and Uma Thurman, not to mention a scene stealing role for Lee Pace. It only got a token release earlier this year, but look for my official review soon! As for the second film, it's a Woody Allen-esque New York flick that makes good use of its ensemble and charms you into liking it. The final comedy mentioned is a good, but not great Ed Helms vehicle that is funny enough to get my recommendation. All three of these movies are worth picking up and giving a shot to...

-The rest of the week's release include the decent but not good enough sex farce sequel Elektra Luxx, the stunningly average thriller Unknown, and the disappointing action flick The Eagle. There's also the kids sequel Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, but I haven't seen it and can't vouch for it. None of these are anything special, but honestly...you could do a lot worse, as we've seen in previous weeks.

-My Vintage pick this week, in honor of the release of Bad Teacher, is a satirical comedy from the same director as the aforementioned release. It's The TV Set, and Jake Kasdan teamed up with Judd Apatow to deliver a scathing portrait of television executives ruining a show. It's painfully funny, and speaks from knowledge. It's well worth checking out, so give it a look!

-What will you be watching on DVD this week?


  1. I'm relieved it's such a good week...been a long time coming.

  2. I have to admit that The Adjustment Bureau didn't work for me, though it was not because of a lack of "focus on action" so much as a lack of any existential terror or deep exploration of its fascinating premise. It was all shortchanged in favor of shouting "LOVE CONQUERS ALL!" over and over again. Plus, it also posits the tired Hollywood stereotype of people successful in their professional lives being unfulfilled in their personal lives.

    Then again, it's not odious or ineptly made, so I certainly won't begrudge anyone finding much to like in the film.

  3. Well, I'm a proponent of the Love Conquers All type of film, and I hardly take issue with the idea that professional and personal happiness/success are two very different things.

  4. I would agree, except according to movie logic, successful businessmen/politicians must learn that the only way to be truly happy is to have their careers take a backseat to living humbly as a family man, because apparently it's impossible to achieve happiness in both areas of one's life.

    Such a "lesson" wouldn't bother me so much if it wasn't preached so repetitiously, and if it was not so manipulative.

  5. Well, that's a generalization, but yes...more movies than not do tend to focus on that. Not all do though. Keep in mind, films of that ilk are not looking for a realistic portrayal of what life is like. The same can be said for this movie, since...you know, it has magic hats in it.

  6. I watched Taken last week and while the film was nearly awful, Neeson was very good in it. I hope that I will enjoy Unknown more.

  7. Taken is much better than Unknown...