Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Joey's DVD Picks of the Week (7/12/2011)

This week on DVD there's a whole bunch of variety to choose from, with a few titles managing to be good films as well. It's kind of interesting to me that often it seems that weeks with a dearth of volume are followed up by more crammed weeks like this one. Is it that studios want more films all coming out together to get consumers to purchase them in one bunch, or is it that they don't think their film being the lone high profile release will entice people to head to stores to pick it up? It's likely a combination of things, but that's a conversation (or potentially an article) for another time. A lot of the movies this week are slight let-downs, but one stood head and shoulders above the rest. It's an easy choice for my PICK OF THE WEEK and came within a hair of making my mid-year Top 10 list. It's:


A clever and surprising take on the haunted house/Poltergeist type of fright flicks, this managed to actually scare me on a few occasions. That's almost impossible to do, so that's high praise for this film. It's also just a lot of fun, finding ways to terrorize you that you don't expect (and not relying on gore either, if that's a concern to you). It's a thrill ride of a movie, and for the first act or two is nearly perfect. The third act isn't as strong, but it's still a very good film with strong acting (especially by Rose Byrne) that I highly recommend. As I mentioned above, it very nearly made my Top 10 list for the first half of 2011. Check the flick out and enjoy!

-Also out getting a recommendation from me are two very different films. One is the animated flick Rango and the other is the Spanish horror sequel [Rec] 2. The former is an original cartoon that I didn't quite dig as much as most, but still found pretty entertaining. The latter is a step down from the very good original, but still does its job well enough to get the thumbs up from me. Both are worth your time this week if you're so inclined...

-The rest of the releases include the decent legal drama The Lincoln Lawyer, the average coming of age drama White Irish Drinkers, the supremely disappointing Oscar hopeful (more like wannabe) Miral, and the stunningly bland remake Arthur. None are overtly terrible films, and the first two are definitely stronger than the last two, but they all let me down in one regard or another. I realize that each has their fan base, so if you're among their defenders, now's the time to go pick them up on DVD.

-Special note is the release of the 2010 Palme d'Or winner Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. I've yet to see it, but I've heard mostly great things about it, so if you're looking for a more esoteric selection this week, this could be the one for you!

-My Vintage pick, in honor of this week's release of Winnie the Pooh, is another animated film that makes me nostalgic for childhood. It's Toy Story 3, and on top of being one of the 10 best animated flicks of all time to me, it made me remember the joy of first seeing the movie as a kid. Take the opportunity to hang out with Woody and Buzz once more this week!

-What will you be watching on DVD this week?


  1. Insidious was a lot better than I expected, so it's an easy recommendation...

  2. Also out this week is "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives", the Thailand selection for the Foreign Language Oscar this past year. I need a second viewing...just so much to take in...

  3. Oh...and it won the Palme d'Or at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival as well!

  4. I just made an addendum and added it...I sadly haven't seen it.

  5. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives is very good, but not the equal of, say, Syndromes and a Century or Tropical Malady.

  6. That's the name Apichatpong Weerasethakul calls himself in the West (and allows journalists in the West to call him) because, well, just look at that name!

  7. Ah...wasn't certain. I've actually never seen any of his films, which would explain me spacing on that.