DVD Picks of the Week: May 15th

So last week I skipped out on this column, but after giving up 15 minutes into Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie I can honestly say that there isn’t anything from last week’s DVD releases worth discussing. So let’s just skip that and talk about the present:

Buy It:

Being John Malkovich (Criterion Collection)

Directed by: Spike Jonze

Written by: Charlie Kaufman

Starring: John Malkovich, John Cusack & Cameron Diaz

Why should you buy it? It’s my #2 film of 1999, and I don’t think you can find a weirder film about the human mind and how to mimick life in art than this one. Forgetting the scene of Malkovich entering the mind of Malkovich and taking the film at face value, what else would you want? We get a puppeteer, an art form that’s always been the most difficult to sell, who’s trying to find a life and ends up in a floor of an office building that sits between two real floors (hence the 1/2) filing. It’s insane, but worth every minute that you have to give.

Rent It:

Chronicle

Directed by: Josh Trank

Written by: Max Landis

Starring: Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell & Michael B. Jordan

Why should you rent it? Because calling it the found-footage, American retelling of Akira is an oversimplification of the whole thing. Yes it kind of straddles that line, but it also does a lot of things right. I like the character progression that Andrew, the bullied nerd anti-social child, goes through and the way that his powers evolve and skills increase over the span of the film. Especially with a lot of the camera explanations of the film. Yes it’s odd why the camera is even on, especially when he goes to hold up a convenience store, but I see it as no unlikely as the world’s youth is getting more and more obsessed with documenting their lives. It’s not a bad film, but definitely not a great one.

Skip It:

The Grey

Directed by: Joe Carnahan

Written by: Joe Carnahan & Ian Mackenzie Jeffers

Starring: Liam Neeson, Dermot Mulroney & Frank Grillo

Why should you skip it? While I’m all for Liam Neeson vs. wolves in the middle of nowhere, I’m just sad that the film wasn’t more engaging. It tried really hard but it felt like a movie that was stretched too far. It has a runtime of near two hours but began to run out of steam and having the set pieces and drama just too far apart for me to care by the end of the film.

Honestly a strong opening, but nothing else.

The Rest

One For the Money
Hell on Wheels – The Complete First Season
Albert Nobbs
The Devil Inside
Norwegian Wood

Blu Ray

The Odessa File
1900
Father of the Bride: 20th Anniversary Edition – Two Movie Collection
Walking Tall: The Trilogy

What’re You Getting This Week?