Archive for the ‘DVD’ Category

Excitables for the Weekend of April 13-15

April 13, 2007

Throw some salt over your shoulder, beware of black cats and be extra careful around mirrors today. Yes my faithful readers we begin the weekend on Friday the 13th. Obviously, the best and only way to honor and appease the date is with a marathon of Friday the 13th movies so fire up the DVD. May we suggest “Friday the 13th – From Crystal Lake to Manhattan”Friday the 13th a tidy collection of 8 FT13 flicks.

Not into horror? You could opt for the Freaky Friday series. We’re partial to the Barbara Harris/Jodie Foster version.

Elsewhere this weekend:

Hockey — You may not have noticed but there are hockey playoffs going on right now. Yep, the NHL playoffs have kicked of and not one, not two but three area teams are involved. The Devils, Rangers and Islanders all made the annual NHL round robin.

Robinson Remembered — On Sunday it will be the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in baseball. To honor this event 200 players in the league will wear Robinson’s retired number 42. The number was retired from the entire league 10 years ago on the 50th anniversary. The movement was not planned. It started spontaneously by a request from Cincinnati slugger Ken Griffey Jr. and quickly spread throughout Major League Baseball. The NY Times has an excellent piece on the memorial today.

Professional baseball has a lot of problems as do all major sports but sometimes they do manage to get things right.

In the theaters — As we all hold our breaths a few more weeks for Spiderman 3, the movie studios are treating us with a eye candy like the Bruce Willis-Hallie Berry Perfect Stranger and Gen Y Rear Window remake Disturbia. Indie fans may find more treats with Year of the Dog, a dramedy about pet loss, yep, pet loss that’s getting very good reviews across the board. Bring the Kleenex dog lovers.

On the Johnny DramaTube — Stormy weather is expected to settle in over the region on Sunday, just in time for episode two of The Sopranos and Entourage. The two JerseyCool favorites both started off well last week, more so for the Sopranos than for Entourage. Word on the street is that all those Soprano fans more interested in the mob family than the family family will not be disappointed in episode two.

Happy weekend folks,

JC

Rocked by Children of Men

April 5, 2007

We caught two DVD’s last week and both are worth the time and ducats to rent. Both are a bit scary and for altogether different reasons. Let’s start with the better of the two: Children of Men.

In the pantheon of dystopian futures there are several classics. Blade Runner, a dreary world of androids and mass extinction perhaps comes closest to mind when watching the Alfonso Cuaron directed Children of MenChildren of Men. However, Blade Runner may portray a more optimistic future. In that film, the androids were sadistic because they were androids. There’s no such comfort in Children of Men. The world is one cold, hard sadistic place and people are the ringmasters.

The scariest part of the film is it’s utter believability. Set 20 years into the future the world civilization is crumbling into anarchy. Terrorists attacks happen at any time and death is ever present from disease, terror or random acts of violence. Worst of all is an infertility plague that has lasted for 20 years. The lack of children has heightened mans inhumanity to man. The government is oppressive and cruel and resistance fighters are equally cold and callous.

Clive Owen, whose hang-dog weary expressions are a perfect fit for the film, gets involved with one of these resistance groups through his ex-wife, Julianne Moore. Eventually, he must help a pregnant, young women flee England to a supposed Utopian colony on an Island in the Azores. Death and misery ensue.

The movie also gets a fine performance from Michael Caine, who looks a whole lot happier away from the bat cave. If you’re looking for something a bit weightier than Wil Ferrel in leotards you could do worse.

The next scary film is Rocky Balboa not so much for plot as for Sylvester Stallone who simply no longer looks real. The movie itself is actually quite good and almost…I say almost removes the bad taste from the series last film, the wretched Rocky 5.Rocky Balboa

Here the 50+ Rocky is lured back into the ring to face the reigning champ in an exhibition bout. I won’t spoil how it ends but it’s a much fitter bookend to the first Rocky than the aforementioned 5. Let’s give Stallone some credit. It took a lot of guts to step back into the character after so many years and the results could have been a disaster but somehow the old champ pulled it off.

JC