This movie or movies did something for me and for many others in theater. They were extraordinary. While other movies were disappointing us, the movie or movies coming out on DVD satisfied, thrilled and entertained audiences. Hopefully, you will agree that the movie(s) listed below are the best DVD releases for the week.
Directed by Bryan Singer
Written by Christopher McQuarrie and Nathan Alexander
Starring Tom Cruise as Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, Kenneth Branagh as Major-General Henning von Tresckow, Bill Nighy as General Friedrich Olbricht, and Tom Wilkinson as General Friedrich Fromm, this is a good movie in spite of the average numbers at the box office. It tells the tale of several passionate men who do not want Germany to be associated with murder in the time of WWII. Cruise’s Colonel Stauffenberg is especially adamant in his hatred toward Germany’s murder of the Jews. These courageous men band together to bring an end to the reign of Adolf Hitler as played by David Bamber in the film. The audience sees just how far this group will go to accomplish their mission, and the mistakes they made in the process. It’s no plea of forgiveness from audiences, but it certainly sheds new light on a culture that has only been exploited as the worst of the worst. This film is certainly worth renting and seeing once.
7 Saturn Award nominations, including Best Action/Adventure/Thriller Film, Best Actor, Best Costume, Best Director and Best Supporting Actor.
1 Visual Effects Society Award or VES Award nomination for Best Supporting Visual Effects in a Motion Picture
Paul Blart: Mall Cop
Directed by Steve Carr
Written by Kevin James and Nick Bakay
In previews, this cute tale of a mall cop who is particularly heavyset and clumsy called, Paul Blart (Kevin James) looked extremely silly. After watching the film for the first time on DVD, I can say that it may not have been worth the $10 or more it would’ve cost to see it in the theater, but Paul Blart: Mall Cop is definitely worth renting. Some jokes work wonderfully. Some jokes don’t work at all. But, the story of this average joe who wants to be more than just a mall cop is delightful enough to sit through the worst jokes imaginable. I seriously wouldn’t be recommending this DVD if I didn’t think it was worth it. Look for the funny references to the Die Hard films.
More recommended DVD releases
Directed by Pierre Morel
Written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen
Liam Neeson is Bryan Mills, a former government spy who gave up his risky life to be closer to his daughter, Kim as played by Maggie Grace. His life is not very exciting. His relationship with his daughter is under constant scrutiny from his ex-wife, Lenore (Famke Janssen). He takes on a job with his spy buddies, protecting a young diva at a concert. He’s still not doing what he does best. Then, Kim gets kidnapped while on a European vacation with her friend, Amanda (Katie Cassidy) and used as fresh meat in the high-class world of prostitution.
Needless to say, this lights a fire on Bryan’s behind. He goes in search of his daughter. Anyone who stands in his way or has anything to do with her disappearance are in trouble. Bryan goes so far as to torture someone for information. The audience is not the least bit horrified or uncomfortable, watching this anti-hero do what he does best.
Liam Neeson brings a great and powerful force to the table. His Bryan Mills becomes incredibly believable and threatening. We’ve seen the plot of Taken a million times. Neeson is somehow able to make this story his own or at least, that’s how it feels. By the end of the film, you can’t help but say to yourself, “Now that is a father” in response to Neeson’s performance.
The action direction in the film is a little too chaotic to be thoroughy enjoyable. The writing is typical for this kind of film. The acting from Liam’s co-stars is far from extraordinary. It is really Liam Neeson and his screen presence that carries Taken to glory.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Directed by David Fincher
Written by Eric Roth
Brad Pitt stars as the title character, Benjamin Button. His case is indeed a curious one. He’s born into the body of an old man. As he ages, Benjamin’s body grows younger. His father’s first reaction is to put the baby out of its misery. Instead, he decides to leave the baby boy on the doorstep of a woman by the name of Queenie as played brilliantly by Taraji P. Hansen. She runs a boarding house for the elderly, a perfect setting to raise a boy like Benjamin. Eventually, Benjamin meets a girl, Daisy and immediately falls in love with her. Daisy as later played by Cate Blanchett is aging normally. The two seem like a very mis-matched pair. When Benjamin and Daisy reach 40, they basically look the same age. It is in the this time when their romance flourishes and falls apart. The film is brilliantly told by director, David Fincher and writer, Eric Roth. It’s such an unusual story, you would suspect the film to lose the audience. Somehow, Fincher grabs us and holds us in our seats with intrigue.
Nominated for 13 Academy Awards, including Best Achievement in Cinematography, Best Achievement in Costume Design, Best Picture and Best Director. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button won 3 Oscars, Best Achievement in Art Direction, Makeup and Visual Effects.
Nominated for 5 Golden Globes, including Best Director – Motion Picture, Best Motion Picture – Drama, and Best Original Score – Motion Picture.
Nominated for 9 Saturn Awards, including Best Fantasy Film, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Director.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button also won many other prestigous awards, including the SDFCS Award at the San Diego Film Critics Society Awards, the PFCS Award at the Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards, and the NBR Award at the National Board of Review, USA.
Last Chance Harvey
Written and directed by Joel Hopkins
Harvey Shine as played by Dustin Hoffman is a writer of background music for commercials. His life is incredible dull and he doesn’t know it yet. His daughter, Susan (Liane Balaban) is getting married in England. Harvey takes a flight to London and gets setup in his hotel room. At the pre-wedding dinner, Susan lets Harvey know that she’s asking her stepfather to give her away at the ceremony. By chance, Harvey loses his job and meets a lonely woman, Kate Walker (Emma Thompson). Together, they set off to make the most of their day and get to know each other. In this day, Harvey and Kate fall in love. Hoffman’s Harvey is awkward and self-absorbed at times, but even when all of the chips are down, he can be charming and fun. Last Chance Harvey is a look at how life can hurt and how great life can be. By the end, you really get the feeling that life has returned to Harvey Shine. It’s a very pleasant movie to sit through, made all the more enjoyable by the charisma of leads, Thompson and Hoffman.
Nominated for two Golden Globes, Best Performance by an Actor and Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical.
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans
The Grudge 3
My Bloody Valentine