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The Week in DVD and Blu-Ray (& VHS!): 02-02-10

February 1, 2010

With the winter comes entire months of unrelenting winds and temperatures cold enough to make your angry tears freeze.  What is there to do in an environment like this other than to work, sleep, and watch movies?  This weekly rundown will provide DVD and Blu-Ray recommendations to brighten up your winter with the warmth of glorious at-home cinematic experiences.  In weekly doses, I will give you recommendations with a star rating, followed by a list of “everything else”.

Luckily, January is over and movie releases in the theatre will start to get better.  Until late spring, it is going to be pretty slim pickings, so hopefully these DVDs/Blu-Ray will get you through the lull.

Zombieland ***1/2 (2009) — (DVD & Bluray)

Rated R for horror violence/gore and language

88 min.

Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg star is this zombie-filled action comedy about two guys trying to navigate across a country crawling with zombies to safety in a California amusement park.  Shot in an overly stylized, yet not annoying, way, “Zombieland” takes the stress out of the zombie genre and allows audiences to relax and enjoy the human-on-zombie kills with 10s across the board for style.  No spoilers here, but as far as cameos go, I cannot remember a better cameo than the huge one in this film.  If you have a Bluray player, definitely take advantage of that in order to maximize the hilariously gory violence in “Zombieland”.

The House of the Devil ***1/2 (2009) — (DVD, Bluray, and Special Edition VHS)

Rated R for “some bloody violence”

95 min.

Director Ti West championed this amazingly fun throwback to 70s and 80s horror all over the festival circuit in 2009, and now this film is being released for your rental pleasure.  Coming in standard DVD and Bluray releases, this week will be particularly exciting because West and IFC Films are also releasing a special edition VHS tape to compliment your nostalgic horror film collection.  Have a blast watching this creepy movie filled with anticipation with an insane climax!  Be ready to note the debut of star-in-the-making Jocelin Donahoe and get ready to see more of her in the future (but for now, just new episodes of CSI in 2010).

New York, I Love You **1/2 (2009) — (DVD & Bluray)

Rated R for language and sexual content

103 min.

Adapted for US audiences from the French film “Paris Je T’aime”, “New York, I Love You” is a star-studded collection of short films that beautifully encapsulates what makes New York such a great and interesting city.  Though it is not an intertwined story, this visual mix tape includes stories of tragedy, sidewalk interactions, young love, coffee shop conversation, and an old married couple taking a stroll to the beach.  Some of these stories resonate more much than others, but after a viewing of “New York, I Love You”, you realize what great stories and viewpoints this big melting pot can provide.

Other DVD/Bluray releases for 2/2/10:

–        Love Happens (2009) – Romantic dramedy starring Jennifer Aniston and Aaron Eckhart

–        Amelia (2009) – Self-indulgent biopic about Amelia Earhart starring Hilary Swank

–        Planet Hulk (2009) – animated action/adventure from Lionsgate Films

–        Adam (2009) – Indie relationship dramedy about a woman who falls in love with a young man with Asperger’s Syndrome

–        Ong Bak 2 (2009) – Foreign action/adventure sequel from the same folks who brought you the martial arts meets parkour original

–        More Than a Game (2009) – Sports documentary about Lebron James’s high school basketball team and their journey to the high school national champion tournament

–        Triangle (2009) – Foreign horror film set on a yacht in the Bermuda Triangle

–        The Godfather (1972): The Coppola Restoration (Bluray)

–        The Godfather, Part II (1974): The Coppola Restoration (Bluray)

There you go, everyone!  Go forth and conquer the video stores, Netflix queues, and Redboxes around you!

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