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DVD Pick of the Week: Chandni Chowk to China

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Welcome back! Well, to some of you, anyway. To the rest of you, glad you decided to stop by and I hope that this humble column helps you navigate the stacks of new releases each week. My goal is to point you toward titles of interest and warn you away from those films that seek to do nothing but leech away your time and give you nothing in return.

Full disclosure: I have not seen many of these titles and what follows are not necessarily reviews, but opinions based upon what I know of the titles I pluck from the new release lists that I peruse. The opinions I give based on the new releases are my own, and my recommendations upon them are based on my personal interest. In any case, I hope you enjoy and perhaps find something you like or a title to point me towards.

I must also mention that this is a pretty light week. The new release list is pretty much devoid of anything of much interest. Could it be the dawn of the blockbuster season that is keeping it quiet? In any case, there are still a few titles worth checking out.

Chandni Chowk to China. This film only received a limited theatrical release, which prevented me from seeing it on the big screen. Well, it is now arriving on DVD and it seems like the perfect time to catch up on it. It is the story of a decimated village in China that sends out a couple of is citizens in search of the answer to a prophecy. They are searching for a reborn warrior from their past. Their search leads them to India and to Chandni Chowk, who accompanies them back to China. It looks like a riot, plus it features Gordon Liu and that is never a bad thing.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (also Blu-ray). This is a movie that needs to be seen, for better or for worse. All too often films state their intentions right up front, leaving nothing to be discovered and nothing to reward multiple viewings. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is not one of those films. There are layers here to be peeled back and exposed to the light of day, a trip well worth taking. Benjamin is someone in the world but not of the world. It is a film that is near poetic with meaning, while also maddeningly obtuse. In the end, it is a movie that bears enough evidence to sway viewers to the side of love just as it contains enough to push them in the opposite direction.

Twilight (Blu-ray). Some were upset when the high def version was not released simultaneously with the standard. However, it may have made perfect business sense. How many diehards will be buying it again, having bought the standard because they did not want to wait? Interesting. I, on the other hand, will avoid both versions like the plague.

Last Chance Harvey (also- Blu-ray). Not a great movie, but one that seems to tap into an underserved realm of light romantic comedy. It is a movie that does not rely on big laughs or gags, or even the plot (despite its insistent intrusion), and has a nice and easy flow. If you want a little romance and humor, you would do well to spend some time with Harvey and Kate.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off (Blu-ray). Bueller… Bueller… Bueller… The high school classic is taking a bow on high definition. Will it benefit from the potential image upgrade? Someone will have to let me know.

Dog Soldiers (Blu-ray). Here is a film that every horror fan needs to check out, and if your only experience is with the Sci-Fi presentation (where it made its US debut), you need to see the full thing. This werewolf film is the real deal with strong practical effects and good performances. The Blu-ray is here and it is pretty cheap. No reason not to give it a shot!

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