Welcome back, once again, to DVD Pick of the Week. It is, and continues to be, your one stop shop to get a glance at the week's top DVD choices. I go through the hundreds of titles that are released each Tuesday and pick out the ones that are worth your time and/or money, or not, as the case may be. It is not an easy job but I believe I am up to the task. Rest assured that the titles that you read about below are the cream of the crop, or need to be mentioned in order to keep you from making a big mistake.
The number one title this week is none other than Superbad. Yes, there were other hopefuls and close seconds, but Superbad weathered the storm and hung on to be the king of the mountain. It is the funniest film so far this year (and will likely remain in that spot). It is another win for producer Judd Apatow. Granted, he did not write or direct this, but he was involved and its principals include a longtime member of Apatow's camp, Seth Rogen.
Superbad is flat out hilarious, with what is likely the highest jokes per minute ratio of any film released this year, and most of them hit. Where this movie really separates itself is in the characters. The story is nothing we haven't seen before, kids trying to hook up and get drunk (not necessarily in that order); however, everything about the way the story flows feels genuine. Sure, it does tend towards the absurd end of the scale, but most can probably identify with all that happens.
The acting is all spot on, and is the true strength of the movie. If the performances were not good, this would end up as just another goofy film that adds nothing to the comedy genre. From Jonah Hill's foul-mouthed Seth to Michael Cera's big screen take on his George Michael character from Arrested Development, I had no problems believing them in their roles here. Then there is Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Fogell, who brings a new nerd screen legend to life. Seth Rogen and Bill Hader's cops mirror the potential future of the Seth and Evan characters.
This is a film that delivers the goods. It is not the most original of its kind. However, it has that heart injected with the raunch that makes it memorable and separates it from the crowd. This is definitely a crowd pleaser that will have you laughing long after you have left the theater.
Also out this week:
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. I liked this a lot. I am looking forward to seeing it again. Sure, it is a bit long and convoluted, but there is something that is a lot of fun about this entire series.
- 24: Season Six. Not one of its stronger seasons, but still compelling television.
- Battlestar Galactica: Razor. Released in unrated form, this runs about fifteen minutes longer than the broadcast version (also included on the disk). If you like BSG, you will not want to miss this.
- Saturday Night Live: The Complete Second Season. Classic late night television, remastered and presented complete and uncut.
- Arctic Tale. The follow up to March of the Penguins, this is the story of a polar bear and a walrus.
- The Nanny Diaries. Enjoyable, yet its impact is at least partially lost due to similarities to The Devil Wears Prada.
- Live Earth. A two-DVD/one-CD release of the globe-spanning concert event. There is a lot of footage not included, likely for a future big box of the whole show.
- Ford at Fox. A massive box set of John Ford's work while at Fox. There are a lot of classic titles included among the 21-disk set.
- The Last Man on Earth. Not sure if this has been remastered at all, but this is a fantastic movie starring Vincent Price. It is based on Richard Matheson's I Am Legend novella. Yes, the same story to become the base of Omega Man and the upcoming I Am Legend.
- Exiled. Johnnie To's latest action film arrives on Region 1 DVD. I have been looking forward to seeing this. To generally makes rather exciting action films.
- Shira, The Vampire Samurai. Don't know anything about this film, but the cover and title make it look like fun.
- The Killer Snakes. This movie from the Shaw Brothers claims to have something to repulse everyone. I want to test that.
That's it for this week, happy viewing!