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DVD Pick of the Week: The Spirit

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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. It is my opinion 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.

The Spirit (also Blu-ray). I am sure that this PotW selection will have many foaming at the mouths, others confused, and still others plain old disgusted. I don't know what to tell you, but let me try. I cannot defend The Spirit as a good movie, but it is one that is so bizarre, weird, terrible, and brilliant that I get the feeling I will be able to watch this over and over again and not get bored. It takes the phrase "comic book movie" to a whole new level, skipping the adaptation part and going straight to shooting the panels, bypassing the part where the heart and character on the page is imbued with moving life required when bringing real life people into the equation. At the very least it is a movie that took a chance made by someone who is working outside of the Hollywood machine. Like it or loathe it, it is not business as usual.

The Reader. The film is a good one that is bolstered by fantastic performances. It is fascinating; I watched this film and was unsure exactly what it was about. Was it Michael's sexual awakening and subsequent shuttering? Perhaps it is about German guilt — are there varying degrees? Perhaps it is about illiteracy? It speaks to all of these things, but is never terribly thorough in its treatment of any of them; however, the performances are utterly captivating and the themes fade into the background of the story.

WWE Greatest Wrestling Stars of the 90's. While I have not watched wrestling for some years, I think these DVD collections could fill my urge to watch some high drama in the ring. Featured performers include The Rock, Steve Austin, Undertaker, and Bret Hart, among others.

Splinter (also Blu-ray). I had hoped to see this on the big screen, but it was not to be. Now I can catch up with it on disk. A group of people trapped in a remote gas station are under attack by a parasite that transforms its host. Sounds like some good ol' survival horror.

Slaughter High. This is coming out under a new Lionsgate header called "The Lost Collection." It appears to be a collection of '80s titles that flew under the radar or have achieved something of a cult status. As for this title, how can you go wrong with some slasher fun?

My Best Friend's a Vampire. Another entry in the "The Lost Collection." This one looks like it could be fun. Somehow. I'd never heard of these films before.

The Thirteenth Floor (Blu-ray). This VR-themed film got swallowed up by The Matrix back in the day, but that does not stop it from being a pretty good movie. I have not seen it in a long time, but it should look pretty snazzy on Blu-ray.

As I Lay Dying: This Is Who We Are. Christian metalcore/metal act has a DVD arriving. I am looking forward to getting a look at it. This is a really good band and they put out some strong tunes. Now, if they would only come to town again so I can see them live.

Strange Wilderness (also Blu-ray). Perhaps you need to be under some herbal influence to enjoy this movie, for I cannot see anyone sober enjoying this outside of the occasional giggle. It is a poor production all around with little in the way of redeeming value. I was happy when the credits rolled and so will you be, should you choose to be parted from your money.

Repossessed. Another in what I presume to be the first wave of Lionsgate "Lost Collection" titles. This one has Linda Blair spoofing her role in The Exorcist alongside Leslie Nielsen. This is one I always meant to catch but never did.

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