New DVD Releases for the Week of August 25 2009
Here is a list of the new DVD Releases for the week of August 25 2009, as well as my intentions to buy, rent, watch on TV, or skip (for TV on DVD releases head over to Daemon’s TV):
Synopsis: It’s the summer of 1987, and James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg), an uptight recent college grad, can’t wait to embark on his dream tour of Europe.
But when his parents (Wendie Malick and Jack Gilpin) announce they can no longer subsidize his trip, James has little choice but to take a lowly job at a local amusement park. Forget about German beer, world-famous museums and cute French girls-James’ summer will now be populated by belligerent dads, stuffed pandas, and screaming kids high on cotton candy. Lucky for James, what should have been his worst summer ever turns into quite an adventure as he discovers love in the most unlikely place with his captivating co-worker Em (Kristen Stewart), and learns to loosen up.
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Ryan Reynolds, Martin Starr, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader
Director: Greg Mottola
Recommendations: I really loved this movie when I saw it in theaters and it’s definitely worth owning.
Synopsis: A pair of corporate spies who share a steamy past hook up to pull off the ultimate con job on their respective bosses.
Cast: Julia Roberts, Clive Owen, Billy Bob Thornton, Tom Wilkinson, Paul Giamatti
Director: Tony Gilroy
Recommendations: I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Duplicity. Julia Roberts and Clive Owen are really great together (you can read my review here). Definitely worth renting.
Rudo y Cursi
Synopsis: Beto (Luna) and Tato (Bernal) are a pair of rivaling, dim-witted brothers who work on a dusty banana ranch and play soccer for their local team. Beto, a goalie whose hot temper on the field earns him the nickname of Rudo, dreams of becoming a professional soccer player, while Tato wants to be a famous singer. They both share the dream of building a big house for their mother, Elvira, but all of their desires seem completely out of reach, that is, until a talent scout, Batuta, discovers their skill on the field. To Beto’s chagrin, it is Tato, whose curlicue field play earns him the nickname of Cursi, who is chosen to become a star player. Not to be bested, Beto scores a goalie position on a rival team, further intensifying the competition between them. But success makes the brothers confront their own personal demons and sets them on a chase for more than just soccer balls.Cuaron keeps the energy high and the laughter rolling even as he crafts a moral into the story. But even if the dueling brothers do find a way out of the banana ranch, will the banana ranch ever find a way out of them?
Cast: Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna, Guillermo Francella
Director: Carlos Cuarón
Recommendations: I love Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna together and this movie is at the top of my Netflix list.
Synopsis: A single mom and her slacker sister find an unexpected way to turn their lives around in the off-beat dramatic comedy Sunshine Cleaning. Directed by Christine Jeffs (Rain, Sylvia), this uplifting film about an average family that finds the path to its dreams in an unlikely setting screened in competition at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.
Once the high school cheerleading captain who dated the quarterback, Rose Lorkowski (Academy Award® nominee Amy Adams) now finds herself a thirty something single mother working as a maid. Her sister Norah, (Golden Globe® winner Emily Blunt), is still living at home with their dad Joe (Academy Award® winner Alan Arkin), a salesman with a lifelong history of ill-fated get rich quick schemes.
Desperate to get her son into a better school, Rose persuades Norah to go into the crime scene clean-up business with her to make some quick cash. In no time, the girls are up to their elbows in murders, suicides and other…specialized situations. As they climb the ranks in a very dirty job, the sisters find a true respect for one another and the closeness they have always craved finally blossoms. By building their own improbable business, Rose and Norah open the door to the joys and challenges of being there for one another–no matter what–while creating a brighter future for the entire Lorkowski family.
Cast: Steve Zahn, Amy Adams, Alan Arkin, Emily Blunt, Clifton Collins Jr., Eric Christian Olsen, Kevin Chapman, Mary Lynn Rajskub
Director: Christine Jeffs
Recommendations: I missed this movie in theaters, but I really want to see it, so it’s going into my Netflix list this week.
Synopsis: Fighting is a rough-hewn heroic tale about realizing dreams of glory, putting audiences ringside at high-stakes underground street fights. Tatum stars as Sean Arthur, a young man who scrapes up a living hustling counterfeit merchandise in NYC. With family tragedy in his past and his father keeping him at a distance, this outsider has little to motivate him. A chance encounter with veteran street-fighting coach Harvey Boarden (Howard) leads to a whole new career for Sean. The ensuing bouts get tough, especially with the criminal element horning in, so Sean gets tougher. He will fight to win, not only the prize money but also the unexpected new relationships that are strengthening him.
Cast: Terrence Howard, Channing Tatum, Zulay Henao, Luis Guzmán, Cung Le
Director: Dito Montiel
Recommendations: The only reason that I am sort of interested in seeing this movie are the fight scenes, but I think I’ll wait until it’s on TV for that.
Synopsis: On the lonely roads of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, two men forge an improbable friendship that will change both of their lives forever. Solo is a Senegalese cab driver working to provide a better life for his young family. William is a tough Southern good ol‘ boy with a lifetime of regrets. One man‘s American dream is just beginning, while the other’s is quickly winding down. But despite their differences, both men soon realize they need each other more than either is willing to admit. Through this unlikely but unforgettable friendship, GOODBYE SOLO deftly explores the passing of a generation as well as the rapidly changing face of America.
Cast: Souleymane Sy Savane, Red West,
Director: Ramin Bahrani
Recommendations: Goodbye Solo sounds like an inspiring movie, but sometimes I’m just not in the mood for those, so I’ll just have to wait until it’s on TV.
Buy it: GOODBYE SOLO on Amazon
Synopsis: Sex, drugs, and new wave…Los Angeles in the early 1980s: a time of excess and decadence, and nobody captures it better than Bret Easton Ellis as he coadapts his own acclaimed novel for the screen. Its multistrand narrative deftly balances a vast array of characters, who represent both the top of the heap (a Hollywood dream merchant, a dissolute rock star, an aging newscaster) and the bottom (a voyeuristic doorman and an amoral ex-con). Connecting his intertwining strands are the quintessential Ellis protagonists—a group of beautiful, blonde young men and women who sleep all day and party all night, doing drugs—and one another—with abandon, never realizing that they are dancing on the edge of an abyss.Gregor Jordan returns to Sundance (Two Hands and Buffalo Soldiers played at previous Festivals) with a glamorous and gritty exposé of a culture where too much was never enough. He presents both the seductive and repellent sides of a time when safe sex meant being on the pill. Featuring a truly all-star cast who are at the top of their game, The Informers is a scathing descent into the morally bankrupt core beneath L.A.’s superficial beauty. It is both titillating and horrifying as it captures an era on the verge of an implosion whose effects we are still feeling today.
Cast: Billy Bob Thornton, Kim Basinger, Winona Ryder, Mickey Rourke, Jon Foster, Lou Taylor Pucci, Austin Nichols, Amber Heard, Chris Isaak, Brad Renfro
Director: Gregor Jordan
Recommendations: I heard a lot of negative things about the movie, so I decided that I would just wait until it’s on TV.
Taken in Broad Daylight
Synopsis: The true story of 17-year-old Anne Sluti, kidnapped by a deranged criminal and taken on a horrific six-day multi-state journey, relying on nothing but her wits and courage to risk leaving clues for the police and manipulate her brutal captor. Eventually surrounded in a remote mountain cabin, Anne must attempt to negotiate her own release, caught between a killer bent on murder/suicide and a gung-ho police force.
Cast: James Van Der Beek, Sara Canning
Director: Gary Yates
Recommendations: This was a Lifetime movie, which I hadn’t heard of, but with James Van Der Beek starring, I might give it a shot.
Buy it: TAKEN IN BROAD DAYLIGHT on Amazon