Monday, February 01, 2010

February is a good month for DVDs

Of course, now that I've been fired from my job, I'll have enough time to watch them all. But no money to get them. Hm ...?

I ended January 2009 by losing my fancy-schmancy new job at Flanders University in West Carolina ... I'm fucking the name up on purpose because there's a "Nate Dub vs. the Crazy" -esque rant in the making, and I'm expecting unemployment to not be blocked, or else I go through with my discrimination lawsuit. The only man working amongst four women, and the first man in eight years to work in that department? Yeah ... the more money we come across, the more money we see.

Feb 2
House of the Devil (2009)
Sam is a pretty college sophomore, so desperate to earn some cash for a deposit on an apartment that she accepts a babysitting job even after she finds out there is no baby. Mr. and Mrs. Ulman (the former being Tom MOTHERFUCKING Noonan, the inaugural SGM Carny as Fuck award winner) are the older couple who lure Sam out to their creaky Victorian mansion deep in the woods, just in time for a total lunar eclipse. Megan is Sam's best friend, who gives her a ride out to the house, and reluctantly leaves her there despite suspecting that something is amiss. Victor at first seems like just a creepy guy lurking around the house, but quickly makes it clear that Sam will end this night in a bloody fight for her life...

- This film has some tight credentials and good reviews, even though the film leans heavy on the self-referential button for recalling old 80s horror camp. If you want gimmick packaging, look no further than the VHS release that came out earlier in January. Yep, before the DVD AND Blu-Ray. Probably with more features too.

Planet Hulk (2010)
A whole new world of hurt! He was a monster, impossible to control, too dangerous to ignore. So Earth’s mightiest heroes exiled him into outer space. But now the incredible Hulk crash-lands on the distant planet Sakaar, ruled by the tyrannical Red King. Sold into slavery, the Hulk becomes the planet’s mightiest gladiator—but his new masters get more than they bargained for when he forges a bond of brotherhood with his fellow fighters: crafty insectoid Miek, ruthless rock-man Korg, ex-shadow priest Hiroim, and the noble-born rebel Elloe. Unlike Earth, the desperate people of Sakaar believe a monster is just what they need. But will the Hulk be the one to save their world…or destroy it?

In answer to the last question ... Duuuh! Hmmm ... "Unlike Earth," this planet has a "rock-man," (or some such Thing). No mention of the Silver (surfer) Savage from the book, though. And no, I'm thinking the Red King is not the Red Hulk. But this should be a sound little animated diversion.

Feb 16
Black Dynamite (2009)
When drug dealers take out his kid brother, ex-CIA agent Black Dynamite (Spawn's Michael Jai White) makes like a karate-chopping dynamo to track them down. Armed with a .44 Magnum, a set of nunchucks, and a sexy 'stache, Big D starts out in the City of Angels, where his buddies Cream Corn (Tommy Davidson), a hustler, and Bullhorn (co-writer Byron Minns), a club owner, offer to lend a hand. The deeper Dynamite digs, the more endangered his life becomes as he uncovers a conspiracy to keep the black man down by flooding the streets with malt liquor and filling the country's orphanages with smack. Since the smooth operator has a way with the ladies, he also enlists Gloria (Salli Richardson-Whitfield), a socially-conscious soul sister, to aid in his clean-up campaign. Director Scott Sanders and White, who co-wrote the script, collaborated on 1998's Thick as Thieves, and their chemistry shines through. If the supporting cast can be a little wooden, White gives Shaft's Richard Roundtree a run for the money with his cool-cat charisma. Set in 1972, Black Dynamite doesn't just act like a movie from the Superfly era, it looks and sounds like one, too, courtesy Adrian Younge's old-school funk score, Shawn Maurer's 16mm cinematography, a cartoon credit sequence, and some carefully choreographed boom mic appearances. And dig those crazy cameos: Arsenio Hall as Tasty Freeze, Brian McKnight as Sweet Meat, and NBA veteran John Salley as Kotex.

- I've been waiting for a project like this to come along for some time. In fact, I thought that a great actor to usher in a new wave of blaxploitation would have been the Rock. Michael Jai White isn't a bad choice either, his take on the lead role in "Spawn" notwithstanding.

TNA: Best of 2009
Witness your favorite Total Nonstop Action (TNA) Wrestling Superstars in action on this "Best of 2009" DVD - featuring AJ Styles, Sting, Kurt Angle, Motor City Machine Guns, Daniels, Samoa Joe and so many more! Best of 2009 includes memorable matches from TNA iMPACT! and TNAs monthly Pay-Per-View events.
* Sarita vs. Alissa Flash - TNA Impact 7.16.09
* AJ Styles vs. Kurt Angle - TNA Impact (Tables Match) 1.22.09
* Sting vs. Kurt Angle - TNA Impact (Empty Arena Match) 2.19.09
* Kurt Angle vs. Jeff Jarrett - TNA Genesis 1.11.09
* Homicide vs. Amazing Red vs. Suicide vs. Motor City Machine Guns vs. Daniels - TNA Bound For Glory (Ultimate X) 10.18.09
* Sting vs. AJ Styles - TNA Bound For Glory 10.18.09
* Desmond Wolfe vs. Kurt Angle - TNA Turning Point 11.15.09
* AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe vs. Daniels - TNA Turning Point 11.15.09

- For the most part, TNA Wrestling got this one right. Main reason being the inclusion of Styles/Joe/Daniels III. You would think, though, by looking at the lineup, that TNA showed up for the first few months of 2009, then hung back until about October to resurface. Seriously, no X Division King of the Mountain match from Slammiversary? Sting vs. Foley from Lockdown? And not at least one of the Joe vs. Homicide, Joe vs. Daniels, or Daniels vs. Styles mix-ups for the X Division or World titles? Still, not an excrutiatingly bad lineup at all.

Feb 23
The Box (2009)
Push a red button on a little black box, get a million bucks cash. Just like that, all of Norma and Arthur Lewis's financial problems will be over. But there's a catch, according to the strange visitor who placed the box on the couple's doorstep. Someone, somewhere - someone they don't know - will die.

- Oh, "The Box," I want to love you. But the critics did tear you down. Richard Kelly, you did so well with "Donnie Darko," but then came "Southland Tales*." As critics are a finnicky lot, it might take getting this one to really determine its worth. Of course, there's always Big Lots' $3 movie dump and the Wal-Mart $5 bin to hawk over in several months, so let's see what happens.

*When Sarah Michelle Gellar's performance of the original ditty, "Teen Horniness is Not a Crime" isn't enough to save a film ... hell, save anything ... then there's problems.

Dead Snow (2009)
Ein! Zwei! Die!
Get ready for the film that shocked Sundance, rocked Europe and knocked American horror fans out of their seats: When a group of medical students take a sex-and-booze-fueled ski vacation to a remote cabin in the Norwegian Alps, they uncover a dark secret from WWII that resurrects a battalion of uncontrollable, unstoppable and extremely undead Nazis. What follows is a blitzkrieg of bloodshed, body parts and action-packed zombie carnage that The New York Observer hails as relentless thrills, unimaginable horrors and a shock ending guaranteed to make you scream out loud! Writer/director Tommy Wirkola spares no amount of flesh-chomping, intestine-ripping, and chainsaw-slicing to deliver perhaps the finest Nazi Zombie movie of our time and one of the most ferocious, outrageous and over-the-top horror hits of the year!

- About. Fucking. Time. I've been wanting to see this movie since the tail end of 2008, when I heard about its origins. And it's just around the corner. It just reaks of pleasant, cult-film hijinks. If I'm close to broke and it comes down to only one movie this month, or even this year ... this is the one.

Ghost Hunters: Season 5 Part 1
The all-real supernatural adventures of Jason and Grant, plumbers by day and ghost hunters by night, get even scarier in the hit fifth season! Now one of TV's most popular shows returns as Jason, Grant and the rest of the TAPS team cross the country investigating paranormal claims youll never forget including the Betsy Ross House, Star Island, the Garden State Asylum, Essex County Penitentiary and even ghosts from the Civil War. Leave all the lights on -- the Ghost Hunters are back! Episodes: Betsy Ross House, Star Island, Edith Wharton Estate, Club Dead, Soul Searching, Titanic Terror, Crossing Over, Garden State Asylum, Inhuman Entity, I am Not Guilty, Civil Wars Spirits, Essex County Penitentiary.

- I love this show. It started out as a guilty pleasure, now it's turned into a personal holdover from one of my previous lives. Can't get enough of it, even though I'm not always able to catch it on Wednesdays.

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (2010)
In a parallel Earth ruled by the Crime Syndicate, the Justice League must fight their evil doppelgangers in a battle that would be dead even, except that their malicious counterparts are willing to do the one thing Batman and Superman never would: kill.

- Awesome! It's about time a legit interpretation of the "mirror universe" stories of DC's Earth C/3/2 came about. The Crisis build-up crossover tales were pretty fun, but on a more contemporary note Grant Morrison's "Earth Two" story pretty much takes the hinges off the doors. The Cartoon Network "Justice League" show came close, but only by putting Batman, Superman, et al. into the same roles that you would find, say, Owlman, Ultraman, et al. in reversium.

Honorable mention:
Batman: The Brave and the Bold Vol. 3 - Love this series. It's fun, it hearkens back to a more frenetic, enthusiastic time in comics (before all the grim-and-grittiness of the mid- to late-80s onward), and the stories are well crafted. I'm holding out until they release these in season format, however, because the volume-by-volume approach just doesn't cut it for me.

The Damned United - Interesting film that has ended up on several best-of lists for 2009. The film chronicles the rise and fall of the owner of an underdog soccer team; one of the reviews I read this past year likened it to "Citizen Kane." Take that for what you will.


Ron said...

Sorry to hear about the job. Hope something opens up for you right quick.

Rev. Joshua said...

Seconding that on the job loss front. Did you ever have that realization well before you were fired that it was destined to happen and that you would probably get a good story out of it? I certainly did.

Ron said...

I'm sure he did. I knew about it in my last situation. That story is on hold because I'm probably going to see the old boss canned and might get to quote the opening line to LL Cool J's signature hit in anger.

Nate said...

When your interviewing supervisor gladly ID's herself with the nickname of a cat ... and, no, not "pussy," although that makes a very appropo pseudonym ... you know you are in for some shenanigans.

I'll wait out a few job opportunities, as well as unemployment, and we'll see what happens.