This week the highs of the prior Blu-Ray/DVD output are met with a real slide in quality, if not in quantity. It’s not a wasteland by any stretch, but when 2 of my 10 worst films of the year so far are coming out and only one movie actually is recommendation worthy for me, well…it’s not a good day for me. Still, there have been worse, even recently, so I’m not going to get too up in arms. I was just getting used to the uptick in quality again, that’s all. Anyway, we like to make the best of things here at The Awards Circuit, and that’s certainly the case with this column as well. With that said, let’s look at the top pick from today’s slate, which I know had its fans. For my PICK OF THE WEEK, I went with a flick I didn’t like quite as much as some did but still found entertaining enough to put in this spot. Which movie is it? Well, it’s:
The Pirates! Band of Misfits
There’s enjoyment to be found in this Aardman Animations endeavor, but not quite as much as usual…at least in my eyes. That being said, the voice cast is real good (which includes Hugh Grant, Salma Hayek, Martin Freeman, Brendan Gleeson, Jeremy Piven, and David Tennant) and the animation is as appealing as you’d expect from the well regarded studio. It’s not a Pixar film, but it’s fun enough to recommend in a weak grouping like this one. Give you’re a fan of Aardman, animation in general, or just like pirates…this is a flick to check out. I’d expect you to enjoy it as much as I did, if not more.
-One level down we have a trio of flicks hitting shelves today that aren’t great, but at least are better than their reputation suggests them to be. They are the ensemble dramedy Darling Companion, the comedy Life Happens, and the arty horror/suspense film The Moth Diaries. The former two have charming casts in service of an inferior story, while the latter just wastes its intriguing premise. None of them are great, but they aren’t terrible either. Do with them what you will…
-Also available this week we have the cinematic garbage that were the board game adaptation Battleship and the romantic melodrama The Lucky One (both of which are in my Bottom 10 for the year right now), along with the mediocre romantic comedy Think Like a Man, plus a quartet of films that I didn’t see. Those that I missed (some of which perhaps smartly) are the Oscar nominated French dramedy Monsieur Lazhar (which I actually wanted to see), the Norwegian crime flick Headhunters (ditto), and the suspense flicks Lovely Molly and Apartment 143, which I honestly had no interest in. I don’t have much to say about any of these, but if you’re interested in them, go for it. I won’t be stopping you.
-My Vintage pick, in honor of this week’s release of For a Good Time, Call…, is another comedy set around the world of sex (along with some shared cast members, which I’ll mention in a moment), centering on friends who result to raunchy endeavors in order to pay the bills. It’s Zack and Miri Make a Porno, a criminally underrated Kevin Smith film. The romantic comedy got caught in an NC-17 controversy for a bit, but what was lost in the shuffle was the touching ode to getting ones start at doing what they love. In a very real way, the story is an alternate take on how Smith made Clerks in the convenience store he was working at. It’s top 5 Kevin Smith in my eyes, and we all know how big a fan I am of him (though Clayton loved it too when it came out). As a cool sidenote, both Smith and star Seth Rogen cameo in the flick opening Friday, and Rogen’s now wife Lauren Miller co-writes and stars. It certainly does look like a good time, but until the, check out this rom com from Kevin Smith, either for the first time or on a revisit. You’ll be glad that you did…
–What will you be watching on Blu-Ray/DVD this week? Discuss in the comments!