Pick of the week: The Reader (8/10). One of the really good movies of 2008. Kate Winslett won an Oscar, and she is very good, but the real star is the director, who uses some terrific pacing to paint a vivid and devastating portrait of Post-World War II Germany in the aftermath of the Holocaust.
Kids pick of the week: Yo Gabba Gabba! New Friends (6/10). An absolutely bonkers, bizarre TV show with some impressive guest stars like Jack Black. Best watched on painkillers or other mind-altering substances. Just not with your kids around.
TV series of the week: Wings Final Season (5/10). Really, this is a pretty bad TV show. Or, was. It ended after its eighth season, and it featured one of the better final moments in a TV show, without featuring one of the better final episodes.
Blu-Ray of the week: Mean Girls (7/10). The movie written by Tina Fey that started her meteoric rise to stardom. A very smart, very well done film about high school girls and cliques and boys and drama. Lindsay Lohan in an early role that was actually good, and Rachel McAdams first starring role is extremely memorable. It’s funny, but mostly it’s very smart.
The Spirit (4/10): Truly, a dreadful movie. It’s a little bit of fun, with Samuel L. Jackson giving a totally over-the-top performance as the bad guy, but Gabriel Macht is a waste of space as the hero, and the hot chicks in tight clothes (Scarlett Johansson, Paz Vega, Eva Mendes, and others) are pretty much pointless.
Cassandra’s Dream: Ewan McGregor and Colin Farrell are brothers in London, one of whom has a problem with gambling debts. If this is even close to Farrell’s last European indie movie, In Bruges, then it will be brilliant. But it probably isn’t.
The Deal (7/10): A surprisingly entertaining movie starring William H. Macy and Meg Ryan. Macy’s character is totally funny, totally tactless, and extremely engaging. Not all of it makes sense, but it moves too quickly for us to care.
Dark Matter: It’s about the “dark side of cutthroat academics”, according to the description. That sounds awful. It stars Meryl Streep. That sounds good.
Humboldt County: A young medical student stumbles across the last remaining enclave of hippies in America, and his life is changed. I doubt this is as hilarious as it sounds.
Phil Mickelson Secrets of the Short Game (7/10): Phil Mickelson made a hell of a run toward the end of the Masters on Sunday, and I bet his DVD would have sold better had he won. This is an instructional video on chipping and putting that is very good, but aimed more at the people who are already pretty good at golf.
Also out today:
Dog Days of Summer
House of Saddam
Bakugan: Battle Brawlers Vol. 3
Bakugan: Battle Brawlers Vol. 4
Wolverine And The X-Men: Season One, Volume One
Strange Wilderness (2/10): A truly dreadful movies where the best of the cast is misused (Justin Long, Jonah Hill) and the rest is just useless. Terribly written, terribly directed and leading up to a truly idiotic and awful conclusion.
The Last Kiss (7/10): A romantic comedy that starts out comedic and ends up…sort of romantic…it is far better at the beginning, where it is smart and believable and very clever. Tries to do too much toward the end, and loses any greater impact it might have had, but it remains a smart and well-written film.
Also on Blu-Ray this week:
Deep Sea / Into The Deep IMAX
Donizetti: Don Pasquale
Living Landscapes: Earthscapes – Wild Africa
Mozart-Grieg: Works For Two Pianos, Vol. 2
Pride And Prejudice
The Story of India
The Thirteenth Floor
Universal Soldier: The Return
Out next week:
The Wrestler (10/10)
Frost / Nixon
Marie And Bruce
Hearts of War
Into the Blue 2: The Reef
Battlestar Galactica: Caprica
Kicking The Dog
The Stone Council
The Bodyguard 2
The Nature of Things
The Poker Club
Blade Trinity reissue
Inside the Third Reich
House of Sleeping Beauties
A Jihad For Love
Ron White Behavioural Problems
Hawaii Five-O Sixth Season
iCarly Season One Volume One
Life of Ryan Complete Series
On Blu-Ray next week:
7.1 Music Classical Collection – Acoustic Reality Experience
Music Experience in 3-Dimensional Sound Reality Collection
Action Bundle Vol. 2 (Bulletproof Monk / Commando / Kiss of the Dragon)
Action Bundle Vol. 3 (Broken Arrow / Entrapment / Rising Sun)
Comedy Bundle Vol. 3 (Dodgeball / Dude Where’s My Car? / Super Troopers)
Comedy Bundle Vol. 4 (Office Space / Napoleon Dynamite / Little Miss Sunshine)
Comic Book Hero Bundle (Daredevil / X-Men / League of Extraordinary Gentlemen)
Clut Classic Bundle (Edward Scissorhands / Donnie Darko / The Boondock Saints)
Epic Movie Bundle (Kingdom of Heaven / Cast Away / Master And Commander)
Jason Statham Bundle (The Transporter / The Transporter 2 / In The Name of the King)
Michael Douglas Bundle (Wall Street / Romancing The Stone / Jewel of the Nile)
War Bundle Vol. 4 (Men of Honor / Hart’s War / The Marine)
Gary Moore and Friends: One Night In Dublin – A Tribute To Phil Lynott
Genghis Khan: To the Ends of the Earth and Sea
Hellraiser Puzzle Box Special Edition
Josh Groban: Awake Live
The Last Word
Linkin Park: Road to Revolution – Live at Milton Keynes
Michael Buble: Caught in the Act
Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy
Styx: One With Everything
The Wages of Fear
X2: X-Men United
X3: The Last Stand