This Week in DVD: Sex Drive, Futurama, and More

This Week in DVD is a column that compiles all the latest info regarding new DVD releases, sales, and exclusive deals from stores including Target, Best Buy, Circuit City, and Fry’s.

Please don’t take the commentary on the movies and TV shows too seriously, as they’re meant not to be reviews but rather previews that include the general thoughts and ramblings of a twice-committed DVD addict. The categories represent solely the author’s intentions towards the DVDs at hand, and are in no way meant to be a reflection on what he thinks other people should rent or buy. So if he ends up putting a movie you like in the “Skip it” section without having seen it, please keep in mind that the time you could spend leaving a spiteful but ultimately futile comment could instead be used for more pleasant things in life. Like buying DVDs.

Rent It

SEX DRIVE
Sex Drive was one of the more underrated movies of 2008, as well as one of the bigger flops (it didn’t even take in half of its rather modest $19 million budget). But with the film being given the 2-Disc Special Edition treatment, it’s obvious that the studio is prepared for the film finding an audience on DVD. I wouldn’t be half surprised if it became a cult classic. That’s not to say the film is necessarily worth buying, but it’s a consistently hilarious (if a bit standard) teen “road trip” sex comedy that clearly harkens back to similar movies from the ’80s. If you enjoy the genre, you should definitely check it out.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: Theatrical/unrated versions of the film, audio commentary, Sex Drive: Making a Masterpiece, The Marsden Dilemma, Clark: Duke of the Internet, and Killing Time in Hollywood (Florida).

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Fry’s
N/A $17.99 $16.99
Amazon – $19.99

EXCLUSIVE DEAL:
What? 3-Disc Exclusive Edition ($19.99).
Where? Best Buy.

EXCLUSIVE DEAL:
What? $5 DVD cash sticker good toward Pineapple Express, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, or Zack and Miri Make a Porno.
Where? Best Buy.

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Somebody up there really likes us, because this glorious day brings not one, not eight, but two new posters for upcoming Robert De Niro flicks. First is Righteous Kill, the serial killer thriller starring Al Pacino and De Niro as no-nonsense cops who squat over crime scenes and directed by the guy who forever lives with directing Pacino’s worst film ever, 88 Minutes (and probably the worst De Niro/Pacino movie ever). Wow, this hot cake doesn’t open until September? Oy vey.

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More promising is director Barry Levinson‘s What Just Happened, which currently has an 8.0 on IMDB from 200+ votes, albeit probably from industry people who quote industry movies like The Player and Hurlyburly. Judging from the poster, you might think the film is about a suit’s wild getaway in Daytona Beach, but De Niro stars as a past-his-prime Hollywood producer struggling to get a new film in the can (bucket?). Nice cast: Bruce Willis, Stanley Tucci, John Turturro, Sean Penn, Catherine Keener, Robin Wright Penn and veteran Michael Wincott. If you like the sound of knowing guffaws, go see it in L.A. on October 3rd.

Discuss: Stay calm.

Sundance Movie Review: What Just Happened?

WHAT JUST HAPPENED?

What Just Happened? begins in a test screening for Fiercely, a new movie starring Sean Penn. The film concludes with the graphic gun-shot death of the hero and his dog, definitely not a crowd pleaser. Poor test scores prompt the studio to request a new cut of the film, but the director doesn’t want to sacrifice his artistic vision. Bruce Willis (played by Bruce Willis) shows up to rehearsals of a new film 30 pounds heavier and sporting a “Grisly Adams beard”, something the studio had not wanted nor expected. These are just some of the many problems in the life of Ben a fading Hollywood producer played by Robert De Niro. He’s one of those typical multi-tasking bluetooth talking blackberry typing producer that you imagine Hollywood is filled with.

What Just Happened is the best Hollywood satire since Robert Altman’s The Player. However, I’m afraid that this film might be too “inside baseball” for some people, but most of the people at Sundance (including myself) liked it, as to be expected. Some of the jokes are all too real. For example, the Bruce Willis storyline closely mirrors the story of Ryan Gosling’s run-in with director Peter Jackson on The Lovely Bones. I’m pretty sure the movie was filmed before all that controversy.

You never know, living in world where Entourage is one of the highest rated shows on HBO, maybe something like this could play to mass audiences. For fans of the show, this film might feel like a very extended episode not featuring Vince and friends. The storyline, as mentioned above, features a Billy Walsh type director fighting the studio for a non-mainstream idea. And the film is also set to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. What Just Happened is also Barry Levinson’s best film in the last 10 years, not that it means much.

/Film Rating: 7 out of 10

Sundance 2008 Photo Preview: Part 1 – Premieres

Sundance 2008

The line-up for the 2008 Sundance Film Festival was announced earlier this week. I just got my hands on a boat load of photos from the films in this year’s festival. We actually have too many photos to feature in just one posting, so we have divided this feature into a few parts.

Our first segment in the series takes a look at the films in the Premiere category, which includes: Assassination of a High School President, Be Kind Rewind, CSNY Deja Vu, The Deal, Death In Love, Diminished Capacity, The Escapist, The Great Buck Howard, The Guitar, Henry Poole Is Here, In Bruges, Incendiary, The Merry Gentleman, A Raisin In The Sun, Savage Grace, Sleepwalking, Smart People, Towelhead, Transsiberian, U2 3D, The Visitor, What Just Happened?, The Year of Getting To Know Us, and The Yellow Handkerchief.

Also be sure to check out our Sundance 2008 Photo Previews for the Spectrum and U.S. Dramatic Competition.

Check out the photos after the jump. Click on the images to enlarge.

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Sundance 2008

Yesterday Sundance announced the competition films for the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. Today the Institute has released the rest of the line-up, which will play out-of-competition sections of Premieres, Spectrum, New Frontier, and Park City at Midnight. Highlights include:

  • The previously announced opening night film In Bruges starring Ralph Fiennes and Colin Farrell.
  • The Great Buck Howard starring Colin Hanks as a law school dropout who answers an advertisement to be a a washed up illusionist’s (played by John Malkovich) personal assistant. Emily Blunt and Tom Hanks also star.
  • Visionary director Michel Gondry’s Be Kind Rewind, about a man (Jack Black) whose body accidentally becomes magnetized unintentionally erases every tape in his friend’s (Mos Def) video store. The pair set out to remake the lost films in a film about the magic of movies and filmmaking.
  • Bill Maher’s directorial debut, Sleepwalking, about a young man who is faced with the prospect of losing his abandoned young niece to a foster home. Nick Stahl, AnnaSophia Robb, Charlize Theron, Dennis Hopper, and Woody Harrelson, star.
  • Morgan Spurlock’s follow-up to 2004′s Super Size Me, Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden? follows Spurlock’s quest to fint the world’s most wanted man.
  • Smart People, a romantic dramedy about a a widowed professor who gets an unexpected visit from his adopted brother. Dennis Quaid, Sarah Jessica Parker, Thomas Haden Church, and Ellen Page star.
  • American Beauty screenwriter Alan Ball’s directorial debut, an adaptation of Towel Head. The film follows the life of a 13-year-old Arab-American girl who is forced to live with her father. I saw this film at Toronto and it has the same underlying energy of American Beauty. Aaron Eckhart, Maria Bello, Toni Collette, and Summer Bishil star.
  • U2 3D: A 3-D presentation of U2′s global “Vertigo” tour.
  • Barry Levinson’s adaptation of What Just Happened? stars Robert DeNiro, Bruce Willis, Sean Penn, Catherine Keener, Stanley Tucci, John Turturro, Kristen Stewart, and Robin Wright Penn. The movie follows two weeks in the life of a fading Hollywood producer (De Niro) who’s having a rough time trying to get his new picture made.
  • XX/XY director Austin Chick’s new film August, about two brothers fighting to keep their start-up company afloat on Wall Street during August 2001, a month before the 9/11 terrorist attack. Josh Hartnett and Adam Scott star.
  • The Duplass Brothers return to Sundance following their acclaimed 2005 low budget indie film The Puffy Chair. Baghead explores “the minutiae of relationship dynamics in this in-depth study of a group of desperate actor friends. And a bag. And a head.”
  • Cashback director Sean Ellis’s horror thriller The Brøken starring Lena Headey (300) as a woman who sees herself driving by in her own car on a busy London street. Stunned, she trails the mystery woman as events take an eerie turn into a living nightmare.
  • Michael Haneke’s American remake of Funny Games starring Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, and Michael Pitt..
  • Quentin Tarantino presents Larry Bishop’s Hell Ride, a “bloody, sexy tale of motorcycle revenge” starring Larry Bishop, Dennis Hopper, and Michael Madsen
  • Otto; or Up With Dead People, a movie about a lonely gay zombie searches for love and meaning in contemporary Berlin.
  • Spainish writer/director Nacho Vigalondo’s Timecrimes follows a man accidentally travels back to the past, only to meet himself there and encounters a series of mysteries that all lead to an unthinkable crime. I’m a sucker for Time Travel.

Check out the full announcement/line-up after the jump.
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