New on DVD

New on DVD

Observe and Report
Rated R for pervasive language, graphic nudity, drug use, sexual content and violence
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Seth Rogen is the anti-Paul Blart in this dark comedy about a drug using, power abusing mall cop that has two goals: 1) catch and kill the flasher that exposed himself to his dream girl and 2) join the police force.  This is a sick and twisted tale that is probably just what you would expect from writer/director Jody Hill, the creator of the HBO show Eastbound and Down.  Seth is convincing as the psycho wannabe cop, although Anna Faris, Ray Liotta, as well as the rest of the cast serve as caricatures more than believable human beings.  Still, if you are in the right mood, I think you will find this to be an enjoyable film with some very big laughs.  B

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Season 4
Not rated but contains adult content
Available on DVD

I’ll admit that I’ve let this little FX sitcom about the worst-run bar in Philadelphia escape me now for four years.  I thought I would watch a couple of episodes for review here just to see what it was about, and now I can’t believe I’ve let this one get away for so long.  This is one incredibly funny show.  Always Sunny follows Danny DeVito and a group of four twenty-somethings as they badly run a bar in Philly.  But in all of the episodes, each incredibly flawed character tries to scheme and plot against one another until the laughs build to a huge crescendo.  This is not nice-guy comedy, but the really good ones rarely are.  To see for yourself, check out one of the few episodes available on hulu.com and then you might be like me – completely hooked.  I devoured the show on this three DVD set, and then set my DVR for Season 5.  A

O’Horten
Rated PG-13 for brief nudity
Available on DVD
Norwegian with English subtitles

This Norwegian import follows the strange life of retired train engineer Odd Horten (appropriately named, even if it is in Norwegian) as he tries to figure out what to do in his post-retirement life.  Maybe I wasn’t in the right frame of mind while watching this movie, but it just never sank in for me.  Its humor is very subtle and while it is a comedy of sorts, the comedy is so deadpan and absurdist that while it occasionally brought a smile to my face, I never did find it to be terribly funny.  I did, however, find it interesting if that is any concession.  His little adventures are far from boring and I kept asking myself what I would do if put in similar circumstances.  B-

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past
Rated PG-13 for sexual content throughout, some language and a drug reference
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner star in this not very romantic romantic comedy about a womanizing photographer who goes through the Dickens ghosts with girlfriends past, present, and future in order to show him how horrible his life truly is.  From start to finish this is just nothing but a bad film.  Badly acted, poorly directed, and lazily written, Ghosts is one of those films that has a decent premise, but terrible execution.  This is really surprising too since the writers of this trash also turned in a little hit called The Hangover and the director has done some decent work himself including the hit Mean Girls.  Of course it doesn’t help when your two leads lack any sort of chemistry and the judge of romance is that the hero suddenly doesn’t want to sleep with the other brides maids any longer.  Give me a break.  This is not a romantic comedy, but rather an unfunny sex comedy that tries to convince women desperate for the latest rom com to bite like a worm on a hook.  I say don’t bite.  While they’ll eventually throw you back, why spend all that wasted time in the boat?  F

The Hannibal Lecter Collection
Featuring the films Manhunter, The Silence of the Lambs, and Hannibal
Rated R for strong gruesome violence, some nudity, and language
Available on Blu-ray

If you are ready for a night or weekend of cannibalistic terror, this 3 Blu-ray set includes all three of the major Lecter stories in stunning hi def.  While I did like Red Dragon better than Manhunter (they were both based on the same book) Manhunter was the film that started it all and deserves to be included in the same set.  While Anthony Hopkins didn’t show up till Lambs, Brian Cox makes for a very good Hannibal and CSI’s William Petersen under Michael Mann’s direction creates one of the 80’s greatest police thrillers.  Once Hopkins came on board though, Silence of the Lambs turned in an exceptional Oscar run and brought the Thomas Harris series to the forefront.  The brutally violent Hannibal furthered Lecter’s killing spree as he escapes from prison and goes after a new set of victims.  All in all, this is a great collection of stomach-turning films that any horror film or cop thriller buff will want to add to their collection.  Manhunter B+  The Silence of the Lambs A  Hannibal B

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