New on DVD


New on DVD

The Informant!

Rated R for language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Matt Damon gives a highly underrated performance in this hilarious based-on-a-true-story comedy about an executive in the agriculture business that turns informant to the FBI, only to find himself getting himself into hotter and hotter water.  Screenwriter Scott Burns took a semi-serious book by Kurt Eichenwald and, through a random-thought inner dialog spoken by Damon, brought out a dimension of the film that made the movie a purely enjoyable experience.  Masterfully directed by Stephen Soderbergh, the film is well paced and keeps throwing you surprises left and right.  And after all the dust has settled and I’ve seen all of the films for 2009, I am still holding tight that Damon not only deserved to be nominated for an Oscar this year for The Informant! (which he did not), but he should have won as well.  A

Dead Snow
Unrated
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
Norwegian with English subtitles

A group of Norwegian medical students heads to a remote cabin in the woods for a winter holiday only to find that the area is haunted by Nazi zombies.  Unlike 2008’s Outpost starring Rome’s Ray Stevenson, Dead Snow chooses to have a little more fun with the story and creates a tale with almost as much comedy as gory violence.  While this is an IFC release, this is not smart film making in the least, but it can be described as an innovative and peculiar way to represent the zombie genre, with loads of laughs and I-can’t-believe-they-just-did-that moments. I can easily see this becoming a big cult classic around colleges nationwide.  B-

Lock n’ Load with R. Lee Ermey: The Complete Season One
Unrated
Available on DVD

Gunnery Sergeant, drill instructor, Vietnam veteran, and larger-than-life actor R. Lee Ermey (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) shows us 4 DVDs worth of weapons, from pistols to tanks to rockets, in this addictive little History Channel original program.  Beginning with the origins of each weapon of discussion, he takes the audience on a journey of discovery of how the weapons evolved, the impact they have had, and through advanced high-speed photography and 3D graphics, he shows the details you’ve always wanted to know but were afraid to ask.  B-

Everybody’s Fine
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and brief strong language
Available on DVD

Robert De Niro is a widowed father that wants to see his kids again, so he takes a trip on a bus to see his adult children, one-by-one, all over the United States, only to find that the surprise visits are challenging for the startled hosts.  You’d think that with a title like this and the smiles on the DVD cover, that this might be a boring, feel-good film.  Well if you did, you thought wrong.  This is a tough, challenging film about a lonely man coping with family issues that you could never see coming.  I really liked the direction this film took and even though you watch it not being prepared for the dark places it takes you, it gets you out just fine and rewards your patience.  The cast is strong here, but De Niro is especially at his best, giving an emotionally impactful performance that is a far cry from his usual fare.  A- 

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