New on DVD

New on DVD

Cold Souls
Rated R for nudity and brief strong language
Available on DVD

Paul Giamatti, playing himself, is on the verge of performing Chekov’s play Uncle Vanya when he comes to the realization that his soul is too heavy and getting in the way of performing the part.  In an attempt to lighten his load, he removes his soul at a soul storage facility and has it securely locked away.  When he realizes that he needs his soul in order to properly continue on, he discovers it has been stolen by a Russian soul trafficker in St. Petersburg.  Deeply influenced by Charlie Kaufman’s Being John Malkovich, Cold Souls is a unique and bizarre experience that does more philosophical questioning than entertaining.  There are some terrific comedic moments here and Giamatti is an amazing actor, but while the film is strange it is not as quirky as you would expect.  It also feels like a movie with a great premise, a promising story, but then no way to end it or form resolution.  It’s likable and somewhat memorable, but not distinguished.  B

Gentlemen Broncos
Rated PG-13 for some crude humor
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

From Napoleon Dynamite director Jared Hess comes this oddball comedy about a high school sci-fi writer whose book is plagiarized by a pseudo-famous author who has run out of ideas.  With the same amateurish look and feel of Napoleon Dynamite, the artistry of the filmmaking is a step backward for Hess, but the weirdness of the picture at least keeps everything interesting enough to get you through the 90 minutes without hating it.  Flight of the Conchord’s Jemaine Clement is perfectly cast as the conniving writer and has some very funny moments, although the rest of the actors look a little uncomfortable with the filming style.  C-

Old Dogs
Rated PG for some mild rude humor
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

John Travolta and Robin Williams are two best friends who are charged with the care of seven-year-old twins, right as they are on the verge of a huge business deal.  If the core of 6% doesn’t scare you away, then just watch the trailer for this horrific waste of talent and money.  Old Dogs takes a tired formula and gives two uninterested actors a paycheck to perform it.  The film is not as bad as it looks in the two minute trailer – it’s worse.  Those were the good parts used to try to sell the film.  And for those of you insisting that you just need a good clean family film – there are plenty of other decent options.  Showing bad films like this to kids just because their clean ultimately leads to creating an undiscerning audience that eventually can’t tell a good movie from bad.  My advice – skip this one and wait for the next two weeks when Princess and the Frog and the Fantastic Mr. Fox hit video shelves.  You may not care what kinds of movies your kids like – but I certainly do.  F

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