New on DVD

New on DVD

The Class
Rated PG-13 for language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
French with English Subtitles

This winner of the 2008 Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival and Academy Award nominee for best foreign language film follows the life of a French teach in Paris as he guides his young students in class over the period of a school year.  The style feels like a documentary, but is really just an amazingly acted, thoughtful, and powerful drama that shows not only what life is like in a French school, but also the consequences of one’s decisions, no matter how small they may seem when made.  I absolutely loved this film, and had I seen it last year when it was released in theaters, it would have been in my top 10.  It makes me wish I had made more time in my schedule for sure.  A

I Love You, Man
Rated R for pervasive language, including crude and sexual references
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

When Paul Rudd gets engaged, he discovers that he really doesn’t have any male friends worthy of being called a best man.  So he sets out on a mission to find a best friend through a series of man dates and develops a bromance with a crazy bachelor played by Jason Segel.  Watching this film again brought back to memory how funny this movie really is.  Not only is the premise pretty darn brilliant, but they follow through with terrific writing and performances as well.  The disc contains some very funny deleted and extended scenes, but you can stay clear of the gag reel.  A-

17 Again
Rated PG-13 for language, some sexual material and teen partying
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

When Matthew Perry finds that he regrets the decisions he has made in life, he jumps into a vortex and comes out as Zac Efron, a younger version of himself, ready to do it all over again.  The first act just plain stinks, but the film does get going once the second kicks in and I even found myself laughing on several occasions.  Stealing the show was sidekick Thomas Lennon who you might know from Reno 911.  You don’t know where he’s coming from at first, but by the end he manages to take you by surprise and I found that he provided by far the most laughs.  The DVD is bare-boned, but the blu-ray has tons of special features including a nice segment where the castmates recount their own teen years.  B-

Flight of the Conchords: Season 2
Available on DVD

In this season two of HBO’s cult classic musical comedy, the two boys from New Zealand had a challenge: how to do it all over again.  After all, it took them years to write much of the music for the first season, and for the second, they only had less than a year.  So OK, the tunes weren’t as good, but in my mind, the comedy was better.  It definitely was more creative.  Whether it be charity for epileptic dogs or a crazy parody of West Side Story, this was another great season from Bret and Jemaine.  I just hope that with that ending, they weren’t trying to say goodbye to TV.  That would truly give me hurt feelings.  A

Alien Trespass
Rated PG for sci-fi action and brief historical smoking
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Eric McCormack stars in this loving parody of 1950’s alien invasion films such as The Blob and It Came from Outer Space.  In the film, a craft has crashed in a small town and the local astronomer has been possessed by an alien trying to save the planet from a hideous monster.  This film is not for everyone and certainly wasn’t for me.  I think that there is an audience that will really appreciate the humor and the way the genre was preserved, but most will probably wonder what the heck they just rented or bought.  C-