This is the first DVD Guide I’ve done since November and I really regret that. Not so much because I regret being lazy, but that I forget how many DVDs come out each month that I completely miss out on. And February has some damned good movies stocking retail shelves, a few key ones being some of the best ’06 had to offer.
The actual horror portion of these is tiny, but a pre-Oscars rush on DVD releases means more quality mainstream films than a single month normally sees.
Studios seemed to save the best releases for the inner weeks of Feb and pushed the less popular titles to the out skirts. The first week of Feb isn’t as lacking as the last and does have some cool things hitting shelves, but the highlights are certainly limited.
First, the stuff you really won’t care about. Direct to DVD ‘horror’ Bloody Mary and Incubus, the later premiering on the internet before going straight to DVD and starring Tara Reid – so that doesn’t have much going for it. The Grudge 2 slides into the slumber party players of 15 year old girls everywhere, while two well-buzzed animated features hit: Hellboy – Sword of Storms and The Amazing Screw-On Head. I’ve seen neither, but everything I’ve heard says they deserve watches.
I, in all my weakness, cannot resist listing a movie called Android Apocalypse. Without even checking, I guarantee this premiered on the Sci-Fi channel on a Saturday night. But that name takes a hold of me, plus it stars Mr. "Woo-ah". Since I have missed out on following up on the past few months of DVD releases, I could be wrong, but I believe that Pelts is the first Season 2 episode of Masters of Horror to be released. It’s Dario Argento’s second episode and, by pure coincidence, happens to be the episode that aired right after I stopped watching with any regularity.
On the not-so-horror-but-maybe-thriller front we get 13 Tzameti and The Quiet. 13 Tzameti is, frankly, boring and not nearly as intense as its poster may pretend. The Quiet didn’t get all that much love when it came out, but it does have a very attractive cast and an almost Poison Ivy: The New Seduction cover…so there is that, but rest assured that Elisha Cuthbert wont get nearly as naked as Jaime Pressley did.
Good movie wise there is The Departed and Half Nelson. The Departed doesn’t need much talking up – if you haven’t seen it yet, you will now (on DVD or HD-DVD). Period. Half Nelson has been on my radar for a while, but given its previous Indie status it has been hard to see, but thanks to Ryan Gosling’s Oscar nomination, the DVD hits before the awards.
Night of the Living Dorks was a favorite on the horror fest circuit. The trailer looked entertaining enough, so mix that with the buzz and you’ll probably not be let down. Adrift, that movie I mentioned a while back about the people who dive into the ocean but forget to put down the ladder, gets tagged with the negative label of being Open Water 2: Adrift, but either way it comes out.
Dark Castle has a cheap horror collection coming out. In all honesty, I’d actually consider picking this up. I am a sucker for schlockers like House on Haunted Hill, 13 Ghosts and House of Wax. Gothika and Ghost Ship may kill the deal, however.
Punk scene documentary American Hardcore streets. Christopher Nolan’s greatly entertaining The Prestige is out on DVD and Blu-ray, please buy it on one of the formats and get the book as well. On the other hand, the greatly overrated Babel comes out on DVD, HD-DVD and Blu-ray – maybe rent it on one of those just to see what the hub-bub is about.
And finally, what I consider the best film of 2006 sees a DVD release: A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints. I’ve only seen it once, but it got a reaction out of me unlike any film of the year. It is heart wrenching in much the same way City of God is, but without the sheer chaos or grandiose.
Rounding out February is approximately jack shit. Sarah Michelle Gellar’s opening weekend banker The Return. Will Ferrell’s supposedly better than you’d expect Stranger Than Fiction is on DVD and Blu-ray. Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny looked wild, but I never got around to it, so I’m sure I will now.
Finally, some movie called Synesthesia that I know nothing about, but whose cover I liked.
Definitely Worth Renting, if not Buying
Probably Worth Renting Once
Flags of Our Fathers
Night of the Living Dorks
Science of Sleep
Stranger Than Fiction
Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny