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New out on DVD/Blu-ray this week

New out on DVD/Blu-ray for Tuesday November 20.

     The Expendables 2

The Expendables are reunited when Mr. Church enlists them to take on a seemingly simple job. When things go wrong, the Expendables are compelled to seek revenge in hostile territory, where the odds are stacked against them. Hell-bent on payback, the crew cuts a swath of destruction through opposing forces, wreaking havoc and shutting down an unexpected threat in the nick of time - five tons of weapons-grade plutonium, more than enough to change the balance of power in the world. But that's nothing compared to the justice they serve against the villainous adversary they seek revenge from.

Alright action junkies, this one is for you. The long awaited and highly anticipated sequel to 2010's smash hit featuring a plethora of sexagenarian action stars from the 80's who still look jacked up, even if most of it is held together by botox injections, multiple facelifts and bad dye jobs.

Featuring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Jet Li, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Liam Hemsworth, Nan Yu, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Chuck Norris, the film is a fun and nostalgic trip down memory lane filled with copious amounts of high octane action and over-the-top mayhem and carnage. It's also pretty darn funny and entertaining in a B-grade sort of way.

It has a high body count and a few good laughs and it will let you escape your problems for 90 minutes. What more can you ask?

     Bringing Up Bobby

A con artist moves her son to a conservative neighbourhood in Oklahoma in an effort to build a better future, but it doesn't take long for her past to catch up with her, and for her son's behaviour to cause problems of its own.

This comedy is the directorial debut of Famke Janssen and it stars Milla Jovovich, Bill Pullman, Rory Cochrane, Marcia Cross, and Spencer List.

Apparently it is suitable for the whole family.

     Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups

Starring a brand-new litter of the cutest talking pups ever, this new holiday film from the creators of Disney Buddies is sure to be a hit with the whole family. When Mrs. Claus travels to Pineville, the playful Santa Pups stow away on her sled. Taking mischief to a whole new level, they begin granting joyful wishes to Pineville's boys and girls, but something goes terribly wrong - the Christmas spirit begins to disappear. Now, the Santa Pups and Mrs. Claus must race to save Christmas around the world.

This film should be plenty of heartwarming fun for the kiddies.

Also out this week is the Belgian, French, Italian co-production The Source (La source des femmes), the indie comedy Alter Egos, and the documentary about worldwide female oppression called Half the Sky.

     Blast From the Past

Continuing on with my lists, here are my top ten films of 2004.

10. Million Dollar Baby - This powerful Clint Eastwood directed drama is about an old boxing trainer who reluctantly helps an amateur boxer achieve her dream of becoming a professional. Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman both won Oscars for their wonderful performances and the film also won Best Picture and Best Director for Eastwood. It's an excellent film with an ending that is like a punch to the gut. Strong stuff!

9. Ray - Jamie Foxx is absolutely superb in his Oscar winning portrayal of musician Ray Charles. This is an enthralling bio-pic with plenty of drama and humour throughout. I love the music from that era and this film delivers tons of it. It's great!

8. Fahrenheit 9/11 - The highest grossing documentary film of all time is definitely one that polarized audiences. Michael Moore's highly acclaimed critique on the presidency of George W. Bush and the war on terror was quite controversial when it was released, sending the conservative members of the media into a tizzy. Whether you agree or disagree with Moore's viewpoint, no one can deny the entertainment value he provides in his films, coupled with a slew of interesting information. Of course I happen to be a member of the choir he's preaching to. I'm just really thankful to be a Canadian.

7. Spider-Man 2 - The second film in director Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy happens to be my favourite of the bunch and one of the best comic book films released to date. It had a more compelling story and a better villain this time in Doctor Octopus, played brilliantly by Alfred Molina. I've always been a huge fan of Spider-Man and this one just really got it right for me. It's a ton of fun!

6. Hotel Rwanda - This heartbreaking and riveting drama is the true story of the Rwandan Genocide that happened in 1994 and the efforts of one man to help rescue his fellow citizens from these horrible circumstances. Don Cheadle is superb in the film as is the rest of the cast including Sophie Okonedo, Joaquin Phoenix and Nick Nolte. This is an outstanding film!

5. Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War - This incredible Korean film tells the story of the plight of two brothers during the Korean War. It is truly epic in scale and easily one of the best war films I have ever seen. It's a brutal and unflinching tale, and is a must see for anyone who calls themselves a war movie fan. Amazing film!

4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - One of the most original and creative films I've seen, written by the brilliant Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation). It's a romantic science fiction thriller about a couple who have each other erased from their memories. Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet are great as the estranged couple. This is just a tremendous film!

3. Kill Bill Vol. 2 - The conclusion to Quentin Tarantino's magnum opus revenge thriller has a little bit less action and a whole lot more backstory than the first film had, but it's nevertheless a thrilling and suspense filled tale. I love both films equally. Fun stuff!

2. The Incredibles - One of my favourite animated films from Pixar. I absolutely loved this hilarious and action packed story about a family of superheroes, who despite trying to live a quiet suburban life, are thrust into a battle to save the world. I suppose my love of comic books growing up made this film resonate much stronger with me. It really is a true delight from start to finish though, and one that I am desperately hoping will spawn a sequel one day. Fingers crossed!

1. Sideways - This is hands down one of the best comedies of the past decade and was an easy choice for my top pick of the year. I loved everything about Alexander Payne's film. Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church are stellar as two buddies who go on a week-long road trip through the California wine country. It's such an intelligently written film that is funny, touching and full of heart and wisdom. I can't drink a glass of Merlot now without laughing at the thought of Giamatti's character's disparaging remarks about that particular type of wine. Sideways is just special.

New out on DVD/Blu-ray is brought to you by Leo's Videos, 2680 Pandosy St. (250)861-8437

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About the Author

Just to give you a little background on my qualifications, I've been a film buff my whole life and I enjoy all different genres.

I especially have a passion for classic cinema.

I spent most of the past 17 years working for Rogers Video, so not only have I seen an immense amount of movies, but I've recommended many films to people over the years.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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