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New out on DVD/Blu-ray this week

New out on DVD/Blu-ray for Tuesday January 29.

     Seven Psychopaths

Marty (Colin Farrell) is a struggling writer who dreams of finishing his screenplay, "Seven Psychopaths". Billy (Sam Rockwell) is Marty's best friend, an unemployed actor and part time dog thief, who wants to help Marty by any means necessary. All he needs is a little focus and inspiration. Hans (Christopher Walken) is Billy's partner in crime. A religious man with a violent past. Charlie (Woody Harrelson) is the psychopathic gangster whose beloved dog, Billy and Hans have just stolen. Charlie's unpredictable, extremely violent and wouldn't think twice about killing anyone or anything associated with the theft. Marty is going to get all the focus and inspiration he needs, just as long as he lives to tell the tale.

This clever black comedy is director Martin McDonagh's follow up to In Bruges which also starred Colin Farrell. I really enjoyed the dark and twisted nature of Seven Psychopaths and found the majority of the film to be quite entertaining.

The performances are great, especially Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken. And really, can Christopher Walken ever do any wrong? He's perfectly suited to this type of quirky and off-the-wall style of humour. Same goes for Rockwell also. The film has a clever screenplay full of sharp dialogue and it takes actors like these to pull it off with aplomb. Tom Waits also pops up in a small role as a bunny carrying nutjob that I found thoroughly amusing as well.

If you want a clever dark comedy with plenty of gunplay and extreme violence then Seven Psychopaths might just be the movie for you.

Check it out!

     Hotel Transylvania

Welcome to Hotel Transylvania, Dracula's (Adam Sandler) lavish five-stake resort, where monsters and their families can live it up, free to be the monsters they are without humans to bother them. On one special weekend, Dracula has invited some of the world's most famous monsters - Frankenstein and his bride, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, a family of werewolves, and more - to celebrate his daughter Mavis' (Selena Gomez) 118th birthday. For Drac, catering to all of these legendary monsters is no problem - but his world could come crashing down when one ordinary guy (Andy Samberg) stumbles on the hotel and takes a shine to Mavis.

In my opinion, this animated film didn't deliver on its promising premise. I get that it is geared toward children and that's fine, but it could have been a lot more clever and amusing than it was. More often than not I found it to be a chaotic and frantically paced movie full of corny jokes and mostly juvenile humour. Even the animation was uninspiring.

I imagine that young kids will enjoy this film and that's clearly the audience it's targeted to, so I would suggest that parents just rent it for the kids and go find something else to do.

Hotel Transylvania is pretty lame.

     The Awakening

Set in London in 1921, Florence Cathcart (Rebecca Hall), author of the popular book "Seeing Through Ghosts," has devoted her career to exposing claims of the supernatural as nothing but hoaxes. Haunted by the recent death of her fiancé, she is approached by Robert Mallory (Dominic West) to investigate the recent death of a student at the all-boys boarding school where he teaches. When the students at the school report sightings of the young boy's ghost, she decides to take the case. Initially, the mystery surrounding the ghost appears nothing more than a schoolboy prank, but as Florence continues to investigate events at the school, she begins to believe that her reliance on science may not be enough to explain the strange phenomenon going on around her.

This attempt at gothic horror was a misfire for me. It is very languidly paced and reminded me of a stuffy Masterpiece Theatre production. There are a few moments of decent suspense and atmosphere but sadly they are too few and far between. I was completely underwhelmed by The Awakening and quite frankly found most of it pretty boring.

There are far better films in this genre out there that I would advise you seek out rather than bothering with this lame duck.

Also out this week is the totally generic action thriller The Cold Light of Day starring Henry Cavill, Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver, the latest chapter in the popular horror franchise Paranormal Activity 4, the martial arts action film Tai Chi Zero, the DC comics feature length animated movie Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2, and the 3rd season of the highly acclaimed PBS series Downton Abbey.

My blast from the past will be back next week where I will discuss more old favourites and maybe even provide a few lists as well.

Happy renting everyone!

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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