New out on DVD/Blu-ray this week
May 29, 2012 / 11:00 am
New out on DVD/Blu-ray for Tuesday May 29.
Labeled an outcast by his brainy family, a bouncer overcomes long odds to lead a team of under performing misfits to semi-pro hockey glory by using his pugilistic prowess to beat the crap out of everyone that stands in his way.
Goon is a Canadian production and a very funny one at that. It's rude and extremely crude but it has a lot of heart to it as well.
Seann William Scott does a great job portraying the titular goon as a really sweet and somewhat naive guy who just wants to belong to something and be accepted by others. He also happens to be able to beat people up really well and uses that skill to his advantage in order to make it on the team. Goon also features a strong supporting cast including Liev Schreiber, Eugene Levy, Alison Pill and Jay Baruchel, who plays the best buddy who is so foul mouthed that I lost count after about the 200th f-bomb that he dropped in the movie.
If you're overly sensitive about foul language then you might want to steer clear, but overall I found Goon to be highly entertaining and funny. It's definitely worth checking out.
We Need to Talk About Kevin
Kevin's mother struggles to love her strange child, despite the increasingly vicious things he says and does as he grows up. But Kevin is just getting started, and his final act of defiance will be beyond anything anyone could have imagined.
This film is an extremely gripping and powerful psychological thriller. It does a wonderful job of blending drama and horror to the point where I felt seriously disturbed by it all. Tilda Swinton gives an incredible, Oscar worthy performance as the mother, Eva, who has to come to terms with the fact that her son is not quite right in the head and perhaps evil. Ezra Miller plays the grown up Kevin with a sinister coolness that indicates what he is capable of. John C. Reilly is the father who is seemingly unaware of any problems and just attributes Kevin's behaviour as boys being boys.
The film seamlessly transitions back and forth in timeline to reveal more and more details and in doing so creates an impending sense of dread of what's to come. We Need to Talk About Kevin is one of the better films I've seen in a while and I highly recommend that you seek this one out.
There Be Dragons
Arising out of the horror of the Spanish Civil War, a candidate for canonization is investigated by a journalist who discovers his own estranged father had a deep, dark and devastating connection to the saint's life.
The film stars Wes Bentley, Charlie Cox, Dougray Scott, Rodrigo Santoro and Olga Kurylenko.
I wasn't overly impressed with There Be Dragons. I felt it just meandered and dragged throughout and I never fully engaged with any of the characters or the story for that matter. Director Roland Joffé - who hasn't made a good film since The Mission in 1986 - employs a musical score that is overwrought and overbearing in order to punctuate the fact that what we are seeing is supposed to be melodramatic. I get it - I don't need to be bashed over the head with it.
There Be Dragons is a turgid and boring misfire.
Also out this week is the action thriller The Aggression Scale starring Ray Wise, the TV series True Blood season 4 and the British medical drama Monroe: Series 1.
Blast From the Past
Continuing on with my top ten lists, here's my ten favourite films from 1980.
10. The Fog - John Carpenter's low budget horror film about a creepy, glowing fog that sweeps over a coastal town, bringing with it vengeful ghosts. It's some spooky fun that has a great opening scene with John Houseman telling ghost stories to kids around a campfire.
9. The Elephant Man - This true story about the severely deformed Joseph Merrick is a heartbreaking yet compelling film that features superb performances by John Hurt and Anthony Hopkins. It's directed by the wonderfully twisted David Lynch.
8. Friday the 13th - This slasher classic is one of the best and most successful horror films from this era. It spawned multiple sequels and introduced us - albeit at the end of the picture - to one of the most iconic killers in screen history, Jason Voorhees. Whereas most of the sequels were cheesy and dumb, this one is actually quite scary.
7. The Shining - Crazy Jack Nicholson is trapped inside an empty hotel along with his wife and son in Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of the famous Stephen King novel. It contains some really scary and memorable moments but it loses a few spots in my rankings due to the awful Shelley Duvall performance and the fact that the 1997 TV miniseries is much more faithful to the amazing novel. Great stuff nonetheless.
6. Raging Bull - Martin Scorsese's brilliant and powerful drama about boxer Jake LaMotta features an incredible performance by Robert De Niro, who took method acting to another level by gaining 60 pounds for the role. This isn't my favourite Scorsese picture but it's a great one. The acting is superb in this one.
5. Caddyshack - This slapstick comedy is just flat out one of the funniest movies ever made. Sure it's goofy and juvenile but it just has so many memorable characters and lines and it features hilarious performances by Bill Murray, Rodney Dangerfield and Chevy Chase. It's one of those ones you can pop in anytime and always find something to laugh at. Fun Stuff!
4. The Gods Must Be Crazy - This South African comedy about a Bushman who must travel to the end of the earth to get rid of a discarded Coca-Cola bottle that has fallen from the sky is an absolute gem of a movie. It features no known stars and is filmed somewhat like a documentary but it is very funny and charming and demands repeated viewings. During the early to mid eighties, when I lived in Toronto, this film played non stop for several years in the theater. That's amazing!
3. Superman 2 - The followup to my favourite film from 1978 is one of the best sequels ever made and was a film I absolutely went nuts for as a child. The stakes were raised in this one as Superman had to do battle with super criminals General Zod, Ursa and Non who possessed similar powers to the son of Jor-El. It ramps up the action and excitement and is an all around fun ride at the movies. I love this one.
2. The Changeling - Starring George C. Scott, this Canadian film is one of my all-time favourite horror movies. It is primarily a haunted house ghost tale but it also contains an intriguing mystery throughout. It's super creepy, atmospheric and scary as hell. If you are a fan of horror and haven't seen this yet then what are you waiting for? This is one of the best. Be careful not to watch this one alone in the dark though.
1. The Empire Strikes Back - Did you really think it could be anything else but this? I saw this on the big screen when I was 6-years-old and it was literally like crack back then. Any male over the age of 36 who saw this in the theater can most likely attest to that. It still remains one of the best movies ever made and is without a doubt the greatest sequel ever forged. I proudly wave my geek flag when proclaiming my love of the original Star Wars Trilogy and Empire may arguably be the best of the series. Brilliant this movie is.
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