The Movie: Stop what you’re doing, click the above link and buy The Man From Nowhere. You’ll be thanking me by the weekend if you do.
Unless you’re a hardcore geek who goes to film festivals like Fantastic Fest or keeps tabs on South Korean cinema, you probably haven’t heard of this flick, but trust me, you will. The Man From Nowhere is the kind of badass, no bullshit action movie that America isn’t making anymore. And, like Oldboy before it, movies that kick this much ass simply will not stay a secret for long. So get in now and watch it before you have all your film geek friends bragging about this awesome movie that’s basically a Korean Man on Fire and you’re the last one to see it.
The Features: A making-of, a highlight reel and the US trailer.
Buy it if You Like: Oldboy, Man on Fire, A Bittersweet Life or basically any other great movie about a single guy on a revenge rampage.
The Movie: When I made my Top 10 of 2010, Four Lions took the #1 spot hands down. Considering 2010 saw the likes of Black Swan, True Grit, The King’s Speech, Never Let Me Go, Inception and many more get a release, you’d think there’d be a fight for the top spot, but it was no contest. As great (and wildly different) as all of those films are, they simply aren’t the audacious filmmaking seen in Four Lions.
I realize I’m in the minority in thinking that. Chris Morris’ dark and dry comedy about a bumbling British terrorist cell isn’t for everyone. And normally when someone says that, they might as well be saying, “I liked it and you didn’t therefore you are stupid,” but that honestly isn’t the case here. I can imagine why some people don’t find it funny. I can see why its de-fanging of Muslim extremism does nothing for them. But this is just the kind of movie where if it does click with you, it will click in a huge, huge way. And for me it just clicked.
The Features: A lot of small behind the scenes material (cast interviews and the like) and a few deleted scenes, but unfortunately it’s missing any substantial supplementals.
Buy It If You Like: Dr. Strangelove.
The Movie: I really wasn’t expecting to like The Next Three Days nearly as much as I did. The first 15 or so minutes aren’t very promising. Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks have zero chemistry together, so it’s kind of hard to care one way or the other whether Banks’ character is going to rot in jail for a murder she didn’t commit. But then once the film shifts onto Crowe’s shoulders, it evolves into a tense little thriller. As a whole it’s not perfect, but what does work in it works incredibly well.
The Features: A commentary track from director Haggis, his producer Michael Nozik and his editor Jo Francis; about 30 combined minutes worth of behind-the-scenes material and another 17 minutes of deleted/extended scenes (Haggis does not know how to make a short movie, even with these out, it’s still too long).
Rent It If You Like: The original Next Three Days, The Fugitive.
The Movie: I was head over heels in love with the pilot episode of The Walking Dead. I just kept telling myself that I couldn’t believe we were going to have a show this good on television that was about a zombie apocalypse. Then the second episode hit and I was a little less enthused. I still dug it, but by episode three Darabont and company were already showing signs of falling prey to predictable and unnecessary pitfalls of TV dramas.
The show only went downhill from there and by the time I finished watching the fifth episode it had lost its grip on me entirely and I just never got around to pressing play on the show’s final episode. I’m sure I’ll get around to it before season two starts later this year, but after how quickly it descended into mediocrity, I’m in no rush.
The Features: At least Anchor Bay loaded up this set with a ton of special features, including a lengthy making-of on the entire series, six brief making-ofs for each episode, a mini zombie makeup tutorial, behind-the-scenes set tours and an excerpt from the show’s presentation at last year’s Comic-Con.
Rent It If You Like: Zombies, duh.
All the Rest
Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie (Lionsgate, $14.99)