Fubar: Balls to the Wall (Screen Media, $29.98)
The Movie: The original title of Fubar: Balls to the Wall was Fubar II: Gods of Blunder, though Screen Media wisely saw fit to re-title the Canadian film for its US release considering Joe Schmoe Yankee would A) never have seen Fubar and B) probably not buy a sequel without having seen the original film first. So I’m happy to report that regardless of what the movie is called, there’s no reason to have seen the original film before you going into this. And believe me, you should go into this.
Imagine if Mike Judge made a live-action Beavis and Butthead… in Canada. That’s essentially what Fubar: Balls to the Wall is, only Michael Dowse’s film has a surprisingly resonate emotional core to it. It’s hardly mushy, but its story of two burned out headbangers trying to stay true to their ludicrous lifestyle while also making a living as workers on an oil pipeline is a strangely melancholy comedy about what it’s like to be an unskilled, blue collar laborer in the late 2000s.
The Features: There’s not a whole lot here other than some deleted scenes and a commentary, but if you’re a fan of the film, the commentary track alone should suffice. This isn’t exactly the kind of movie that requires an in-depth making of, so a free and funny track reiminiscing about the film hits the perfect tone.
Buy It If: You want to be surprised by a comedy about two losers who have very little to live for.
The Movie: Confession time: the first DVDs I ever bought were Pitch Black and Mortal Kombat. My family didn’t have a DVD player, but I had a computer with a cutting edge DVD-ROM– or so I thought. I remember coming home from Suncoast video more excited than any human being should reasonably be to watch a double bill of Pitch Black and Mortal Kombat on my computer monitor, only to spend hours trying to get PowerDVD to play the damned discs.
That’s right, there was a time in my life where I spent hours just attempting to watch a Paul W.S. Anderson movie on a really crappy 15 inch monitor. But, hey, that’s what you do when you’re a dumb kid in love with a dumb movie. A really, really dumb movie. As an adult I know how bad it is; I now realize how painful the dialogue is and how terribly cheesy the delivery of it is, but you know what? There’s still reasons to non-ironically appreciate Mortal Kombat. Even this early in his career, Anderson had an impressive eye for elaborate production design. The costume work is great, the underworld is filled with more elaborate set design and props than most fantasy movies ever even attempt. And…well, that’s about it, really. It’s still a dreadful movie, but at $12.99, at least Warner Brothers isn’t trying to abuse your nostalgia.
The Features: Holy crap I had forgotten about “Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins,” one of the worst pieces of marketing material ever produced. If you have any fond memories of Mortal Kombat and have like-minded friends who are more than happy to make a drinking game out of anything, buy this Blu-ray just to rewatch this 40-minute monstrosity of lifeless animation try to explain the MK mythos. Test your might.
Buy It If: You want your mind blown by Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins. Seriously, get this Blu-ray and don’t even ever press play on the feature film; this extra (previously only available on VHS and Laserdisc!) is worth $12.99 all its own.
All the Rest
The King’s Speech is a good movie, but not a great one. The fact that it’s a glorified Masterpiece Theater episode that went on to win Best Picture actually makes me like it less. That shouldn’t be the case, but, hey, that’s how irrational Oscar reactions work.
Born to Raise Hell (Paramount, $17.49)
Farewell (L’Affaire Farewell) (NeoClassics, $29.99)
Goemon (FUNimation, $17.49)
Goemon has a hell of a trailer, but like Kazuaki Kiriya’s previous flim, Casshern, its sweet “live-action anime” stylings are spread too thin over a convoluted story.
If you buy this movie and don’t have children, you’re a bad human being. If you buy this movie and do have children, you’re a bad parent who needs to learn when to say “No.”
Kes (Criterion, $27.99)
The Last Legion (The Weinstein Company, $14.99)
Monamour (Cult Epics, $28.99)
Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (Warner Brothers, $12.99)
Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure (Disney/Buena Vista, $19.99)
Short Circuit 2 (Image, $13.99)
Los Locos kick your ass. Loss Locos kick your face. Los Locos kick your balls into outer space!
Somewhere (Universal, $26.99)
Street Kings 2: Motor City (20th Century Fox, $20.99)
Sweetie (Criterion, $27.99)
Tokyo Gore Police (Tokyo Shock, $16.98)
The Way Back (Image, $15.99)
Zombie Holocaust (Shriek Show, $19.99)