Monday, January 27, 2003

January DVD Recaps

I got a bunch of DVDs in January, and I figured rather than review them all fully (which would be difficult, considering I haven't gone through all the special features on all of them) I'd just give you these recaplets, in chronological order of purchase.

XXX

A surprisingly good movie starring Vin Diesel as an underground "action sports" star who is recruited by the CIA to help recover a deadly weapon from terrorists. Aside from the implausible plot, there isn't much to complain about on this DVD. The transfer is high quality, and the sound, while extremely loud in sections, is very crisp. The special features are self serving at times, and the deleted scenes aren't enchancing to the movie, but the features on the Pontiac GTO are very cool, and I almost want one (but I just got a new car, so d'oh). Score: 7.

Barbershop

This is the kind of movie that needs to rely on it's special features to be a good DVD. The movie isn't visually special, nor is the sound rich, so DVD vs. VHS isn't much of an improvement. Howerver, the DVD is worth it for the outtakes alone (as could be expected with a movie with this case). There are also some good deleted scenes, and the commentary isn't bad either. Score: 8.

Signs

A disappointing DVD to say the least. Sure, the inclusion of M. Night Shyamalan's first alien movie was a neat feature, but it wasn't very good, and it was short. Plus, the DVD doesn't really explain anywhere why the director felt the need to show the alien creature, rather than keep it a mystery. The revelation of the alien was one of the movie's most disappointing pieces, and a justification would have been nice. Still, the movie looks good, and the DVD audio transfer makes the suspensful moments stand out. Score: 7.

The Good Girl

This movie didn't have a long theatrical release, so the DVD for me was more about the movie, which was spectacular. The story, centering around a semi-mid-life crisis for Jennifer Aniston's Justine, was well done. The director did a great job of making Aniston seem like an average girl, which is no easy task. And then the DVD producers did an even better job of getting Aniston to sit down and do a revealing scene-specific commentary. Score: 8+.

Undercover Brother

This is a DVD. Forget the movie, which is actually quite funny, and doesn't require any scene skipping like the last two Austin Powers flicks. The special features are very worthwhile. A couple of the deleted scenes are great, while some of the extended scenes are better than the final cut version. The best part is the inclusion of the original web shorts that lead to the creation of the movie. Sure, they're not great and the animation is crude, but it's nice to see the origins of what is likely to be a star of a series of movies. Score: 9.

I also picked up a Twilight Zone collection and CB4, but because those are basically older releases, I'm not going to rehash them here. Just know this: Vol. 2 of the Twilight Zone includes four of the best episodes of the series, and that CB4 barely scratches the surface of how funny Chris Rock would become.

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