Are you watching more DVDs now?

Cary Ashby
Mar 29, 2010


I know I am because of the writer's strike. (Of course, I find it relaxing to catch a flick while playing the couch potato.)


I've been catching up on several movies and here are my three- to four-sentence reviews:


• "3:10 to Yuma" — I had been pumped about this one since I had seen the first trailer and it doesn't disappoint. Russell Crowe's Ben Wade is a bad guy you can't help but hate, despise and (somewhat) admire all at the same time. The final minutes include some great surprises. Did you realize actor Ben Foster (Wade's right hand man) played The Angel in "X-Men: The Last Stand"? Grade: A+


• "My Super Ex-Girlfriend" — The shame is this could easily have been a PG movie if it weren't for the unnecessary vulgarities, sexual content and a butt shot (unfortunately not of Uma Thurman). It's creepy how good she is at playing the needy, nerdy and neurotic Jenny Johnson. The premise is fun and the movie overall, though largely forgettable with a cheesy conclusion, isn't as cringe-inducing as critics would lead you to believe. Grade: C


• "The Break Up" — Speaking of butt shots and ex-girlfriends, this downer should be classified as a light drama. Vince Vaughn's Gary is a true jerk from the beginning and gets worse as his battle of wills with Jennifer Aniston elevates, but at least there's a bit of redemption for Gary at the end. This isn't much of an acting stretch for either performer. Grade: C; the blurred Aniston butt shot: A++


• "Live Free or Die Hard" — Aside from a fairly weak motivation from the very creepy bad guy, this is a great way to end the "Die Hard" franchise. The screenplay nicely touched on and reinforced the original concept of John McClane — being the right guy at the wrong time. The concept of an Internet-based shutdown of the United States' resources is far from far-fetched, but the delivery of the terrorist's message of impending doom using the montage of Presidents' sound bites is chilling. Grade: A-


•"Superbad"— The epitome of a guilty pleasure. I turned this thing off three times, irritated with the way the characters perceive women. I'm glad my best friend convinced me to stick with it, since the guys remain geeks, grow up (somewhat) and still get the girl. This could have used more McLuvin (who steals the show), MUCH less of the annoying cops and had these kids' mouths washed out with soap several times. Grade: B-


• "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" — OK, I've seen this a bunch of times, but I enjoyed it after I recently bought it on DVD as much I did when I saw it in theaters 25 years ago. Spock's death scene still gets to me. I have even more respect for William Shatner's and Ricardo Montalban's performances since they played all their scenes "together" without ever being face-to-face. Grade: A


• "TMNT" — Beware of movies with voiced-over introductions in historical settings. That inevitably brings us into a movie trying to be epic, yet falling far short. Aside from that, this animated adventure pays homage to the original live-action fil, is top-notch visually and "gets" each of the ninja turtles. The ending battle is just too over the top. Grade: C- 


What have you seen you'd recommend? What would you avoid? Why?



Nope regarding the DVDs.

I'm catching up on my reading, surfing the web and spending increased quality time with my MP3 player.

TV didn't get the euphemistic title 'idiot box' for nothin' and IMO it's only gotten worse.


I just remembered. I recently rented "Sunshine."

While the major premise is an attempt to violate basic physic laws regarding the conservation of energy, it additionally borrowed old pieces of story line from "Alien," and "2001: A Space Odyssey."

The movie slowly and painfully devolved into a hackneyed sci-fi work.

I often wonder why when choosing a crew for important space missions, do authorities often select those who become mentally unhinged at critical times.

If this crew is indeed "Earth's best," then humanity is ultimately doomed.

"Sunshine" made me long for a copy of "Plan 9 From Outer Space." I'll bet Ed Wood coulda done "Sunshine" proud.

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