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Monday, July 18, 2011

Limitless, Take Me Home Tonight, and Others on DVD Tomorrow

"Wait. We're not 'rotten' on the TomatoMeter?"

Did anyone here know that there was a Tekken movie? In the same vein as Mortal Kombat, Dead or Alive, and Street Fighter? And... maybe in the same vein as the first half of Uwe Boll's career? Think back to Alone in the Dark, or In the Name of the King whatever. It's been a while since a video game-to-screen adaptation has worked solely on merit, and it'll probably be a while before it does again. I'm also fairly certain it's a Direct-to-DVD release, which means it's pretty much a "0" on the importance scale. Still, though, it'll be on Encore or Starz before any of us realize its existence, and we'll watch it there on a hungover Saturday afternoon. And we'll still feel like we were mislead. That's my take on it. 

But, for now! The other DVD releases this week. They are, as follows - Limitless, Take Me Home Tonight, Peep World, and Cracks. Haven't heard of the last two? Well, you're in for a treat, dear reader. 

Limitless - It's funny that a film with this title is as limited as it is. You'd think that a film taking such strong cues from Flowers for Algernon (and most crime movies ever made) would be able to do three things: a) tell a coherent story, b) have a sympathetic lead character, c) engage its audience. But, Limitless finds itself unable to do either. The story is about a writer named Eddie who discovers a miracle, and highly illegal, drug called NZT - it gives you the ability to use all of your brain rather than the average percentage. He's suddenly smarter than everyone, more fashionable, stylish, desirable... he finishes his overdue book assignment in about three days and gets a job trading stock on Wall Street. And then, of course, the drug starts to run out. What do we learn from this movie? Assuming that this, like other films in its genre is a "message film"? Absolutely nothing. Except that Bradley Cooper isn't ready to headline a major motion picture. And that Robert De Niro is officially lazy. 

Take Me Home Tonight - It's also funny that a film like this one, so racked with nostalgia and full of love for the 80's, would seem straight out of a "John Hughes via Judd Apatow" generator. But, it is and this is what we must live with. There's a reason they don't make movies like this anymore - it's because they rarely ever work. I mean, kudos are in order for giving it a fair try, but realistically, if you look at the film from a critical stand point and take certain things into consideration, it's a failure. The screenplay is self-serving and completely one-dimensional, it's impossible to get behind any of the characters, and the villain... not that bad of a guy. Yeah, he's a tool, but... so is everyone else in the movie. There isn't anything that separates him from the main character except a few pay grades. Of course, there are moments in the film that are enjoyable, as there always are. Most bad movies usually have something decent about them, if even just for a moment. 

Also on DVD tomorrow - 

Peep World - I haven't been fortunate enough to see this one yet, though I want to badly. It's on my list. With Michael C. Hall and Sarah Silverman in the cast, as leads, how could it not be? I can't truly recommend it, or tell you it's terrible, because I haven't seen it. But, I can tell you that it's worth a look either way, despite its poor critical reception. Its plot is a recycled idea - a writer, from a rich family, writes a tell-all book and then everyone deals with the book's release. Woody Allen did that in the late 90's with Deconstructing Harry. And other films have done that before, too; it's nothing new. But, there's something about the cast that makes me want to see it. And really, it's almost solely for that reason. Give it a look. I will be. 

Cracks - Looking for a stirring indie period-piece drama? Here's one. There are several released throughout every year, but none usually hold buzz for two years since their conception. Cracks was conceived and filmed in 2009, and finally saw an American-made theatrical run this year, to... mixed reception. It's part uplifting-teacher drama in the same vein as Dead Poets Society, and part child-abuse thriller by way of Atonement. I haven't seen this one yet, either, but... again, it's on my list. I love Eva Green, and she needs a bigger career. Hell of an actress. 

Have at it! Leave a comment, tell me what you're getting, or what you want to see. Any releases that I missed?

Go get a movie. You've a long week ahead of you. Escape a little.