Not a strong week for new DVD releases, but some good TV shows arrive in time before their new season starts.
Crank: High Voltage – This is the highest profile DVD release of the week, which is not a good sign. I’m a huge fan of Crank, so I had high hopes going into this film, but what I found to be fun and entertaining in the first film, did not translate so well the second time. Crank: High Voltage is extremely over the top. The plot is simple. Chev Chelios needs to keep shocking himself to keep his artificial heart ticking. This film is very mean-spirited, and not for everyone.
Dance Flick – I’ll start off by saying that this title is only available on Blu-Ray. That’s right. You cannot get this on regular DVD this week. Could this be a trend? We’ll see, but I don’t like it if it is. There is not much to say about this film – it’s a parody of Dance Flicks. If you’re a fan of the Wayans brothers then you’ll like this, but I’ll be passing on this.
The Office: Season Five – I’m a big fan of this show, but I found this season to be hit and miss. It has some great moments (The Super Bowl episode and Michael Scott finding his soulmate), and some not so great moments (Pam and Jim being apart for part of the season), but I still always get a laugh watching The Office. The big storyline of the season involves Michael Scott getting replaced at Dunder Mifflin, and he doesn’t take it lying down.
Fringe: Season One – I have not watched this show, but it definitely started gaining some traction as the season went on. J.J. Abrams latest creation is about an FBI agent who has to work with a “mad scientist”. Weird things are happening and it’s up to this unlikely team to figure out what they are.
The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency: Season One – This HBO show stars Jill Scott and Anika Noni Rose and is based on a series of books written by Alexander McCall Smith. The show focuses on a woman who moves to Botswana and sets up her own detective agency. She meets some colourful characters, and tries to help solve some mysteries in the town. The show has a great pedigree with the late Anthony Minghella, the late Sydney Pollack, Richard Curtis, and Harvey Weinstein all being involved with the project. Minghella even directed the pilot episode. I have not watched this show, but it is worth checking out.
Criminal Minds: Season Four – Another series that I know nothing about. It stars Joe Mantegna and the series focuses on a group of elite profilers who try to anticipate and predict a variety of criminal’s next move.
Parks and Recreation: Season One – I watched this show on Thursday nights, only because it was on before The Office, but I did not find it very funny. Amy Poehler stars in this series about a do-gooder who is working on advancing her political career by trying to make a dump become a park. The supporting cast is decent, but I did not laugh very often. Having said that, the first season of The Office started off very slow, but found its stride in Season Two. Hopefully Parks and Recreation will follow the same trend.
Harper’s Island: The Complete Series – I missed this series when it was on this summer. It is described as a horror/thriller/mystery and focuses on a wedding on Harper’s Island. One of the guests is still disturbed by a murder that took place years ago on the island. Then one by one, the wedding guests are killed off, and the question is, who is murdering these people? It did not do very well in the ratings, and has been described as being a guilty pleasure.