Again not a busy week on the DVD front, but there are some quality releases.
Pirate Radio – This film is inspired by a true story and is about a group of DJ’s who broadcast rock ‘n roll music from a boat near London in the 1960’s. British officials did not like the pirate radio station for their on-air antics and the music they played, so they did everything in their power to shut them down. The officials end up finding a way to legally shut them down, but that does not stop the rogue crew from continuing to play the music they want. This is a film that did not do all that well in North America, but is probably worth checking out because of the talent involved. Pirate Radio is directed by Richard Curtis (Love, Actually) and stars Bill Nighy, Kenneth Branagh, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rhys Ifans and Nick Frost
The Great Mouse Detective – Walt Disney Pictures 26th animated feature film is inspired by Sherlock Holmes, and is about a little mouse named Olivia who is searching for her missing father. The missing father happens to be a toymaker. Olivia hires Basil of Baker Street and Dr. David Q. Watson (the mouse versions of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson) to help solve the case of her missing father. They soon discover that the evil Ratigan has kidnapped Olivia’s father to help create a toy that will help Ratigan rule London. The film is worth watching, because in 1986, it was one of the first (not the first, but one of the first) animated films to use CGI, and it happens in the climatic Big Ben sequence.
Defendor – This film stars Woody Harrelson as a superhero named Defendor who looks to clean the city streets of crime and battle the villain known as Captain Industry. He ends up befriending a young prostitute who supports his fight on crime. Defendor is a little simple and has delusions of what is going on, which makes his friends fear for his life when he encounters real danger. The film does not fit easily into any genre, so that is what will make some people love the film, while others will hate it.
Red Cliff – This film takes place in 208 A.D. and is about the Han Dynasty wanting to rule all of China by claiming the kingdoms of Xu in the west and East Wu in the south. Faced with no other alternative, the two kingdoms are forced to unite and take on the Han Dynasty. The film is John Woo’s first film since 2003’s Paycheck and his first film in China since 1992’s Hard Boiled. There are a couple of versions of the film. The Theatrical Cut is about 2h30m, while the extended cut is almost five hours (The reason the extended cut is so long, is that the film is really two films, but was condensed for North American audiences). Woo fans will definitely go for the extended cut.
The Slammin’ Salmon – This film is by the Broken Lizard comedy troupe (the guys who brought you Super Troopers, Club Dread, and Beerfest). The basic premise of the film is an ex-boxer who owns a restaurant (played by Michael Clarke Duncan) challenges all his waiters and waitresses to make the most money in tips in a night. The winner gets $10,000 while the loser gets beaten up by the former boxer. I like the premise, and I do like the Broken Lizard gang, so this is another one to be on the lookout for today.
Tenderness – I’m the first to admit that I’m a big Russell Crowe fan, but I can honestly say that I have never heard of this film. The story follows Crowe as a detective, who put away a young adult for murder named Eric Poole. Now that Poole has served his time as a minor, he is released from prison at the age of eighteen. Crowe’s character fears that Poole will re-offend so he follows him, only to see that a young girl is following (or stalking) Poole, and may have witnessed the original murder.
Until Next Tuesday!