DVD Pick Of The Week: A Scanner Darkly

a_scanner_darkly_poster.jpgI’m finding one of the more interesting pieces of this column is deciding whether to pick films that I have seen and loved, or that I have not seen and really want to. The thing is that I mostly don’t go to the movies anymore, so I wait until they are out on DVD. Since this list is chosen from the new DVD releases of the week, most of the films have not yet been seen by me.

Picking a movie I haven’t seen, at first seemed a little bit wrong, but I’m now looking at this list as not only a way to highlight my favorite films, but also what I want to check out at the local rental store. With that in mind my pick of the week is:

A Scanner Darkly

I did not see Richard Linklater’s last foray into animation-over-real-actors, Waking Life, but the process looks fascinating. Scanner seems to have a much more coherent plot, and being based on a Phillip K Dick story it ought to be a good one. It has received mostly good reviews and I generally enjoy Linklater’s films so this should prove to be at least interesting.

Other notable films coming out this week include:

Little Miss Sunshine

The little indie that could. Small budget film went on to generate a lot of buzz and big money at the box office. It’s actually not quite as good as they say and is spoiled by an ending that is so over-the-top is loses its credibility.

Lady in the Water

This got terrible reviews and tanked at the box office, but Shyamalan is usually good for a night’s entertainment, at least once anyway. I sit somewhere in the middle between the usual crowd of “he’s a genius” and “he’s a filthy Hitchcock knock-off.” He’s a good story teller with an excellent visual sense, but he relies too heavily on twists and surprise endings. I remember not long after the Sixth Sense he went on about how he didn’t want to be pigeon holed as a suspense man with surprise endings. At the time I thought that was a great move and looked forward to seeing him do more standard films. Of course he went right out and did more of the same, which is getting quite tiring.

Still, it’s got Paul Giamatti who can do no wrong anymore, and the plot looks interesting enough to make this worth a rental.

The Simpsons – The Complete Ninth Season

We’ve definitely entered the downfall at this point. While most episodes still contain a few good gags, great episodes are pretty scarce. Yet, as a fan, I’ll still be purchasing this.

All the King’s Men

This got pretty rotten reviews for the most part, but it’s got a great cast which makes it worth a watch.

When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts

Spike Lee’s four part Katrina documentary. Lee generally has an agenda with his films and I’m sure this film takes sides, but he’s also an excellent film maker and from the reviews it is supposed to be quite moving.

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