Wednesday, April 16, 2014

This Week in DVD and Instant Watching

Ride Along: Ice Cube's buddy comedy (with Kevin Hart) was DISSED by the MTV Movie Awards, according to Cube. How dare they give a meaningless award in a manufactured-for-TV pseudoevent to an actor who recently died young? What are they trying to do, honor his memory in some misguided attempt to touch people's hearts? I mean, come on, MTV--CUBE!

The Nut Job: I was saying the other day that it seems like it's pretty hard to make a really bad all-ages animated feature these days. This one might test that theory.

Black Nativity: Nice job releasing this just in time for, what, 7 months till Christmas! I mean, do they--oh, wait. Easter is coming up, huh? Carry on!

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty: The disappointing box office for this one probably killed any chance of Mike Myers getting his dream project, a big-screen reboot of "The Danny Kaye Show," off the ground.

The Invisible Woman: Ralph Fiennes as a director of a literary property is an interesting concept, but I can't help thinking this is one of these deals where they just rushed this out to retain their rights to make a Fantastic Four movie.

Stan Lee's Mighty 7: Beginnings: Hey, speaking of Stan, I totally missed his cameo in The Invisible Woman.

Philomena: A journalist helps a woman in her quest to find the boy she gave up decades ago. This could be a Hallmark movie, couldn't it? But it's directed by Stephen Frears, it stars Dame Judi Dench, and it received considerable critical praise and award recognition. So it's got that over a Hallmark movie. But does it have Catherine Bell? That would be a big N-O.

Date and Switch: I don't know anything about this movie, but I am including it because I think the title is kind of funny and I'm stunned a romantic comedy hasn't used it before.

Beverly Hillbillies Season 4 and Petticoat Junction Season 3: These two CBS releases get wide release after being Wal-Mart exclusive since the fall. Yep, once again, that snooty, elitist Wal-Mart crowd gets to lord it over the rest of us. Well, now the MASSES can buy your highfalutin sitcoms, Wal-Mart! What do you think about that?

Warner Archive brings us a great quartet of oldies this week. George Raft and Bill Bendix in Race Street, The Mickster and Eddie Bracken in the odd duck A Slight Case of Larceny, Sky Full of Moon, and the intriguing Wildcat Bus with Fay Wray. "Sky Full of Moon" has an odd cover, with a  dude's butt staring right at us and in front of that big moon. "Wildcat Bus" just sounds all kinds of awesome. Check out this description from the WA page:

Fay Wray, best known for struggling in the clutches of King Kong, confronts rivals who use saboteur tactics to put the squeeze on the Federated Bus Lines she manages in Wildcat Bus. Wray is not the only woman in a position of power in this unusual B-movie: Behind the criminal organization that causes the breakdowns and accidents plaguing Federated’s Los Angeles San Francisco route is tough. vinegary “Ma” Talbot (character actress Leona Roberts).

Whoa! I can't wait to see this if only for the vinegary "Ma" Talbot!

And in streaming...

Hulu didn't do much of interest this week, though it didn't crash when I watched "Community" and "Modern Family," so that's a big plus. I'm beginning to think that story about more CBS shows appearing on Hulu was an elaborate hoax.

Hey, late-breaking news! Hulu just added the entire run of Penn & Teller's Bullsh*t! Well, that's something! I wonder if these are edited. Hmm...

Warner Archive Instant added a little tribute to The Mickster, packaging some previously available movies together into a little showcase Mickey Rooney line. More importantly, it added about a dozen and a half new movies, including several Bowery Boys flicks from the Volume 1 DVD collection. Sadly, the pro wrestling flick "No Holds Barred" (not the Hulk/Zeus one) isn't one of them, but who am I to complain when 3 Boys pictures are added?

Also new is the Boys--Wheeler and Woolsey, that is--in Cracked Nuts. WIN! Nicely timed is the arrival of Big Leaguer, with Eddie G as a major league skipper. Any baseball fan should check it out. WIN! There are also a couple of Gildersleeve pics, Congo Maisie, and for those of you who like your A pictures, Flight Command with Robert Taylor. And how about Hollywood Party (1934), with Jimmy Durante, Lupe Velez, and a host of awesome cameos including the 3 Stooges and Laurel and Hardy? This is actually a pretty darn good week for WAI.

Netflix premiered Mark Burnett's The Bible miniseries, a cool seasonal addition. By the way, I added the Mark Burnett part; fortunately, he wasn't arrogant to affix his name to it. Luc Besson's comedy The Family (De Niro, Pfeiffer) is here as well.

G.I. Joe: The One with The Rock (I may have the subtitle wrong) debuted this week. I am not on board this franchise yet, but I'd pay money to see it if Tight Ship were involved. This arrives as part of the Epix deal Netflix has, an agreement which should make fans of recent theatricals very happy because it seems to provide most of those big movies Netflix touts in its advertising. However, it also brings some interesting original Epix specials and documentaries. Case in point: Milius, a look at the macho screenwriter ("Apocalypse Now") and director ("Red Dawn").

Hey, I had no idea Werner Herzog made a documentary about texting while driving, but here comes From One Second to the Next. There is a bunch more Cartoon Network stuff, and also some CNN series like Crimes of the Century and Morgan Spurlock's Inside Man. But for those of you into the classics, there's the original Leprechaun--yep, the one with Jennifer Aniston.

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