The DVD picks are back after a Memorial Day holiday and what a week to return! Not only are we loaded down with a Best Picture nominee and a comedy semi-smash, but TV on DVD is out in full force as well.

That’s right, we’re on both ends of the movie spectrum here as the prestigious True Grit becomes the final 2010 Best Picture nominee to make its journey to DVD on the same day that Adam Sandler’s Just Go With It is available to buy. Talk about counter-programming.

All that, plus just about every single cable show you’d ever want to watch and a movie that features Gordon Ramsay acting.

Check it out below…

Feature Films

True Grit

Hollywood can really learn a lesson from this remake. The lesson doesn’t have anything to do with the actual end product of the remake, but rather the type of film that was remade and how remaking it was handled.

The lesson is simple: Don’t mess with perfection. If you’re going to remake a film you shouldn’t choose one that’s brilliant to begin with. Instead, you should take a look at a film with a solid premise with a fundamental flow in its execution that is easy to correct.

Take Ocean’s 11 as an example. The original Frank Sinatra version is as cheese-tastic as it gets with Sammy Davis, Jr. singing while driving a truck in front of a green screen and the rest of the film looking as if it was filmed during The Rat Pack’s downtime.

But the premise was good: A bunch of slick crooks robbing a casino. Gussy it up with some great dialogue and excellent production values and you have a modern classic.

True Grit follows a similar path. The first movie was horribly flawed. Glen Campbell did his best to torpedo it and it couldn’t overcome the Western trappings of the day. But it had something going for it: a great book as its source material.

So the Coen Brothers grab the rights to that book, base their film more heavily on the source material and voila, a massive hit that’s as brilliant as it was popular.

So here’s the remake lesson: Grab a flawed film with some name recognition with problems that are easily fixed. That’s how you make a great remake. And NOT by casting Taylor Lautner in a remake of The Godfather. (Don’t worry, that’s just a joke).

And if you love this particular remake you can buy True Grit on DVD.

Just Go With It

Take a look at that picture to the right. Look at it. Study it. Drink it in. Realize that the scene showed in that picture appeared on about 187,000 TV spots for this movie. And that the commercials for this film drove enough people to the theater that this film made over $100 million at the box office.

And my only question is: why? Why are people going to see this movie. Why are people going to see an Adam Sandler film with a trailer that includes five awful jokes, a ridiculous premise that gives away the ending at the outset, and the aforepictured (new word, kids!) crotch hit.

Please. Somebody has to tell me what type of person sees all that and says to themselves, “Hey! That looks great. I can’t wait to see that!” I just want to meet one of these people if only to see what they look like.

I imagine they’re wearing a striped shirt and a beanie with a propeller on their head, but that’s just me.

Of course you, dear reader, may be one of these people. And if that’s the case, you can buy Just Go With It on DVD.



“Breaking Bad″: Season 3

I was waiting for so long for this season to come out on DVD just because I wanted to write a capsule about whether or not “Mad Men” was my least favorite show on AMC.

I was all set to write about the fact that “Breaking Bad” is the clear standout on the channel. That its deep examination of what drives a person to evil and its showcase of the best acting you’ll see anywhere, including features, make it not only the best show on AMC, but the best drama on television, period.

I was so ready to talk about how “The Walking Dead” had a visual style unlike anything else on the small screen, and that its ability to create a completely unique world in just a few episodes while maintaining a focus on grand entertainment was both more difficult and more well-executed than anything “Mad Men” has done with its insistence on deliberate pacing.

I couldn’t wait to lament the demise of “Rubicon” and discuss how its patience and ability to create compelling characters without a need to make them flashy was a cut above “Mad Men”.

I was also ready to talk about “The Killing”. How, after four episodes its bleak and staid depiction of a teenager’s murder and how it impacts everybody associated with her was some of the most heart rending and compelling television I’d come across in a while.

But then, “The Killing” went so far off the rails with weird bottle episodes, circular plots and just being too long that I could no longer begin to make a case that “Mad Men” was my least favorite show on the network. And I was so upset – nothing would do me more pleasure than to dispel the common notion that every other show on television should grovel at the feet of “Mad Men”. But, alas, I can’t quite do it.

So breathe easy, hipsters. The one TV show you watch isn’t getting lapped by its entire network’s roster…yet.

Still, “Breaking Bad” is a superior show to “Mad Men” on every level and you should really buy Season 3 of “Breaking Bad” on DVD.


  • “The Big C”: Season 1 – Buy Now
  • “Burn Notice”: Season 4 – Buy Now
  • “Hawthorne”: Season 2 – Buy Now
  • “Leverage”: Season 3 – Buy Now
  • “Pretty Little Liars”: Season 1 – Buy Now
  • “White Collar”: Season 2 – Buy Now

And Just So You Know, This DVD Exists…