DVD Releases: January 22, 2008: Saw IV, The Game Plan…
Four new movies are coming to DVD today, January 22, 2008. These DVD releases range from pretty decent to downright terrible, and here’s your guide to each:
Recommended DVD Releases
The Rock stars in Walt Disney’s The Game Plan, a family film about a pro quarterback who, while on the run for the championship game (not called the Superbowl here) discovers that he has an eight-year old daughter named Peyton and has to quickly become a father… and learn ballet. The movie is entertaining enough for what it is, and as far as Disney family films go, it’s pretty decent. Kids should find it pretty funny and parents will find it amusing. The movie is rated PG, but I didn’t notice much offensive stuff in the film whatsoever – even the facts about how The Rock ended up with a daughter he didn’t know about is covered, so all you Christian conservatives can breathe easily.
DVD features include bloopers, deleted scenes, a Sportscenter interview with The Rock on how he learned to play quarterback, a behind-the-scenes featurette and some makeover-madness set-top activity that I didn’t watch. The DVD also includes a fictitious Sportscenter biography of The Rock’s character, hosted by Stuart Scott.
A politically charged movie that isn’t quite a real thriller or a comedy but a unique blend of the two genres, The Hunting Party stars Richard Gere, Terrence Howard and Jesse Eisenberg as three reporters who go searching for a notorious war criminal. The movie is pretty entertaining, though it never reaches its full potential. Recommended for people who like something slightly off the beaten track, even though the film is pretty mainstream in many ways.
The Hunting Party is rated R; it has some violence, a fair amount of language, a little bit of sexual material and some brief moments of nudity.
The DVD includes a feature commentary, deleted scenes, interviews with the real group of journalists who inspired the movie, a making-of featurette and the original Esquire article, “What I Did on My Summer Vacation”.
Not Recommended DVD Releases
The fourth film in the Saw franchise, Saw IV is the worst as the bunch. Starring a bunch of actors we don’t care about who play characters we care about even less, the movie is just a jumbled mess and offers little in the way of clear narrative. It is clear the writers have run out of ideas and are now simply adding confusing and unnecessary layers to the stories that have already been done. I’ve never liked the Saw movies, but even fans of the franchise have to admit that Saw 4 falls short in many ways.
Saw IV is rated R, of course, for the usual: torture and gore.
For those of you who do brave the movie, the DVD includes: director’s commentary, producers’ commentary, a video diary, a music video, a deleted scene and a couple featurettes that look at the traps and props of Saw IV.
Amanda Bynes stars in this college-oriented version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, about a tomboy but pretty freshman who, after being kicked out of the top sorority for not being polished enough, teams up with a frat full of dorks to take the sorority queen down via student body elections. The movie really has nothing to do with Snow White and is about as dull and unoriginal as they come; Bynes doesn’t do many good movies, but this is one of her not-so-good ones.
Sydney White is rated PG-13; it has some minor language, teen drinking and partying and a little bit of sexual humor, but compared to most PG-13 movies it is pretty mild. I would give it an NC-17 for stupidity, though.
DVD special features include deleted scenes, a gag reel and a few other uninteresting features.