Media | A2Q Archives | A2Q #53: The "Underworld" Edition | August 26, 2008: Welcome to this week's home video release highlights, a column tragically focused entirely on the American market. Sorry, rest of the world. Region locks are the home video industry's way of saying they still don't understand the Internet.

Roundup by VsRobot | Posted August 26, 2008

Out This Week

A cult classic from the film makers behind City of Lost Children. One of this team of directors went on to make Amelie...and Alien: Resurrection. This movie has some of the panache and flair seen in City of Lost Children, but it isn't quite up to that standard. The premise involves an apartment full of odd tenants, who, if memory serves, aren't aware that their landlord is providing them with meals made out of people. PEOPLE!

Heroes: Season Two
What a terrible disappointment. Granted, it's not like Heroes' first season was all that great, either. But Season Two doesn't really go anywhere or do anything exciting with the show's premise, which is a world where super-heroes exist -- a set-up so rich with potential you almost have to try to fail. Here's hoping the upcoming Season Three will be better. (Also, the first season shows up on BD this week).

Nightmare Before Christmas
What we have here is the classic tale of a man who has done everything he can in his career and feels fatigue setting in. He is the "Pumpkin King," and he organizes Halloween for the world every year; however, he finds himself in a rut, going through the same motions year after year. One evening on an aimless stroll, he discovers the existence of other holidays and decides he wants in on that action. What happens when the lord of Halloween decides to take over Christmas? What occurs when, instead of elves, all the toys are made by mummies, vampires, behemoths and more? I'll tell you what happens: Movie magic. A perfect combination of Danny Elfman's music, Tim Burton's vision, and Henry Selick's stop-motion animation genius, The Nightmare Before Christmas is an all-time classic and among this columnist's very favorite films. Just don't hold all the sad-sack Hot Topic kids who buy the merchandise because Jack's, like, so emo against the film, please.

At least notoriously bad director Uwe Boll is adapting notoriously bad video games into movies now. Not that Bloodrayne is precisely an essential selection. Or House of the Dead, now that I think of it. Still, those properties at least had the potential to be made into watchable films. Steven Spielberg couldn't have made Postal into a good movie.

David Mamet has the writing credit here, so at least this art-house film is guaranteed to have interesting dialogue, anyway. I'm a big fan of Mamet's best work, which includes House of Games, Glengarry, Glen Ross, and Heist, so I'll definitely be checking this out. The premise seems to be right up his alley: Underground crime figures force an honest man, a martial arts instructor, to fight in a big-money prize fight.

What Happens in Vegas
A movie based on an advertising slogan, starring two of the least likable performers in Hollywood. No thanks. Or rather, thanks; it's not often a movie so clearly broadcasts the fact that I will absolutely despise it.

Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden
My guess: Probably at McDonalds, enjoying all the food that documentarian Morgan Spurlock featured in his previous feature, Super Size Me. I'll tell you where Bin Laden isn't: In this movie, despite breathless rumors to the contrary after a "super secret" Sundance screening.

The 1938 film Adventures of Robin Hood is one of the best adventure movies ever made, and it's essential viewing for fans of the genre. What to know why Errol Flynn is still revered to this day? Give this a try.


Cover art courtesy of Amazon. ''Lady Marian Fitzswalter: Why, you speak treason! Robin Hood: Fluently.'' Follow me on Twitter. You can also e-mail me at vsrobot [dot] blog [at] gmail [dot] com. Thanks for reading!