Media | A2Q Archives | A2Q #58: The "Alibi" Edition | September 30, 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 Levi | Posted September 30, 2008

Out This Week

The 40-year Old Virgin
Several Judd Apatow related films are hitting Blu-ray this week in conjunction with the home video debut of Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Comedies don't really benefit from the jump to high definition in the way action or sci-fi movies do, but if you fall into the Venn diagram sliver of people who want to own these comedies but haven't bought them yet and the people who have invested in BD, then, hey, it's your week!

Daredevil: Director's Cut
A cautionary tale of casting gone awry. Actually, it may be a bit unfair to blame Ben Affleck for this movie; it's not like the writing is any great shakes, plus the costume design makes him look like a leatherboy looking for a hook-up at a biker's bar, and the directing -- particularly in action scenes -- is generic and boring. The film is surely hitting BD this week in an attempt to sponge a bit off of the Iron Man hype. Do I ever feel sorry for the grandmas who are going to be sent out to buy little Timmy "the new comic book hero movie" and come home with this -- and even sorrier for the Timmies. Interestingly, Jon Favreau is part of this train wreck, and I guess he was paying attention in a "what not to do" sort of way since he later directed Iron Man.

Dawn of the Dead (2004)
A zombie must have eaten your brains if you enjoy this loose remake of George Romero's masterpiece, by a pre-300 Zach Snyder. I'm not really sure why people are so excited by the fact that Snyder is making The Watchmen, as both of his movies so far have also been adaptations of previously existing work and both of those were disappointments. 300 has sections that are prettily shot, but it is repetitive and ultimately shallow at it's core, and would have been a much shorter movie without all the annoying slow-motion. Anyway, Dawn of the Dead is just one of the many horror movies hitting BD in a wallet-busting week for horror aficianados.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall
If you saw that 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up were coming out and got excited, then definitely add this one to your queue or cart. If on the other hand you didn't care for those movies, you should avoid this one. Not that they're all the same movie: far from it. However, they share sensibilities and a comedic style, so it makes it easy to say that if you enjoy one, you'll probably enjoy the others.

Iron Man
Making Robert Downey, Jr. into Tony Stark is the most brilliant comic book casting since Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne. Here's a man who's just subversive enough to make the studios nervous, and who possesses the acting chops to give comic book storylines a sense of gravitas that they probably don't deserve. Iron Man had only a short reign as "best comic book movie ever" in the public mindset before The Dark Knight was released and totally lapped it, but just because it's not as good as one of the best movies ever made doesn't mean it's not worth seeing. Second best isn't always first loser.

The Thing
Recently, one of the producers of the video game Dead Space explained that they were influenced by The Thing's creature designs in that the creatures were horrific and monstrous but still retained enough that was recognizably human to accentuate their utter alien wrongness. The Thing, if you haven't seen it, is the masterpiece of the horror of isolation. A small group of scientists in the arctic are slowly taken over by an alien organism that uses their bodies as a host and can appear to be human to those it hasn't infected yet. As a fan of horror in both games and films, I sincerely hope that Dead Space is able to capture at least a portion of what makes The Thing such an outstanding and ingenious work.


Cover art courtesy of Amazon. I know I'm human. And if you were all these things, then you'd just attack me right now, so some of you are still human. This thing doesn't want to show itself, it wants to hide inside an imitation. It'll fight if it has to, but it's vulnerable out in the open. If it takes us over, then it has no more enemies, nobody left to kill it. And then it's won. Follow me on Twitter. You can also e-mail me at vsrobot [dot] blog [at] gmail [dot] com. Thanks for reading!