Remember how I've been telling you for the last couple weeks that things are going to get better in the DVD department? BOOM! Here it is.
Set against the backdrop of the Cold War, "First Class" tells the story of the formation of the X-Men and the contentious relationship between Doctor Charles Xavier (McAvoy) and Erik Lehnserr (Fassbender). One of the very best summer blockbusters this year had to offer, "First Class" is an advanced course in how to do a prequel the right way. Solid story, awesome action, and one top notch performance (Fassbender). I would say it's one of the best super hero movies ever.
In Home Viewing Recommendation: "First Class" comes highly recommended. Check this one out ASAP if you missed it in theaters.
Hanna (2011) - Saorise Ronan, Eric Bana, Cate Blanchett
After spending the first 16 years of her life training in a remote cabin with her father (Bana), a would-be assassin (Ronan) is turned loose in order to track down a CIA agent (Blanchett). "Hanna" got generally positive reviews but if truth be told, an exciting concept and a few great action scenes were not enough to keep me from HATING this film. Noisy, distracting, and much more creepy than I'd have liked. The more I've thought about "Hanna", the more I've come to dislike it and I don't think you could pay me to see it again.
IHVR: Bear in mind that my feelings toward this film were DEFINITELY in the minority. There's no question that it's a well made film but know the risks up front.
Everything Must Go (2010) - Will Ferrell, Rebecca Hall, Christopher Jordan Wallace
After a particularly rough bender, a man (Ferrell) returns home to find that his wife has moved all of his possessions on to the front lawn and changed the locks. Instead of loading up and moving out, he holds an extended garage sale while sleeping outside. I've been saying it for years and it's time for the rest of the world to get on board: Will Ferrell is an EXCELLENT actor. Yes, he resorts to his comfortable man-child role more often than not but when given the chance to stretch himself a bit, he generally delivers. Personally, I can't wait to see this film and I'm expecting good things.
IHVR: I think this film is worth your time even if you're not a ridiculously loyal Ferrell fan like me.
The Office: Season 7 (2010) - Steve Carell, John Krasinski, Rainn Wilson
At one point my very favorite TV show, I think we can all admit "The Office" has fallen off a bit over the last few years. Season Seven, while not a full return to the glory of Season Three, was a quality year and a definite upgrade over the last couple of seasons. In fact, I'd say Michael Scott's exit from Dunder Mifflin is one of the better episodes the show has ever done. Overall, this season is good, not great, but definitely worthwhile.
IHVR: If, like several of my friends, you gave up on "The Office" during the lackluster fifth or sixth season, this is a good time to pick it back up.
Community: Season 2 (2010) - Joel McHale, Allison Brie, Donald Glover
This sitcom, centering around a group of students at a community college, is quite the enigma. On some levels it is complete and total genius filled with intelligence, witty references, and well defined characters. But then every fourth or fifth episode is a complete dud that sours my appetite and forces me to let the episodes stack up on my DVR before I jump back in. If you were to take the top 15 episodes from the season and pretend the others didn't exist, "Community" is incredible. As it is, though...
IHVR: In the defense of "Community", it is one of those shows that plays better on DVD than it does in a week-to-week format. At least two episodes from last year (the DND ep and the season finale) are PERFECT and those alone make this a worthwhile endeavor.
Fringe: Season 3 (2010) - Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble
The little sci-fi show that just won't quit, "Fringe" is a favorite of mine and one that truly deserves the attention it is slowly starting to garner. The stories are dynamic and engrossing, it features quality acting, and it keeps you guessing from one week to the next. In my mind this is the best true sci-fi show since "The X-Files" (excluding "Firefly").
IHVR: Definitely should check this out if you have any interest in sci-fi/thrillers. But, do yourself a favor and watch the first two seasons before this one. Some shows you can start off at any point and pick it up; "Fringe" isn't one of them.
Pick of the Week
None of the new Blu Rays piqued my interest this week so I'm devoting extra attention to...
Last week I called "Sons of Anarchy" the best show on television and I stand by that. "Parks and Rec" is the best comedy on television and really, it's not even close. The run that this show has been on since the mid point of Season Two is comparable to that of "Arrested Development", my hands down favorite show of all time. This show is absolutely HILARIOUS and it pretty much never misses. I'm begging you to give this a chance if you've been ignoring it and here's why: when "Arrested Development" was still on the air and wanting for viewers, I was telling everyone who would listen that the show was amazing and they needed to watch it. No one listened to me, it got cancelled at least two seasons too early, and now, seven years after it went off the air, all people do is talk about how great the show was and wonder how it got cancelled. I'm terrified that this exact fate awaits "Parks and Recreation" and honestly, I'm not sure I can take it. Don't let me down, dear readers.
IHVR: Seasons 1 and 2 are on Netflix Instant. It starts off slow but so did "The Office" and I think that show more than paid back the patience of early viewers. Just watch this show. Do it now.
Last Night (2010) - Sam Worthington, Keira Knightley
Criminal Minds: Season 6 (2010) - Joe Mantegna, Thomas Gibson
Two and a Half Men: Season 8 (2010) - Jon Cryer, Charlie Sheen
No Ordinary Family: The Complete Series (2010) - Michael Chiklis, Julie Benz
New to Blu
Scarface (1983) - Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer
Straw Dogs (1971) - Dustin Hoffman, Susan George
The Caine Mutiny (1954) - Humphrey Bogart, Jose Ferrer
United 93 (2006) - David Alan BascheOlivia Thirlby
40 Days and 40 Nights (2002) - Josh Hartnett, Shannyn Sossamon