Wednesday, September 30, 2009

DVD Releases: September 29, 2009

I plan to catch up with two of this weeks releases – Jennifer Aniston in Management and Kevin Spacey in Shrink – on DVD this weekend, but the three movies that I have seen that are available this week are all worth watching in their own way. We have the latest from Sam Mendes and Steven Soderbergh – two of the best directors in the world right now – and a fun little animated movie. So, there is no shortage of things to watch.

Away We Go *** ½
From Sam Mendes, director of American Beauty, Road to Perdition, Jarhead and Revolutionary Road, makes this uncharacteristically sweet comedy. John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph play a couple in their 30s, who have never married, who travel around the country once they discover Rudolph is pregnant, to try and find the place that they should stay. They drop in on various friends and family members, and find dysfunction everywhere. Krasinski and Rudolph are wonderful as the “straight men”, but it’s the supporting cast - including Jeff Daniels, Catherine O’Hara, Allison Janney, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Melanie Lynsky and Paul Schneider - that truly shines. This movie did not receive the credit it deserved when it played in theaters, but should gain a following on DVD. For my original review please see:

The Girlfriend Experience *** ½
Steven Soderbergh’s first film this year, is this low budget movie starring real life porn star Sasha Grey as a high class prostitute. The film is really about capitalism, and how in this world we are all either pimps or johns. There is very little difference between Grey and what she does and what her boyfriend - a personal trainer does - they both trade on shallow, superficial vanity. I like it when Soderbergh does something this small and unexpected. While the movie is not one of his masterpieces, it is, like almost everything he does, very interesting. For my original review please see:

Monsters Vs. Aliens ***
This entertaining animated kids movie will certainly loose some of its effect on DVD (no matter how good your system is) as on the big screen in 3-D this was quite entertaining. But even on the small screen, you can appreciate its colorful look, and the great vocal work by Seth Rogen, Will Arnett, Hugh Laurie and Stephen Colbert (Rainn Wilson and Reese Witherspoon are also quite good, just not as good as the other three). This is a very fun movie that kids will watch over and over again. For my original review please see:

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