Welcome to Adventures in Poor Taste’s weekly movie review roundup. I’ll be posting a slathering of movie reviews each week to give folks a healthy helping of what’s good and not so good. New and old, the reviews cover anything from the pleasantly innocent Winnie The Pooh to disturbingly twisted Salo or the 120 Days of Sodom.

This week I’ve decided to gather all of my recent reviews of movies that have hit DVD/Blu-Ray in the last month or so. I give you permission to print this page out and bring to your DVD purchasing establishment to help you pick up that last minute Christmas gift for any type of loved one. I even slapped a snazzy recommendation on each movie. Or if you hate family, anything that ends in “-mas”, or need something to curl up to that’s brand spanking new, this list works too!


For the Artsy sibling or the parent who’s really totally “understanding this Glee thing and loves theater”:
Bunraku; DVD Release November 1, 2011



“Never used one wire while shooting that movie” Bunraku star Josh Hartnett lied.

It may feel cheap due to the cardboard sets and crazy color choices for lighting, but this film grows on you, requiring a good amount of patience to understand and enjoy. The choreographed fighting never cuts away, which is rare these days, and while the style of this fantasy world is jarring, that’s the whole point. It gets points for daring, but isn’t for everyone.

Grade: B+


For the Ryan Gosling loving girlfriend/wife who won’t shut up about him:
Crazy, Stupid, Love; DVD Release November 1, 2011


Gosling is great and the movie does a good job keeping things fresh and interesting. Unfortunately, it turns into a crazy, stupid romantic comedy about 10 minutes to conclusion. Not bad considering 99% of this genre.

Grade: B


For that manic uncle who won’t stop talking about politics. This will shut him up:
Putty Hill; DVD Release November 8, 2011



Even the manic Charlie Sheen can be tamed by this film. Especially if he’s your uncle.

This movie should be subtitled, “Introspection: ‘Nuff Said”. Characters are asked tough questions by a omnipotent off camera voice (you never do see who it is) asking hard questions after a teenager they loved died. It’s very slow, but when it comes to introspection, does it come at any other speed?

Grade: B+


For the movie goer who sees everything 2 weeks before it opens wide release:
Beginners; DVD Release November 15, 2011


If you feel something it has to be right. Creative story telling at its best.

Grade: A


For the angry teenage sibling: (Warning: Nude bits present)
Bellflower; DVD Release November 15, 2011



Don’t let this photo fool you. The movie is badass and not “mylittleponycarebearawesome”. Goddamn Websters adding new “words”.

You’re all like, “what the?” then the movie goes, “right?” and you’re all, “no way dude?” and the movie is like, “whoa right!” and you’re all, “shut up. This makes no sense” and the movie is all, “no really!” and you’re all, “whatever dude!” Then somebody blows their brains out.

Grade: C


For anyone who lifts weights and/or rolls a mean 20 sided die:
Conan the Barbarian; DVD Release November 22, 2011



This single image is more awesome than the 196,620 frames that make up the film. That’s 114 minutes broken down to 29 frames per second for you fact checkers.

Good story and action for about 20 minutes. Then all plot (black)holes. The greatest achievement of this film is the scope of the world. I wish the movie didn’t bomb and they’d go further with it in a sequel.

Grade: C


For the relative who just “loves the shots!”:
Super 8; DVD Release November 22, 2011


It’s clear Spielberg (who produced Super 8) came up with many of the ideas as they harken back to Goonies and ET. But JJ Abrams brings the sense of mystery and whimsy important in these kid casted adventures. It falls a bit flat at the end due to sappiness and convenient plot twists, but it’s a good movie.

Grade: B


For that special person who watches tons of horror movies and needs a good laugh at the genre:
Tucker and Dale vs. Evil; DVD Release November 29, 2011


Something new that works in the horror-comedy genre? Sign me up. Teenage kids think two hillbillies are killers when in fact they’re killing themselves due to failing at the mantra “fear nothing but fear itself”. Proof ignorance sometimes isn’t bliss. Especially with a weed-wacker to the face. Ouch.

Grade: B+


For that teenage girl who loves Colin Farrel because “he’s so bad!”:
Fright Night; December 13, 2011



Colin Farrel is even HOTTER than this ball of flame. You see what I did there?

Instead of a taught horror-comedy, the producers spit out a semi-horror-thriller-teen-blah drama. This of course gets the viewer into the action faster and thus not care one bit about the characters…AKA you’re bored half to death because, why bother?

Grade: C


For anyone. Yeah, even that old bat you call “Grandma” who has cats in her eyes…er, cataracts.
Kung Fu Panda 2; DVD Release December 13, 2011


Just beautifully done. Nothing beats the combo of stuffy tradition with the silly Jack Black panda Po. Kung-fu master additions of Van Damme and Michelle Yeoh with Gary Oldman as the villain and it all comes together nicely.

Grade: A


For the book lover who’s well read:
Midnight In Paris; DVD Release December 20, 2011


Has the fun and adventure of Vicky Cristina Barcelona but in this case the social commentary replaces the melodrama. Also it contains time travel and Hemingway. A movie that’s definitely different fair.

Grade: A


For the action aficionado:
Columbiana; DVD Release December 20



Star of Columbiana: Zoë “Boom-Shakalaka” Saldana.

Frequently fun, decent enough story, but it falls victim to too much exposition of the why she must enact revenge and not enough boom-boom. Zoë Saldana is kicking ass and taking names.

Grade: B-

I think that covers every organism you may interact with over the holidays. If not, may I suggest running from them. That’s not your long lost cousin. That would be a hill person.