New to VUDU: Week of November 6th, 2011

Aside from one obvious heavy-hitter (which everyone reading this blog will probably buy on Blu-ray anyway), this is a pretty slow week for VUDU. Oh well, that’s why it’s so nice that the streaming service has such a huge wealth of HD titles in the back catalog to browse through as well.

The following titles enter the VUDU stream this week:

  • ’13’ (11/8)
  • ‘Atlas Shrugged, Part 1’ (11/8)
  • ‘Beethoven’s Christmas Adventure’ (11/8)
  • ‘A Better Tomorrow’ (11/8)
  • ‘The Change-Up’ (11/8)
  • ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2’ (11/11)
  • ‘In My Sleep’ (11/8)
  • ‘LeapFrog: Phonics Farm’ (11/8)
  • ‘Mr. Nice’ (11/11)
  • ‘Restitution’ (11/8)
  • ‘Sarah Palin: You Betcha!’ (11/4)

So, there’s the new ‘Harry Potter‘. It’s nice that VUDU is getting this on the same day as the Blu-ray release, but c’mon, you’re not going to rent this, are you? You probably already have the Blu-ray preordered. This is ownership material.

Perhaps a better candidate for rental would be ‘The Change-Up‘, the comedy starring Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman in a body-swapping switcheroo. Reviews on this weren’t great, but if you’re a fan of either actor, a one-time viewing might be worth a few laughs.

Try to follow this one: ‘A Better Tomorrow‘ is the 2010 South Korean remake of John Woo’s 1986 Hong Kong action classic, which was itself a knock-off of Brian De Palma’s ‘Scarface’, which was in turn a remake of a 1932 gangster film. And yet, with all that, the trailer (sorry, I couldn’t find an embeddable one with subtitles) looks like a pretty generic Asian action flick. I have the original Woo film on DVD. The disc looks like crap, but I think I’d rather watch that again than this.

Political-minded viewers might find interest in ‘Sarah Palin: You Betcha!‘, the new documentary by British filmmaker Nick Broomfield (‘Heidi Fleiss: Hollywood Madam’, ‘Biggie & Tupac’) that tries to find the real woman beneath the public persona. Critical consensus has it that he doesn’t find much there, which is a real problem for both the subject and the movie. The trailer makes it look like he’s trying to pull a Michael Moore on her. I’ll let you form your own opinion on whether that appeals to you or not.

Sigh. If this were a busier week, I wouldn’t even acknowledge this one. But, alas, here we have it. A bunch of followers of controversial writer, political blowhard and :ahem: philosopher Ayn Rand’s “Objectivism” teachings somehow raised enough cash to throw together a low-budget, three-part film production of her famous novel ‘Atlas Shrugged‘. On the one hand, I kind of have to respect their passion and commitment to do right by something they believe in. On the other hand, I read Rand’s other famous novel, ‘The Fountainhead’, years ago, and that was more than I ever want to deal with her. Also, the trailer looks really, really amateurish.

Josh’s Random VUDU Pick:

OK, so let’s dig into that VUDU catalog to find something more interesting to rent, shall we? This week, I’ll stick with the political theme and go for ‘Primary Colors‘, director Mike Nichols’ 1998 film version of the best-selling novel by journalist Joe Klein. The story is a thinly-fictionalized account of Bill Clinton’s first Presidential campaign. Nichols uses his skill as a dramatist to tone down some of the muckraking, and delivers an interesting look behind-the-scenes at what it really takes to get a man elected President in this country. Also, it’s funny, though it’s not the broad, goofy comedy that the studio tried to market it as. This is probably the director’s most underrated film, and one of the few post-‘Pulp Fiction’ performances by John Travolta that I can stand.

All dates provided refer specifically to rental availability. Check VUDU for sell-through availability, if interested. Be sure to also check for VUDU’s $0.99 Movie of the Day offers, which are announced each day on the company’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

1 comment

  1. JM

    I’m surprised you didn’t go with ‘Wag The Dog’ or ‘Charlie Wilson’s War.’

    ‘Primary Colors’ always seemed less interesting than the source material.

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