How to Spend $20
By Kim Hollis
April 28, 2009

The fish needs a higher profile on this show.

Welcome to How to Spend $20, BOP's look at the latest DVDs to hit stores nationwide. This week: a lot of really crappy, uninteresting stuff becomes available on DVD. Seriously, there is hardly anything worth your time, but just in case you're a completionist and desperately need to spend your hard-earned cash, here's a rundown.

For people who prefer their Seth MacFarlane shows to have a plot from beginning to end, rather than a series of random non-sequitors: American Dad: Volume Four

I'm in the rare minority of people who strongly prefer the animated series American Dad to Family Guy. Family Guy rarely makes me laugh, and frankly, my most typical reaction (when I watch, which is rare) is to roll my eyes. Sure, it has its moments (the OJ Simpson bit recently was extremely wrong and yet oh so funny). But generally, I'd rather spend a half hour with Stan Smith and his family.

The main reason for this, as I mentioned, is the fact that American Dad is a much more plot-driven series. And while I admit that most of the shows are forgettable and don't really benefit from repeat viewings, it's an okay way to spend a half an hour. And if you're a big Seth MacFarlane fan, it's a good time to run out and get the latest addition to his oeuvre.

For people who thought 27 Dresses was just the most awesome thing ever!: Bride Wars

I don't even know what to say about this movie. Obviously, it appealed to a certain segment of the population. It opened to $21 million, but sort of struggled along to a $58.6 million total domestically. Chick flicks usually have better staying power.

The problem, of course, seems to be that studios underestimate women when it comes to the movies that target them. In this case, they expect us to believe that every woman who is getting married will behave like Bridezilla - even to the point where they will sabotage a friend's wedding in order to have the more popular event. Put Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway at the forefront, and you've at least got some box office draws to support the notion.

For my part, I think that Bride Wars is most notable for being Hathaway's first post-Oscar nomination film to see theatrical release. I'm betting she'd take that one back if she could.

For people who still have self-respect after watching Beverly Hills Chihuahua: Hotel for Dogs

Don Cheadle, why are you in this movie? Sure, you've been in some crappy stuff in the past, but with your Academy Award nomination for your performance in Hotel Rwanda, you should be long past appearing in kid flicks as the heavy. Surely there's a Steven Soderbergh movie that you could take on instead. Maybe the fact that you've replaced the terminally insane Terrence Howard as Rhodey in the Iron Man franchise will keep you from debasing yourself in the future.

Really, what is there to say about Hotel for Dogs? I love dogs. I love kids. I love Don Cheadle. These three things together do not necessarily make for a movie that anyone should see. Ever.

For people who just can't get enough of the Random Horror Movie of the Week: The Uninvited

I'm pretty sure there have been 972 different horror movies released into theaters so far in 2009. And all of them have looked exactly the same as the ones that came before. I think that The Uninvited is the one where there's like a twin that was never born and it is angry somehow and coming back as a ghost or malevolent spirit to destroy its sibling. Er, no. That's not it. This one seems to involve some sisters, an evil spirit and an even more evil stepmother.

You see what I'm saying. If you just love PG-13 horror, this is your pick of the week. If not, well, there's always next week. Or Wolverine.

For people who don't take themselves too seriously: JCVD

This movie actually got a pretty significant amount of positive attention. It features Jean-Claude Van Damme as...Jean-Claude Van Damme, an actor who has fallen on hard times. He has no cash, his agent can't find him a job, and he's involved in a custody battle over his daughter. He decides that his best move is to go to his homeland in Belgium, where people still see him as something special. As for our friendly hitmen in the movie In Bruges, once in Belgium, things go terribly wrong for our hero.

I might actually consider giving this flick a rental at some point, even if I'm not sure if I have ever seen a Jean-Claude Van Damme film in the past (I'm actually not exaggerating). It's probably the best bet in a week of slim pickings.

April 28, 2009
American Dad: Volume Four (3-DVD Set) (2008)
Bride Wars (2009)
Comics Without Borders: Complete Season One (2-DVD Set) (2008)
Divina Confusion (2008)
Empire of Passion (Criterion Collection) (1980)
The Gray Man (2007)
Hearts of War (2007)
Hotel for Dogs (Full Frame) (2009)
Hotel for Dogs (Widescreen) (2009)
JCVD (2008)
Legally Blondes (2008)
Never Surrender (2009)
Nothing But the Truth (2008)
One Missed Call: Final (2006)
Sex & Lies in Sin City (2008)
Storm Cell (2008)
The Terminators (2009)
The Uninvited (2009)
What Doesn't Kill You (2008)
What's Up, Scarlet? (2005)
While She Was Out (2008)