How to Spend $20
By David Mumpower
July 12, 2011

Best Greek chorus ever.

Welcome to How to Spend $20, BOP’s look at the latest Blu-ray discs and DVDs to hit stores nationwide. This week: lawyers shun office space, lizards try to drink the water, and Dame Helen Mirren channels Sir John Gielgud.

For people who have had their fair share of bad legal advice: The Lincoln Lawyer

Some story premises are sillier than others. Take for example The Lincoln Lawyer, titled thusly because the lead character operates professionally from the back of his Lincoln Town Car. Folks, I think this should go without saying, but if your attorney's office is mobile, he's probably not going to win your case. Never trust anyone operating out of the back of their car. Really, that goes for any profession save for Lincoln automotive salesperson. Or hooker.

Well reviewed and a solid box office performer, The Lincoln Lawyer is a John Grisham film that John Grisham didn't write. Most closely comparable to A Time to Kill but with elements tying it to The Rainmaker and The Firm as well, this is a title I warmly recommend for people looking for a glossier version of a television legal drama. It's an imperfect movie that tells a solid story in a straightforward, formulaic way that reinforces why this genre is so popular. When done well, it's always engaging.

For people looking for the next Saw: Insidious

Saw notable James Wan is culpable for the (thankfully) brief gorno phase that overwhelmed the horror genre for a while. With Insidious, he reinvents himself with this clever take on supernatural horror themes. While astral projection as a concept may not be for everyone, Insidious is the rare horror title that makes critics enjoy. It is also a strong candidate to be the most lucrative box office performer of the year relative to budget. Made for a paltry $1.5 million, Insidious has earned a glorious $53.7 million domestically and roughly $90 million globally. Say what you will about Wan, he understands what the audience wants and he delivers it in an easily consumed, enjoyable package. Insidious is one of the buzz movies of 2011 and one you will definitely need to check out.

For people who enjoy fantasizing about Katy Perry's low standards for significant others: Arthur

Yes, I'm sure you were expecting a moon/New York City joke there and yes, I considered it. Frankly, the mere existence of a remake of Arthur is divisive enough subject matter to warrant an entire column. Suffice to say that a 2011 version of Arthur exists for a reason. There is tremendous name recognition to the Dudley Moore classic that uproariously examined the travails of drunken British playboy. The problem a remake faces is that in the social media era, we do not need a movie to explore such themes. We have Twitter for that. As such, the mediocre box office performance of Arthur is unsurprising to everyone but those who greenlighted the remake in the first place. The movie has earned only $33 million domestically against a $40 million and this is in spite in the fact that the principal leads, Russell Brand and Helen Mirren, represent a casting masterstroke. Alas, the movie itself lacks that certain magic expected of a remake of one of the best comedies of the 1980s. Arthur is a funny concept re-made in a worst case scenario manner yet still worthy of checking out due to the presence of Mirren in the role for which Sir John Gielgud won an Oscar. This is a great compromise choice when you're negotiating with friends.

Pick of the Week:

For people who always wondered what Chinatown would look like as an animated movie: Rango

BOP's Matthew Huntley asserted in his review of Rango that it has unexpected connections to Chinatown permeating throughout the story. I thought he *had* to be exaggerating about that right up until I saw the film. To my utter shock, Rango, which I thought looked weird, is a cinephile's dream. A treasure trove of classic celluloid references are sprinkled throughout the proceedings of this ultra-quirky family film that's much more for parents than for kids. Well, I say that but the outrageously odd characters in Rango must be hypnotic to children as their parents laugh at what is unquestionably the movie that best represents Johnny Depp's eccentric personality. So strange a movie that it spawned several staff debates about the weirdest movies to earn over $100 million domestically, Rango has proven to be a crowd pleaser due to its self-awareness. Rather than pretend to be like all of the other recent animated blockbusters that function as comfort food rather than novel cinema, Rango dares to be different and the payoff is extreme. I think it will wind up in my top 10 for 2011 and I warmly recommend it not just as the pick of the week but as one of the best movies of Depp's illustrious career. All is forgiven for Alice in Wonderland, dude.

New releases for the week of July 12, 2011:


2012: Ice Age
Aerosmith: You Gotta Move Live!
Air War: Vietnam 1964-1972
Alice In Chains: Music Bank - The Videos
Alice In Chains: Unplugged
Allison & Lillia Generation 2
America's Test Kitchen: 11th Season
Animal Atlas: Animal 123s
Animal Atlas: Animal ABCs
B.B. King: Live
Barney: 1,2,3 Learn
Battle Beyond The Stars
Beer Patrol: I'd Rather Be Homeless Than a Liberal
Belly Dance: Body, Mind & Soul
Best of Big Bust Covergirls 5: Big Busted Divas
Best of Caillou: Caillou Goes Back to School
A Big Box of Cowboys, Aliens, Robots & Death Rays (Set)
Blood Shed
Bob Dylan: Other Side of the Mirror / Newport Folk (Double Feature)
The Boss
Brainy Baby: Music (Deluxe Edition)
Brainy Baby: Spanish (Deluxe Edition)
Brainy Baby: Talking Hands (Deluxe Edition)
Brother's Justice
Brother's Justice (DVD +)
Buster Keaton: Short Films Collection 1920-1923
Caliber 9
Caminos Perdidos (Spanish)
Card Subject to Change
Celine Dion: All The Way Decade
Charles Bronson Collection
Classic Westerns Collector's Set Volume 3
The Color Purple (2 Disc Collector's Edition)
Cult Classics Collection
Curse Of Puppet Master: The Human Experiment
Cypress Hill: Live
Damages: The Complete Third Season
Damnation Alley
Damnation Alley
Dark Moon Trilogy Collection (Set)
David Bowie: The Road to the Railway (Widescreen)
Dead Enders
Defcon 2012
Delinquent Girl Bosses: Collection (Set)
Derek Trucks Band: Songlines Live
Dinocroc vs. Supergator
Dinocroc vs. Supergator
Dora the Explorer: Dora's Big Party Pack (Set)
Dr. Loris Moscas 3 Keys To Heart Health
Dr. Who: The Awakening
Dr. Who: The Gunfighters
Drop Box
Eckhart: The Complete Series (Special Edition)
Elvis 4-Pack Volume 1
Elvis: #1 Hit Performances
Entourage: The Complete Seventh Season
Entourage: The Complete Seventh Season
ER: The Complete Fifteenth Season
Eurotech Tour
Fable: Teeth of Beasts
Fabulous Betty White Collection (Set)
Figaro: Living In The Moment Of A Character (Widescreen)
Foo Fighters: Back and Forth
Foreigner: Live
Foreigner: Live
Frankenstein's Cat: The Complete Series (Special Edition)
Frozen Kiss
George Romero's Deadtime Stories Volume 1
Ghostbusters: So Much Fun It's Spooky
God's Bloody Acre / Tomcats (Double Feature)
Gordon Glass
Gordon the Garden Gnome
Gordon the Garden Gnome (Limited Edition)
Groovie Goolies
Helicopter War: 1964-1972
Heroes of Horror Collection (Boxed Set)
Hollywood Bombshells (Boxed Set)
The Italian Connection
James Taylor: Live at the Beacon Theatre
John Denver: Wildlife Concert
Journey: Greatest Hits 1978-1997
Journey: Live in Houston 1981 Escape Tour
Judgment In Berlin
Killer Weekend
Knights Club
La Grania De Los Zombies (Spanish)
Last of the Summer Wine: Vintage 1990
The Lincoln Lawyer (DVD +)
The Lincoln Lawyer
Looking for Sophia
Luther Vandross: Live at Wembley
Mad Mad Mad Monsters
The Man Who Collected Food
Martina McBride / Train: CMT Crossroads
Megadeth: That One Night - Live In Buenos Aires
Memoirs of a Lady Ninja 2
MI-5: Volume 9
Midnight Horror Collection: Puppet Master Volume 2 (Set)
Minty: The Assassin (Widescreen)
Miracles of Nature: Extreme Habitats
Miracles of Nature: Unique Island Destinations
Naked (Criterion Collection)
Naruto Shippuden: Box Set 7 (Set)
National Geographic Classics: Oceans
Netrebko / Polenzani / Levine / Metropolitan Opera
Nova: Power Surge
Pared De Cecilia (Spanish)
Pastor Jones Chronicles
Perras (Spanish)
Poirot: The Movie Collection 6
Por Ellas Perdi La Cabeza (Spanish)
Puccini: Turandot
Puppet Master 4
Puppet Master 5: The Final Chapter
A Question of Justice
Rage Against The Machine: Live At The Grand...
Rango (DVD +)
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Higher Ground (Widescreen)
Ring of Fire (IMAX)
Robin Gibb: In Concert with The Danish Choir
Robot Chicken Star Wars: Episode III
Robot Chicken Star Wars: Episode III
Roger Corman Drive-In (6-Disc Set)
Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer
Secrets of the Dead: World's Biggest Bomb
Sherlock Holmes Collection (6-Disc Set)
Silver Screen Cowboys (6-Disc Set)
Sociedad Mortal Collection (Boxed Set)
Spirit of Bellydance
Spreading Ground
Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble: Pride & Joy
Stevie Ray Vaughan: Live at Montreux 1982 & 1985
Stevie Ray Vaughan: Live from Austin, Texas
Stevie Ray Vaughn: Live At The El Mocambo
Strip Tease
Surviving The Cut
The Sweet Life
Tale of Two Cities: Circuit City Story
TCM Greatest Classic Films Legends: Burt Lancaster (Set)
TCM Greatest Classic Films Legends: Lucille Ball (Set)
TCM Greatest Classic Films: Literary Romance (Set)
TCM Greatest Classic Films: Shakespeare (Set)
TCM Greatest Classic Legends: Elizabeth Taylor (Set)
Theatre of Tragedy: Last Curtain Call (Music CD +)
The Third Wave
Thomas: Thomas in Charge
Thundercats: Season One, Volume One
To Be Twenty (Subtitled)
Totally Trucks: Dirt Monsters
Totally Trucks: Fire Monsters
Totally Trucks: Garbage Monsters
Totally Trucks: Metal Monsters
Treasure Chest and Her Busty Friends
Tropical Rainforest (IMAX)
Ultimate Comedy Tour Live: Rodney Perry
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
Urmana / Scandiuzzi: Verdi Aida
Various Artists: Los Amigos Desde El Rancho Vol 2
Veggie Tales Royalty Collection
Vietnam: Air War
Waking Madison
The Wars of the Roses: A Bloody Crown (Widescreen)
Waylon Jennings: Nashville Rebel
White Irish Drinkers
Women in Prison Triple Feature (Triple Feature)
World War II Commando Collection (Set)
WWE Rey Mysterio: The Life of a Masked Man
Yo Gabba Gabba: Party In A Box! (Set)
[Rec] 2 (Widescreen)


2012: Ice Age
B.B. King: Live
Battle Beyond The Stars
Brother's Justice
Buster Keaton: Short Films Collection 1920-1923
Damnation Alley
Dinocroc vs. Supergator
Entourage: The Complete Seventh Season
Foo Fighters: Back and Forth
Foreigner: Live
Judgment In Berlin
Killer Weekend
Knights Club
The Lincoln Lawyer
Megadeth: That One Night - Live In Buenos Aires
Miracles of Nature: Extreme Habitats
Miracles of Nature: Unique Island Destinations
Miracles of Nature: Unique Travel Destinations
Netrebko / Polenzani / Levine / Metropolitan Opera
Poirot: The Movie Collection 6
Ring of Fire (IMAX)
Robot Chicken Star Wars: Episode III
Spreading Ground
Tropical Rainforest (IMAX)
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
White Irish Drinkers