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Watchlist

Notable DVD releases for February 19th

By Max Braden

February 21, 2013

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Every week, I search through movie release schedules to find movie rentals that I would have otherwise missed for lack of TV advertising. I'll watch the big name releases along with everyone else, but I know from experience that sometimes the box office failures, critically panned, straight-to-DVD, and independently financed movies that nobody's heard of can offer some real hidden gems. As they say, one man's trash is another man's treasure. This column is dedicated to bringing awareness to those potential treasures. Listed alphabetically, each movie includes a list of notable cast members, a basic plot summary, its DVD and/or cloud release date (based on Netflix - other services may have the movie earlier), and the basic reason why the movie caught my attention. With any luck, one or more of these will catch your attention, too. My four picks of the week are listed at the end of the column.

Here's my watchlist of DVD and cloud releases for the week of February 19th:


Death Race 3: Inferno
Who: Luke Goss, Ving Rhames, Danny Trejo, Dougray Scott
What: Prison inmates are exploited for a game: Race Mad-Max-style cars for a chance at freedom...or death. Goss returns as the driver from Death Race 2, which was actually a prequel to the first movie that starred Jason Statham. Rhames returns as a corporate villain.
When: February 19th - DVD, streaming, and VUDU
Why: Basically a dirtier version of the Fast & Furious series, the appeal of this series is about watching cars race and crash. I like Goss as an action star, and still try to catch Rhames and Trejo whenever I can.


End of Watch
Who: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena, Anna Kendrick, America Ferrera, Cody Horn, written and directed by David Ayer
What: Gyllenhaal and Pena play patrol officers as close as brothers, who get deeper and deeper into some nasty criminal activity in LA. Kendrick and Ferrera play their wives.
When: February 19th - DVD and VUDU
Why: This is one of my top picks of the year, mostly because of the chemistry between Gyllenhaal and Pena. It's also another good, gritty cop movie from Ayer.


For a Good Time, Call
Who: Ari Graynor, Lauren Miller, Nia Vardalos, Mark Webber, Justin Long, Seth Rogen, Mimi Rogers, Kevin Smith
What: An R-rated comedy starring Lauren Miller and Ari Graynor as frenemies who move in together and become BFFs after getting into the phone sex business.
When: February 19th
Why: I like Graynor, so I'm happy to see her in a raunchy role. Long and the others have smaller roles (Rogen and Miller are married in real life), and I'd be interested in seeing what they bring.




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For Ellen
Who: Paul Dano, Jon Heder, Jena Malone, Margarita Levieva, Dakota Johnson, Shaylena Mandigo
What: An indie drama starring Paul Dano as a musician in a custory battle who decides to connect with his young daughter.
When: February 19th - DVD, streaming, and VUDU
Why: I'd rent this for Malone, Levieva, and Johnson (daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith) who I thought was great in the tv series Ben & Kate.


Fun Size
Who: Victoria Justice, Jane Levy, Thomas McDonell, Chelsea Handler, Johnny Knoxville, Ana Gasteyer
What: A one-crazy-night teen comedy about a girl (Victoria Justice) who loses her brother on Halloween and has to track him down with the help of some friends. Handler and Gasteyer play moms, and Knoxville plays the villain.
When: February 19th - DVD and VUDU
Why: This looks like a mix of Project X and Adventures in Babysitting - if it's the latter, I'd be interested. Knoxville amuses me in his non-Jackass movie roles. I don't watch Suburgatory, but Levy is in that, and Justice is a known Nickelodeon star. It's PG-13, so parents might find it a safe choice.


Sinister
Who: Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, Fred Thompson, Vincent D'Onofrio
What: Hawke plays a true-crime writer who moves his family into an old house where murders took place. It's a slasher film. Of course he investigates. Of course bad things start happenning to his family. Thompson plays a sheriff, D'Onofrio plays an expert in the occult.
When: February 19th - DVD and VUDU
Why: I'm not a big fan of supernatural slashers, but hey, this one has former actor/former Senator Fred Thompson.


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