Media | DVD Releases | October 16, 2007: Welcome to this week's robo-tastic home video releases, focused entirely on the American market. Sorry, rest of the world.

Roundup by | Posted October 15, 2007

Pick of the week

Grindhouse Presents: Planet Terror
Finally, you can recreate the double-feature experience in the privacy of your own home. Of course, you lose out on some of the awesome faux-trailers created for the theatrical experience, but you can look forward to those when you shell out to rebuy this flick as part of a set with its counterpart at some later date. Hollywood hates you, haven't you heard? I think Death Proof, which was released a few weeks ago, was the better half of the double feature, but I hate to suggest that this film is anything but awesome.

Also out this week

They turned a beloved '80s cartoon into military porn. Doesn't bother me a bit, though -- I can enjoy this as pure spectacle, and it's not like they ruined something sacred, like Go-Bots. Man, those Rock Lords sure were awesome. And who could forget Cy-kill! Yes, two decades years later, jilted Go-Bots fans finally get the last laugh.

Crazy Love
Ah, love is in the air! The same old story: Boy meets girl, boy is obsessed with girl, boy attacks girl by throwing acid in her face, boy wins girl's heart, boy marries girl! Sorry, did I spoil the ending for you?

The true story of a hoax biography of Howard Hughes. So.. fiction, basically. Yeah, I don't know why they made this into a movie either.

AKA Emo: The Movie. "No one notices me because I'm the disembodied spirit of a boy who is dying hidden in a ditch somewhere! Guess I'll listen to some Fallout Boy and cut myself. Or maybe I'll try and solve the mystery of my own murder! That'll be original."

A Mighty Heart
Yet another disturbing true story hits home video this week. Sadly, this movie got more media attention for the make-up effects Angelina Jolie employs to portray a woman with a different racial background, but it should have been considered noteworthy for the heartbreaking story told within.

Normal Adolescent Behavior
This movie is billed as sequel to Havoc, a 2005 film notable for being the movie where Anne Hathaway shed her squeaky clean Princess Diaries Disney image by appearing nude in several sexually explicit scenes. However, this movie originally had nothing to do with Havoc -- it was a Lifetime original movie acquired by New Line Cinema and retitled to exploit the name recognition of the first film. That's exactly the sort of class and tastefulness we've come to expect from the movie industry!

Welcome the Oscar-winning Hilary Swank slumming it in a generic religious-themed horror movie. This bland take on an old genre might be a good way to kill a small amount of time if you really like films of this ilk. Just don't go into it expecting anything on the level of Rosemary's Baby or the original Omen.


Mythbusters is the clear highlight this week. A concept so great you wonder why no one thought of it sooner: Two geeky guys do clever science experiments attempting to either prove or disprove common urban legends -- for example, the notion that a penny dropped from a great height could kill a person on the ground. If you want to know, you have to watch!

High-Def Alert: The World of Blu-Ray and HD DVD

There's really only one high-def movie of note this week, and it's Transformers. Sure, some of the other releases may be better films, but only Transformers seems likely to take full advantage of the higher visual and audio fidelity offered by the next-generation home media formats. Aaaaand it's an HD-DVD exclusive. I'll be stuck watching it on a standard DVD upscaled to 1080i due to this ridiculous and never-ending format war.

Fall Children: Halloween on DVD

The only movie featured in this section I've seen before is a previous release of Hollow Man, and there's no chance I'll be watching that one again. Directed by the Dutch film maker Paul Verhoeven (who is capable of making masterpieces of American cinema like Robocop and Starship Troopers along with utter shite like Showgirls and Basic Instinct), Hollow Man is firmly on the "shite" side of his ouevre. However, like all of his bad movies, it offers just enough interesting ideas and exploitative titillation to make it worth watching at least once.

Once again, you'll find a lot of new DTV (direct-to-video) horror movies out this week, all clearly hoping to entice you into making them a part of your Halloween horror movie marathon.

Can you think of any other film-makers capable of such extremes in quality output as Paul Verhoeven? Let us know in the forums.

Prepared with the assistance of The Digital Bits, a wonderfully comprehensive home media site, and cover art courtesy of Amazon, where you can purchase any of these titles. Rent all of the movies covered in the column online at Netflix. We recommend waiting until the format war is over before investing in an HD player, but if you have to do it right away our money is on Blu-ray. Be sure to PM the author via the forums if you have any suggestions for the column. What a terrible night for a curse. Thanks for reading!