April 23: DVD alternatives to this weekend’s multiplex offerings
We know how it is: You’d like to go to the movies this weekend, but all you’ve just gotten yourself artificially inseminated and the doctor said to take it easy. But you can have a multiplex-like experience from the comfort of your own sofa with a collection of the right DVDs. And when someone asks you on Monday, “Hey, did you see The Back-up Plan this weekend?” you can reply, “No, I reminded myself what it’s like to have kids and never be able to go out.”
INSTEAD OF: The Back-up Plan, in which Jennifer Lopez and Alex O’Loughlin meet cute literally moments after she has given up ever finding love and gotten herself artificially inseminated, thereby inventing some sort of new subgenre of the romantic comedy the likes of which we probably could have done quite well without…
WATCH: Baby Mama (2008), in which Tina Fey gives up on ever finding love and hires Amy Poehler to carry a baby for her, just before she meets Greg Kinnear. Or Nine Months (1995), in which commitment phobe Hugh Grant discovers that his girlfriend (Julianne Moore) is pregnant and has to reconsider their relationship. For more of Jennifer Lopez as a woman it’s impossible to believe cannot find a boyfriend, see Maid in Manhattan (2002), in which her working-class gal gets swept off her feet by Ralph Fiennes. For more Alex O’Loughlin, check out the short-lived TV series Moonlight (2007-8), in which he played the world’s nicest, cutest vampire ever.
INSTEAD OF: The Losers, about a team of covert military operatives lead by Jeffrey Dean Morgan who join up with Zoe Saldana to take down the crazy CIA handler (Jason Patric) who left them for dead…
WATCH: Some of MacGyver, the 1985-1992 ABC series about a one-man covert-ops team (Richard Dean Anderson) who largely improvised whatever tools he needed to do a job, to which The Losers makes explicit reference. (The new movie sorta feels like an 80s action show, too.) For more explosions and less sense, see last year’s G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, which is just as preposterous as The Losers but a lot less charming about it. Jason Patric steals The Losers with his deadpan performance as the sociopathic Max; it’s not quite like anything he’s done before, but check him out as a conflicted cop in the excellent Narc (2002) for a look at another side of his talent. Screenwriter Peter Berg has done dark comedy before: in the very black, very funny Very Bad Things (1998), about a gang of guys bachelor-partying in Vegas when something very bad indeed happens.
INSTEAD OF: Oceans, a documentary for the whole family from Disney about the magnificent creatures who live in and near our planet’s great bodies of saltwater, from French filmmakers Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud…
WATCH: Winged Migration (2001), from the same team, an exquisite look at a year in the life of birds all over the world. More nature documentary perfection can be found in the BBC television series Planet Earth (2006), which offers several episodes about life in the water. For fictional aquatic adventure from Disney, kids will enjoy the colorful and sweet Finding Nemo (2003), about a little fish who gets lost, or the classic science fiction tale 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954), in which Kirk Douglas and James Mason explore underwater realms.
Where to buy:
Baby Mama [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Finding Nemo [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
MacGyver: Season One [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Maid in Manhattan [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Moonlight: The Complete Series [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Narc [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Nine Months [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Planet Earth [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Very Bad Things [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Winged Migration [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
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