May 1: DVD alternatives to this weekend’s multiplex offerings

We all know how it is. You’d like to get out to see a new movie this weekend, but you neglected to buy Wolverine tickets two weeks ago and anyway, that Maypole you erected in the yard ain’t gonna dance around itself. But you can have something close to that multiplex experience at home with the proper application of rental DVDs. In fact, you might even be able to one-up everyone else at the watercooler come Monday, because while they’re saying, “Hey, can you believe how awful that new Matthew McConaughey ghost movie is?” you can respond, “Hey, I worked to save civilization from an angry undead berserker Charles Dickens instead.”
INSTEAD OF: Battle for Terra, the sweet, earnest animated movie about a human invasion of a peaceful alien world so we can steal their air and water and beauty and stuff…

RENT: Enemy Mine, the 1985 science fiction flick in which Dennis Quaid’s human astronaut and Louis Gossett Jr.’s alien astronaut are foes forced to team up for survival when they crash on a deserted, barren planet. It mirrors the primary relationship of Terra: Evan Rachel Wood’s alien teenager and Luke Wilson’s human invader, who overcome their mistrust of each other to join forces to save her world. For the kiddies, rent 1992’s FernGully: The Last Rainforest, in which fairy folk fight off human invaders who want to log out their land.

INSTEAD OF: Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, in which Matthew McConaughey’s manwhore sleazes his way through a fantastical journey through the diaster of his sex life on the eve of his brother’s wedding (which he’s already ruined)…

RENT: Any version of A Christmas Carol, on which this appalling excuse for a movie is riffing, so we can appease the ghost of Charles Dickens and prevent him from rising from the grave and going on an unstoppable zombie rampage to satisfy his aggrieved spirit. If you really must replicate the Matthew McConaughey oilslick that passes for romantic comedy, try 2001’s The Wedding Planner, which is supposed to be romantic even though it’s about ripping apart someone else’s happiness, as Jennifer Lopez falls in love with the groom of her latest project (McConaughey, of course).

INSTEAD OF: X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the backstory for Hugh Jackman’s adamantine-clawed, rage-filled, unkillable mutant hottie…

RENT: X-Men, obviously, the 2000 flick that remains one of the best comic-book movies ever made (and the one that kicked off the current cycle of grim, angst-ridding, dark-spirited superhero movies) — the Wolverine we see here is the one we’re getting the background on in the new flick. If you just need more Hugh Jackman beefcake, go for last year’s Australia, which is just as beefcakey (and maybe more so), features his luscious Australian accent, and doesn’t feature that bizarre mutant hairdo.

Where to rent:

Rent DVDs by mail from, As Low As $9.95 Per Month! Unlimited rentals, choose from 80,000 titles. Free Shipping!

Netflix, Inc.

Where to buy:

Amazon U.S. | Amazon U.K.

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Thu, Apr 30, 2009 3:10pm

The Ghosts of Girlfriends movie is getting good reviews. You’ve seen it yet?