If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Most music documentaries either fall under the boring, hardcore fans only, 'rockumentary' with way too much tour footage, or as a VH1 'Behind the Music' style examination of the foibles and arrest record of music's stars. What's surprising about this 2010 doc, "Who is Harry Nilsson" is that, concerning how well respected this American musician was, even with The Beatles referring to him as the best Yank recording artist, that most of us today don't have a clue who he is. Maybe you've heard the moderately annoying song 'Coconut' or maybe the theme from the movie "Midnight Cowboy", "Everybody's Talking". But there's not a lot of name recognition. What the film shows is a very troubled, hard playing, rock star, who EVERYBODY thought was gonna be the next big thing, but whose bad decisions got in the way of his career. It's completely entertaining, an important object lesson for creative divas about how important it is to listen to other people, and almost certainly why you're going to go buy 'The Best of Harry Nilsson' on iTunes immediately afterward.
--CLICK HERE TO BUY Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him)?
Horror director Neil Marshall ("The Descent", "Dog Soldiers") may seem like an odd choice to helm this 2010 film about the remains of a Roman legion trying to escape from bloodthirsty Picts across the freezing parts of Scotland, but then you see it. Blood, gore, blood, gore, and then, just for kicks...some blood...and gore. It's all kinds of violent, certainly enough to keep gorehounds happy, but those looking for a historical epic might be left a bit wanting. Michael Fassbender plays Quintus Dias, the only remaining Roman survivor of a Pict massacre who is rescued by a new Legion, led by popular commander Titus Flavius Virilus (Dominic West), but even his ridiculously macho name can't keep him and the rest of his noobs from getting cut down as well by the guerrilla tactics of the natives. Soon, only Dias and a few men are left, who would like nothing so much as to beat a hasty retreat, but after killing the son of the Pict leader, he sends crazy, tongueless, emo chick, Etain (Olga Kurylenko) after them, and this is way before Prozac, so she is not to be trifled with. The thing is, "Centurion" isn't half bad as a bloody historical action flick, but there's not much depth of character to be had. Marshall makes it all real pretty though.
--CLICK HERE TO BUY Centurion [Blu-ray]
CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG (Blu-Ray/DVD)
It's entirely possible that this 1968 Disney live-action film never crossed your mind as a title you'd consider spending time with (unless, perhaps, you thought it was a porn movie, and with that title, who could blame you). What if I told you this: it's based (loosely) on an Ian Fleming novel...you know, the guy who wrote James Bond... Yeah, think about THAT now. Flying car, lots of cool gadgets...making sense, eh? And how about the fact "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" author Roald Dahl co-wrote the screenplay? Okay, I'm not the biggest fan of the generally irritating songs in it, but Dick Van Dyke was as effusively likable as he usually was back in those days, and makes for an entertaining protagonist. The special effects aren't done any favors by being upgraded to HD either, but the film remains pretty darn charming and it's got some downright laugh-out-loud funny dialogue. I wish the bonus features were more in-depth (they're mainly the stuff you see on kiddie releases) but there's a nice conversation with Van Dyke about the film and an interview with the guy who made all the gadgetry. That is one of the most iconic cars ever, you know. Now if we could just get a flux capacitor in that bad boy we'd be in business.
--CLICK HERE TO BUY Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)