Erika’s redbox Picks of the Week

by | Mar 24th, 2010 | 12:31PM | Filed under: DVD Reviews, Weekly redbox Picks

Time to give you my take on what you might want to rent this week… here we go!

Precious – Since I have many friends who fear they’ll be upset by this movie and are therefore avoiding it, let me be honest: I, too, waited a long time before I could bring myself to push “Play.” I knew its story focused on an abused girl and was consequently very, very nervous about the possibility of horribly violent scenes. And while there are sequences that are uncomfortable to watch, they make up such a small percentage of the film that it would be a crying shame for someone to steer clear of Precious for that reason. Because it’s really, and ironically, a story about hope against all hope, and it has some of the best acting and most unique filmmaking I’ve come across in a while. I urge you to give it a chance.

James’ Cannes review

Reserve a copy of Precious

2012 -  The world is ending — again! I went into 2012 expecting the worst, which is probably why I ended up being pleasantly surprised. You know the story: the Mayan calendar predicts the end of days on December 21, 2012. John Cusack realizes what’s happening and attempts to save his family by way of car, plane, RV, a foot race against an earthquake, a crazy-huge ship, et cetera. Pretty much every major landmark on the planet is destroyed, and there’s no way 98% of this film could ever happen. It’s got some horrible dialogue and laughable acting. BUT, it also has a few touching moments and glimpses of great acting, especially from Chiwetel Ejiofor, who plays a scientific advisor to the President with deep regrets about his relationship with his father. What was strange about this film for me was that — amidst all of the explosions and CGI mayhem — it actually made me think. What would I do if I were in the situations some of the characters faced? Popcorn movies aren’t supposed to be deep, and make no mistake, 2012 is NOT DEEP, but something about it moved me enough to feel that it’s worth your hard-earned $1. I just wish it hadn’t been so long — two hours and forty minutes is rough no matter what way you slice it.

Locke’s theatrical review

Reserve a copy of 2012

Observe & Report – Seth Rogen plays Ronnie Barnhardt, the not-quite-all-there security guard at the Forest Ridge Mall who finally gets his break at REAL police work when a flasher starts stalking his turf.  Let’s just say that his “investigation” does not go smoothly, or as anyone might predict. Strangely enough, this was a film Locke and I agreed on. I said “strangely” because I’m usually not a fan of especially dark humor, out-of-nowhere violence, drug-fueled rages, etc… and of course Locke IS.  I kid. What I’m trying and failing to say is that since I’m the chick who would usually choose to watch a kid’s movie (see my next two picks) or a happy happy joy joy comedy over a film about the nastier side of human nature, I didn’t think I would be able to handle this one. But it SO weird, so different, and had such a great cast (especially the supporting players) that it won me over. Not for the faint of heart or easily offended, though… you’ve been warned!

Locke and Erika’s He Said/She Said

James’ DVD review

Reserve a copy of Observe and Report

Benji – Enough with sadness, violence and destruction! Those of you who took my advice a few weeks ago and rented Puppy Party but are still in need of more doggie hijinks might want to check out Benji. Yes, that Benji, the 1974 film directed by Joe Camp about a stray pup who makes his way around a small Texas community and eventually helps to rescue two kidnapped kids. Not everything about this film stands the tests of time, and it might make children a little scared or weepy in parts, but hey, it’s still Benji and he still rocks! I would take Benji over Lassie any day — yeah, I said it.

Reserve a copy of Benji

Here Comes Peter Cottontail – YES! We’ve got the original 1971 stop-motion classic for ya, just in time for the Easter holiday. All you really need to know is that the narrator of this one is: 1) named Seymour S. Sassafrass, which is quite possibly the coolest moniker of all time, and 2) given a voice by Danny Kaye, aka “Walter Mitty.” The story is loosely based on Thornton W. Burgess’ children’s books, and follows a competition for the title of Chief Easter Bunny between Peter Cottontail (voiced by — wait for it — CASEY KASEM) and the trickster January Q. Irontail (another great name and another awesome voice provided by Vincent Price). As with all of these old animated classics, HCPC is a bit strange in parts, but it still has its charms and is the perfect complement to any egg-dyeing that may be taking place in your household in the coming weeks.

Reserve a copy of Here Comes Peter Cottontail

21 Responses to “Erika’s redbox Picks of the Week”

  1. pam lawson
    Posted on March 30, 2010 at 11:55 am

    Hey, you left out a great family flick…Hachi. My little Yorkie tried to comfort me when this movie had me literally crying tears. And to think it’s based on a true story! I want to share this one with all my friends & family.

  2. Erika Olson

    Posted on March 30, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    I knew Locke was writing about it soon (see the homepage — he posted his review last night) so that’s why I didn’t include it in my picks.

    - Erika

  3. Shane
    Posted on March 30, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    What is precious about

    • Currently 1/5 Stars
    Posted on March 30, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    2012 is probably one of the worse movies made…way too much effort on graphics. Don’t bother renting/buying this p.o.s. movie. Waste of a dollar.

  4. Lita
    Posted on March 30, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    Yes I loved Hachi it had me in tears. Precious Is great. And the Benji series is pretty good but this movie was not all that great.

  5. Rob
    Posted on March 30, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    I just saw this review feature, this is what I needed, don’t want to waste time on movies I don’t enjoy. Thanks Erika/redbox!

    • Currently 3/5 Stars
    Tyler T
    Posted on March 30, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    2012 was a visual treat,

    i liked it.
    When does the Blind Side come to redbox?

  6. Erika Olson

    Posted on March 30, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    The Blind Side will be in kiosks on 4/20!

    - Erika

  7. Ben
    Posted on March 30, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    I hear some studios have a 28 day window b4 releasing to rEdbox, why is that? The only reason I see is because blockbuster pressured some studios to do that in order to make more money for BB. They r doing it with blindside n Sherlock holmes n a bunch of other movies, I for one will choose to boycott BB n just rent at a local mom n pop store if I really want to see it asap.

  8. Donna
    Posted on March 31, 2010 at 6:55 am

    I rented 2012 yesterday and would like to share my view. I really liked the graphics in the movie but did not care for the plot. To me they took it from a “scientific” point of view instead of the religious view so the plot was disrespectful. Instead of Noah’s Ark, it was China’s big ships that held the animals and the people that were saved, not the Christians; it was the people that had a ticket they paid a HUGE amount of money for.

    • Currently 2/5 Stars
    Posted on March 31, 2010 at 6:57 am

    I forgot to rate 2010. I would give it 2 1/2 stars but can’t get the 1/2 in.

  9. Judy
    Posted on March 31, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Personally I found the movie ‘Precious’ very offensive and not only vulgar but the language in just the first scene alone caused me to cringe.. and to actually show the act of a young woman being raped by her father? We all know that we live in a perverted generation however to film these acts of this nature? I have to question the morality of the filmmakers… This movie wasn’t about “Hope” it was about the dollar sign.. at the expense of emotions of those who have actually suffered and survived such as this….I give this movie a – 100 and strongly caution those who would watch!!!

  10. John Langston
    Posted on March 31, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    When will we get “Whipit?”

  11. Star
    Posted on March 31, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    I saw Precious and will never be anything but “pro choice” from this day forward.

  12. dorie
    Posted on April 1, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Star, you saw a movie and that convinced you that it is morally correct to kill babies??

  13. Locke Peterseim
    Locke Peterseim
    Posted on April 1, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    Hi John, redbox will not be carrying Whip-It. Issues with a couple studios mean that the redbox purchasing department must make tough decisions about which of their titles to carry.

  14. Pam
    Posted on April 1, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    This is to Judy and Donna you both no how to read, right? Read the back cover if u can’t handle it don’t rent it. It’s really that easy. OMG!!!!

    • Currently 4/5 Stars
    Posted on April 2, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Regarding “Precious”. Yes this movie put me out of my comfort zone several times. But that is just what it is a “comfort zone”. It is movies like “Precious” that remind us how comfortable our zone really is and any movie that makes us grateful for all we have is not without merit. Very sad, but good.

    • Currently 4/5 Stars
    Posted on April 2, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    Precious was outstanding. I faced so many emotions while watching this movie, but isn’t that what a movie is suppose to do – stir your emotions and question what you know to be normal. I felt the hope, loss, frustration, anger, triumph, and again the hope. Rent it and take it all in.

    • Currently 1/5 Stars
    linda snyder
    Posted on November 9, 2010 at 3:21 am

    I cannot agree on Up in the Air… I read the book prior to seeing the movie and found both to be disconnected, lacking continuity and excitement or intrigue on every level. Seemed just another showcase for Clooney to flaunt himself with women. Very bad movie. Waste of time.