DVD and Blu-ray releases for Tuesday, May 22nd

Warner Brothers

If you’re the kind of person who just has to own a little piece of plastic with a movie on it, here’s what you can get. Tuesday is new DVD and Blu-Ray day, and this week’s releases include a comedy classic and

National Lampoon’s Vacation

Before Chevy Chase was a weird quasi-racist getting fired from Community, he was actually a pretty funny dude. The 30 year rerelease of this 80s comedy classic was his first go-round as Clark Griswold, a befuddled suburban dad just trying to drive his family from Chicago to “Walley World,” a thinly-disguised Disneyland analogue. This sucker’s eminently rewatchable and quotable, so definitely worth picking up to remember the good old days.

Side Effects

Steven Soderbergh is kind of pumping out films at a frantic pace before he “retires,” and this one got lost in the shuffle. It’s good, though, so check it out if you missed it. Rooney Mara plays a stockbroker’s wife who gets put on some new depression drugs that screw her brain up… or do they? It’s a tight, modern Hitchcockian thriller with some great performances and twists you won’t see coming. Recommended.

The Last Stand

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s first lead role since leaving the political arena wasn’t too well-received, but it’s a competent action movie at least as good as his 90s B-level stuff like Eraser. Arnold plays an Arizona sheriff who has to deal with a brutal Mexican drug kingpin and his entourage passing through his sleepy little town. Don’t take it too seriously and you’ll have a good time.

Beautiful Creatures

Like Twilight but with witches and Civil War re-enactments. Pass.

The ABCs Of Death

Innovative and disgusting horror anthology in which 26 directors each tackle one letter of the alphabet. This is probably the movie on this list that you’ll most want to own, as it’s packed with content. Even if you don’t vibe with every short on the disc (and you probably won’t), there’s enough high-quality stuff that it’s worth buying. Watch L, V and F first.


Another year, another Jason Statham movie. This one’s at least based on cool source material – the gritty crime novels of Donald Westlake – but it never manages to rise above mediocre. Statham is at his best when he’s totally out of control (ie Crank), so when he has to play it cool he’s just boring. J-Lo still looks good in her underwear though and the supporting cast is fun.

Stand Up Guys

There’s not a lot to recommend this semi-mediocre crime flick except the cast – when you get Al Pacino and Christopher Walken in the same room playing aging gangsters, you’re sure to get fireworks. Pacino plays Val, who just got released from prison, and Walken plays his best friend who’s been hired to kill him by the next morning. It’s surprisingly low-key and funny, mostly due to the lead actors.