Fall is finally here, and you know what that means, Spokane movie fans: the best summer blockbusters are finally arriving on DVD. Not sure what to look for this fall? Check out these twelve titles, and remember to check back often for detailed reviews on the best titles of the season!
12. The Expendables (R), release date not yet announced. A team of elite mercenaries heads to South America on a seemingly hopeless mission to overthrow a dictator.
Why you should see it: The cast reads like a who’s-who of movie tough guys: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Mickey Rourke, Dolph Lundgren, Steve Austin, and others. Even Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger have cameos. The trailer promises a good mix of explosions, gunfights, and hand-to-hand smackdowns.
11. The A-Team (PG-13), release date not yet announced. A reboot of the hit 1980s TV show about a group of soldiers framed for a crime they didn’t commit, The A-Team gets a modern plot update by moving the soldiers to Iraq and throwing in a little CIA spookiness.
Why you should see it: It’s noisy, flashy, and fun, a popcorn flick at it’s best. And really, what more could you want for the summer? Thankfully, the movie does a good job of balancing the new while still paying homage to the original, so as long as you don’t expect a carbon copy of the TV series, you should like this one.
10. The Last Airbender (PG), release date not yet announced. Based on the popular anime series of the same name, the movie follows a young boy named Aang, the latest in the line of Avatars, who can control the earth elements around him. Aang must use his powers to prevent a war between the nations around him.
Why you should see it: M. Night Shyamalan’s latest scored low with critics, but it’s worth renting for two simple reasons: Shyamalan approaches all his projects with enthusiasm, guaranteeing fun if not a coherent layout; and this looks like one action-fantasy movie that will be watchable by the whole family, thanks to the PG rating.
9. Get Him to the Greek (R), available September 28. A hapless assistant at a major record label has 72 hours to get a strung-out rock legend from London to Los Angeles for a super-sized anniversary concert.
Why you should see it: A star-studded cast supports leads Russell Brand (as rocker Aldous Snow), Jonah Hill, and Sean Combs in what’s sure to be a rowdy, rocking comedy.
8. Leaves of Grass (R), available October 12. No, you aren’t seeing double: Edward Norton pulls double duty in this hybrid comedy/crime drama about twin brothers, one a professor and one a small-town pothead, who find themselves embroiled in a murder plot that is far beyond what either one of them can handle.
Why you should see it: Norton excels in every role he takes, so it will be interesting to see what he does with this half-slapstick, half-violent drama that really doesn’t manage to fit into any tidy genre conventions. In a way, this could be similar to his turn in Fight Club, a movie which also blended humor and violence to an end result that is hard to compartmentalize.
7. How to Train Your Dragon (PG), available October 15. Dreamworks scored big with this story of a Viking boy who defies tradition by befriending a dragon. Unfortunately, fans have been waiting nearly half the year for a firm release date on the DVD (earlier predictions had placed the release date sometime in July, disappointing fans).
Why you should see it: While the DVD unfortunately won’t be in 3D, this warmhearted story is fun for the whole family to enjoy. The talented voice cast is headed up by Gerard Butler, Jay Baruchel, Craig Ferguson, and America Ferrera.
6. Despicable Me (PG), release date not yet announced. Steve Carell voices Gru, the world’s top supervillian, whose plans to steal the moon are derailed when he finds himself the unwitting adoptive dad to a trio of adorable little girls.
Why you should see it: This film has it all: a well-written script, top-notch animation, age-appropriate comedy, and a star-studded voice cast (Julie Andrews, Russell Brand, and Kristin Wiig are just a few of the supporting names). Despicable Me continues the trend towards killer animated films that can please the whole family.
5. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (PG-13), available September 14. From the producers of Pirates of the Caribbean comes another epic adventure, this one centering around the Persian Prince Dastan and his magical dagger, which can transport it’s bearer back in time.
Why you should see it: Jake Gyllenhaal might seem like an odd pick for an action hero, but his clumsy charm makes Dastan likeable, if a little laughable. Gemma Arterton is the feisty princess who may or may or may not be his ally, while Ben Kingsley and Alfred Molina add gravity as greedy side players. Like this year’s other swords-and-sandals flick, Clash of the Titans, this is a popcorn flick best enjoyed for it’s adrenaline-fueled script and fun action scenes.
4. Salt (PG-13), release date not yet announced. Who is Salt? Angelina Jolie is the bad-ass title character in this action-thriller about a CIA agent accused of being a Russian spy.
Why you should see it: Jolie never fails to disappoint as the female action hero, holding her own against the dudes. (She previously kicked butt in Wanted, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and the Tomb Raider movies.) And if the plot is a bit Jason Bourne-ish, it certainly looks like an action-packed thrill ride.
3. Inception (PG-13), release date not yet announced. Christopher Nolan scores again in this twisted fantasy tale about a team who can enter your dreams to plant or steal ideas.
Why you should see it: If the mysterious promos and the top-notch cast (including Leonardo DiCaprio and Joseph Gordon-Levitt) weren’t enough to hook your attention, remember that Nolan has a history of turning out excellent mind-bogglers such as The Prestige, Insomnia, and Memento.
2. Knight and Day (PG-13), release date not yet announced. Tom Cruise is the zany spy-on-the-lam Roy; Cameron Diaz is the irrepressible June, who gets caught up in Roy’s mad dash as he tries to escape the plethora of federal agents on his trail. Equal parts action, comedy, and rom-com, it’s this summer’s Mr. and Mrs. Smith meets Mission Impossible meets Duplicity.
Why you should see it: Rollicking humor, nonstop action, and plenty of wit, this is a perfect example of what a summer movie should be: pure, unadulterated fun.
1. Iron Man 2 (PG-13), available September 28, 2010. Robert Downey Jr. reprises his role as Tony Stark, the billionaire turned superhero, in this sequel to Marvel’s 2008 hit. Also returning is Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts; Scarlett Johansson, Mickey Rourke, and Don Cheadle join the cast as assorted friends and enemies.
Why you should see it: From the moment the AC/DC theme starts, you know this is going to be every bit as fun and action-packed as it’s predecessor. Non-stop action and cheeky wit make this release one with high replay value, even for those viewers who aren’t necessarily comic book fans.
Want to stay up-to-date with DVD news and reviews? Click the ‘subscribe’ button above to receive an e-mail alert when the Spokane DVD Examiner publishes a new article–don’t worry, it’s 100% free and you won’t get spammed!