There’s a varied new selection of new DVDs on the market this week with the LIFE OF PI leading the pack. This is a superbly written and filmed adventure of a young man who survives a disaster at sea only to find himself sharing an uneasy companionship with a Bengal tiger and doing what he can so that both survive. Director Ang Lee is at his peak here, making what is a near masterpiece film and probably one of the best films that you may watch this year. Rotten Tomatoes gives this film an excellent 88% critic approval rating and a whooping 87% audience critical approval rating. That’s a great vote of confidence for this very fine film.

HITCHCOCK, the film about the incredible legendary British mystery director is another major DVD release this week. Anthony Hopkins gives this movie his best possible performance, although the movie never comes close enough to giving Alfred Hitchcock the greatness he really deserves. But, regardless, this is still a fine film that takes place during the time that Alfred Hitchcock was working on his classic film, PSYCHO. Helen Mirren costars in this film that’s certainly worth watching. Rotten Tomatoes poll of critics and audience both gave this film a passing grade of 63% approval, proof that this is still a great film, although hardly a masterpiece comparable to Alfred Hitchcock himself.

BAD KIDS GO TO HELL is an offbeat film with elements of comedy, mystery and suspense as six private high school kids find themselves in detention as horrible events seem to befall them where you begin to wonder where all of plot twists and turns are heading. Certainly each of these bad kids deserve punishment, but what happens to each of them is truly outrageous and quirky mystery fun. Definitely worth a watch. And definitely more interesting than watching kids having to write lines or being suspended from school at home.

EXPIRATION is a indie South African sci fi horror film in which experiments at a remote lab begin to go horribly wrong for the test subjects and the lab calls in armed guards to begin the horrible and dangerous task to clean up the evidence of what has gone wrong. While the film uses some elements seen in other horror films like near documentary security looking footage, the movie is still a unique enough movie experience to recommend.

THE PREACHER’S DAUGHTER was already a controversial cable TV movie before it even aired on cable TV, but is certainly worth a look as well. If you rent out the Redbox version of the DVD, there are added footage and scenes that were not in the cable TV version of the film. This may be one of the smaller releases this week, but be sure to look for this film regardless. Sometimes little gems like this get buried among higher profile releases of films.

BTW, the winner for best promo poster of the week has to go to BAD KIDS GO TO HELL for their very clever promo poster that’s a parody of the infamous NATIONAL LAMPOON “Buy this magazine or we’ll kill this dog” cover from the 1970’s. Bravo for this great retro idea!

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