Thursday, January 27, 2022
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This Week on DVD

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Dead in Tombstone

No movie can go wrong when it has Danny Trejo. Movie pitches these days probably start with, “Okay, so we’ve got Danny Trejo…” “No, he’s too expensive – but we can afford Brad Pitt to fight those zombies.”

This movie is about an outlaw (Trejo) in the Old West who is shot to death and makes a deal with the devil (Mickey Rourke) to come back and collect the souls of the men who betrayed him. If he can kill each of these men himself by midnight, he can escape damnation. The situation gets complicated when a widow (Dina Meyer) vows revenge on the leader of the gang, Red (Anthony Michael Hall).

Viewers will have to be patient for the first half hour, which is a typical Western. The second Trejo is shot – over and over and over – viewers know they are in for an unusual experience..

Parts of the film have some great stylization, from the intro with cast names shown as wanted posters to a pocket watch opening to a portal to Hell. Besides these bits and some short forays back into the devil’s chamber, the movie is fairly straightforward.

People looking for an action flick with plenty of blood and guts and a twist will find an obvious choice in “Dead in Tombstone.”

The Internship

Movies like “Old School” are incredibly divisive: people either love and quote them daily or hate the very thought of them. “The Internship” is a similar movie, and the studio banked on that love.

Salesmen Billy and Nick (Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson) are fired in favor of sales machines and, after some failures in the job-search world, fake their way into an internship at Google. The two have complications due to their inexperience and frankness, but of course get the girl, the job and the respect of their snarky peers.

The plot is predictable from start to finish, but the situations are hilarious and the casting is brilliant. Will Ferrell has his usual cameo as a completely inappropriate veteran salesman, Aasif Mandvi is a perfect supervisor with a stick up his butt and Dylan O’Brien is the totally adorable reluctant ally.

The ’80s references – and the fact that they are pointed out by one of the younger reject interns – is a sort of meta moment for every movie by this group. Instead of subtle references or lines, this movie gives entire conversations, trying to figure out where that water came from in “Slash Dance.”

After the intensity of the modern Western, curl up with some popcorn and mind-numbing hilarity with “The Internship.”

The Conjuring

Save this one for last, after the sun has set, and turn out all the lights. “The Conjuring” is seriously spooky, and basements will be at the end of everyone’s list to visit after watching it.

The film follows Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) as they investigate a family home overrun by malevolent spirits. The Warrens bring in a crew to set up motion-activated cameras and record sound, and everyone starts experiencing frightening things. They find out that there is a witch who had been hanged there, and all the people her spirit had killed in some way were also trapped in the house.

There is a lot happening in this movie, all preying on different fears of today’s audience. There’s a witch ghost, a demonic possession, a creepy doll that moves on its own and of course a little girl ghost. Logically, the plot is all over the place and sort of ridiculous. Illogically, the wide net worked – people are bound to be frightened by at least one part of the equation.

The film is loosely based on real events that happened to real people: the Warrens and the Perron family (Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston). The women of both families consulted the director and said it’s fairly accurate. On second thought, watch “The Conjuring” first, with the lights out, and follow it up with some cartoons.

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