Looking for a way to make the long winter nights go by a little quicker? Afraid to traipse around DP because your California constitution can’t handle the cold? Don’t worry, Artsweek has your back. We’ve investigated on the Internet, made our way through many a magazine and slaved in front of plenty of movie screens to bring you a guide to the best new DVD releases on the market right now, with a special emphasis on flicks designed to transport you to somewhere else – preferably somewhere warmer. So, cozy up on the couch and start updating your Netflix queue, because with this list you’re just one DVD away from a night of exciting entertainment that can be done entirely in front of the heater.
Take a trip to the city of angels, with this year’s little indie film that could, “Quinceanera.” This movie screened at Campbell Hall Tuesday thanks to Arts & Lectures, and in case you missed it, “Quinceanera” is one film worth renting immediately. Set in mid-gentrification Echo Park, the film follows the trials and tribulations of teenage Magdalena, who discovers that she is pregnant just before the titular celebration of her pending adulthood. Shunned by her parents, Magdalena moves in with her aging great-grand uncle and her troubled gay cousin Carlos, and the three of them form an unexpected and endearing bond. It sounds trite, but it is definitely one of the least sentimental and most realistic coming of age films to have come out in years. Plus, there’s plenty of shots of the sun-drenched streets of L.A. to warm you up – not to mention a wife-beater clad Jesse Garcia, the hotter-than-hot actor who plays Carlos with enough pent-up aggression and smoldering sex appeal to steam up even the chilliest January night.
In case you missed it, magic came back to the movies in a big way this year with both “The Illusionist” and “The Prestige.” The latter film, which did get way more buzz than the first, doesn’t come out on DVD until February so you’re just going to have to satiate your appetite for abracadabra with “The Ilusionist.” Don’t worry, this film has plenty going for it as well, between hotties Jessica Biel and Edward Norton and the combination of thrills, chills, Paul Giamatti and period costumes. It might not be set somewhere warm, but the chemistry between Biel and Norton is definitely enough to heat up your home – or at least the area right around your T.V.
Nothing says hot like Samuel L. Jackson, one line of well-placed profanity and a whole lot of slithery reptiles. That’s right, “Snakes On A Plane” is out on DVD. Get your dose of cheese, camp and killer creepy crawlies with this film about what happens when hundreds of snakes are released on an airplane as a ploy to kill a witness in a murder case who just happens to be on the plane too. While you’re on a comedy kick, check out “Clerks 2.” This latest DVD release from the god that is Kevin Smith picks up where the first “Clerks” film left off – well, a few years after the first one left off to be exact. The DVD has been out since November 28, and now is your chance to check out the only film that came out in 2006 which featured Rosario Dawson and some sweet interspecies loving in the same scene. Now that’s hot.