Leaving the Multiplex Behind

Notable (Direct to) DVD Releases – April 3, 2012

Posted by Jonathan Sullivan on April 3, 2012

This week on DVD, a town goes on an alien hunt, Jeremy Piven co-stars in a movie that looks good for once, and there’s even a cabin-set psychological horror movie for those of you who don’t want to see that other cabin-related movie coming out next week. You know, the one about [SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS DERP]. Much obliged to for the information and plot synopses.

Alien Opponent

Starring: Jeremy London, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, Adrienne LaValley

Directed by: Colin Theys

Distributed by: Vivendi Entertainment

Buy Alien Opponent on DVD

What It’s About: The owner of a small-town junkyard offers a cash reward to whomever can kill her uninvited, space-suited alien guest when its spacecraft crash-lands into her barn. Every wacko within 100 miles turns out, and before long, the junkyard is transformed into a war zone of man vs. man vs. machine vs. alien vs. God only knows what.

Thoughts: My critic buddy Brett Gallman has already warned me against Alien Opponent, knowing full well I’d jump right in due to the involvement of “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and my obsession with watching every movie that stars a current or former professional wrestler. Obviously I will not be heeding his warning and furthermore, Alien Opponent in no way looks that bad. Cheap? Yes. Ridiculous? Yes. But those are the sorts of movies that make me feel good in my “special place” (I mean my pe…soul). Plus I’m digging the movie’s weird sense of humor; hopefully it maintains it through out the movie and it’s not just me falling for another trailer. But guys…Roddy Piper as an ass kicking priest. Alien Opponent sells itself.

Buy Alien Opponent on DVD

Angels Crest

Starring: Thomas Dekker, Jeremy Piven, Lynn Collins

Directed by: Gaby Dellal

Distributed by: Magnolia Pictures

Buy Angels Crest on DVD (or Blu-ray)

What It’s About: The small working-class town of Angels Crest is a tight-knit community resting quietly in one of the vast and stunningly beautiful valleys of the Rocky Mountains. Ethan (Thomas Dekker), one of the town’s residents, is a young father but not much more than a kid himself. He has no choice but to look after his three-year-old son Nate, since mom Cindy (Lynn Collins) is an alcoholic. But one snowy day, Ethan’s good intentions are thwarted by a moment of thoughtlessness, resulting in tragedy. A local prosecutor (Jeremy Piven) haunted by his past goes after Ethan, and the ensuing confusion and casting of blame begins to tear the town apart.

Thoughts: Angels Crest saw a V.O.D. release last November and a super small (read: 1 theater) theatrical release one month later, but is now officially bowing on DVD (and Blu-ray). Magnolia (and its genre arm Magnet Releasing) is simply one of the best movie distributors in the business today, and any time they release something it’s worth checking out. Angels Crest is no exception and judging by that trailer, it’s going to break my heart into little tiny bit-sized pieces. It’s got a good cast (Dekker is fantastic and underutilized, Piven is a lot better than most people think due to Entourage and his reputation) and I can already feel like the story is going to grab me by the balls right away. But hey, who wants to have a happy weekend anyway? Shit’s overrated.

Buy Angels Crest on DVD (or Blu-ray)

Enter Nowhere

Starring: Sara Paxton, Katherine Waterston, Scott Eastwood

Directed by: Jack Heller

Distributed by: Lionsgate Home Entertainment

What It’s About: Three strangers arrive one by one to a mysterious cabin in the middle of nowhere after enduring separate life-altering predicaments. Searching for a way out of the woods, frustrated, hungry and battling to stay warm, they discover their mysterious connection and realize what they have to do in order to get out of the woods alive.

Thoughts: Being released a week in advance of another cabin-set horror movie (The Cabin in the Woods), Enter Nowhere looks to only share a setting and not much else with its theatrical counterpart (although let’s be honest: soooome people aren’t going to think that); Enter Nowhere is more of a psychological thriller/horror, with little comedy and all tension. I like the premise and the tone set forth in the trailer enough to give it a shot, but I’m surprised that this ended up going right to DVD; feels like something Lionsgate could’ve willed to a 10 million weekend at the box office. Oh well their loss, our gain. Added props to Sara Paxton and her “drug addict” pixie cut.

Buy Enter Nowhere on DVD (or Amazon Instant Video)

So those are the releases I’m most interested in this week. Are you going to give Alien Opponent, Angels Crest, or Enter Nowhere a try? Is there a direct to DVD movie coming out today that I should have covered instead? Feel free to leave a comment. I’m so lonely.


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