The Weekly Couch Potato: Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters and Parker
Welcome back to The Weekly Couch Potato, where we give you streaming alternatives to movies playing at the theaters. Mama had a surprisingly good opening weekend, with Oscar potentials Zero Dark Thirty and Silver Linings Playbook (with a late theater count bump) taking up the next two spots.
This week, we’ve got a gritty reboot, a Jason Statham action movie, a “raunchy” comedy and a psychedelic indie comedy. We are still very much in the January swamp, people.
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters – Dir. Tommy Wirkola – Trailer
Unlike Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, this is listed as a comedy, which means it could be…on second thought, this is a part of Peter Stormare’s grand quest to be in every bad movie made in the past decade. Pass. Also of note – I was significantly more excited when I thought the director was Tommy Wiseau.
Dead Snow (Wirkola, 2009). A cult hit, this was Wirkola’s second film, after a Norwegian parody of Kill Bill. I’m also going out on a limb here, but I believe this was the first Nazi zombie film to be shown at Sundance.
Hansel and Gretel: Warriors of Witchcraft (DeCoteau, 2012). THERE IS SO MUCH GOING ON IN THIS MOVIE. The stars are siblings named Fivel and Booboo Stewart. Eric Roberts, of Sharktopus fame, is in it! Its alternative title is Hansel & Gretel: Witch Slayers, which goes with Transmorphers, Snakes on a Train, and The Day the Earth Stopped as my favorite mockbuster titles.
Also, it kind of fits in perfectly with the idea of this column, so thanks, mockbuster industry!
Parker – Dir. Taylor Hackford – Trailer
Can we talk about movie titles, just for a second? John Carter, Jack Reacher, Parker, Alex Cross, the upcoming Jack Ryan. Nobody wants to see these movies because A) most of them are terrible and B) the titles are even more terrible. Can you imagine movies called John McClane, James Bond and Jason Bourne (side-note, cool it with the J-named protagonists, people)? Even Hansel & Gretel adds on “Witch Hunters” at the end just so you know what you’re getting into. I wish this movie was just about a valet. “I am the one who parks.”
Side-note – of Jason Statham’s 38 film roles, FIFTEEN of them have one-word titles. Once you include sequels to those movies and films with “The” and just one more word, it’s TWENTY FIVE movies.
Revolver (Ritchie, 2007). A Jason Statham thriller with a one-word title that is also a mob movie starring Ray Liotta? Ladies and gentlemen, I believe we’re a Peter Stormare sighting short of a movie bingo! And yes, I had to check to make sure Peter Stormare is not in Revolver.
Shane (Stevens, 1953). In terms of titles bearing the name of its protagonist, this may be the best. An absolute classic of a Western (with one of cinema’s greatest villains), if you have not seen this film you need to rectify that this weekend.
Movie 43 – Dir. Peter Farrelly – Trailer
Speaking of titles…take it away, New York Post! “’Movie 43,’ the filmmakers say, means nothing. (Peter) Farrelly heard his son talking with friends about a film called ‘Movie 43’ — and when Farrelly discovered the film didn’t exist, he cribbed the name.” A made up title! That’ll get people to see your movie!
Chappelle’s Show: Season 1 Uncensored (Allen, 2003). I know, I’m breaking the rules by going with a television show, but Movie 43 is essentially a collection of sketches, and Chappelle’s Show is the best sketch comedy available on Prime.
The Ten (Wain, 2007). Big cast led by some A-listers in a collection of comedy vignettes that are loosely connected? Bingo! The Ten got poor reviews, but I thought some of the sketches were terrific.
John Dies at the End – Dir. Don Coscarell – Trailer
Now HERE’S a title. A psychedelic horror comedy, the early reviews have been largely promising, with some hailing it as a potential cult hit.
Tucker & Dale vs Evil (Craig, 2011). This horror satire flips the country-city dynamic usually prevalent in slasher movies on its head. While it’s not as deeply biting as The Cabin in the Woods, Tucker & Dale vs Evil has a pervasive humor about it that makes it special in its own right.
From Dusk Til Dawn (Rodriguez, 1996). Written by and co-starring Quentin Tarantino (it’s the only one of his acting credits in which he’s convincing, likely because this time he’s a full-blown psychopath), this has a B-movie feel with an A-list cast, including George Clooney, Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis and Salma Hayek. It’s best if you go into this knowing absolutely nothing – even the blurb on Netflix is too much.