Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bonus CineFiles: Sons of Anarchy, The 5th Quarter, and Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy!

Posted By on Thu, Sep 15, 2011 at 9:42 AM

Most weeks, I review more DVDs than the Indy can fit into print. You can look for extra write-ups here, on the IndyBlog.

Sons of Anarchy: Season 3 (NR) (Blu-Ray)
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

I think that, after three seasons, it’s finally OK for me to come out of the garage and admit what a huge fan of Sons of Anarchy I am. I have tried to fight it and, for the most part, been ashamed of it, but after the white-knuckle ride that was the third season, I guess I might as well strap on some leather chaps and come clean. The storylines reached an apex of brilliant trash, with hunky biker Jax’s baby son kidnapped by the IRA and taken to Ireland. So, in between dealing with a local mayoral candidate wanting to shut the Sons down, a rival Mexican biker-gang shooting up their town, and an unscrupulous FBI agent that will to do anything to put the guys in jail, they have to load up their rides and take on the Irish Republican Army. Sorry, Mad Men, but Sons of Anarchy truly is the premier man’s-man soap opera on TV.

The 5th Quarter (PG) (Blu-Ray)
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

I’m pretty sure this is the eighth or ninth straight-to-DVD movie starring Aidan Quinn that I’ve seen this year, and definitely the second faith-based one. But you know what? That’s OK. I like Aidan Quinn. I’ll pretty much watch anything he’s in. And he’s pretty much the main reason to watch the inspirational football drama (based on a true story, of course!) The 5th Quarter. Quinn is family man Steven Abbate, whose life, along with the life of his wife Maryanne (Andie MacDowell), is shaken to the core when their youngest son Luke is killed in the world’s most needless auto-accident. I wouldn’t be surprised if the kid driving wasn’t charged with, at least, vehicular manslaughter ... but I have to guess, because the movie doesn’t answer these legal questions. Instead, it focuses on older brother Jon and his rise to pigskin glory for Wake Forest. It’s touching and pulls all the right heartstrings, but, really, I was secretly hoping for a Christian courtroom drama. Sequel idea?

Only In America with Larry the Cable Guy: Volume One (NR)
History Channel/NewVideo

Larry the Cable Guy is the redneck Sacha Baron Cohen, and Only in America is his Borat. Think about it: Both comedians portray uneducated buffoons who travel around America and love to not only explore the more outré offerings of this country, but also make those that participate in them stiflingly uncomfortable. Larry’s is just more…red-statey. Take, for example, when Larry goes behind the scenes of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. He’s backstage in the forbidden clown dressing room, being led around by an obviously brainwashed shill doing everything possible to keep the circus’ image squeaky-clean. Meanwhile, Larry is calling the clowns drunks and racists. It is pure comedy as the corporate harlequin shill is desperately trying to steer the convo back into a purely PR-driven direction. No matter what you think of his stand-up — I’m not a fan myself — Larry is intensely watchable on the road.

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