Some great DVDs are out this weekend, including the must-see Paul Thomas Anderson film The Master, which is loosely based on the life of sci-fi writer L. Ron Hubbard. If you’ve seen those wacky commercials that boast Hubbard as “the nation’s youngest Eagle Scout,” you’ll definitely want to check out the crazy in this movie.
1) The Master
Love him or hate him, Joaquin Phoenix gives a masterful performance as a drifter in post–World War II America. He’s so magnificently unsettling as Freddie Quell that you can’t deny his chops as an actor. Amy Adams also gives a strong performance, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award. Though the film isn’t exactly uplifting, it is a divine examination of cult psychology.
Rotten Tomatoes: 86% fresh
2) Chasing Mavericks
While Chasing Mavericks was panned by most critics, we happen to think this coming-of-age story is an ocean of heartfelt entertainment. Based on the true story of surfer and free diver Jay Moriarity, the movie is about more than just a dude who likes to catch some waves — it’s about a boy overcoming his biggest fears and becoming a man. Hottie Gerard Butler as Jay’s mentor is just the sea foam on the swell.
Rotten Tomatoes: 33% splat (but the audience gave it 73%)
3) The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2
What? You haven’t seen The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2? Get out of your coffin and go rent this movie! Even if you’ve read the book, the ending of the movie provides a fun twist, and you get to see some bed-breaking vampire sex. What’s not to like?
Rotten Tomatoes: 48% splat
4) Girls Against Boys
This movie about a couple of women who get off on killing all the men in their path doesn’t sound that fun to us, but the costumes are fab! Check out these angry, bitter chicks in Tokyo-style Lolita fashions brandishing big, sparkly knives. What girl doesn’t want to look hot while she’s killing?
Rotten Tomatoes: 19% splat
5) How to Survive a Plague
Yes, this one is a documentary, but check out those ripe tomatoes! How to Survive a Plague tells the true story of social activists who helped change AIDS and HIV from a death sentence to a survivable condition, without any medical training.
Rotten Tomatoes: 100% fresh!
Photo credit: The Weinstein Co.