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BluTuesday: August 21st, 2012

Hello, Stonehenge! Joseph here with what’s new in Blu for August 21, 2012. This is going to be a shorter one than the previous two, but that’s only because there weren’t a whole lot of movies that caught my attention. But, we will certainly talk about those that did. So, let the games begin!




Thinner (R)

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 17%

Released to theaters on October 25, 1996, this movie – based on a Stephen King novel of the same name – is a horror movie set in Maine…much like all of Stephen King’s properties, because there is no more frightening place on earth than Maine. Trust me; I’ve been there. The basic premise of the story is about an overweight, hotshot lawyer (is there any other kind?) who accidentally runs over a gypsy while receiving some – ahem – services. In a fit of rage, the gypsy’s father puts a curse on the lawyer, telling him he’ll continue to rapidly lose weight, regardless of how much he eats. The lawyer then spends the rest of the movie trying to find a cure for the malady. The movie got completely negative reviews, and it did a quick three week nosedive from the box office. It debuted at #3, and disappeared two weeks later. It barely went over $15 million, which means it squeaked past its estimated $14 million dollar budget. If horror movies are your bag, and the name Stephen King doesn’t make you want to run out and beat up a van in his honor, this is for you.


WarGames (PG)

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 97%

This was an exciting movie when it came out on June 3, 1983. The thriller stars Matthew Broderick as a hacker who inadvertently hacks a computer known as the War Operation Plan Response (WOPR). The danger of this – outside of the obvious – was that this was taking place during the Cold War, and tensions were incredibly high. Costarring Ally Sheedy and Dabney Coleman, the movie was very successful upon its release, spending 17 weeks in the theaters. It topped out at #3 in the Top 5, but the interesting thing is how it dropped out of the Top 5 for two weeks only to come right back for two more. It ended its theatrical run pulling in almost $80 million, which is a considerable increase to its $12 million budget. The movie also brought the phrase “firewall” to our lexicon, which is nice. The movie is a certified classic, and it deserves a place in your Bluray collection.




The Dictator


The Dictator wants to inspire outrage and hilarity in equal measures. Sacha Baron Cohen rose to fame through Borat, a sort of Candid Camera movie that let real people reveal their prejudices in response to an outrageously conceived character. Here, Cohen acts in a scripted story about an equally outrageous character, a brutal dictator named Aladeen, ruler of the fictional North African country of Wadiya. While in New York to protest United Nations sanctions against him, Aladeen is kidnapped by a scheming underling (Ben Kingsley) and stripped of his beard, rendering him unrecognizable. A vegan co-op manager (Anna Faris, pretty unrecognizable herself in a black wig) takes him under her wing, leading to a change of heart… sort of. Cohen’s lowbrow humor is oddly intellectual. He’s a student of comedy, analyzing the current boundaries so he can push at them, seeking something that will still shock. The result? Jokes about rape–lots and lots of jokes about rape–along with an anthology of gags about body functions and racism. The effect is more calculated than comical. Cohen’s deeply cynical perspective suggests that, in a world where everyone has a price (one of the movie’s running themes), the audience will cheer on a murdering megalomaniac because at least his narcissism is pure. But The Dictator seems like a movie only a murdering megalomaniac could really love. —Bret Fetzer



Well, that’s all she wrote for this week’s edition! As always, if you have any questions or recommendations please, feel free to enter them in the comments below.


TV Shows:

NCIS – Season 9 | Revenge – Season 1 | House, M.D. – Season 8 | The Closer – Season 7 | NCIS: Los Angeles – Season 3 |


Until next time…

About Joseph Seltzer (401 Articles)
Joseph K. Seltzer is a movie reviewer for When not writing or talking obsessively about the art of movies and TV to anyone who will pretend to listen – especially when it comes to his love for the musical score – he works as a Help Desk technician for a local school board. Generally, you can find him either burrowed in front of the TV watching movies or playing video games, or spending time with his precocious daughter.
Contact: Facebook

7 Comments on BluTuesday: August 21st, 2012

  1. I have not watched any of these movies. Sacha Baron Cohen drves me crazy, so that one is off the list for me to watch. I believe that I have read S.K. Thinner, but I did not even realize that there was a movie out.

    • I can’t handle Sacha Baron Cohen, but the 34 times I went to see The Avengers made it so I saw the trailer for The Dictator quite a bit, and I’m ashamed to say that I laughed… a lot.

      • Reading about “The Thinner” creeped me out, so I’m good. I do want to watch “WarGames,” because it seems like it’s an interesting movie. “The Dictator”…nah, I’m good.

        As far as the TV shows go, I’m an “NCIS” fan, so both NCIS DVDs are enticing. I came into “House” late (the benefits of no cable), so I’m interested in that. Can’t say I’m too knowledgeable about the other shows, so I’ll just shrug and call it a day.

  2. I think Sacha Baron Cohen is fantastic in how he does push boundaries and, to me, masterfully tricks his audience into examining those boundaries and why they even exist. His ability to frame that into a quality film is really hit-or-miss, but the foundation is always there.

  3. Always a Stephen King fan (my favorite book is “The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon”), so I liked Thinner. I loved War Games. Haven’t seen The Dictator (although, having seen The Avengers in theaters multiple times, I did get my fair share of laughs from the previews, but still couldn’t get myself to watch it in it’s entirety).

    • Also, a big fan of NCIS (both versions).

      • I get a lot of grief from liking NCIS, especially from one of my friends who blissfully calls it an “old person’s show,” but I’ve been watching Bellisario’s Naval library since “JAG,” so I’m not wavering on that at all. At this point, I’m in it for the long haul.

        It doesn’t hurt that I’m a Naval Veteran as well…

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