New in Home Entertainment – November 25, 2014

 

Expendables-3-Footage-3

New in Home Entertainment

 

November 25, 2014

 

The Expendables 3
Rated PG-13 for violence including intense sustained gun battles and fight scenes, and for language. Also includes unrated edition.
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
Sylvester Stallone’s third soiree into the 80’s action memory lane arena brings back most of the cast from the first two films and adds in Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, Wesley Snipes and Antonio Banderas. You cannot argue that the casting on this thing is tremendously impressive. While the story isn’t nearly as good as the second outing, there is still a lot of fun to be had. Throwing a young and unknown team of actors into the mix might not have been the best idea (honestly – there is such thing as too much), but one of the biggest mistakes was a PG-13 rating that really feels out of place for such a project. This home release includes the “unrated” edition, but a few more F-bombs and blood splatters isn’t the remedy for what ails it. If you are in the need for a truly mindless action film with a lot of familiar faces, and you can manage to put down a couple of drinks while watching, it might be an entertaining experience for you. B-

What If
Rated PG-13 for sexual content including references throughout, partial nudity and language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
Daniel and Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan star in this sweet, innocent, and unnecessary romantic comedy that plays Radcliffe as a bloke who is in love with a girl with a boyfriend and is willing to become friends with her in the hope of something more. It’s not a horrible film, but the dialog isn’t as clever as it thinks it is and the whole thing is quite boring. One of the things that probably didn’t help the project is that many of the beats felt completely contrived. I got the feeling that writer Elan Mastai found a theme and then tried so hard to revolve everything around it that he forgot to create a credible and natural story. But while the story doesn’t really work that well, I really like Radcliffe and Kazan and would love to see them in a better rom com. Both have a wonderful comic sensibility and a more than decent chemistry is seen regardless of the words coming out of their mouths. C+

New in Home Entertainment – November 18, 2014

22-jump-street-theatrical-trailer

 

New in Home Entertainment

 

November 18, 2014

 

22 Jump Street
Rated R for language throughout, sexual content, drug material, brief nudity and some violence
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
Beginning where 21 Jump Street left off, Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum move onto college to solve another drug investigation. I have to admit that I loved 21 Jump Street. I found it to be fresh, wildly creative and extremely funny. That being said, I liked this adventure even more. The comedy is pretty broad here and really anyone can enjoy the hijinx, but for those that understand screenwriting and movie formulas, the film is extended to new heights. Here they essentially take the Romantic Comedy handbook and attempt to recreate the beats, all the while telling you they are doing it. Personally I found this to be both clever and intellectually stimulating, neither of which is a word I would have ever thought could describe a Jump Street film. It knows it is stupid, and revels in it. It parodies not only other buddy, college and rom com films, but finds a way to parody itself at the same time. This makes for one heck of an entertaining farce. A-

Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For
Rated R for strong brutal stylized violence throughout, sexual content, nudity, and brief drug use
Available on DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D
Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller’s second outing into the Sin City universe follows heroes both old and new in violent and somewhat filthy adventures about the mythical city’s underworld. Out of place is the title character, played by Jessica Alba, who is just not sordid enough to be playing this kind of depraved character. On the other hand, Eva Green is perfection as the conniving and manipulating witch that takes on more than she can handle. I really liked the first Sin City but honestly, this one just feels like more of the same. What I did really love here was the 3D which looked amazing in the theater and pops even better at home. Visually, this movie has got it going on. C+

The Dark Half
Rated R for violence and language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
Twenty-one years ago Night of the Living Dead director George Romero took on Stephen King’s twisted book The Dark Half and it is finally making its blu-ray debut this week. Timothy Hutton is Thad Beaumont, best selling author of horror books he has written under the name George Stark. When he decides to kill off Stark as a publicity stunt, Stark literally comes to life in an attempt to take over his own fate. To this day this is still one of the scariest books I’ve ever read and although I haven’t revisited the movie since it was in theaters a half of my lifetime ago, I still find it a chillingly good time. A-

It Happened One Night: Criterion Collection
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
Only three films in history have won the top five Oscars (Picture, Director, Actor, Actress and Screenplay): 1975’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, 1991’s The Silence of the Lambs, and this little gem from 1934 directed by Frank Capra starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert in one of the first and still one of the greatest romantic comedies of all time. While it’s nice to have some of the new special features you would expect from a Criterion release, what matters most is the beautiful 4K digital restoration. The loving spit and polish applied here gives a magnificent version of the film like you’ve never seen it before. It almost makes it hard to believe that the movie is eighty years old. A+

New in Home Entertainment – November 11, 2014

JERSEY BOYS

 

New in Home Entertainment

 

November 11, 2014

 

Jersey Boys
Rated R for language throughout
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
Since Rob Marshall took home the Oscar for Chicago a decade ago, we’ve seen many of our favorite Broadway musicals hit the big screen. Continuing with that trend is this Tony-winning musical about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and their rise to stardom in the ‘60s. Directed by the iconic Clint Eastwood, you would think that this was a home run waiting to happen, but unfortunately something just feels flat throughout. On stage this musical is pure dynamite, not at all similar to many of the juke box musicals we’ve seen staged recently. But that magic proves difficult to bottle here as the movie lacks energy and power and ultimately bogs down under its own weight. Perhaps Eastwood was the wrong choice for such a high profile project or maybe it is just entirely miscast, but something just doesn’t feel right when watching. C

Tammy
Rated R for language including sexual references
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
Melissa McCarthy headlines this wannabe comedy about a loser who goes on a road trip with her grandma, played by Susan Sarandon. Directed by McCarthy’s husband Ben Falcone, the movie sells itself as a comedy but there is little laughter to be had. The characters are so desperate and sad that the film actually comes off as more pathetic than anything. Tammy is like a SNL character that might be interesting in a five-minute sketch, but this ninety-six minute movie is a miserable experience. D

True Blood: The Complete Seventh Season
Rated TV-MA
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
For the first five seasons of this naughty Lousiana vampire saga, I was quite taken. Then came the less than stellar season six and now the deplorable seventh and final season. Packing 4 episodes worth of material into 10 episodes was such a bad idea for HBO as each hour passed in misery. First a major character would die, then we would spend the next episode talking about it. I almost stopped watching but I wanted to see how painful it would get, and boy did it hurt. If you are new to true blood, stop with season five and you’ll be in much better shape. F

UHF: 25th Anniversary Edition
Rated PG-13
Available on Blu-ray
Now that “Weird Al” Yankovic has finally scored his first number one album, its time to celebrate his storied career as a master of parody. This movie from 1989 tells the story of a weirdly creative and lovable loser who takes over a small UHF station in town. Creating original and whacky programming, he quickly becomes a target for the big networks. While extremely dated, I still laugh at the same jokes I laughed out when I was watching back in High School. And for you Seinfeld fans out there, this film practically launched the career of Michael “Kramer” Richards who turns in an absolutely brilliant physical comedy performance here as the lovable janitor Stanley Spadowski. A-

The Bruce Lee Premiere Collection
Rated R
Available on Blu-ray
While this collection of martial arts masterpieces starring the legendary Bruce Lee is getting a blu-ray release here, there is a lot to be desired. Containing The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, The Way of the Dragon and Game of Death, the set is a nice cross-section of Lee’s work, but the films are in desperate need of remastering. They don’t look much different from their DVD counterparts and the language tracks need some extreme re-working. If you’ve never seen, it might be good enough, but if you are a big fan, get ready to be disappointed. C+

Interstellar

XXX INTERSTELLAR-MOV-JY-3199-.JPG A ENT

 

Interstellar
Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain and Anne Hathaway
Directed by Christopher Nolan (Dark Knight Trilogy)
Rated PG-13 for some intense perilous action and brief strong language

In the not too distant future, our time on Earth is coming to an end and NASA is looking for a way to to keep the human race alive as it looks for potential worlds for us to inhabit. An ex-astronaut-turned-farmer (McConaughey) is recruited to fly a mission to check for the potential of survivability on another planet.

The one thing filmmaker Christopher Nolan has always excelled in is rich, thought-provoking and ambitious storytelling. And Interstellar is one of the most ambitious films in this genre that I’ve ever experienced. At its very heart it is a warning that we are destroying our planet by providing a glimpse of a dire future. But it also serves as an adventure with many underlying themes. Its very grandiosity is the most compelling reason to see the film.

While at first the film appears to be greatly influenced by such projects as 2001, Contact and even Tree of Life, the project quickly propels itself into new territory asking huge questions about our Earth, our Universe, Love, Aliens, God and other difficult to explain conundrums. When I say ambitious, I really mean it. For a film like this to exist in a three hour form seems to be an amazing feat in itself. I’m sure the movie could have been two hours longer and most would have barely minded. It goes places and attempts to give answers to many of the things we, as humans, really want to know.

That being said, we must also recognize that while there is a lot of science here, this is a work of fiction spouting some whacky philosophies which I can’t get into without creating spoilers. I’m sure that many a fan boy will look to this film as more than theory and fantasy, but rather as fact. This could be a dangerous place to go and I’m sure debates will abound when it comes to accuracies and potential pitfalls. Since I don’t have a degree in astro physics, I’m going to assume that Nolan and his crew thoroughly researched their science and had numerous high level consultants giving them knowledge and advice, but I’ll also freely admit that that does require a huge leap of faith in a Hollywood project.

For those who don’t want to go too deep with the underlying questions, the film also works as great adventure. The performances from the talented cast are as terrific as we would expect, although many of their decisions and actions are a little too coincidental and inauthentic, I’m assuming mostly to help the pacing of the film. For example, McConaughey just happens to live close to the secret NASA base and just happens to be the ONLY person who can fly the ship. Some problems you just need to overlook. Also, what about the rest of the world? Where is the news? We don’t even get to see other cities other than the corn fields of Mid America. Many little details are left out, but I have to admit that the film doesn’t really suffer from a lack of expositional weight. A-

New in Home Entertainment – November 4, 2014

Maleficent

New in Home Entertainment

 

November 4, 2014

 

Maleficent
Rated PG for sequences of fantasy action and violence, including frightening images
Available on DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D
I expected the worst when seeing this new Disney spinoff starring Angelina Jolie as the popular Sleeping Beauty villain. To me the idea felt more like a gimmick then a story I wanted to see. Once again, I love being wrong. Turning Maleficent into a hero turned out to be a fantastic idea for Disney and Jolie is perfect in the starring role. Sure the king comes off as a tad too evil and young Aurora as almost a simpleton, but the story is interesting and the special effects and overall pacing add to the enjoyment. I especially loved the lush score from James Newton Howard. B+

Planes: Fire and Rescue
Rated PG for action and some peril
Available on DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D
Another Disney film that I had the lowest of expectations for is the newest pic from the Planes franchise. Unfortunately, the film met them. I’ll admit that this is a better project than their initial outing, which just seemed like the same old race picture we’ve gotten too much of. But even though the setting is different and the story is somewhat novel, the jokes are still stale and the whole project seems like more of a money grab than the typical Disney storytelling we know and love. C-

Hercules: Extended Cut
Rated PG-13 for epic battle sequences, violence, suggestive comments, brief strong language and partial nudity
Available on DVD, Blu-ray, and Blu-ray 3D
This Hercules for the next generation stars Dwayne Johnson as the legendary hero who is more of a smart salesman than a supernatural demigod. Selling his services to whoever can pay for them, he and his crew must fight their way out of cruel trap. The plot is interesting at least and has its fun moments throughout. Johnson is at his charismatic best and even his henchmen (and woman) are entertaining. Unfortunately the script is weak and the dialog is laborious when it shouldn’t be. Had the adventure been better written, this could have been a much better film than what is seen here. C

A Most Wanted Man
Rated R for language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
In one of the final projects we’ll get to see from him, Philip Seymour Hoffman plays a German secret service agent who tries to thwart an attack from a potential Islamist threat that has just entered Hamburg. Based on the John Le Carre novel, the film is intricate in plot and extremely well written. It’s also incredibly relevant and even eye-opening. Hoffman’s performance is brilliant and the rest of the talented cast follow suit just fine. It never pretends to be a Bond film, but rather it’s more of a thinking man’s spy thriller. A-

The Dog
Unrated
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
This fantastic new documentary from Drafthouse Films follows the life of John Wojtowicz, the real-life inspiration for Al Pacino’s character in Dog Day Afternoon. When you hear the phrase “it takes all kinds” this guy now comes to mind for me. While I would never want to meet him, he certainly is an interesting and peculiar little dude who comes off here as more of a freak show than the anti-hero Pacino portrayed in the 1975 Sidney Lumet classic. And while I was deeply disturbed by most of this guy’s life, I also couldn’t stop watching it. Almost like a perverted and criminal version of Honey Boo Boo. A-

New in Home Entertainment – October 28, 2014

Begin-Again

 

New in Home Entertainment

 

October 28, 2014

 

Begin Again
Rated R for language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
In John Carney’s American follow-up to his hit indie musical (and Oscar-winner) Once, Mark Ruffalo is a washed up record producer who discovers a potential gold mine in young folk singer Keira Knightly who just broke up with rock star boyfriend Adam Levine. Just like Once, you get a more authentic movie musical with great songs and superb acting. While the concept doesn’t feel new any longer, this is a very well done effort by all and a risky venture as well. And while I might not have been tremendously moved, I was at least well-entertained. A-

Wish I Was Here
Rated R for language and sexual content
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
Zach Braff’s newest theatrical release and beneficiary of a strong Kickstarter crowd sourcing campaign stars Zach as a married father of two who can’t seem to get his acting career off of the ground. While I thought the performances were good enough and the relationships were compelling, much of the storytelling was just too whiny and frankly hard to comprehend. I was especially lost at the more expensive sci-fi dream sequences that seemed to distract from the project more than enhance. That being said, I love Zach, Mandy Patinkin, Josh Gad and the great soundtracks Zach puts together for his projects. B-

WKRP in Cincinnati: The Complete Series
Available on DVD
This is one of my favorite childhood shows that you don’t really see much in syndication any more. I still have fond memories of Johnny Fever, Venus Flytrap and the gang as they weave their way through the late seventies and early eighties with a great sense of humor and an even better music selection. B+

New in Home Entertainment – October 21, 2014

mad men

New in Home Entertainment

 

October 21, 2014

 

Mad Men: The Final Season Part 1
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
I still don’t know why Mad Men doesn’t just claim that this as two separate seasons or maybe release the entire final season together rather than giving us this shortened 7 episode package, but regardless, this second to last edition of the hit AMC show hits like a whopper and is full of great surprises. As advertising moves through the progressive part of the 60’s, Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and his crew of marketeers throw themselves right in with it without trying to get swallowed. The old guard is dying off and the new is pushing forward. It’s a fun-filled set of episodes and every bit as good as any of the other seasons we’ve seen previously. The groovy thing is that just like the era they are living in, the show is constantly changing. A-

 

The Last Sentence
Unrated
Available on DVD
In Swedish with English Subtitles
This 2014 black and white Swedish export tells the tale of a WWII-era Swedish journalist who takes on Hitler’s Germany in his newspaper while fighting his own demons at home. Beautifully shot and wonderfully acted, the movie is nice to look at and at times engaging, but it does move along much too slowly throughout. I wish the focus could have been more on Sweden’s struggle with Germany rather than on his personal issues as I feel the filmmakers selected the wrong A-story for this narrative. But for a different sort of WWII film that gives an interesting point of view, Jan Troell’s saga is an intriguing watch. B-

 

Mobilize
Unrated
Available on DVD
Blissful ignorance could be a good excuse not to watch this documentary about cell phones and the radiation they omit causing cancers from head to toe (or at least waist). While its not a very well-made film (it feels like a movie made by people who don’t know how to make movies), the information is scary and potentially life changing. I say potentially, because try living without a cell phone now that you are almost physically connected to one. Are the cellular companies hiding something? Most likely. Would it change anything if exposed? Not sure. C+

 

La Dolce Vita: Criterion Collection
Unrated
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
This nearly three hour Fellini masterpiece that follows a journalist in his fruitless quest for “the sweet life” through the streets of Rome is one of the most celebrated Italian films of all time and is getting the extreme Criterion treatment here with a new 4K restoration on blu-ray and a host of new features. It goes without saying that the film has never looked or sounded better and is an extreme pleasure for the senses. A

 

Universal Classic Monsters
Available on DVD
This thirty film collection comprises all of Universal’s classic monster movies from 1931-1956 in one very large box set. Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, The Mummy, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Invisible Man and The Phantom of the Opera are all represented here in all of their fantastic campiness. While there isn’t a lot to be scared of here, it is a fine collection of where we got our modern day monster films from and what used to scare our grandparents. I really loved that they threw in most of the Abbott and Costello monster parodies in the collection. B+

 

Steven Spielberg Director’s Collection
Available on Blu-ray
If the nice folks at Universal hadn’t sent me this collection already, I can tell you what would be at the top of my Christmas list this year. This collection holds 8 movies on blu-ray from the master as well as a 58-page book and tons of special features. What I like most about it is that it has such a wide range of his films including some of his earliest from before he was who he is, such as Duel, The Sugarland Express and 1941. Also included are Jaws, ET, Always, Jurassic Park (and I’ll conveniently try to forget about The Lost World. Seven of eight aren’t bad. This is a must have for those of us who idolize the director. I think its also great for any budding filmmaker to experience how the greatest got his start and what he constantly did to reinvent himself. A+

Million Dollar Arm

 

New in Home Entertainment

 

October 7, 2014

 

Million Dollar Arm
Rated PG for mild language and some suggestive content
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
Based on a true story, Jon Hamm is a sports agent who travels to India to find cricket players who might be potential MLB pitchers. Honestly, the trailers for this one didn’t excite me and I skipped it in theaters. I now regret that decision. I thoroughly enjoyed this Disney family sports pic from start to finish. Sure its predictable and maybe a bit too long, but it is very lovable. Hamm is completely believable as the agent and the whole project had an authentic feel about it that I didn’t expect. For family-oriented live action features, it doesn’t get much better than this. A-

Live. Die. Repeat./ Edge of Tomorrow
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language and brief suggestive material
Available on DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D
What a conundrum Warner Brothers has had with this latest Tom Cruise sci-fi adventure. First it was called All You Need Is Kill, then in theaters it went by Edge of Tomorrow and now finally it is being called Live.Die.Repeat for its home entertainment release. I’m not sure if it was Warner Brother’s lousy marketing or simply the fact that America is tired of Cruise, but the film was a bust at the box in spite of its stellar reviews. The pic follows Cruise in the middle of an alien attack where he relives the same day over and over again after he is killed. It’s like Ground Hogs Day meets Independence Day, except for that its not named after a holiday (or at least not yet – they may change the name again). It is a blast to watch if you like action sci-fi and truly one of the better films made this year. So if you can stomach its egomaniac star, you might just have a fun and unexpected adventure. A-

A Million Ways to Die in the West
Rated R for strong crude and sexual content, language throughout, some violence and drug material
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
Yet another release this week that got slaughtered at the box office is this long-titled western comedy by writer/director/star Seth MacFarlane about a sheep farmer that wants to win back his love (Amanda Seyfried) with the help of a beautiful stranger (Charlize Theron). The difference between this title and the other two previously discussed is that this one really stinks. The comedy is stale and the performances flat, as if everyone knows the material is lame but they really want to help out their friend Seth with his project. Overall its a pretty miserable experience. D

The Wonder Years: The Complete Series
Available on DVD exclusively from Time Warner
The only thing more awesome than this eighties/nineties drama is the packaging for the box set itself. From 1988 to 1993, I didn’t have time to watch many shows, but I always found room for the Wonder Years, which followed the trials and tribulations of Kevin Arnold (Fred Savage) as he survives his teenage years. Its like Harry Potter with a different kind of magic. Amazingly written and as funny as it is warm, the show is one of the greatest to grace the boob tube and Time Warner’s new release gives it the honor it deserves. A

Sleeping Beauty: Diamond Edition
Rated G
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
To prepare the way for its November 4 DVD release of Angelina Jolie starrer Maleficent, Disney is finally releasing its classic animated film Sleeping Beauty in high def. This new transfer is absolutely stunning and comes with some great new features including scenes originally conceived for the film but dropped in the process. A

New in Home Entertainment – September 30, 2014

transformer_age_of_extinction_optimus_prime_and_dino_slug_wallpaper

 

New in Home Entertainment

 

September 30, 2014

 

Transformers: Age of Extinction
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, language and brief innuendo
Available on DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D
Certainly one of this summer’s most anticipated films was the latest entry from the Transformers saga. Many folks have blamed the lame plot for not meeting its box office expectation, but I beg to differ. All of the Transformers films have had bad plots and this one is no different. The story revolves around new baddies teaming with old to bring on the end of humans. Whatever. Where the film really failed is in the Godfatheresque running time. The special effects are once again phenomenal, as are the battle sequences. Also – there are dinosaur transformers! But no one can take 164 minutes of metal crashing into metal. It just get boring. Director Michael Bay needs to reassess his need for such lengthy material and get to the point where he can tell a story and entertain in two hours or less. Then he just might win the summer box office again. C

 

Chef
Rated R for language, including some suggestive references
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
Writer/Director/Actor Jon Favreau (Swingers, Iron Man) goes back to his indie roots with this pic about an award winning chef who loses it all and decides to go it alone in a food truck with his young son to help. I absolutely love food movies and some of the imagery in this one had me salivating to the point where I was actually angry at my popcorn and junior mints for being such a disapointment. And when they pulled into Franklin Barbecue in Austin and grabbed several briskets for the truck, I was insanely jealous, especially considering I have never been able to score a bite. But for me the film is an absolute lazy let down at the end. It’s almost as if Favreau couldn’t figure out how to end it so he just went straight to the aftermath. B-

 

Ivory Tower
Rated PG-13 for some suggestive and partying images
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
This doc from CNN Films discusses one of this country’s biggest white elephants: is college worth the cost in this day and age? It’s a tough question that I think is kind of skimmed over here for the most part. The film does a very decent job at showing examples of alternative education and ways to achieve success without college. It also shows many experiments with higher education, how they failed and the lessons learned. I really wish it could have gone deeper and given us some suggestion on how to fix the deepening and maddening issue. Or maybe that’s the point – there isn’t a fix yet. B+

 

Ghost in the Shell: 25th Anniversary Edition
Not Rated but would be a strong R
Available on Blu-ray
This legendary anime film about a futuristic world where humans and robots are basically conjoined is getting a fantastic new release on blu-ray with tons of special features. While the story is a little far out there for me (I’m still not sure what its really about), and the nudity is just plain distracting, its fun to examine the influence this film has had on our pop culture over the last 25 years. B

 

Daniel Boone: The Complete Series
Available on DVD
Daniel Boone was a man, yes a big man! I can still hear the men’s chorus singing this song right before watching my namesake take on his wilderness adventures. Sure the show is dated, but it is still a fun trip down memory lane. While I’ve only made it through 180 of its 8150 total minutes, I still recall the joy I got as a little kid watching the show in syndication in my childhood. This is a great collectors set that I’m thankful they finally released! A

New in Home Entertainment – September 23, 2014

neighbors

 

New in Home Entertainment

 

September 23, 2014

 

Neighbors
Rated R for pervasive language, strong crude and sexual content, graphic nudity, and drug use throughout
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
In this latest entry to the frat house comedy genre, Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne are thirty-something parents who are completely happy with their calm lives when Zac Efron and his fraternity purchase the house next door. While much of the bad behavior is expected and still very funny, what works best here are the many surprises. For what it is, the film is solidly written and only has the occasional eye-rolling moment. And while some of the best gags are featured in the trailer and commercials, many are not, mostly due to the very graphic nature of the jokes. Overall though, it turns out to be an impressively thoughtful raunch-com. B

Rover
Rated R for language and some bloody violence
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
Writer/Director David Michod turns in another bleak but powerful picture about a man (Guy Pearce) in Australia whose car is stolen and who will do anything to get it back, including team up with the car thief’s brother (Robert Pattinson) to go after him. Upon revisiting the beginning, I realized that I missed the very vital intro that stated that the movie takes place 10 years after a societal collapse, so I just assumed that people crucified from telephone poles might be a normal sight in the remote outback. That being said, I was glued to the screen from start to finish watching this absolutely frightening world unfold onscreen. Pearce is dynamite as the loner and Pattinson almost makes up for the misery he put me through in Twilight. While its not a film for everyone, I was blown away by the picture and while not as strong as Michod’s first film, Animal Kingdom, it is equally as riveting. A-

Roman Polanski’s Macbeth: Criterion Edition
Rated R
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
In between making Rosemary’s Baby and Chinatown, Roman Polanski directed this visionary interpretation of Shakespeare’s famous work. This tale of jealousy, murder and revenge is still a miserable story to watch, but very well done. The production is fantastic and the fight choreography at the end is fantastic and memorable. I’m still not a fan of the play Macbeth, but watching your favorite directors tackle it can be rewarding. B+