New on DVD

New on DVD

He’s Just Not That Into You
Rated PG-13 for sexual content and brief strong language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

This set of interconnecting stories tells stories of love, loss, cheating, loneliness, desperation and revelation.  The main thrust of the story revolves around a young girl named Gigi (Gennifer Goodwin) who is bluntly told by a bartender (Justin Long) about the signs that guys give when they are and aren’t into women.  Upon this realization, she attempts to play dating by a different set of rules that may or may not work out for her.  I’ll freely admit that I liked this romantic comedy and consider it one of the better ones of the last couple years.  It tries to be Love Actually, and never comes close, but is still witty, funny, and engaging.  The women are written a little more dense and shallow than the men, but then again, the basic idea of the movie is taken from the point of view of a man, not a women, so that makes sense in this situation.  The huge cast including Jennifer Aniston, Ben Affleck, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Connelly, Scarlett Johansson and many others worked well as an ensemble and each has their own memorable moments.  B

Revolutionary Road
Rated R for language and some sexual content /nudity
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet are just your normal 1950’s suburban couple in love.  They have a young family and seem to be living the American dream.  But when life starts to get in the way of their plans and both of them start to become regretful, the whole thing begins to fall apart.  This is really a great movie, but like Winslet’s other recent film The Reader, this one is very hard to watch.  It’s a punch in the gut that becomes very unsettling.  To make the audience more uncomfortable is the Oscar-nominated performance of Michael Shannon as a mentally disturbed man that comes into their lives and sees through their masquerade of happiness.  A-

Defiance
Rated R for violence and language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

During World War II, the Bielski brothers (Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, and Jamie Bell) create a village consisting of hundreds of Jews in the Belarussian Forest in order to protect them from the encroaching Nazi forces.  While the history of this movie is fascinating, the script has some real problems.  It attempts too hard to be Braveheart meets Schindler’s List instead of merely telling this amazing true story.  The special features on the disc are better than the movie this time around, with featurettes on the survivors and descendants of this event.  Also of note is the beautiful score by James Newton Howard and violinist Joshua Bell.  It is truly one of the most beautiful pieces of music to come from Hollywood last year.  C+

Valkyrie
Rated PG-13 for violence and brief strong language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Tom Cruise is Colonol Claus von Stauffenberg, the German military leader that almost assassinated Hitler during World War II (sorry for the spoiler about Hitler not getting killed).  Based on yet another amazing true story, this film plays more like an adventure thriller and focuses very little on the actual war.  While the lack of violence and cruelty surrounding the Nazi party represented by the film bugged me at first watch, I found it less annoying the second time around.  I would have still preferred the film to be a Rated R, more dramatic and realistic approach to the war.  Historically, it’s not too far off and the performances by the very talented cast are terrific.  The disc contains two commentaries as well as several featurettes and a documentary.  B

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *