New on DVD

New on DVD

WWII in HD
Unrated but contains some graphic violence and adult language    
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

We’ve all seen many World War II documentaries, but I can honestly say that you will be astonished at what lies in this set of 10 episodes chronicling the great war.  Most footage of the war was shot in black and white, but the filmmakers spent two years on a world-wide search of any existing color film that might exist and what they found was that much of it was practically pristine since it had never been seen before.  Gary Sinise  narrates the story of the war, mostly told from the point of view of a dozen individuals that experienced the war first-hand.  While some of the material is extremely graphic and disturbing, this series is visually the most impressive account of the war I have ever seen and one of the History Channel’s crowning achievements.  I started with medium expectations and was completely blown away.  A

Surrogates
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, disturbing images, language, and a drug-related scene
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Bruce Willis is a cop in the future where folks don’t ever have to leave their house, but instead they just live their lives through a robotic surrogate that does everything for them.  When a weapon turns up that has the ability to kill humans through their surrogates, Willis must find the inventor of the weapon and stop them before they destroy every human who owns a surrogate.  While Willis is way too old to play this part, it’s still not a bad piece of sci-fi, even if it does get a bit silly at times.  The plot gets a little convoluted in order to try to convince the audience it’s a smart film, but it is overly predictable and does not play as well on a second viewing.  The preachiness is also extremely annoying, especially if you’ve seen it once already.  C

Pontypool
Not Rated but contains graphic violence
Available on DVD

This indie intellectual zombie flick follows a DJ in the small Canadian town of Pontypool where the citizens have suddenly started turning into mindless killing creatures from a virus being spread through language.  For most of the film it’s just he and two employees in the studio trying to figure out what’s going on with a town gone mad.  Eventually the zombies come but it never really gets that scary or violent.  It almost plays out like an old-fashioned radio show that you would get more pleasure listening to than watching.  That being said, there is a radio show version of the story on the DVD.  Overall, it’s pretty funny and fairly intriguing, but I never really got into it that intensely.  B-

Pride & Prejudice
Rated PG for some mild thematic elements
Available on Blu-ray

I usually don’t discuss catalog titles when they become newly available on Blu-ray, but this is one of my favorites so I thought I’d give it a mention.  Joe Wright’s multi-Oscar nominated version of the Jane Austen classic pairs Keira Knightly vs. Matthew Macfadyen as the stubborn lovers, but what makes this film so special is the lovely cinematography of Roman Osin, the spectacular vision of director Joe Wright and the sweeping score of Dario Marianelli.  And if you ever want to show off your new LED or LCD home theater setup just turn to 1 hour and 19 minutes into the film and crank up the volume.  I can’t think of a more awe-inspiring movie sequence you could turn to.  A

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