New on DVD

New on DVD

The Good, The Bad, The Weird
Rated R for nonstop violence and some drug use
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
Korean, Mandarin, and Japanese with English subtitles

Writer/director Ji-woon Kim (The Uninvited) tells the story of three Korean outlaws in 1940s Manchuria that are all out to possess a secret map that will lead them to a treasure beyond their imaginations in this creative and highly stylized recrafting of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.  While the original can never be surpassed, this new take is so full of life and color and jam-packed with action that its hard to imagine not having fun watching it.  The Ugly is replaced here by The Weird, played by Kang-ho Song, and actor that is really turning in some great work lately with The Host and last year’s Thirst.  He adds a sense of comedy relief that provides an interesting element to the drama.  The rest of the cast and the production are also excellent and very big might I add.  This film has an epic feel to it with its huge set pieces and over-the-top action sequences.  I had a smile on my face for two straight hours.  A-

Cemetery Junction
Rated R for language and some sexual material
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

When I saw that Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, the team behind series “The Office,” wrote and directed a film I immediately assumed funny and uncomfortable with bits of slapstick.  I assumed wrong.  Cemetery Junction is a town in England where three young friends burn time drinking, fighting and chasing girls while trying to figure out how to get out of their 1970s blue-collar town.  It’s a very thoughtful coming-of-age dramady with an excellent cast including Ralph Fiennes, Emily Watson, and Matthew Goode as the adults and Christian Cooke, Felicity Jones, Tom Hughes, and Jack Doolan as four very promising newcomers Gervais and Merchant brought in for the leads.  While certainly not a blockbuster, it’s a deeper piece of work than most will have thought possible from its creators and definitely worth the rental.  B

The Joneses
Rated R for language, some sexual content, teen drinking and drug use
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

When David Duchovny, Demi Moore and their two kids move into their new neighborhood, they seem like the perfect family with the latest and greatest fashions and toys, but behind their flashy exteriors lies a hidden agenda that has the potential to destroy the very neighbors’ lives they are befriending.  The first act of this film is very eye-opening.  In fact it had me pressing pause and researching the very subject matter the film was actually covering.  So at the very least, I think you will find this movie about the evils of consumerism and sheepish buying behavior enlightening.  It is also quite simplistic after the midpoint which is a little annoying.  Where the filmmakers had a chance to really make a strong statement, they went in the obvious directions and chose to sensationalize the characters’ actions for drama sake.  So while I liked the film, a different pathway would have been much more preferable.  B-

Leave a Reply

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