New in Home Entertainment – October 26, 2010

New in Home Entertainment

October 26, 2010

Back to the Future: 25th Anniversary Trilogy

Rated PG
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

When Marty McFly and Doc Brown first graced the big screen 25 years ago they had no idea that they would be participating in a ground-breaking trilogy that would go onto make almost a billion dollars at the box-office and even more on home video.  After all, Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale had shopped the project around Hollywood for years with no interest whatsoever.  It took Zemeckis’s success with Romancing the Stone and Steven Spielberg’s blessing to just get to the point where they could green light the project.  Then they shot five weeks of film with Eric Stoltz instead of Michael J. Fox before making the change to the Family Ties star.  So while difficulties abound in the production, you’d never know it watching these new HD transfers of the film that were so lovingly put together for the 25th anniversary.  While the second film is a little dated due to being so off on the look of the year 2015, the trilogy as a whole holds up very well and is just as fun now as it was back then.  Also included in this special edition are tons of great new special features as well as digital copy so you can put all three films on your mobile device.  A

Sex and the City 2
Rated R for some strong sexual content and language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

In this new adventure, Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda head to Abu Dhabi to get an escape from both New York City and their boring lives.  After the success of the television show and the first film it’s no wonder the girls are back again, but why they agreed to come back for this script is beyond me.  More than ever before, this new tale shows the girls to be more self-infatuated and selfish than you can possibly imagine and for the most contrived of reasons.  From the gay wedding at the beginning to the return back to the city, the film proves to be one of the most ill-conceived films I’ve seen in years.  And if you are merely wanting to see some good fashion – look elsewhere.  While I am not a expert in the subject, if this is haute couture, I want no part of it.  The girls were wearing incredibly ugly costumes and changed their clothes in every scene.  It was almost as if the fashion designers were playing a joke on them.  The good news is that this film will probably win some major awards.  The bad news is that they will be for worst film of the year.  F

Paths of Glory: The Criterion Collection
Not Rated
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

With a chin that takes up its own zip code, Kirk Douglas provides one of the great all-time performances in Stanley Kubrick’s 1957 anti-war masterpiece.  It’s a very unconventional film in that the actors speak with U.S. dialects instead of World War One French soldiers.  That being said, I’d rather see that than a bunch of bad accents  that could have ruined the message.  More a thought-provoking picture than War action film, the script, based on the Humphrey Cobb novel does a tremendous job showing the ugliness of war and what it does to the morality of the men involved.  This newly restored edition looks pristine and I highly suggest listening to the new audio commentary by Gary Giddins which sheds light on many of the film’s mysteries.  Also check out the television interview with Douglas from 1979 which gives an amazing portrait of the legendary actor.  A-

Wild Grass
Rated PG for some thematic material, language and brief smoking
Available on DVD
French with with English Subtitles

When a woman has her wallet stolen, the man who eventually finds it sets off on an insane mission to win the woman’s heart, even with his wife’s knowledge.  This very well-made french comedy is funny due to the many unexpected actions of every actor involved, but many will find it a little too French, or at least too culturally different from their normal entertainment.  After-all, it is a very bizarre romantic tale that can’t in the least be described as a love story.  And the ending is so untraditional that it will throw much of its American audiences off completely.  So my advice: if you are feeling a little daring – check this title out.  B-

Surviving the Holidays with Lewis Black

Available on DVD

Comedian Lewis Black, along with The History Channel, takes a look at the period of time from Thanksgiving to New Years and with the help of comedian friends, experts and a shrink, and attempts to explain the history of all events you may come across with tons of funny commentary thrown in.  The special is very funny, and surprisingly clean considering the comics involved.  While some of the jokes are repeated due to a poor editing job, the show still comes across as not only interesting but hilarious as well.  B

The Girl Who Played with Fire
Rated R for brutal violence including a rape, some strong sexual content, nudity and language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
Swedish with English Subtitles

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo returns in this second film of the trilogy and this time she is in deep trouble due to some incriminating evidence found at a crime she didn’t commit.  With her goal of both escaping the law and exposing a sex trade scandal, she goes on a wild adventure that puts her life in danger.  While the movie plays much better when taken as a whole with all three films, especially the third film, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, it is still a tremendous thrill ride and could put Noomi Rapace in the running for this year’s Oscar for Best Actress.  If you’ve seen the first one, or read the books, then you know what you are getting into, but if not, please note that this series of films are not for the feint of heart and strict attention should be placed on the rating.  A-

Dog the Bounty Hunter: The Wild Ride Megaset
Available on DVD

This megaset, which includes the 45 top-rated episodes that follow Dog and his posse as they go after bail-jumpers, shows a unique side of the business in a reality format that proves to be quite interesting.  While the drama is pushed to the limit thanks to a driving soundtrack and an overly serious group of characters, the series never looks too contrived to be enjoyed.  B-

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