New in Home Entertainment – February 8, 2011

New in Home Entertainment

February 8, 2011

Paranormal Activity 2
Rated R for some language and brief violent material
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

After the terrifying first Paranormal Activity hit theaters I was very skeptical about a second installment.  So many horror films have lost their touch, such as Blair Witch and Saw, that I originally wrote this one off as just a way to make more money.  But these guys proved that they had more story in them and actually turned in a scarefest that was almost equal to the first.  PA2 takes place both before and after the events of the first one, allowing for a more complete story to be told.  Instead of Micah’s camera following all of the events, Katie’s sister and her husband set up a surveillance system after their house is left ransacked by what they thought must have been devious kids.  While I didn’t get that tingling feeling in my spine like I did in the first one, I still sat in the theater terrified, which is what a good horror film is supposed to do.  For those of you that hate blood and gore in your scary movies, you will especially want to check this one out since it relies more on what you don’t see than what you do.  A-

Life As We Know It
Rated PG-13 for sexual material, language and some drug content
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Since I first saw the trailer of this film about a man and woman that hate each other but are forced to live together to raise their Goddaughter when her parents die, I knew that this would be a predictable rom com with another horrible premise.  While the movie mainly lives up its expectations, I am willing to offer up slight praise in that it’s mildly enjoyable.  I can’t recommend it due to the fact that the premise is so bad and the trailer is just a short version of the whole, but the acting is decent, given the material, and there are some cute moments that make it so you can’t quite hate it.  These mild annoyances clash with the mild enjoyment and produce a very average film rather than the terrible movie I was expecting.  C

It’s Kind of a Funny Story
Rated PG-13 for mature thematic issues, sexual content, drug material and language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Perhaps the filmmakers thought that adding the word “funny” in the title would give a light-hearted feeling to the film, or perhaps it’s meant to be ironic; but whatever the case may be, this pic about a suicidal kid who checks into a psych hospital falls flat.  The film is so boring that you almost feel like the performances were thorazine-induced.  The only bright spots were Zach Galifianakis who pulls off a respectable dramatic role and a haunting version of Pixies’s Where is My Mind by the brilliant pianist Maxence Cyrin that I had to download on iTunes after watching.  C-

I Spit on Your Grave
Unrated for pervasive strong sadistic brutal violence, rape and torture, nudity and language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

This remake of the 1978 rape/revenge slasher pic (which is also seeing its blu-ray debut this week) follows much of the same plot line of the original in the fact that a girl is brutally raped and then goes after her rapists one-by-one to take them out.  The difference here is that there are better production values, stronger acting, and much more horrific murders.  While The Last House on the Left is a stronger picture in this horror sub-genre, if you like to see a pseudo-snuff film from a justified killer, then this one isn’t too bad.  The revenge killings are quite creative and less offensive to watch than the horrific rape sequence which seemed to last forever as I fast-forwarded through it.  C+

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