New in Home Entertainment – June 7, 2011

New in Home Entertainment

June 7, 2011

True Grit
Rated PG-13 for some intense sequences of western violence including disturbing images
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

If you are a big fan of the original John Wayne classic about a young girl and a washed-up U.S. Marshall seeking revenge for the death of her pa, then there is a chance that you might not like this newer version.  Personally, I found it to be a huge improvement over the original, mostly due to a far superior vision from the Coen Brothers and much stronger performances by the immensely talented cast.  Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon, while not as iconic as John Wayne and Glen Campbell, are simply amazing in their performances, and newcomer Hailee Steinfeld proves to be  truly worthy of her Oscar nomination.  And with the beautiful score by Carter Burwell and the inspired cinematography of Roger Deakins, this movie works at every level imaginable.  I do wish the Coen Brothers would include a commentary in one of their movies, but there are enough special features thrown in here to make most folks happy.  I highly recommend checking out “The Cinematography of True Grit” for a more in depth look at the legendary artist behind the unique look of the film.  A+

Sanctum
Rated R for language, violence and disturbing images
Available on DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D

Executive Producer James Cameron is the man responsible for this film about a group of cavers that encounter a life and death struggle when the cave system they are exploring experiences a tropical storm.  While there are some decent actors here, there are no true stars in this film that feels like an indie with a decent effects budget.  It’s not the acting that hurts the film though, but rather the pacing.  You would think that a film with such constant action would be exciting, but instead its rather boring.  Also, much of the drama that ensues feels too forced, almost like they knew they needed something besides man vs. nature.  And while the sights are beautiful, I would suggest checking out the documentary Planet Earth which gives a more thrilling vantage of the scenery.  C

Just Go With It
Rated PG-13 for frequent crude and sexual content, partial nudity, brief drug references and language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

After having his heart broken on his wedding day, Adam Sandler changes his medical specialty to plastic surgery and uses his wedding ring to score chicks. When he finds himself meeting the girl of his dreams, he convinces his assistant (Jennifer Aniston) to pose as his ex-wife in order to create an elaborate scheme to win her heart.  The first few minutes of the film show real promise in a sort of Adam Sandler movie kind of way.  There are some decent laughs and an interesting setup.  But when Aniston and Sandler began plotting and the film goes downhill quick.  The rest of the movie relies on cheap and stupid laughs, taking away any credibility the film might have once had.  The jokes smell of desperation brought on by the complete lack of creativity or nuance.  Don’t get me wrong – I like Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, The Waterboy and many of his other films.  I think there is a place and time for those types of movies.  That is why I am disappointed by this one because there is just no excuse for an insanely dumb project such as this.  D+

Burn Notice: Season Four
Available on DVD

While most of the time I consider USA’s shows a little O.L., I have to admit that between Burn Notice and White Collar, USA has a pretty good thing going.  This cult classic show about an burned spy and his crazy sidekicks is still fun, witty and entertaining after four seasons.  You gotta check out the special feature “Sam Axe’s Guide to Ladies and Libations” with the infamous Bruce Campbell.  Also of note is the “Burn Notice Roasts White Collar – White Collar Roasts Burn Notice” feature.  B

The Company Men
Rated R for language and brief nudity
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

According to the makers of The Company Men, if you lose your job in this day and age you have a few options: take a lower paying job with fewer benefits, start your own company, or off yourself.  This new film about the recession is well enough acted by Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper, Kevin Costner and Tommy Lee Jones, but its tone is severely dark and frankly not a whole lot of fun to watch.  The tag line of “ In America, we give our lives to our jobs.  It’s time to take them back” doesn’t quite spell out what the movie is about.  If you are currently out of work or not in the position you were a few years ago, don’t look to this film for inspiration, for it has none to give.  If you want to see a vision of one of the biggest challenges America has ever faced, then you might have a good reason to see it.  B-

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