New in Home Entertainment – September 27, 2011

New in Home Entertainment

September 27, 2011

Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Rated PG-13 for intense prolonged sequences of sci-fi action violence, mayhem and destruction, and for language, some sexuality and innuendo
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

After the horrible reception of the second film (I actually received the worst hate mail of my career for my semi-positive review), the big metal robots are back for an even bigger adventure.  In this new film, the decepticons have a new weapon that threatens not just the autobots but the entire planet as well.  Just like the last film, the plot is just an excuse for a gigantic special effects extravaganza.  After watching the second film, I couldn’t imagine a bigger show of computer fire power, but director Michael Bay sure did deliver a huge spectacle with this one.  The only problem here is that the story really gets in the way of the action, and since the action seems to be more important, this turns out to hurt the film.  With Megan Fox out and new love interest played by the Rosie Huntington-Whitely in, the love story takes a sharp turn for the worse and makes Shia LaBeouf’s Sam Witwicky into a character that is very distracting from the larger story at hand.  And by the time you get to the finale you feel like you’ve wasted so much time on crap that doesn’t matter that its hard to enjoy the giant alien robots destroying Chicago.  But hey – that’s what the fast forward button is for.  My advice: grab the remote, skip any part that doesn’t have a talking piece of metal in it, and make lemonade out of lemons.  B-

The Tempest
Rated PG-13 for some nudity, suggestive content and scary images
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Have you ever had a movie that you were really excited to see and then you heard some bad reviews that you knew couldn’t be true?  That somehow the critics must have it wrong?  I was certain of this for director Julie Taymor’s The Tempest.  With the director of Titus and Across the Universe taking on one of Shakespeare’s greatest works with such talented actors as Helen Mirren, Alan Cumming, Chris Cooper and Djimon Hounsou, how could the film be anything short of spectacular?  Well, it’s a lot short of spectacular.  As you would expect, the film is visually interesting, but unfortunately, the film turns out to be a little too creative and underwhelming at the same time.  It doesn’t help that the acting is less than impressive.  But the blame really lies in a project that is too ambitious and a vision that falls short.  C-

CSI: The Eleventh Season
Available on DVD

I still can’t believe that after 12 years, CSI is still at the top of the ratings and it’s partners (CSI: NY and CSI: Miami – also releasing seasons on DVD this week) are also churning out investigation tales with good writing and strong acting.  Sure, some of the story lines are pretty contrived and yes, some of the plots get you asking if you’ve seen this before, but overall, CSI is still entertaining, and that’s saying a lot.  And one of the reasons they remain so popular is because unlike a lot of the shows on television today, you don’t have to watch the previous episode to know what’s going on.  This is a good thing for the viewer on the go who doesn’t have time to become committed to a particular television show – although a lot of folks with that point of view still make the time to watch all three religiously.  B   

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