New in Home Entertainment – September 6, 2011

New in Home Entertainment

September 6, 2011

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some sexual material and language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Sixteen-year-old Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) is raised in remote Finland by her father (Eric Bana) to be a lethal killing machine in order to ensure her survival once a government agent (Cate Blanchett) discovers her whereabouts.  Not only is Hanna’s story unique and wildly original, but so is the creative directing and overall production.  Director Joe Wright (Pride and Prejudice) puts on an extraordinary show here fully utilizing his talented cast to the best of their abilities and adding in enough of himself to dazzle the audience.  Wright is one of the most exciting directors out there right now, especially in regards to the musical choices of his films.  Hanna forgoes the typical spy score in exchange for an exhilarating and dizzying composition by The Chemical Brothers.  It’s weird, but it fits, and you’ll want to turn the sound way up.  Watching a young girl in such a violent film is unsettling to say the least, but once you get past that element, the film becomes a top piece of entertainment.  A-

Everything Must Go
Rated R for language and sexual content
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Will Ferrell, taking a far departure from comedy, stars in this drama about a man who is laid off from his job only to find all of his possessions in the front yard when he gets home.  At rock bottom, and without a home to live in, he must decide what to do with his life, and what next step, if any, he needs to take.  Sounds depressing?  Well it’s not overly so.  Rather than invite you to a pity party, the film takes you on an introspective journey of a very faulted middle-aged man that has some tough choices to make.  What I was most fascinated about is that the film was surface level rather than metaphorical.  And while the “stuff” he had collected through the years served their purposes in telling his story, I fully expected him to wake up from a dream.  As for Ferrell, he gives a  great and stirring performance here and proves once again that his acting can have depth when he wants it to.  B+

X-Men: First Class
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, some sexual content including brief partial nudity and language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

When they went back and did an X-Men prequel for Wolverine and it stunk as bad as it did, it was hard to get excited about another prequel.  But upon the discovery that Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake, Kick Ass) would be directing, I started to get excited.  Turns out that excitement came for a good reason.  The origin story of the X-Men was handled well by the writers and director and they couldn’t have come up with a better cast including James McAvoy as Charles Xavier and Michael Fassbender as Magneto.  There are some moments where the cheese factor is a little high, but overall, the film turns out to be a fun and exciting adventure that even manages to place itself in not only X-Men history but our actual history as well.  By far, this is the best super hero film I have had the pleasure of seeing so far this year.  A-

Rated R
Available on Blu-ray

It’s easy to appreciate the influence this Cuban American gangster film has had on world cinema, but after watching it again, I just don’t see what all the fuss is about.  While The Godfather Parts One and Two, as well as Goodfellas, are almost as violent and still rank at the top of my favorite movies, I have never found a place for this iconic picture.  It starts out interesting, but ends up way too over-the-top for my taste and there are too many moments where I just don’t want to keep watching.  There’s a reason why this film was ignored by the Academy and was even nominated for  1984 Razzie for worst director: it’s just not that good of a film.  But for those of you who are fans, I’ll stop hating.  This new Limited Edition Blu-ray release gives you a pristine print with tons of extras included.  And if you are a big, big fan, you might want to consider checking out the Scarface Limited Edition Humidor/Blu-ray combo on for the sale price of $699.99.  This over-the-top edition matches the movie perfectly.  C