New in Home Entertainment – February 28, 2012

New in Home Entertainment

February 28, 2012

Rated PG for mild thematic material, some action/peril and smoking
Available on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD

After sweeping pretty much of all of the technical Oscars this year, I’m sure many of you are wondering what you missed in theaters.  After all, Martin Scorsese’s family masterpiece only brought in a paltry $67 million at the box office which is nowhere near its estimated budget.  Telling the tale of a young boy from the early 1900’s who is forced to live in a Paris train station after the death of his father, Hugo avoids being a depressing film by filling the void with curiosity and imagination.  If you have a 3D television you are in luck as this is a must-own title for that technology, but even without you are in for a terrifically moving picture that you and your family are sure to enjoy.  Also, because there is so much history in the movie that the story couldn’t possibly cover, the documentaries are all a must-see, especially the feature on The Cinemagician, George Melies.  A

Martha Marcy May Marlene
Rated R for disturbing violent and sexual content, nudity and language
Available on Blu-ray and DVD

So the title is enough to get you a little tongue-tied, but the subject of this film will stick with you in ways you maybe wish it didn’t.   Elizabeth Olsen’s film debut tells the tale of a young girl who joins a cult only to escape the nightmare after she runs away and seeks solace at her sister’s home.  Reliving the events of her recent past, Martha has lost touch of reality and has difficulty distinguishing right from wrong in her new world.  This is one majorly disturbing film with some really good performances throughout.  Olsen’s performance is as solid as you would expect from a seasoned actress, even though she’s a Hollywood newbie.  And John Hawkes, straight off his Oscar nomination for last year’s Winter’s Bone, is horrifying as the cult’s patriarch.  B+

I Melt With You
Rated R for pervasive drug use and language, some violence and sexual content
Available on Blu-ray and DVD

Starting out like a modern day Big Chill, I Melt With You places four great actors: Thomas Jane, Jeremy Piven, Rob Lowe and Thomas McKay as friends who have come together for a wild weekend of drugs, sex and hard partying.  But when they all realize that the lives they are living are not what they had hoped for, a pact they made as young men takes them to a dark place.  This films starts out with some real potential, but when the big plot twist is revealed, it becomes a party that is no longer fun to watch.  I like a good turn, but this plot is ridiculous and the actors treat it as such.  Not every film has to be entertaining, but to purposefully try to depress those watching is unreasonable.  C-

A Tribute to John Williams: An 80th Birthday Celebration
Available on CD

Hollywood’s most famous film composer turned 80 on February 8 and with this momentous occasion Sony has released this wonderful tribute album celebrating his career.  It’s hard to imagine films like Star Wars, Jaws, ET, Schindler’s List and Indiana Jones without the beautiful and powerful music that accompanied them.  Arguably the greatest composer of the twentieth century, this album is a fitting example of some of his greatest works including the before-mentioned titles as wells as themes from 1941, Sabrina, War Horse, Memoirs of a Geisha and Tintin as well as the never before released Happy Birthday Variations.  A

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