New in Home Entertainment – March 27, 2012

New in Home Entertainment

March 27, 2012

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Rated PG-13 for emotional thematic material, some disturbing images and language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Many critics dismissed this very moving tribute to 9/11 but even so it still managed to squeak out an Oscar nod for both best picture and best supporting actor for 82-year-old Max von Sydow.  Extremely Loud follows the story of a high-functioning autistic boy whose father (played by Tom Hanks) dies when the towers collapse.  When the boy finds a key hidden in a vase in his father’s closet, he sets off to discover what the key unlocks in order to experience one last adventure with his father.  If you are anything like me, you could care less what the other critics think.  This is an exceptional movie full of an amazing variety of emotions and intense complexity.  It is well-written, terrifically acted, and the overall production is top-notch.  It also possesses the best and most under-appreciated score of the year composed by Alexandre Desplat with piano by Jean-Yves Thibaudet.  And while you will need some major tissue, the sadness does not bring you down or make you wish you hadn’t watched it.  A

In the Land of Blood and Honey
Rated R for war violence and atrocities including rape, sexuality, nudity and language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Written and directed by Angelina Jolie, Land of Blood and Honey tells the story of a man and woman during the Bosnian War whose allegiances to their countries and religions keep them from furthering their relationship.  One can’t help but be impressed with the ambition of such a project.  There is no doubt that the atrocities that occurred during this time were truly horrible and worth showing to the world.  While the production is good and the setting is well-handled, the overall story is not the greatest.  The characters fall flat and you get the sense that Jolie could have used a bit more experience before tackling such heavy material.  C+

The Sitter
Rated R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, drug material and some violence
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Jonah Hill plays a suspended college student who is talked into babysitting the kids next door in this latest comedy from Pineapple Express director David Gordon Green.  There are some pretty funny laughs to be had in this comedy, but just like Green’s last film, Your Highness, the drug and sex jokes get a little stale.  Hill is an interesting actor to watch at times, but he is much better suited for films like 21 Jump Street and Moneyball than he is for this kind of movie.  The whole thing feels like two guys were watching the 1987 film Adventures in Babysitting while high and started asking dumb “what if?” questions and wallah – a movie was formed.  It’s not horrible, but not good either.  C

Casablanca: 70th Anniversary Edition

Available on Blu-ray

For the 70th anniversary of what many consider to be the greatest romantic film of all time, Warner Brothers is releasing this beautiful limited edition box set which contains an all-new 4K scan of the film (not sure what that means but it sure is pretty) with tons of featurettes and documentaries as well as a 60 page photo book, French mini-poster and coaster set.  It’s not a bad deal for a relatively low cost and the film has never looked or sounded better.  I know if I hadn’t gotten one from Warner Brothers recently, I would have had it on my Birthday wish list with constant reminders for my wife.  A+