New in Home Entertainment – July 31, 2012

New in Home Entertainment

July 31, 2012

The Weight of the Nation
Available on DVD

With more than two-thirds of our nation falling under the category of overweight or obese, it is vitally important that Americans begin to look at the cause and potential solutions for the epidemic that is thought to lead to more deaths than any other disease.  HBO along with the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes for Health combined forces for this four part documentary focusing on America’s enemy number one.  While not as flashy or artistic as most of HBO’s documentaries, this one is a powerhouse of information that is relevant to almost each and every one of us.  And if it doesn’t get you trying to make a change for yourself, its hard to imagine anyone watching and not getting scared about the future for our children.  This is not an easy series to watch, but programming that is worthwhile seldom is.  Unlike most HBO series’, this one is priced to own at $15 or less at most major retailers.  A

Hatfields & McCoys
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Earlier this year, The History Channel aired this original mini-series about the famous feud between two families whose patriarchs had just returned from fighting for the Confederacy during the Civil War.  It’s astonishing how well-made this project is and with actors like Kevin Costner, Bill Paxton, Matt Barr, Tom Berenger and Powers Boothe, its easy to understand how a series like this can impress.  The production, acting, writing and directing deserve high praise.  I don’t know how accurate the screenplay is to actual events, but it sure is riveting storytelling.  B+

Total Recall: Mind-Bending Edition
Rated R
Available on Blu-ray

I’m still scratching my head about the fact that we are already seeing a remake of the 1990 sci-fi action classic Total Recall.  I’ve heard there are some big differences between the two films, but what I’ve seen so far from the trailers is that they just reshot the old script with actors that aren’t nearly as iconic as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone.  Set in the not-too-distant future, an every-day Joe (Schwarzenegger) dreams of going to Mars and thus visits a memory implant clinic that possesses the ability to make him think he’s actually been there.  But when things go terribly wrong, our hero ends up in the middle of a war between the people of Mars and the evil corporation trying to control the planet.  This original version still holds up nicely, mostly due to its ground-breaking special effects.  Sure the fashions and hairstyles are a bit late-80s, but the film is so fun that those faults seem enduring.  There are few new features on this disc, but the HD restoration itself is worth the price and should make many fans very happy.  B+