New in Home Entertainment – July 16, 2013

New in Home Entertainment

July 16, 2013

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements including language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

In 1946 Brooklyn Dodgers owner Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford) made a huge gamble by introducing a black player, Jackie Robinson (newcomer Chadwick Boseman) into the white league.  When the gamble paid off, Jackie was an early face of a sweeping change that became a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement.  This film tells the story of how Jackie came to play for the Dodgers and the success he had with them.  Director Brian Helgeland (A Knight’s Tale) does a superb job of recreating this tumultuous and triumphant period in American history.  The problem with most biopics is they don’t tell very good stories, but this is a tidy little package that gives you a very good sense of the big picture.  The movie has a bit of cheese, such as the young black kid they keep coming back to as he idolizes his hero, but that’s bound to happen in a pic like this when fillmmakers feel they need to add these kinds of characters in order to show the impact of their protagonist.  I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if this movie finally gives Harrison Ford an Academy Award.  Not only is he great as Rickey, but being a legend without the big trophy has Oscar bait written all over it.  A-

Evil Dead
Rated R for strong bloody violence and gore, some sexual content and language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

When director Sam Raimi created The Evil Dead in 1981, it was a cheaply-made but inspired comedy/horror that to this day is a huge cult classic.  Now, over 30 years later, he is producing this new vision of that film about a group of teens stuck in a cabin that are subject to an evil curse when one of them reads from the Book of the Dead.  The style of the film is creepy and extremely gory, but the film doesn’t come off as either scary or funny.  If you simply need a few good gotchas and whole lotta blood, then you’ll probably like this film.  As for me, I just couldn’t get into it or appreciate it.  I was expecting a spine tingling nightmare with a sense of humor and it just didn’t deliver the goods.  C

Bullet to the Head
Rated R for strong violence, bloody images, language, some nudity and brief drug use
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

In the 1970s and 80s director Walter Hill (The Warriors) and Sylvester Stallone (Rambo) were huge.  Unfortunately neither of them could pull in any semblance of a box office in this ultra-violent action film about a hitman who teams up with a cop in order take down a crime lord.  While not nearly as bad I thought it would be, it still isn’t a great film by any stretch of the imagination.  The dialog, filled with horrid exposition and cliches, sounds like something that Max Fischer could have written for his school plays at Rushmore.  But at 90 minutes, the film is tight and not boring.  That at least is something.  Then again, does anyone really want to see super violent right now?  The violence that a film like this portrays might finally be becoming undesirable.  C