New in Home Entertainment – August 6, 2013

New in Home Entertainment

August 6, 2013   

Rated PG-13 for some violence, sexual references, language, thematic elements and smoking
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Two young boys wandering the rivers of Arkansas befriend a man named Mud (Matthew McConaughey) who is hiding out from the law as he awaits the love of his life (Reese Witherspoon) to come to him.  This is simply a fascinating and surprising adventure full of great acting and superb writing.  McConaughey is on a roll with so many great films in the last two years and this one could finally get him a much-deserved Oscar nomination.  The story, revolving around three generations suffering from the disillusionment of love, is heartbreaking if not the slightest bit sexist.  But it is their story and it is so well-told you hardly care.  I love when a quiet little film like this makes such a huge impact.  A

The Place Beyond the Pines
Rated R for language throughout, some violence, teen drug and alcohol use, and a sexual reference
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

This highly unusual film tells the story of a young man (Ryan Gosling) who is convinced to rob banks in order to provide for his child and the cop that gets in the way (Bradley Cooper).  Telling three very distinct stories, the movie is far more ambitious than you would imagine and leaves you wondering if you just saw something great or just pretentious.  Don’t get me wrong – the performances by all are strong and the screenplay is solid, and it is out of the box filmmaking but honestly, my mind is still figuring out the verdict.  B

West of Memphis
Rated R for disturbing violent content and some language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

In 1993, the bodies of three young boys were discovered in West Memphis, Arkansas, and subsequently, three teens were ramrodded through the court system and found guilty of the crime.  When technology was able to prove the innocence of the three men convicted, they were finally able to be released but not completely exonerated of their supposed crime.  This doc explores the complete failure of the American justice system, not only in regards to locking up and ruining the lives of the wrong people, but also not getting the proper justice the murdered children deserve.  The pic is completely sobering and extremely angering.  More than anything, it is just simply hard to believe that something like this is allowed to happen in America.  A-

Disney’s Robin Hood
Rated G
Available on Blu-ray

I’m very fond of this 1973 Disney classic about the adventures of Robin Hood as he and his Merry Men steal from the rich to give back to the poor.  While the very thought of this is bound to get a Republican all riled up, this movie not only will serve to entertain the kids but will teach them a valuable lesson as well about what can happen when greed is allowed to run unfettered by law.  This new HD transfer is gorgeous, making the film look truly better than ever.  And in no time at all you’ll be singing along to the wonderful Roger Miller soundtrack.  Also being released this week from the Disney vault are the mediocre Oliver and Company and The Sword in the Stone.  B+