New in Home Entertainment – January 21, 2014

New in Home Entertainment

January 21, 2014

Captain Phillips

Rated PG-13 for sustained sequences of menace, some violence with bloody images, and for substance abuse
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Captain Phillips follows the real-life story of Captain Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks) and the crew of the MV Maersk Alabama as they are hijacked by Somali pirates.  Simply put, the film is phenomenal.  From start to finish it is a riveting and exciting drama that will keep your pulse racing and your mind stirring.  I will go as far as to say it is the best film of the year that will most likely not win any major awards.  Tom Hanks’s performance is on par with his best work and newcomer Barkhad Abdi, in an Oscar nominated performance, deserves high praise for creating an air of empathy around a really bad villain.   A

Blue Jasmine
Rated R for mature thematic material, language and sexual content
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Woody Allen’s latest comedy places Cate Blanchett as a New York socialite who is separated from her riches and forced to live with her sister, played by Sally Hawkins, when her husband (Alec Baldwin) is arrested for white collar crimes.  Almost certain to win her an Oscar for best actress this year, Blanchett is out-of-this-world good as she plays a woman who you can’t stand to watch but can’t take your eyes of.  The writing from Allen is some of his finest and most relevant.  The unsung hero is the surprising supporting cast including Baldwin, Hawkins, Andrew Dice Clay, Peter Sarsgaard and Louis C.K. who all turn in fine performances elevating the film quality tremendously.  A

Machete Kills
Rated R for strong bloody violence throughout, language and some sexual content
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Machete (Danny Trejo), the character based on the fake movie trailer turned into a movie by Robert Rodriguez, is back and working for the U.S. President (Charlie Sheen) to stop a super villain (Mel Gibson) from taking over the world.  Once again, this is a B-movie with an A-level cast.  Does that make it good?  Not exactly, but it does make it interesting.  It never takes itself seriously or pretends to be something it is not.  Instead, it relishes in its silliness and allows the audience to come in have a good time with it.  So while the rating I’m giving it isn’t great, and I would probably get made fun of if I praised it, I will gladly admit that for the right audience, this will be another Rodriguez masterpiece.  C+