New in Home Entertainment – January 28, 2014

New in Home Entertainment

January 28, 2014

Fruitvale Station
Rated R for some violence, language throughout and some drug use
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Winner of the 2013 Sundance Grand Jury and Audience Award is this superb indie that is noticeably absent from the recent Academy nods.  Stories of injustice in America are sometimes unbelievable, but when they show up on people’s cell phone videos, the proof is more than evident.  In this case, a young man trying to sort his life out, masterfully played by Michael B. Jordan, is shot in the back by a police officer while he is lying on his stomach with his hands tied behind his back at an Oakland train station.  The movie tells the story leading up to the fateful night and serves as a punch to the gut and a spotlight on a flawed legal system.  Sobering to say the least, it is evidence that films can have a huge social impact on their audience.  A

Rated R for sexual content, nudity, language, some disturbing images and brief drug use
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

It is more than apparent that Americans aren’t overly into Formula One, but most of us are into great movies.  So it is that much more staggering that Ron Howard’s latest film, telling the true story of Formula One legends James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Nicki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl) as they use their hatred for the other to push each other to success, was a complete dud at the box office, only bringing in about half of what it cost to make.  It’s a terrific story and an absolutely amazing movie, currently ranked at about #130 on the IMDB top 250 films of all time.  Hemsworth proves here that he’s more than just a Norse god and Daniel Bruhl turns in possibly the most underrated performance of 2013.  My advice, pick it up, pour yourself a glass of wine or beer, turn the volume way up and then sit back and enjoy what you should have checked out a few months ago in theaters.  A

Blue Caprice
Rated R for disturbing violent content, language and brief drug use
Available on DVD

In 2002 the Beltway snipers tormented America as they randomly killed people from the back of their Caprice for weeks until they were arrested by authorities.  This film, starring Isaiah Washington as the father figure who “adopts” a young Jamaican teenager only to lead him on a murder spree across the country, isn’t a story about the murders themselves but rather about a monster creating another monster.  It is a terrifying look at true evil, as well as a social commentary focusing on mental health and the need for better role models for our youth.  Was the 16 year-old kid evil, or did this man who he looked up to make him that way?  Either way, the movie is extremely dark, but very well-made with an impressive script and surprising performances.  B+

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
Rated PG for mild rude humor
Available on DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D

Set after the events of the first film, number two has the heroes forced from their homes while a massive cleanup ensues, only to go back and discover the food has taken over and evolved into creatures.  While not as bad as the first film, this newest installment confuses creativity with weirdness.  For every brief instance of inspiration, there are ten head scratchers and eye rolls.  It passed the kid test well enough as my youngin’ was enthralled, but overall the film is disappointing if you expect a story an adult can find entertaining.  C-