New in Home Entertainment – March 12, 2014

New in Home Entertainment

March 11, 2014

Out of the Furnace
Rated R for strong violence, language and drug content
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Christian Bale plays a struggling blue-collar worker who is forced to take the law into his own hands when his brother (Casey Affleck) turns up missing and the law won’t do anything about it.  This indie is quite ambitious for a quiet little rust bowl picture.  The story isn’t that unique but the performances stand out, especially from Woody Harrelson who plays one heck of a mean villain.  All of the characters are more complex than they let on, though, making for an interesting watch.  But while the film is a decent enough drama, it is ultimately pretty forgettable and really only worth a rent and not a buy.  B-

The Book Thief
Rated PG-13 for some violence and intense depiction of thematic material
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Based on the book by Markus Zusak, The Book Thief tells the story of a young girl who is adopted by a German family during WWII who is hiding a Jewish refugee.  After she learns to read, she begins stealing books from a local home in order to entertain herself and keep her illegal guest company.  While the film has good intentions, it just isn’t interesting enough to hold your attention.  Sophie Nelisse, who plays the young girl, isn’t a particularly great actress, and the script by Michael Petroni even makes the performances of Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson look stale.  The one saving grace the film has is a magnificent score by the infamous John Williams, who hasn’t done a non-Spielberg film since 2005’s Memoirs of a Geisha.  While the music doesn’t make the film worth watching, it certainly is a soundtrack worth owning.  C