New in Home Entertainment – October 27, 2015


New in Home Entertainment

October 27, 2015

Rated R for language throughout, and some violence
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
Training Day director Antoine Fuqua gives us his take on a boxing movie with this drama starring Jake Gyllenhaal as a champion heavyweight who faces an unimaginable tragedy which takes him from being on top to spiraling down to the very bottom. While boxing movies are very formulaic, and this one is no different, Southpaw beats the audience up with darkness, bringing you down to the depths felt by its hero. It’s a tough and challenging film to watch but the performances by Gyllenhaal and Forrest Whitaker, elevate the film to a perch where you can at least breath while you’re waiting for something positive to happen. Some of the film isn’t the most authentic, such as the time it takes for both his world to fall apart and the climb back, but this is a very solid movie for the subgenre and very much worth the journey. One final note, pun lovingly intended, this is one of the last scores by Oscar-winning composer James Horner who died in a recent plane crash. It’s a really great piece of music that adds a huge amount of emotional depth to the picture. B+

Rated PG for action violence, peril, brief language and some thematic elements
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
Growing up I had an overabundance of dog adventures to keep me busy, such as those from Lassie, Benji, and even Rin Tin Tin, but it seems like its been decades since we’ve had a good one hit theaters. With Max we get a German Shepherd whose master is killed in a skirmish in the Middle East and then sent to live with his master’s brother back stateside. While there, a dangerous adventure unfolds putting everyone’s life at risk. I actually expected more of a kid film here, considering its rating and trailer, but I would suggest not letting young kids see it as it takes a violent turn towards the end that was completely unexpected. That being said, that turn creates a different kind of film that I actually found enjoyable. While Hollywood veterans Lauren Graham and Thomas Haden Church play the adult leads (not that great I might add), its the dog, named Carlos in real life, who steals the show. I was amazed and inspired as they turned Max into an action hero. B

Rated PG-13 for some language and suggestive comments
Available on DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D
Adam Sandler is back at his dumb-movie best as a former child video game champion who must save the planet when aliens attack the Earth in the form of 80’s video games like Galaga, Centipede and Pac-Man. If the premise isn’t bad enough, the lack of laughter pushes this one over the edge. I think the filmmakers, led by Harry Potter director Chris Columbus, thought that several big-budget set pieces connected by whatever plot they could dig up would be enough. But its not and the film ultimately stagnates with mediocrity. D

Mulholland Drive: Criterion Edition
Rated R for violence, language and some strong sexuality
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
It makes sense that Criterion would take on this 2001 thriller by David Lynch about a women with amnesia (Laura Harring) who befriends a young actress (Naomi Watts) staying in her aunt’s home in beautiful but gritty Los Angeles. While the film has its dramatic and engaging moments, it leaves you with a sense of oddity that is rather difficult to piece together. This Criterion collection has new special features that try to help you have a better understanding of what you are watching, but I’m not sure if it is worth your time. C

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