New on DVD

New on DVD

State of Play
Rated PG-13 for some violence, language including sexual references, and brief drug content
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Russell Crowe and Rachel McAdams are two journalists trying to get to the bottom of a case involving the dead mistress of a congressman (played by Ben Affleck).  Diving into the world of corrupt politicians, journalistic integrity, and defense contracts makes for a compelling enough story, and with this cast of talented actors and filmmakers, it is no doubt that you’ll get a real nail biter here.  What stinks is the lousy twist-ending that doesn’t really come as a surprise, but rather just serves as a confounding annoyance.  I wish they could have played this tale more on the level.  B

Available on DVD and Blu-ray

This feature-length version of the Discovery Channel’s Planet Earth, produced by Disney, shows all of the best moments of the landmark television documentary, all narrated by none other than James Earl Jones.  Masterfully edited into a finely-crafted story line of life on earth and sea, this doc is one of the most spectacular films on nature you’ll ever see.  While I highly recommend getting Planet Earth also, I have to admit that this new release is superior in one regard: it actually has a documentary on how some of the amazing footage was obtained.  Watching them film the polar bears, the lions attacking the elephants, the sharks eating seals, and the cheetah chasing the gazelle, will give you new appreciation for the work that went into creating this huge endeavor.  The blu-ray also has a changing menu that will update new content monthly, constantly letting you know what is going on in the world of nature.  A

Heroes: Season 3
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Realizing that Season 2 was derailing fast, the writers decided to introduce new villains and too many plot lines to Season 3 in order to completely get the train off the tracks.  At first I just couldn’t understand why the characters were changing, and then after a while I just didn’t care.  Then after the second part of the season, titled Fugitives, it just got worse.  The show still has a following, but it’s really hard to keep watching a show that seems to be daring you to do so.  I will give the credit on a massive amount of extra content for the blu-ray.  I just wish there was someone involved with a super-ability for creating a better show.  C-

Sin Nombre
Rated R for violence, language, and some sexual content
Spanish with English subtitles
Available on DVD

This directing and cinematography award winner from the 2009 Sundance Film Festival follows the lives of two Latino young people as they make their way to America.  Willy (Edgar Flores) is a Mexican gang member on the run after a turn of events puts his life in danger.  Sayra (Paulina Gaitan) is a Honduran teenager whose only dream is that she can make it to be with her family in New Jersey.  As Willy and Sayra come closer to their goal, they also come closer to the danger it presents itself with.  From start to finish, this is just a mesmerizing film.  For most of us in America, we can never imagine what the rest of the world would do to be where we are, and this film brings that all in and puts it into place.  It represents the immigrant struggle in a way that I’ve never seen put on film before, and it does the one thing that you most want a film to do: it touches your heart.  A

Life After People
Available on Blu-ray

So what happens to the Earth after we are gone?  This History Channel special takes a look at the various stages of life on Earth, days, years, decades, and centuries after mankind has left the planet.  Unless humans just disappear suddenly and completely, I’d have to disagree with the first part of the show, but the theories about what the world would look like are truly fascinating.  B