New on DVD

New on DVD

Race to Witch Mountain
Rated PG for sequences of action and violence, frightening and dangerous situations, and some thematic elements
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is a struggling Vegas cabbie whose life is on auto-pilot until he picks up two kids that turn out to be aliens trying to get to their ship so that they can escape back to their home planet.  With the government and an alien assassin both trying to stop them, he must find a way to get the kids to their ship alive without getting himself killed in the process.  While it’s not a terrific film by any stretch of the imagination, it does provide lots of good action, great stunts, decent comedy, and not much time to think about how bad the acting and script are.  So while I wouldn’t have recommended it for the theaters, for home video you could do a lot worse.  B-

Rated R for violent content, sexuality and language
Available on DVD

This straight to DVD film follows a group of intersecting lives after they have been deeply affected by a gunmen that kills several innocent people in a small town diner.  Kate Beckinsale, Forest Whitaker, Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Hudson, and Guy Pearce lead this impressive all-star cast in what should have at least been afforded the chance to be a box-office dud.  It’s not that it’s a bad film.  Far from it.  The performances, script, and direction are all decent enough.  Where the film will lose its attraction for most audiences is in the tone.  This is a dark film with zero sense of humor or even a chance to take a breath.  For much of the film it’s one either dark or depressing scene after another and any sign of hope given is quickly stripped away.  B-

Rated PG-13 for suggestive material including some suggestive dialogue, some violence and thematic content
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Beyonce Knowles is the jealous wife of a man whose secretary has begun stalking him.  As far as I can tell the only real point of this film was to set up a cat fight between the hot black chick and the hot white chick.  I’ll admit that it’s a good fight, but you have to get through 90 minutes of bad film to get there.  Obviously this ploy worked at the box office.  In case you think I’m joking, the special feature they tout on the back of the jewel box is “Girl Fight! An Inside Look of the Cinematic Fight Sequence Between Beyonce Knowles and Ali Larter.”  D

The Soloist
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some drug use and language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx star in this true story about a Los Angeles newspaper reporter who befriends a homeless street performer that once attended Julliard.  While the film itself is way too preachy and real for my taste, the performances by Downey Jr. and Foxx are both remarkable.  I also enjoyed getting to meet the real life characters the film was based on in the special features section.  B

Mutant Chronicles
Rated R for strong bloody violence and language throughout
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Thomas Jane (Hung) stars in this futuristic thriller about a group of mercenaries that attempt to destroy a machine that turns man into monsters.  This is B movie all the way with campy dialogue, bad acting and lots and lots of digitized blood.  But what the film lacks in acting and script, it more than makes up for in production and creativity.  I’m assuming that the movie had a minute budget, and although much of it did look very green-screened, the minds or mind that thought up the world and especially the level of details should be commended.  The steam powered ships looked remarkable and the weapons were all very original even if they didn’t exactly do the trick with the enemy they were fighting.  C