New on DVD

New on DVD

The Crazies
Rated R for bloody violence and language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

In this remake of the George A. Romero classic, something is turning the citizens of a small Iowa town into crazy sociopaths, and it’s up to the town sheriff (Timothy Olyphant) to figure out how to end what seems to be an unstoppable epidemic.  What could have been a stupid, lazy horror film, turns into a smart, twisty thriller with this great cast, frightening script, and very effective directing.  When a scary movie is this good, it becomes fun to watch, and boy was I entertained.  Sure it went a little too far with the gore, but that’s forgivable considering its genre.  A-

The White Ribbon
Rated R for some disturbing content involving violence and sexuality
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
German with English subtitles

This 2009 Oscar Nominated Foreign Film and winner of the Canne Palm D’Or tells the story of a small German village on the eve of World War I, where a series of mysterious accidents occur and it seems that some of the children in the village might be at the very center of them.  While there is some disturbing content in the movie, the most troubling elements of all come after when you’ve had time to think about who these children will grow up to become.  While this is not an easy film to watch, it is very rewarding and will stick around to haunt you for a long time.  A-

Showgirls: 15th Anniversary Sinsational Edition
Rated NC-17  
Available on Blu-ray

It has already been 15 years since Paul Verhoeven’s stripper movie, starring then teen television star Elizabeth Berkley, became the first mainstream NC-17 film to stir up controversy.  While this new HD release gives us a more clear view of, well, everything, the movie is still better at shocking than entertaining.  I guess it just depends on your definition of “entertaining.”  C-

Don McKay
Rated R for language and some violence
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Twenty-five years after leaving his home town for what he thought was the last time, Don McKay (Thomas Haden Church) gets a call from a woman claiming to be his high school girlfriend (Elisabeth Shue) and thus decides to pay his old home a visit again.  One thing this film is not is exciting, but it has quirky down pat.  What appears at first to be a melodrama quickly turns into a dark comedy that hits you completely by surprise, but you have to be patient to get there.  I think the film would have worked better as a play than a movie, but even as a film it was fairly entertaining and had me in stitches towards the end.  B-

Rated R for a scene of sexuality
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Jon Hamm is a cop whose son was kidnapped and presumed dead.  When he discovers the grave of a missing boy from a crime that took place 50 years ago, he decides to try to solve that crime to find catharsis for his own loss.  If that description didn’t drive you to call your doctor for a prescription for an antidepressant, than watching the film surely will.  I can’t recall such a downer of a movie, and while the production values were good, and you could tell a lot of love went into making it, it’s just not a story most people wish to see.  I, for one, wish I had never put the disc in.  C-