New in Home Entertainment – January 18, 2011

New in Home Entertainment

January 18, 2011

Animal Kingdom
Rated R for violence, drug content and pervasive language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

What I consider to be the most underrated film of the year is this Australian crime drama filled with powerhouse performances and a breathtaking script from writer/director David Michod.  The story takes place when a young man’s mother dies and he is taken in by his bank robbing family, led by his wickedly sweet grandmother (played by Jackie Weaver who very much deserves the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role).  Thrust into a situation that can’t possibly have a good outcome, the young man must decide between right and wrong, which also happens to be the decision between life and death.  I am convinced that the only reason this film isn’t gaining more attention during awards season is because the voters aren’t taking the time to watch it.  A+

Rated R for strong sexuality and violence, and pervasive language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

In this chess match between prisoner and lawman, Ed Norton plays a convicted arsonist that tries to secure his parole by using his wife (Mila Jovovich) to seduce his parole officer, played by Robert De Niro.  There was a lot of hope for this film before its release, but while the performances are all very good, the story is not as compelling as you would hope, which leaves the viewer with more of an air of disgust than a feeling of being entertained.  Perhaps its the fact that all three of the actors are despicable, which leaves you no one to cheer for.  So while the cast does the part exceptionally well, you find yourself not caring who wins.  C

Paper Man
Rated R for language and a scene of sensuality
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

When a writer (Jeff Daniels) moves into his cabin to get away from his normal life, he befriends a young girl from the town (Emma Stone) without the knowledge of his wife (Lisa Kudrow).  And to make matters a little strange, both Bridges and Stone have imaginary friends that guide them through life (Ryan Reynolds and Kieran Culkin respectively).  This is definitely a case of great cast, good script, but too far out there for mainstream release.  Still, the movie tells a nice little story that is fairly entertaining and even funny at times.  B-