New in Home Entertainment – January 25, 2011

New in Home Entertainment

January 25, 2011

Rated PG for brief mild language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

The horse race movie has been done, over and over and over again.  So trying not to kick a dead horse (sorry for that) is a difficult task.  But feeling the need for a good, wholesome family movie, Disney made this pic about the legendary Triple Crown winner Secretariat.  The cast is as solid as you can get with Diane Lane and John Malkovich leading the way, but in the end, its still another predictable horse race movie.  Sure it makes you feel good and might even bring a little tear to your eye, so if that’s what you are looking for you are sure to find it.  Personally, I found it to be
nothing more than a nice history lesson and a short diversion.  C+

Broadcast News: The Criterion Collection
Rated R
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Widely considered to be not only one of the best films about the broadcasting industry, but an insightful comedy as well, Broadcast News is getting the Criterion treatment with this new release.  The film has been restored in high def and given a new audio commentary by director James L. Brooks and editor Richard marks.  In addition, there is a great new doc on Brooks and his career in television and film as well as an alternate ending, deleted scenes and loads of other featurettes.  While its one of the most mainstream films you’ll ever find being released by Criterion, it is still very worthy and this new edition is a true collector’s item.  A

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action violence and brief strong language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman and John Malkovich are among a CIA group known simply as RED – Retired Extremely Dangerous.  When the government makes the decision to try to snuff them all out, Willis pulls the team together in order to try reverse the tide.  This is a pretty darn fun, creative action thriller that uses well its mature cast.  The standout here though is the young agent on the hunt to take them out, played by Star Trek’s Karl Urban.  B+

Zorro: The Complete Series
Available on DVD

For four seasons during the 90’s, the masked swashbuckler, Zorro, appeared on The Family Channel and then disappeared.  So two decades later, the show is hitting DVD in this huge set featuring 15 discs, all four seasons, and tons of special features including The Mask of Zorro – the original Douglas Fairbanks silent film that started it all.  B

Like Dandelion Dust
Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material including domestic violence and alcohol abuse
Available on DVD

Lately, it seems that adoption films have all included a scary child that ends up killing everyone around him or her.  So I have to admit that it is refreshing to find a nice family drama in Dandelion Dust.  The story revolves around a troubled couple (exceptionally played by Mira Sorvino and Barry Pepper) who attempt to get their son back from his adopted parents (Cole Hauser and Kate Levering) when the husband gets out of prison and discovers that his wife gave up the child without his knowledge.  It’s a tough film to swallow, but the acting is very strong and the story is quite compelling.  A-  

Santa Sangre
Not Rated
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

There are some that consider this horror film by Alejandro Jodorowsky to be a masterpiece of the genre.  Personally, I found this film to be a little too much.  Too violent, too strange, and far too disturbing.  You can tell that there is genius at work, but sometimes the arthouse-ness of the film takes over the story, and you find yourself neck-deep in a narrative that is not only confusing, but overly artistic.  This gave me the feeling I get when going to a Modern Art Museum: I can appreciate the work, but it doesn’t mean I like it, or find any enjoyment from it whatsoever.  C-

Glee: Season 2 – Volume 1
Available on DVD

The first season of Glee was original, fun, and extremely entertaining.  That being said, the second season came in just delivering the same thing again and I gave up half-way through the season.  Revisiting this season again, I feel I made the right choice.  Don’t get me wrong, the music is still pretty terrific and I’ve bought a few of the songs on iTunes, but it seems to me that the plot is always the same.  The members of the Glee club are outcasts in their school, in spite of their enormous talent, and cheerleader coach Sue Sylvester (played by the funny Jane Lynch) tries with all her might to shut them down.  Sure there are some variations, but it has become more annoying than entertaining at this point.  Unless they do something drastic with the writing, the show will have a short half-life.  One question I also have: what’s with the cheerleaders wearing their costumes every day?  Are their closets that limited?  C+