New in Home Entertainment – January 10, 2012

New in Home Entertainment

January 10, 2012

Boardwalk Empire: The Complete First Season
Rated TV-MA
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

While HBO’s True Blood is certainly a popular replacement for their hit shows The Sopranos, Rome, Six Feet Under and Deadwood, HBO was in desperate need for another critical hit and it certainly found it in Boardwalk Empire.  Set in the 1920’s in the very corrupt Atlantic City, New Jersey, Empire follows the life and times of Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi) who takes advantage of prohibition in order get rich off of the illegal booze trade.  As you expect, there are many folks who try to get in the way including his former protege Jimmy Darmody (Michael Pitt) and the feds led by Agent Van Alden (Michael Shannon).  From the lavish production design to the pitch perfect writing and acting, this is one heck of a great drama which proves once again that television is sometimes immensely more entertaining than the movies.  A

Rated PG-13 for some strong language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

While I can appreciate baseball, I’ve never really loved the sport, but one thing I do love is a good baseball movie and Moneyball certainly falls into that category.  Loosely based on the true story of Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane (Brad Pitt), Moneyball follows Beane during the historic 2002 season when he chose to use statistics rather than traditional scouting in order to assemble a ball team that could fall within his budget and win in the postseason.  The movie works so well in its off-the-field moments that it almost doesn’t matter that the gameplay scenes rather stink.  That is mostly due to the talent of Pitt as well as his by-the-numbers assistant played by Jonah Hill.  The pic is a real crowd pleaser and should leave you with a big grin on your face.  B+

Killer Elite
Rated R for strong violence, language and some sexuality/nudity
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Supposedly based on a true story, Killer Elite follows a contract killer (Jason Statham) who is forced to do a complicated mission in order to save the life of his mentor (Robert De Niro).  With a talented cast like this you would think there was a chance to be a strong action thriller.  While Statham is his normal kick-butt self and his scenes are fun to watch simply due to his antics, the convoluted plot only makes for a good head-scratching and the writing is, for the most part, total crap.  So if you are just looking for a rental with decent action, you’ll probably enjoy it, but if you are expecting something great from a great cast, you will most likely be disappointed.  C