New in Home Entertainment – February 14, 2012

New in Home Entertainment

February 14, 2012

Take Shelter
Rated R for some language
Available on DVD

Michael Shannon (Boardwalk Empire) and Jessica Chastain (Tree of Life) have to be two of the hardest-working actors in Hollywood right now, but you don’t have to look further than Take Shelter to see that they aren’t trading quantity for quality.  Take Shelter tells the story of a man who has been driven crazy by his apocalyptic visions and his wife who supports him throughout his assumed illness.  This is definitely a film that you have to be patient with but is very rewarding if you stick with it.  Shannon’s performance should have made him an Oscar contender this year and were it not for Chastain’s Oscar nomination for The Help, she might have landed one for this as well (she was also great in Tree of Life and The Debt).  And while the movie looks like a little indie from the outside, it turns out to be one big powerhouse of a film.  A

Three Outlaw Samurai: The Criterion Collection

Available on DVD and Blu-ray

This 1964 classic Samurai tale by famed Japanese filmmaker Hideo Gosha tells the story of three Samurai warriors who find themselves in the middle of a fight between a dictatorial magistrate and a group of peasants who have kidnapped his daughter in the hopes of coercing him to lower their taxes.  The stunning black and white print has been given the Criterion treatment with a new high-definition restoration.  Also, the blu-ray has been given a new uncompressed monaural track.  If you are a fan of early Japanese cinema, you’ll definitely want to check this one out.  B+

To Kill A Mockingbird: 50th Anniversary Edition
Available on DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray Collector’s Series
One of America’s most beloved films, To Kill a Mockingbird turns 50 this year and is getting a spectacular new hi-def facelift as part of Universal’s 100th Anniversary Collector’s Series.  By today’s standards, this film is challenging, telling the story of a lawyer in the Depression-era South who defends a black man from an undeserved rape charge.  While I wasn’t yet around in 1962 when this film came out, I can only imagine the jolt it sent through theaters.  Not only is the story a real doozy, but with this new digital restoration, it looks absolutely pristine.  If you are a fan of the film, you might want to check out the Collector’s Series Edition which comes with a book and a beautiful collector’s case.  Also be sure to watch the special feature: 100 Years of Universal: Restoring the Classics which gives an in depth look at the efforts they are taking to restore and preserve their classic films.  A+