New in Home Entertainment – April 17, 2012

New in Home Entertainment

April 17, 2012

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

While it seems that some of the franchise pics we have seen over the last year have gotten lamer with time (best example – Twilight), a couple have really knocked it out of the park, namely Harry Potter and Mission Impossible.  Mission Impossible was a very welcome edition to the relatively disappointing holiday season this past December.  Just like Harry, the film was left off many critics top 10s as well as many best-of ballots, in spite of the fact that both films landed a mid-nineties score on Rotten Tomatoes.  Moreover, just like the film about the boy wizard, the new Mission Impossible is pretty darn great.  Putting Tom Cruise and crew in a battle where they are the enemy of everyone and must clear their names before they are killed, the plot is entertaining and doesn’t get in the way of the extreme action.  To say this film will have you biting your nails is an understatement, especially if you are as afraid of heights as I am.  Former Pixar director Brad Bird (The Incredibles) does an incredible job of transitioning to the real-people world and the overall production here is insane – in a good way.  A

Rated NC-17 for some explicit sexual content
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Relative newcomer Michael Fassbender, in both a career-making and award-winning role, plays a man in New York City dealing with his out-of-control sex addiction when his sister (Carey Mulligan) moves in with him and forces him to face his illness.  Don’t let the NC-17 fool you here.  This is not a sexy film in the least.  In fact it is the un-sexiest film about sex you are likely to ever see.  This film very accurately shows the world of a sex-addict and sheds a new light on the disease which until now has mostly just been made fun of or at the very least been misunderstood.  Both Fassbender and Mulligan turn in amazing performances and director Steve McQueen deserves kudos for not only making such a hard-hitting drama, but for having the bravery to not cut the film to an R which could have killed its integrity.  This is not a film for everyone – not even close.  But if you are in the mood for a good drama and important social commentary, and if the kids are either asleep or out of the house, this is an excellent choice.  B+

The Iron Lady
Rated PG-13 for some violent images and brief nudity
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Don’t get me wrong, I love Meryl Streep, but these awards should be given for acting and not merely impersonations.  Winning two Academy Awards for best actress and best make-up, The Iron Lady excels in creating a life-like replica of Margaret Thatcher in this biopic, but fails to create a watchable film.  Streep is not to blame here and does an admirable job of portraying the famed British politician, but the script and directing are all over the place.  The story is so difficult to follow that you become apathetic to its problems by the end.  And while I feel that I know Thatcher a little better now having seen this, I feel I would have been better off watching a history channel doc on her life instead.  C-

IMAX: Born to Be Wild

Rated G
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Just like Disney, Warner Brothers has gotten into the Earth Day festivities by releasing a spectacular-looking nature film.  Born to Be Wild, through the narration of Morgan Freeman, focuses on baby elephants and orangutans who are protected from birth and raised in captivity until they can safely be released back into the wild.  At 41 minutes in length, it doesn’t have nearly the amount of storytelling of the Disney-nature releases, but what little time is spent with these animals is magical.  You and your families will find yourselves to be engaged, entertained, enlightened, and thoroughly enchanted.  A-