New in Home Entertainment – May 1, 2012

New in Home Entertainment

May 1, 2012

New Year’s Eve
Rated PG-13 for language including some sexual references
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Ever since Love Actually, Hollywood has been attempting to capitalize on the formula of taking a holiday, throwing as many A-listers as will fit in a blender, and making a themed movie smoothie of it.  In this case, director Garry Marshall (Valentine’s Day, The Princess Diaries) takes Michelle Pfeiffer, Zac Efron, Robert De Niro, Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Sarah Jessica Parker and many others and gives them little stories revolving around New Year’s Eve.  The result is another ridiculously stupid movie that damages the integrity of everyone involved.  Contrived and cliched at every turn, the movie tries to take advantage of couples looking for a “date” movie and girls nights out.  I actually loved Love Actually, but these copy cat Hollywood crap fests are good for nothing but mockery and disdain.  F

Joyful Noise
Rated PG-13 for some language including a sexual reference
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Convinced that the competitive church choir competition genre was under-represented, the filmmakers here put together tale of a face-off between Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah as they both try to fight it out over the subject of how best to win a national competition.  While its completely predictable, much of its target audience won’t be as critical as the critics due to the fact that its a positive, uplifting family-safe film with decent music.  If you have a discerning palate, however, you will most likely find the movie to be a musical comedy that panders to its set audience.  Then again, I don’t think there was any ambition of winning awards or making a statement here.  This is simple entertainment for viewers that want a simple film.  C

The Organizer: Criterion Collection

Italian with English Subtitles

Getting the Criterion treatment here is a relatively little-known 1963 Italian film about a group of textile workers in Turin, Italy at the turn of the century that join forces under the leadership of a traveling professor in order to fight for better working conditions.  Since the film can be said to have modern-day comparisons to our current economy, it is a truly relevant picture almost 50 years after its release.  More importantly though is that it is a very entertaining movie that infuses fantastic moments of comedy relief within its tension-filled dramatic walls.  The performances seem authentic and the great cinematography, along with its new digital restoration, give the film a look of historical significance.  Above all is the extremely well-written Oscar-nominated screenplay by the same writers that gave us The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Il Postino.  A-