New in Home Entertainment – May 29, 2012

New in Home Entertainment

May 29, 2012

Rated R for brutal violence, non-stop language, some strong sexual content and drug use
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

I love a pleasant surprise and this one hit me fast and hard.  Goon follows the life of a super nice loser (Seann William Scott) who discovers he has a great talent: he just might be the best fist fighter in hockey.  Quickly recruited and moved up the ranks, he not only discovers his calling, but falls in love with a nice Canadian cutie as well.  With the screenwriting team of Jay Baruchel (star of How to Train Your Dragon) and Evan Goldberg (writer of Superbad), I had high hopes, but with such a poor showing at the box office, I was prepared for disappointment.  I love being wrong about movies in this way.  I found myself laughing from start to finish.  The movie might be a little predictable and the plot is definitely forced, but the characters are fun to watch and the indie vibe helps the film work.  If you are easily offended or put out by violence and bad behavior, you may want to stay away.  As for me, the violence made me laugh hysterically and the bad behavior kept me entertained.  A-

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

For years Andrew Lloyd Webber has been writing a sequel to his hit Broadway smash Phantom of the Opera.  Beginning in London a couple of years back, the show was a critical and box office dud.  Reworked and relaunched in Australia, and presented here, the show has turned out to be much more successful.  Set a decade after the events of the first Phantom in Coney Island, Christine, her husband Raoul and their son have another run in with the mysterious Phantom.  The story is not the greatest, but just like any Lloyd Webber musical, the music and the spectacle are well done.  As a big Phantom fan, I rather enjoyed the musical, although I probably won’t be listening to the soundtrack as often as I do the original.  If you too are a Phantom fan, you should check it out.  As an aside, if you want a deeper look at these characters in a beautifully written book, check out Susan Kay’s Phantom.  I’ve read it twice and now I just might crack it open again.  B-

Rated R for some bloody violence
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Not all of Shakespeare’s works are gold, but in the right hands, most of them can be very impressive.  Case in point is his little-known work Coriolanus.  This story about the Roman General (Ralph Fiennes) who is rejected by his own people and forced to join with his sworn enemy (Gerard Butler) in order to get revenge was first a stage production directed by Fiennes who then decided to bring it to the big screen.  While the writing isn’t the best of the famous bard, what Fiennes has done here is exceptional.  The production is fantastic and the acting by the terrific cast including Fiennes, Butler, Jessica Chastain and Venessa Redgrave is superb.  B-

True Blood: The Complete Fourth Season
Rated TV-MA
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

I never thought I’d ever get into watching soap operas, but HBO’s True Blood has proven me wrong.  What started out as a beautiful macabre love story has turned into a melodramatic monster mess, but I still can’t look away.  After tackling vampires, demons, shapeshifters and werewolves in the first three seasons, Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Pacquin) and gang are now up against one heck of an evil witch who wants to see all vampires dead.  As cheesy as this show is, it is still very entertaining and after rewatching this latest season on blu-ray (which is loaded down with tons of features might I add), I am jonesing for season five starting on June 10.  B+