New in Home Entertainment – June 5, 2012

New in Home Entertainment

June 5, 2012

John Carter
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action
Available on 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD

John Carter, based on A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, is one of the oldest and most famous sci-fi tales of all time, which bears mentioning since it has taken Hollywood almost a century to try to bring it to the big screen.  This might be because the story, about a Civil War soldier who finds himself in the middle of a war on Mars, is a very difficult adaptation.  It could also be because Disney’s vision was all wrong.  Whatever the problem is, the film blew it at the box office big time.  Granted, while it only made 72.5 million in the states, it grabbed another 200 million overseas.  But with the amount of money Disney spent on this film, they will be counting heavily on a strong home entertainment release to hopefully break even.  Is it a bad film?  Not terribly.  The special effects are stellar and the overall production is very good.  The acting is a little rough and the film’s pacing makes it seem like a three-hour picture when in actuality it’s only a little over two.  From the special features in this set, you can tell a lot of love went into the making of it and that is worth something.  B-

Safe House
Rated R for strong violence throughout and some language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Ryan Reynolds is a young CIA agent who is forced to protect Denzel Washington who plays a fugitive wanted by both the CIA and terrorist groups around the world.  This really could have been a good film if it wasn’t based on a hugely absurd premise.  I was fine with the bad guys coming into the safe house to kill Washington, but being forced to keep him safe for the length of time asked of him, and then the actions he takes, make the film more and more unbelievable as it goes on.  Sure the movie is full of action, but overall its senseless.  The acting is good enough by this very talented cast, but the movie itself needed another rewrite.  C+

Breaking Bad: The Complete Fourth Season
Rated TV-MA
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

The first season of AMC’s hit show Breaking Bad played like a slightly more serious version of Showtime’s Weeds.  The second season played like a fantastic crime drama.  The third season started to develop into something big.  And now this fourth season turned out to be television’s answer to The Godfather.  Forced to work for a drug kingpin, Bryan Cranston goes up against one of the most evil of characters with not only his but his family’s life on the line as well.  If you’ve missed out on this season, I can’t think of a better way to spend a weekend than to watch all of the episodes back-to-back, ending with one of the best season finales I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing.  A+

Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete Eighth Season
Available on DVD

It’s hard to imagine that we have put up with eight seasons now of the obnoxious Larry David and the show still finds a way of looking fresh.  Living in New York now, Larry manages to offend the entire city in one way or another, ending in an hysterically funny season finale after trying to take on Michael J. Fox.  A-