New in Home Entertainment – December 18, 2012

New in Home Entertainment

December 18, 2012

Total Recall
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, some sexual content, brief nudity, and language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

I’ll admit that I skipped this one in theaters simply because the trailers made it look like a very lame ripoff of the original 1990 Schwarzenegger sci-fi classic.  I’m a big fan of the campy original and didn’t want to see an unnecessary modern remake.  Since this new one was a dud at the box office, I can assume that many others felt the same way.  I was shocked then to see that this new re-imagining of the Philip K. Dick short story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale” is a completely different, almost unrecognizable story that really only relates to the 1990 version through character names and very basic ideas.  I was impressed with the huge set pieces and the futuristic creations.  I was unimpressed with Kate Beckinsale’s character (originally played by Sharon Stone) who has this uncontrollable urge to kill Colin Farrell (the film’s hero).  The motive seems weak and plot holes abound with this misstep.  Also, the film lacks any of the fun and perverse sense of humor of the original, which is one of the main reasons people loved it so much to begin with.  C+

Killer Joe: Unrated Director’s Cut
Unrated – contains strong and disturbing violence, sexuality, graphic nudity, drug use and language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Based on the play by Tracy Letts, “Killer Joe” (Matthew McConaughey) is a Dallas detective who makes some extra money on the side as a hit man.  When Emile Hirsch hires him to take out his mother in order to collect her life insurance, a chain reaction of twisted bad luck ensues.  Directed by William Friedkin (The Exorcist), the film is a demented and sick journey that is hard to take your eyes off of.  McConaughey is especially great in the title role and plays it to his over-the-top best.  B+

Rated R for language, brief violent images and drug use
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

When a wealthy hedge-fund magnate (Richard Gere) finds himself in a car accident which leaves his mistress dead, he runs away from the scene, afraid of what the events could do to his personal and professional life.  This little indie proves to be a riveting drama, giving Gere perhaps his best performance ever.  The well-written script by writer/director Nicholas Jarecki drives you to mixed emotions.  Gere is a detestable human being, but yet you can’t help but be fascinated at the lengths he will go to in order to clear himself from the crime.  B+

Sleepwalk with Me
Rated PG-13 for some sexual content and brief language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray 

Comedian Mike Birbiglia writes, directs and stars in this film about a young aspiring comedian who meanders in his relationship with his girlfriend (wonderfully played by Laruen Ambrose) and his career as he struggles with his dangerous sleepwalking affliction.  Funny, refreshing and reflective accurately describe this indie comedy which won the Audience Award at Sundance.  Overall it’s a light and highly enjoyable short movie that you’ll be glad you took a look at.  A-