New in Home Entertainment – January 22, 2013

New in Home Entertainment

January 22, 2013

Searching for Sugar Man
Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and some some drug references
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

The wildest tale to be told in theaters this year wasn’t fiction at all but rather this true story about a real rock’n’roll hero who had given up his career in music due to lack of sales, working construction for decades in Detroit while his music was busy changing the people and politics of South Africa.  It sounds like a fairy tale come true for Rodriguez, who never saw a dime for his best-selling albums in South Africa that literally set the tune for the end of apartheid.  This is not only a film that you will love watching, but you will be recommending it to your friends for years to come and more than likely buying some of his amazing music.  A

End of Watch
Rated R for strong violence, some disturbing images, pervasive language including sexual references, and some drug use
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Sometimes found-footage films work and are quite a lot of fun to watch.  Sometimes, like in End of Watch, they aren’t.  The set up is Jake Gyllenhaal is a cop making a film with a camera watching his every move.  The bad guy gang members also like to record all of their crimes and misdeeds.  By the end of the film there is enough footage to make a movie.  I’m just not sure why this gimmick was needed here.  Jake and Michael Pena are terrific together and if they had hired decent actors as the gang members and just shot it like a normal film it might have worked.  But all of this video taping gets to be just annoying.  And while I understand sometimes bad language is a spice that films might need for proper seasoning, the language in this film is ridiculous enough to make you choke.  It’s like listening to Andrew Dice Clay on speed.  And frankly the supporting cast is as poorly directed as it is acted.  C

The Imposter
Rated R for language
Available on DVD

Yet another unbelievable documentary is this tale about a missing child from San Antonio who appears years later in Europe ready for a reunion with his lost family.  The only problem is that this newly discovered child is much older than he should be and has different colored hair and eyes.  Clearly not the missing loved one, the film interviews all parties involved to find out how such an event could possibly occur.  This is a fun film simply because you watch it in complete disbelief.  You keep waiting for the catch and there really isn’t one.  The European man pretending to be the teen gives an interesting observation that makes sense, but the filmmakers leave enough doubt in your head to keep you scratching it.  B+

Pina: Criterion Collection
Rated PG for some sensuality/partial nudity and smoking
Available on DVD and Blu-ray/Blu-ray 3D

Shortly before Wim Wenders was to begin filming his documentary about German modern dance legend Pina Bausch, she passed away suddenly, leaving him to make this Oscar-nominated tribute to her work.  Shot in 3D, this is a unique magnification of an art form for which most of us will be largely unfamiliar with.  While I’m still not a big fan of the art, there are some impressive visuals in this project and the 3D is spectacular, even at home.  B-

The Paperboy
Rated R for strong sexual content, violence and language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Precious director Lee Daniels chose for his follow-up this over-the-top adaptation of the Peter Dexter novel about a young man (Zac Efron) whose brother (Matthew McConaughey) has come back to his home town to investigate a case involving a death row inmate (John Cusack) with the help of the accused’s fiancé (Nicole Kidman).  While I kind of liked Efron and Kidman, the rest of the project just got to be tedious and a little too ugly for my liking.  I was also unimpressed by the directing and crafting of the film.  Maybe it could have been better had the editing been more conventional, but then again maybe not.  C