New in Home Entertainment – January 29, 2013

New in Home Entertainment

January 29, 2013

Seven Psychopaths
Rated R for strong violence, bloody images, pervasive language, sexuality/nudity and some drug use
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

From Martin McDonagh, writer/director of the brilliant indie In Bruges, comes this equally dark little comedy about a struggling writer (Colin Farrell) who gets mixed up with his friend’s (Sam Rockwell) dog kidnapping racket.  When they accidentally kidnap the Shih Tzu of the meanest gangster in LA (Woody Harrelson), they find themselves in way over their heads.  The film has everything you expect in that its well-acted, well-written and darkly funny in a twisted and wrong way.  Where it doesn’t work is that the story itself, in regards to its title, isn’t nearly as clever or relevant as it thinks it is.  So while you laugh a lot and are completely engaged (and a little disturbed) you’ll most likely not regard the movie as a substantial piece of cinema, as In Bruges most certainly was.  B+

Hotel Transylvania
Rated PG for some rude humor, action and scary images
Available on DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D

Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg team up again (I know most of you are trying to forget about That’s My Boy) for this animated flick that asks the question “what if the monsters from our nightmares were really more afraid of us and spent their time vacationing in Dracula’s giant hotel castle in Transylvania?”  In this tale, Dracula (Sandler) tries to keep a mortal human backpacker (Samberg) from hitting on his daughter (Selena Gomez) and ruining his resort.  It’s certainly not even close to being one of the best animated films of the year, but it is funny from time to time and sure keeps the kiddos entertained.  I wish my toddler enjoyed Frankenweenie and Paranorman better than this lowbrow humor, but unfortunately he doesn’t.  At least its better than I though it would be and I can honestly say I was pleasantly surprised by that.  B-

The Duelists
Rated PG
Available on Blu-ray

In 1977, two years before he released Alien, Director Ridley Scott made his debut with this indie about two French military officers in the time of Napoleon (Keith Carradine and Harvey Keitel) who spend decades dueling each other over practically nothing.  It’s an interesting premise, and a good look at what a talented filmmaker can do with less than a million dollars.  And while the script isn’t the best, those fans of such films as Alien, Blade Runner and Gladiator will love to see where one of their favorite directors got their start.  Watching the old DVD special features on this blu-ray, you can really see a stark difference between the looks of the film before 1080p.  This new hi-def transfer is gorgeous with some real moments of genius for which Scott freely admits serendipity played a role.  B