New in Home Entertainment – January 8, 2013

New in Home Entertainment

January 8, 2013


Rated PG for thematic elements, scary images and action
Available on DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D

This year saw several horror-based animated films including Hotel Transylvania and ParaNorman but the one that was most impressive was the Tim Burton directed stop-motion animated movie based on one of Burton’s early short films.  This great coming of age story about a young boy who reanimates his dog after a tragic accident is a charming and fun-filled adventure that is easily enjoyable for anyone.  It took in a relatively small box office, probably due to being in good old scary black and white but the film is surprising on many levels.  What is most noticeable is the creativity that went into the project.  What is most shocking is the lack of Johnny Depp who didn’t voice a single character.  But never fear, Burton friends Winona Ryder and Martin Landau, among many others, turn in great voice performances.  A-

Rated R for strong violence, language, some sexuality/nudity and drug content
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

This futuristic actioner follows Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a young assassin hired to kill folks who are sent back in time to be disposed of.  When he faces his older self, played by Bruce Willis, he botches the hit and must find a way to track him down and kill him before his criminal boss does the same to him.  This low-budget sci-fi flick proves that it doesn’t take big money to bring a big idea to screen.  The script by writer/director Rian Johnson is sure to get much awards play and overall the film is a trippy blast to watch.  A-

Rated PG-13 for some disturbing and sexual images
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

If you are in need of a new movie to show off your new home theater, look no further than this stunning documentary by filmmaker and cinematographer Ron Fricke.  Filmed over five years and in twenty-five countries on five continents, Samsara is a meditation on our beautiful planet where you can just sit in amazement as you marvel at the images on screen.  While much of it is stunning, some of it is truly weird and disturbing and without dialog or any kind of easily apparent overarching theme, many will not be impressed.  But if you are willing to invest your brain for a hundred minutes you will be glad you did.  B+

Rated R for strong bloody violence, language , drug use and some sexual content
Available on DVD and Blu-ray/Blu-ray 3D

For Dredd, good reviews were bad news.  Dredd, released by Lionsgate, did a dreadful job of promoting its theatrical release, possibly thinking that good word of mouth would bring in the bucks.  After all, the movie pulled a 78% on Rotten Tomatoes and that is saying a lot for a film like this.  Needless to say, it was a huge bust at the box office, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable.  If you have a 3D system, the effects are pretty cool, but in a bloody disgusting way.  The movie is horrendously violent, but Karl Urban makes an awesome Judge Dredd (much better than Stallone’s) and the film is pretty darn fun in spite of its many flaws.  B

Smash: Season One
Available on DVD

With the success of Glee, and considering that much of Glee’s audience is adult, it makes sense that someone would make a show about life on Broadway.  Following the lives of creatives and performers putting on a Marilyn Monroe-themed musical, Smash is another guilty pleasure program that is easy enough on the eyes and ears, but could stand to be a little less cheesy.  B-