New in Home Entertainment – February 12, 2013

New in Home Entertainment

February 12, 2013

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, drug and alcohol use, sexual content including references, and a fight – all involving teens
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Stephen Chbosky writes and directs this adaptation of his 1999 novel about a young teen starting his high school years.  While most high school movies pander to their audiences and thus turn out to be lousy movies, this story is extremely fresh and refreshingly challenging. Logan Lerman is excellent as the troubled teen while Ezra Miller and Emma Watson are perfection as his best friends.  What makes the film truly special, though, is the disturbing twist at the end that throws you for a huge loop.  I was engaged throughout the movie but was blown away by the third act.  High school films aren’t often done right, but when they are they are a highly rewarding experience.  A

Rated PG-13 for intense thematic material, disturbing content, and some strong language – all involving kids
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Bullying in schools has always been an issue, but until recently it has been the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about.  In this new documentary bullying is exposed and discussed in detail.  The filmmakers were able to observe some horrific moments that many kids across the country are forced to deal with and come away with some shocking situations that will have you in tears.  Originally rated R for language used, the film has been edited to get a PG-13 in order to obtain the much needed wider audience.  The movie does a good job of pushing emotional buttons and is ultimately a must watch for parents and students both.  A-

Rated PG-13 for intense violent sequences throughout, some sexuality, language and smoking
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

In Bond’s latest adventure, Daniel Craig in his third outing as Bond finds himself paring up against an evil ex-agent (Javier Bardem) who is determined to seek his revenge against M (Judi Dench).  Directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty) and photographed by the legendary Roger Deakins (The Shawshank Redemption) , the film, for the most part is expertly crafted with some very good performances.  In fact, it really feels like the best Bond yet until the very faulty third act which is full of errors and story problems.  My biggest issue is that from the moment you meet Bardem’s evil villain, he is dead set on a very intimate deadly encounter with M, but his penultimate attack comes from two waves of henchmen before he jumps in at the end.  I’m not trying to spoil anything, but if the story was consistent, we shouldn’t have even seen the henchman.  It’s stereotypical and a rather lazy way to end what should have been an awesome movie.  B-

The Sessions
Rated R for strong sexuality including graphic nudity and frank dialogue
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

This very funny and very touching adult dramedy stars John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone) as a paralyzed man who wants to experience intimacy with a woman.  When he hires a sex therapist (Helen Hunt) to help him lose his virginity, both parties experience a lasting change.  While Hunt received an Oscar nom for her excellent performance, Hawkes was unfortunately ignored.  His performance here is exceptional and he pulls you through a wide range of emotions, making you extremely sympathetic and empathetic for his character.  The most amazing part is that he is acting.  I’ve talked to so many people that just assumed he was actually paraplegic, not recognizing the famous character at all.  A-

Weeds: Season Eight
Rated TV-MA
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

After Mary Louise Parker and family left the west coast, this Showtime centerpiece about a house mom selling pot went down hill fast.  This final season, while meandering and pointless for much of it, provides a very fun last episode that advances years in the future, providing many laughs and a nice conclusion to a series that stayed around well past its welcome.  C+