New in Home Entertainment – April 2, 2013

New in Home Entertainment

April 2, 2013

The Sweeney
Rated R for violence and language throughout and some sexual content
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Based on an old 70’s UK TV show which most Americans will have never heard of, The Sweeney is the name of an elite group of police officers tasked with taking out armed robbery and violent crime in the streets of London.  Led by a tough old brute, played by Ray Winstone (Sexy Beast), the group of cops will do anything to take down the bad guys, even if it means bending or breaking a few rules.  Winstone and his team are a lot of fun to watch, even if the plot is completely predictable and the the dialog needs a translator, or at least subtitles, to help navigate the way.  Overall the film is likable and will satisfy most fans of British crime dramas.  B-

To the Arctic
Rated G
Available on DVD and Blu-ray/Blu-ray 3D

This short IMAX documentary explores the arctic by following the lives of a mother polar bear and her two cubs as well as a group of walrus and caribou.  You get the feeling that the walrus and caribou were just there to fill time since they probably didn’t have enough polar bear footage, but even if that is the case, the film is still a decent enough nature doc.  The photography, especially the daring underwater footage, is spectacular and really looks great on a big home theater system.  Too bad the preachy narration by Meryl Streep starts to get annoying very fast. They could have made a simple and impactful point by showing their example of arctic ice melting, but instead opted to pelt the audience over the head with climate change talk that essentially states “what part of this are you idiots not getting?”  I wish they had an audio track that simply muted Streep and boosted the many Paul McCartney songs placed throughout.  B-

The Sandlot: 20th Anniversary Edition
Rated PG for some language and kids chewing tobacco
Available on Blu-ray

Yes, The Sandlot was released on Blu-ray just two years ago, but since it’s now 20 years old I guess we need it again.  The film itself is a great tribute to youth and baseball and its hard not to find some nostalgia while watching.  I am surprised that they didn’t put together some great special features here to make this new edition stand out a bit, like maybe a reunion commentary track, but then again, I’m not sure I have enough interest to do anything except watch the movie again.  B

Vietnam: The Ten Thousand Day War
Available on DVD

I remember the ads for this Time Life miniseries running on television so many years ago, and now, decades later, I finally got the chance to see this 26 episode documentary covering the entire length of the Vietnam War.  I really only intended to watch a few episodes, but since most of them run under a half-hour, and because the series is so engrossing, I managed to sit back and watch the whole thing in one long sitting.  It is a fascinating look at the war that cost us way too many American lives and really dives into the good, the bad and the ugly of the conflict.  The set is dated for sure, but that only adds to its authenticity and impact.  A