New in Home Entertainment – April 9, 2013

New in Home Entertainment
April 9, 2013

Hyde Park on Hudson
Rated R for brief sexuality
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Late last year when I heard Bill Murray was going to be in a biopic about President Franklin D. Roosevelt I immediately thought that one of my favorite actors would be the talk of the town come awards time.  Boy was I wrong.  This little indie about the indiscretions of the great leader has some potential, but rather than living up to that potential, it turns into one of the most dreadfully boring movies in recent memory.  The movie comes in at 94 minutes but the thing plods along so slowly that you are lucky if you fall asleep and unlucky if you try hard not to and succeed.  The performances are merely adequate and while the production itself is quality, the directing by veteran Roger Michell (Notting Hill) is just painful to sit through.  C-

Planet Ocean
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

From Yann Arthus-Bertand (Home) comes this spectacular straight-to-video documentary about the ocean with a story that is unique among its green-themed colleagues.  Visually stunning, the film is intended to drum up support for a movement, but rather than just say “look how pretty our planet is – please save it” this doc goes into scientific details that are much intended for a more educated and open-minded audience.  Exploring the natural mysteries of the ocean as well as its relationship to humans and commerce, the movie will end up making you feel much more intelligent than before you sat down to watch it, and without the preachiness of other recent nature docs.  This film was presented to the leaders of the Rio+20 conference in June 2012 and is sure to be a staple in science classrooms around the world.  A

John Dies at the End

Rated R for bloody violence and gore, nudity, language and drug content
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

When a new street drug emerges that allows its users to travel across time and dimensions starts to have some undesirable side effects, two college dropouts attempt to save mankind from a very weird invasion.  Normally I would have never even watched a film like this but seeing Paul Giamatti as an actor and executive producer piqued my interest.  Unfortunately, I found the film to be overly bizarre and hard to follow.  Also, I am convinced that the filmmakers were trying too hard to make a cult classic that they forgot to create an enjoyable experience.  It seemed to me that much of the humor was completely random and that current street drugs might have taken part in the actual writing of the project.  Ultimately it feels like a student film that got lucky enough to have an A list actor show up on the set.  C-