New in Home Entertainment – May 14, 2013

New in Home Entertainment

May 14, 2013

Cloud Atlas
Rated R for violence, language, sexuality/nudity and some drug use
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

This new, extremely ambitious project from the Wachowski siblings (The Matrix) and Tom Tykwer (Perfume) tells several unique stories taking place in the past, present and future, all with the same centralized theme: slavery and freedom.  Some of the stories are epic, such as the one about the human fabricant from New Seoul, and some are less inspired.  But as a whole, the movie keeps you on the edge of your seat and your brain racing as you try to figure it all out.  Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant and others each play multiple characters, male and female, making the movie seem more like an intimate play than a big-budget extravaganza.  I’ve seen the movie 3 times now and I still don’t really get it – but I still really want to.  Thankfully there are some great special features here to help clear up some of the confusion.  B+

Dexter: The Seventh Season
Not Rated but full of violence, sex/nudity and bad language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

After the sixth season I was sure this storyline was going downhill, but the hit Showtime series was rescued in a big way with this latest twisty, nerve-racking season.  Now that Dexter’s sister has discovered his secret of being a sadistic vigilante, she tries to help him cure himself of his disease rather than ignore or turn him in.  Unfortunately, he has a Russian mafia leader (played by the terrific Ray Stevenson) who wants him dead and his boss thinks he might be the Bay Harbor Butcher.  A ton of shocking surprises set up what will hopefully be a legendary eighth and final season.  A-

The Verdict
Rated R
Available on Blu-ray

Twentieth Century Fox is re-releasing several old classics this week on Blu-ray, including The Great Escape, Viva Zapata!, Brubaker and a collection of films by Henry Fonda on DVD, but my favorite from the bunch has to be The Verdict.  This influential 1982 Sidney Lumet courtroom drama provides Paul Newman one of his most complex roles as an ambulance-chasing attorney who must take a trial to court when the stakes become higher than he planned.  The film feels dated, but the performances are red hot and the new high-def transfer looks and sounds great.  A-