New in Home Entertainment – May 21, 2013

New in Home Entertainment

May 21, 2013

Side Effects
Rated R for sexuality, nudity, violence and language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

When a loving house wife (Rooney Mara) inadvertently stabs her husband (Channing Tatum) while taking an investigational anti-depressant, her psychiatrist (Jude Law) and the pharmaceutical industry come under fire.  For half of the movie I was getting annoyed that this was just a big pharma is bad story and that director Steven Soderbergh (Traffic) was trying to simply make a statement.  I should have known better.  That storyline is just a sleight of hand while the real story hits you over the head and takes you completely by surprise.  Rather than lose steam, the movie picks it up and gives a great thrill ride to the very end.  This is certainly one of the most under-appreciated movies of the last year, probably because telling someone why they might want to see it gives away the surprise.  I don’t want to spoil your fun so trust me, just check it out.  A-

Mel Brooks: Make a Noise
Available on DVD

For over 60 years the legendary Mel Brooks has been entertaining audiences across many platforms and genres.  This American Masters series documentary gives you an in-depth look at the man and his life, as well as a plethora of wonderfully funny film clips that play like a greatest hits.  But its when the interviewer gets personal with Brooks that you start to feel like you are finally getting to know the man who has brought so much unadulterated joy to millions around the planet.  A

The Last Stand
Rated R for strong bloody violence throughout, and language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

For Arnold Schwarzenegger’s big comeback he chose this loud action flick about an aged small-town Sheriff who is forced to take on a drug cartel when his border town is the only thing standing in the way of their leader getting into Mexico.  I really wanted to like this film.  After all, I have a nostalgic fondness for Arnold and I was excited to see famed Asian director Jee-woon Kim’s first American project.  Unfortunately, the dialog is atrocious, allowing for too much dry and unnecessary exposition, and the plot points are not only predictable, but lack the sophistication expected from this director and actor.  This is straight up violence and it gets old fast.  C-

True Blood: The Complete Fifth Season
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

While season four of the hit HBO show got a little tedious, this fifth season ended up being rather fun and completely unpredictable.  With the majority of the season revolving around Bill, Eric and the Vampire Authority, there was a lot less of the silly love triangle and a lot more discovering of the underground universe from the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris.  Okay, so there is an extreme amount of nudity (yes more than usual) in this season, which even made me feel a little uncomfortable at times, but I finally got excited again about a show that, for a spell, I thought I was growing tired of.  A-