New in Home Entertainment – June 24, 2014

New in Home Entertainment

June 24, 2014

Winter’s Tale
Rated PG-13 for violence and some sensuality
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Sometimes the critics are so wrong.  You won’t hear me say that often but this time it sticks.  The Rotten Tomatoes score for Winter’s Tale is 13% and yet I rather enjoyed it.  Based on the fantasy novel by Mark Helprin and written and directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Akiva Goldsman, Winter’s Tale tells the story of a mysterious young man in early 1900’s New York (Colin Farrell) who is being hunted through an entire century by an evil demon (Russell Crowe).  Sure it has its problems, but the story is interesting, the acting by most of the cast is solid and the production values are terrific.  I especially loved the score by Hans Zimmer and Rupert Gregson-Williams.  It’s probably not as magical or as easy to understand as it should have been, but overall, I think its a good rental that might just surprise you.  B+

300: Rise of an Empire

Rated R for strong sustained sequences of stylized bloody violence throughout, a sex scene, nudity and some language
Available on DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D

This sequel to 300 follows the greek general Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton) as he attempts to unite Greece to fight Xerxes and his Persian army.  Visually, the film is just as exciting as its predecessor, but honestly, the story feels stale and all of the blood and guts thrown in your face get tedious real quick.  By the end I was just bored and ready to move on.  Maybe its the lack of Zach Snyder at the helm or maybe its just the lack of a compelling script, but this Rise falls flat.  C-

A Hard Day’s Night: Criterion Edition

Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Getting the Criterion treatment this month is The Beatles iconic film A Hard Days Night which follows the Fab Four as they stumble from one scene to the next, singing songs all the way.  The good news is that the film looks and sounds great with a remastered soundtrack and restored print.  The bad news is that the film is still a silly and cheesy movie that is unworthy of the stars found within.  My advice, fast forward between songs.  C-