December 27, 2012

DVD Releases

New on the shelf: 'Premium Rush' / 'Resident Evil: Retribution' / 'The Words'

NEW ON THE SHELF

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Bradley Cooper in “The Words.”

CBS Films

"PREMIUM RUSH," Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Shannon. Pure escapist entertainment from start to finish, this overlooked thriller is a breakneck careen through the unforgiving streets of New York, with bike messenger Wilee (Gordon-Levitt) accepting a delivery job that turns into a life-or-death series of chases when a dirty, desperate cop (Shannon, chewing the scenery to bits) expresses an interest in the envelope. With dazzling visuals and stunts that put the viewer in immediate harm's way throughout, "Premium Rush" delivers exactly what the title promises. Special features include a stunt featurette. Rated PG-13. Running time: 1:31.

Suggested retail price: $30.99; Blu-ray $35.99.

"RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION," Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory. Installment number five (yep, five) in the seemingly endless video-game-based series is a classic example of the old "if you like this sort of thing, then this is the sort of thing that you will like" trope, with Jovovich stoically kicking and shooting a variety of unpleasant adversaries in varying stages of decay, in service of a barely comprehensible plot. As ever, its raison d'etre is the fight scenes and visual effects, both specialties of director Paul W.S. Anderson, and Jovovich as always cuts an alternately appealing and intimidating figure. Rated R. Running time: 1:36.

Suggested retail price: $30.99; Blu-ray $35.99.

"THE WORDS," Bradley Cooper, Dennis Quaid. A struggling author (Cooper) finds an old manuscript in a second-hand suitcase, and experiences long-elusive success upon submitting it for publication as his own work. All goes relatively well until an elderly gentleman (Jeremy Irons) inevitably turns up, claiming to have written the novel based on his own life story. A relatable and well-realized morality play with strong performances from all concerned. Rated PG-13. Running time: 1:37.

Suggested retail price: $30.99; Blu-ray $35.99.

NEW TO DVD

"ARBITRAGE," Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon. One forgets just how effective Gere can be when given the right role, and in "Arbitrage" he's found it, fearlessly portraying ruthless and rather detestable hedge fund magnate Robert, whose considerable financial troubles are kept at bay through an elaborate charade powered by dodgy math, a system called into question by his employee/daughter Brooke (Brit Marling) and a prying detective (Tim Roth). Tensions mount and crises pile up, and Gere's increasingly desperate behavior is fascinating throughout. Rated R. Running time: 1:47.

Suggested retail price: $19.98; Blu-ray $24.99.

"10 YEARS," Channing Tatum, Rosario Dawson. Impressive debut from first-timer director Jamie Linden is a worthy addition to the ever-dependable high school reunion subgenre, introducing the class of 2011 (which here include Tatum, Dawson, Justin Long, Chris Pratt and Aubrey Plaza of "Parks and Recreation," and Ari Graynor, just to name a few) as they reunite after a decade-long absence at wildly divergent points in their lives and careers, but returning to familiar behaviors once the alcohol starts flowing and old wounds are reopened. A perceptive and winningly sincere little film that deserves more attention. Rated PG-13. Running time: 1:40.

Suggested retail price: $26.98; Blu-ray $29.99.

"TOSH.0: DEEP V'S," Daniel Tosh, The Internet. This generation's "America's Funniest Home Videos" is an alternately hilarious and appalling pastiche of online videos showcasing all manner of ridiculous behavior, with popular comedian Tosh offering wry commentary in between clips. You'll fear for the future of our planet, but you'll laugh a lot while doing so. Not rated, contains language, comic violence, disturbing images and crude humor. Running time: 5:52.

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