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article imageReview: New on DVD for September 18 Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Sep 18, 2012 in Entertainment
This week’s releases include a geriatric odyssey; a fight for a man’s soul; a tasteful exploration of a historical sexual discovery; an awesome collection of epic adventures; and an in-depth look at a lovable pop star.
Bait 3D (Blu-ray)
A group of survivors in a sleepy beach town suddenly find themselves trapped inside a submerged supermarket, following a freak tsunami. As they try to escape to safety, they soon discover that there is a predator among them more deadly than the threat of drowning — vicious great white sharks lurking in the water, hungry for fresh meat. As the bloodthirsty sharks begin to pick the survivors off one by one, the group realizes that they must work together to find a way out without being eaten alive.
Special features not available. (Anchor Bay Entertainment)
Fox Home Entertainment
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Blu-ray)
Everyone has heard the saying, "Getting old is expensive." For these retirees, the truth of that adage has limited their selection of living arrangements - none of which are very desirable. However, an adventurous opportunity to retire in India is too good of a chance to pass up. It turns out it's also a little too good to be entirely true. Nonetheless, the new residents of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly and Beautiful take advantage of their unfamiliar surroundings while their enthusiastic host (Dev Patel) attempts to ensure all their needs are met.
The first act of the film that anticipates the characters' move to India is rushed and in some ways incomplete. Once in India, the culture shock is accentuated. For Tom Wilkinson's character it was a return, so he adapts quickly. Dame Judi Dench's and Bill Nighy's characters similarly embrace their new surroundings, exploring nearby neighbourhoods, learning the customs and adjusting to their new lifestyles. Meanwhile, others refuse to leave the hotel and cling to the comforts of England. While not requiring too much acting on the part of the retirees, they are still comprised of actors that are a joy to watch on the screen. In addition, Patel is an excessively positive ball of energy. The second act of the picture is interesting, but the latter part becomes less captivating as the ex-pats adjust and the film begins to focus on the mundane.
Special features include: behind-the-scenes featurettes; “Casting legends”; and theatrical trailer. (Fox Home Entertainment)
Warner Bros. Home Entertainmnet
Devil’s Advocate (Blu-ray)
Hotshot attorney Kevin Lomax’s (Keanu Reeves) 64-0 case record has brought him a tempting offer from an elite New York firm. But the job Lomax accepts isn’t what it seems. The Devil is in the details. Lomax’s life, wife (Charlize Theron) and soul are on the line. He’s landed a job that’s Heaven on Earth – which can lead him straight to Hell.
This is the ultimate good vs. evil narrative with the devil offering the American dream to an ambitious, power hungry lawyer. Al Pacino excels as the human embodiment of Lucifer, relishing everything from killing a business threat to having sex with a beautiful woman. Reeves steps away from his surfer persona to play the straight shooting go-getter that can’t resist the draw of limitless power and envy – and he does it relatively well. However he doesn’t hold a candle to Theron who slowly deteriorates from a smart, supportive young wife to a supposedly delusional woman on suicide watch. The representation of wickedness is intriguing and the concluding scene worthy of repetitive views.
Special features not available. (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment)
Heartland: Season 5 (DVD)
This season, the characters of Heartland find they have to return to their roots to move forward. Amy (Amber Marshall) reaches a new level of horsemanship and her greater connection with horses ultimately leads her to a better understanding of the people in her life. Her sister, Lou (Michelle Morgan), discovers the sacrifice and reward of becoming a working mother, while venturing into home-renovation territory with her husband, Peter (Gabriel Hogan), as they take on transforming the Heartland Dude Ranch. Ty (Graham Wardle) realizes that to move forward, both in his relationship with Amy and his goal of becoming a vet, he must literally move out of the loft. Tim (Chris Potter) seeks out his long lost son and works on building a relationship with him, while Jack (Shaun Johnston), as always, remains the rock of Heartland, tirelessly keeping the family together through thick and thin.
Special features include: season five overview; outtakes; and “The Cliff-hanger.” (Entertainment One)
Entertainment One
Hysteria (DVD & Blu-ray combo pack)
Mortimer Granville (Hugh Dancy) is a progressive doctor, advocating the importance of hand washing and sanitary conditions when germ theory was just that – a theory. Essentially being banished or blackballed from most medical offices and hospitals, he finally enters the overflowing practice of the leading doctor in women's medicine who is in desperate need of an assistant. According to his diagnosis, half the women in London suffer from "hysteria" with symptoms ranging from insomnia to depression to anxiety. The treatment of the illness is "stimulation of the nervous system." In essence, they manually give these women weekly orgasms, or paroxysms. Eventually Dr. Granville develops a form of carpal tunnel that makes him ineffective and creates the need for a mechanical helper. Thus, he and his technologically-inclined friend, Edmund St. John-Smythe (Rupert Everett), invented the "electric massager."
There are certain topics related to sex that remain taboo or confusing. Two of these are addressed in the film Hysteria: sex toys and the female orgasm. But the shame and eroticism typically associated with the subjects have been replaced with humour and common sense. Director Tanya Wexler chose the perfect way to approach this subject, highlighting the absurdity of hysteria as a diagnosis and the so-called treatment that followed it. Every role in this picture is tongue-in-cheek (sometimes literally if "Molly Lolly" is on screen). Even the demonstration of "the procedure" in its straight-faced sincerity is uproarious. Though blushing may be imminent, so is the laughter - and it isn't embarrassed or hushed because the narrative does such a wonderful job of telling the story in a fun, open manner.
Special features include: commentary by director Tanya Wexler; “An evening with Tanya Wexler, Hugh Dancy and Jonathan Pryce” featurette; “Passion and power: the technology of orgasm” documentary; behind-the-scenes featurette; and deleted scenes. (Entertainment One)
Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures (Blu-ray)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981): Archeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is hired by the US government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984): After arriving in India, Indiana Jones is asked by a desperate village to find a mystical stone. He agrees, and stumbles upon a secret cult plotting a terrible plan in the catacombs of an ancient palace.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989): When Dr. Henry Jones Sr. (Sean Connery) suddenly goes missing while pursuing the Holy Grail, eminent archaeologist Indiana Jones must follow in his father's footsteps and stop the Nazis.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008): Famed archaeologist/adventurer Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones is called back into action when he becomes entangled in a Soviet plot to uncover the secret behind mysterious artifacts known as the Crystal Skulls.
Indiana Jones is an iconic character that has sustained his popularity for more than three decades. Dropping into dark caves, finding secret passages and escaping the many people trying to kill him on a regular basis, Indy’s adventures are fun to watch – over and over again. In each film he is paired with a great sidekick, from Short Round (Jonathan Ke Quan) to Marion (Karen Allen) to Sallah (John Rhys-Davies). A highlight is watching him with Dr. Jones Sr. as he regresses to a petulant teen rebelling against a father with high standards. Moreover, his fear of snakes is a regular source of entertainment. With talks of another instalment, one can only hope it’s better than the letdown that was Crystal Skull.
Special features include: seven hours of bonus material includes four making-of featurettes; and various behind-the-scenes featurettes. (Paramount Home Media Distribution)
Paramount Home Media Distribution
Katy Perry: Part of Me (DVD & Blu-ray combo pack)
Giving fans unprecedented access to the real life of music sensation Katy Perry, the documentary exposes the hard work, dedication and phenomenal talent of a girl who remained true to herself and her vision in order to achieve her dreams. Featuring rare behind-the-scenes interviews, personal moments between Katy and her friends, and all-access footage of rehearsals, choreography, Katy’s signature style and more.
It’s easy to be a fan of Perry’s music: it’s catchy, fun and personal. But there’s so much more to the pop singer and she isn’t afraid to show it – good or bad. Perry and her friends reflect on her journey to the top of the charts, setting a record with five #1 songs from one album. In some ways she and Lady Gaga spread a similar message about acceptance, but Perry’s is delivered in a more acceptable package of whimsy. Filmed during the break-up of her marriage to Russell Brand, audiences are given unprecedented access to Perry as she struggles with the challenges leading up to the separation. While it’s naive to think she didn’t have full approval of the finished product, it remains a raw look at the life of a pop superstar.
Special features include: behind-the-scenes of the California Dreams tour and full concert performances. (Paramount Home Media Distribution)
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Queen of the Damned (Blu-ray)
It’s her time. Her place. The wickedly regal Mother of All Vampires is ready again to rule. This time, Lestat (Stuart Townsend) finds acceptance in a tattooed and pierced world. He’s a rock star. And his intoxicating Goth-riffed sound rekindles the desires of all-powerful Akasha (Aaliyah).
Based on the third book in Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, this film is livelier than Interview with the Vampire. It follows the extravagant life of the vampire Lestat, now a rock star and world sensation. Finally he is able to get the attention he’s craved his long life – though he also attracts the interest of one of the first vampires, which ends up being more than he bargained for. It’s not a great adaptation of the novel, but Townsend does an adequate job filling Tom Cruise’s shoes.
Special features not available. (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment)
Salvation Boulevard (DVD)
A former Deadhead turned born-again Christian finds himself on the run from fundamentalist members of his mega-church who will do anything to protect their larger-than-life pastor.
Special features not available. (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Supernatural: The Complete Seventh Season (Blu-ray)
This season, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) fight demons. Real demons, like Lucifer, who tortures Sam with visions of Hell. Private demons, as the brothers face a traumatic personal loss when Bobby is cut down by alien forces. And as Sam and Dean travel the back roads of America, hunting monsters who wreak havoc on the innocent, a new and more terrible foe hunts them: Leviathans, freed from Purgatory and immune to the brothers’ arsenal of weapons and cunning.
This season takes a step back from the deep religious overtones and gets back to fighting monsters. Sam’s internal battle with the devil comes to a head, forcing the brothers to find a permanent solution or risk losing the younger Winchester forever. Unfortunately, the same could not be done in Bobby’s case – though he did not stay away long. Hearing him exclaim “idjiot” once more is one of the best moments of the season. Their pursuit of the Leviathans wears thin sometimes, but there are also some very interesting encounters. When the Leviathan trail runs cold, the brothers hunt the other supernatural elements that continue to torment humanity.
Special features not available. (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment)
Anchor Bay Entertainment
The Victim (DVD)
Good time girls Annie (Jennifer Blanc) and Mary (Danielle Harris) find themselves in a life and death situation. Annie’s life is put in jeopardy when she is witness to a violent act at the hands of two Sheriff’s Deputies (Ryan Honey, Denny Kirkwood). With her pursuers closing in, she stumbles across Kyle (Michael Biehn), a recluse living in the middle of the woods. A rugged loner, Kyle finds the stillness of the woods comforting. He keeps civilization at arm’s length; that is - until a single knock on his door throws his solitary life into chaos.
While Biehn has had a role in some memorable films (Terminator, The Divide), his writer/director ventures are far more forgettable. The dialogue is more horrific than the narrative, evoking groans throughout. The worst is when two of the characters have sex at the most inopportune time, completely out of the blue. The events are loosely strung together, the flashbacks are superfluous and the characters’ actions are ill-conceived. It’s not until the final minutes that the film delivers a solid piece intrigue.
Special features include: commentary by writer/director Michael Biehn and co-star/co-producer Jennifer Blanc; making-of featurette; and theatrical trailer. (Anchor Bay Entertainment)
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